Do I have to wear nursing bras?

This question is often asked by ladies in their first pregnancy because they don’t know if they need to wear nursing bras during pregnancy.

However, the answer isn’t necessarily a straight ‘yes’ or ‘no’.  There are different reasons why you do or don’t have to wear nursing bras!

Firstly, let me explain what a nursing bra actually is. If this is your first pregnancy, you might not understand the difference between a maternity bra and a nursing bra.

nursing bras

Quite simply, a nursing bra is a bra which has nursing clips. These clips allow you to pull down the cup of the bra for easy feeding access. Usually these bras don’t have underwires in them, although there are several underwired nursing bras on the market*.  You can wear a nursing bra during pregnancy but is not essential as you won’t need the nursing clips until you start breastfeeding.

*I don’t recommend wearing underwired nursing bras until after at least 12 weeks post birth. Read about underwired nursing bras here.

A maternity bra is just a term for a bra that you wear during pregnancy. Many ladies continue to wear their normal bras during pregnancy but get to a stage where their bras become uncomfortable. At this point, they usually move into wearing a maternity bra, which is a soft cup bra that does not have nursing clips.

So, do you have to wear nursing bras?

nursing bras

During pregnancy, it isn’t necessary to wear a nursing bra.  However, many ladies will choose a nursing bra when they change from their normal bras to a soft cup bra.  Many of the nursing bras that I stock are designed to be worn during pregnancy as well as for breastfeeding. HOTmilk and Cake Lingerie bras for example, typically have 6 sets of hooks at the back. This means that you can start to wear the bra during early pregnancy on the tightest fitting and it will grow with you as your bump expands.

If you are planning on breastfeeding though, then a nursing bra becomes more essential. By wearing a nursing bra, you will be well supported, particularly if your breasts become heavy when your milk comes in. You will also be able to easily pull down the cup for access to your breast. The last thing you want when baby is hungry is not being able to easily attach baby to your breast!

So, does this all make sense? Have I answered your question: do I have to wear nursing bras? Is there anything else you want to know? Ask me here in the comments, or on Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #brafittingFAQ and I will answer anything you need to know!

Emma x

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