Fitting guide: maternity and nursing bras

Royce LingerieFinding the perfect fit can be a challenge at any time of life but when you are pregnant or breastfeeding, your body changes more rapidly than at any other time, making it even trickier.

Royce Lingerie is recognised as an expert in designing wirefree bras, including a range of styles for maternity and nursing. Here is Royce’s guide to finding your perfect pregnancy fit.

Most health professionals recommend that mums-to-be wear a non-wired bra during pregnancy. As well as being more comfortable, you will also avoid any potential damage to breast tissues, blocked milk ducts and even infections that may be caused by a poorly fitting wired bra.

First Trimester

There’s no need to buy a maternity bra as soon as you find out you are pregnant (unless of course you want to!). You can quite happily and safely wear your regular bras until they start to feel a little snug. At this point, here’s what to look for:

  • Any non-wired bra is perfect for pregnancy (it doesn’t need to be labelled ‘Maternity’).
  • Your bra should be fitted on the tightest hook to allow for adjustment as your bump and boobs grow.Remember the Five Point Rule:
  1. The bra should be quite firm around the body
  2. Shoulder straps loosened or tightened as necessary.
  3. Breasts should be well enclosed within the cup.
  4. Centre front should sit back reasonably well against the chest wall.
  5. Snug fit at neck edge and underarm edges (not too tight and not gaping).

Second Trimester

Once you enter the second trimester of your pregnancy, you’ll probably notice that your bump and boobs start to grow quite rapidly – and you may find your maternity bra is starting to feel a little snug again. Once you have moved onto the loosest fitting of your bra, it’s time to get a new one! Here’s what to look for at this stage:

  • Any non-wired bra is ideal for the second trimester
  • Again, fit on the tightest hook to allow for that ever-expanding bump to keep growing.
  • And don’t forget the Five Point Rule.

Third Trimester

During the last three months of your pregnancy, your baby will have several growth spurts – meaning your bump will too. Your breasts will feel firm and full and may be leaking colostrum so you may like to wear breast pads (consider this when buying a new bra and leave room in the bra cup for the pads). You may also choose to wear a bra during the night for comfort and support. Here’s what you should know:

  • Any non-wired bra is fine – although you may choose to start wearing a nursing bra (a bra with drop cup clips for feeding) towards the end of your pregnancy.
  • Continue to fit on the tightest hook, unless you are buying a nursing bra (see below for more details about buying your nursing bra)
  • Keep the Five Point Rule in mind!

The Last Few Weeks

Between weeks 36 and 38 is the ideal time to buy your nursing bra. All Royce nursing bras are totally wirefree and have one handed release clips for easy access and retainer straps that enable the cup to drop down fully whilst holding the shoulder strap in place. Here’s what you need to know about nursing bra fitting:

  • Before birth, your nursing bra should be fitted on the loosest hook so it can be tightened once you’ve had your baby.
  • A few days after birth when your milk ‘comes in’ your breasts may increase by a cup size or two so if you’re in any doubt, buy a size bigger!
  • Make sure there’s plenty of room in the cups for your breast pads too.
  • Remember that all-important Five Point Rule!

For general bra fitting advice, please see our Top Tips for a perfectly fitted bra.

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