A maternity bra is an enhanced version of a regular bra – specifically designed to support your breasts as they change throughout pregnancy whilst still providing comfort and style. They often have wider straps than your typical bra, combined with a soft cotton fabric coating in order to give you as much support as possible while staying comfortable during a time in which your breasts can become sensitive.
Maternity bras offer support and comfort with an additional hook and eye fastening so that you can easily adjust your bra as your body shape changes. Maternity bras don’t usually have underwired cups as many women find these uncomfortable during pregnancy and breastfeeding. They can also restrict milk flow and make breasts sore and tender.
As soon as you start to notice changes in your body, that’s when you should go and buy your first maternity bra. This typically happens during the first three to four months of your pregnancy. Getting a professional fitting is the first step and is a very important one. Maternity bras not only offer you the support you need while you are pregnant but they have been known to reduce stretch marks and minimize back pain. Once your bra has been properly measured and fitted, you should be able to find a range of styles and colors to suit everyone.
Make sure that not only does your new maternity bra look good but also, that you are able to adjust the straps and fastenings to allow for the additional body changes over the coming months. You will need a cup that will allow for further development in your breast size, not just around your chest. However, don’t be tempted to get a bra that is too big – you should be able to slide your hand into the top part of the cup when the bra is fitted securely. The smaller part of the cup should still fit properly and provide enough support without pinching. A professional will be able to advise you on this so don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Typically you will need at least two maternity bras during your pregnancy, if not more. You are going to be wearing them all day, every day and sometimes at night so you want to ensure that your underwear is as comfortable as possible. Maternity bras are made primarily from cotton or Lycra so that they allow your skin to breathe and will stop you from over-heating. Cotton fabrics in particular are great for sensitive skin and should minimize any rubbing or irritation you may experience while pregnant.
You may no longer be breastfeeding but that doesn’t mean you can instantly go back to your regular underwear. Many women still experience soreness, lactating and changes in breast size for weeks after they stop breastfeeding. Luckily, this is where another benefit of maternity bras comes in. Because of the attention to style as well as comfort, you can continue to wear your maternity bra under your normal clothes for as long as you like. The additional padding means that you won’t be worried about leaking and many maternity bras come with space for you to add inserts if you require the additional security.
This article was written by Amanda Walters, an experienced freelance writer and regular contributor to Huffington Post. Follow her here: @Amanda_W84
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