The ultimate purpose of clothes is to keep you comfortable and with this in mind – your pregnancy underwear is likely to play a bigger role in your comfort than anything else you wear. Here are a few key things to note as you make sense of what you must buy.
- Maternity Bras – Even as early as the first trimester – your belly will not display any signs of pregnancy but your breasts will start increasing in size. Breast can grow as much as 3 cup sizes during pregnancy along with a concurrent expansion of your rib cage and there are two things people do
- Look for bigger sized regular bras
- Opt for maternity bras (different from nursing bras)
I would not recommend following the first option since bigger sized bras do not serve your needs of comfort as much as maternity bras. Please remember – your breasts are not merely increasing in size, they are also becoming more sensitive. Maternity bras are designed to grow as the pregnancy progresses and also offer extra support as the breast grows fuller and more sensitive. I cannot recommend these enough as a means to prevent stretch marks and strain on chest muscles. I would suggest buying ow of a size. The best approach is to get fitted in the store and help the specialist select one for you.
- Sleep – May seem strange that you would need a sleep bra for your pregnancy but the fact remains that your breasts need support all the time – even in the night. In addition, they have pads to catch any leaking colostrum during the last stages of your pregnancy. These are also useful after pregnancy. Stretchy cotton sports bras also work well for sleep time.
- Underpants – I know that women still think that “granny pants” are the only option for them once they become pregnant – and I was one of those who did this till I broached the topic with my gynaecologist – who enlightened me on other options available in the market. So whether you prefer bikini underpants or boy shorts or multi-coloured thongs – all of these are now made accessible for pregnant women, and are now available in accordance with their comfort and support requirements. Please note that you need to get lots and lots of these – and may need to change several times during the day due to vaginal discharges. So to sum up go ahead with your style
- Look for larger sizes
- Wear them under your belly
- Choose 100% cotton to prevent vaginal infections in addition to comfort.
- Spanx – For those who just cannot do without their spanx – the good news is that it is available for pregnant women as well. Mama Spanx support hoses will smooth out some of the bulges in addition to providing support to the lower back and eliminating panty lines.
- Nursing Bras – A lot of people use maternity bras and nursing bras interchangeably but in my mind nursing bras are bras that are specially designed to make it easy for you to breastfeed. A general feature of these is that they are super soft with easy access opening in the front.
Here are some guidelines on what size to buy
- Lot of people recommend that you get fitted for a nursing bra at 8 months of pregnancy – just before the baby arrives. This is the size your breasts will settle into – around 8 weeks after pregnancy and is unlikely to change drastically after that. So a nursing bra that fits well around that time should carry you for another year or so.
- Let me remind you again – get fitted by professionals if you don’t want to be wrong. They will know exactly what is right for you. But if you are not in a position to go out and need to order online, please make sure that you do not need extra room in the cup for the bra that you buy at 8 months. It should fit snugly and should stretch as there is movement in the breasts that happens with milk production.
- One more thing to note is that your bra at this point should have its back band fit snugly at the loosest hook. As your size fluctuates downwards for the next several weeks you can tighten the back band.
- The first 8 weeks after pregnancy are likely to be crazy and your breast sizes will go up and down before settling down at the 8 weeks mark. A seamless bra or this is a better option at this point till everything settles down. Anything restrictive is a no-no.
- Look for nursing bras that provide you easiest access to the nipples for breastfeeding.
- Lot of different opinions on this but my take is that you should avoid under wire bras at all cost. They are likely to cause plugging of ducts that can be very painful.
- Nursing Pads – I would suggest buying both disposables and reusable in this category. Disposables are handy especially when you are on the go, but should work in most situations.
As I mentioned previously I would suggest that you go and get yourselves fitted in a local maternity store or lingerie shop. I can only tell you what worked for me and that provides you a starting point in your process.
Best Maternity Bras – Thyme Maternity is my top choice for maternity bras. Again I am not recommending buying the first set online. Get yourselves fitted professionally.
Best Nursing Bras
Bravado Designs is my top choice for nursing bras. H&M also sells decent nursing bras but I would rather buy from a company whose sole focus is on creating bras for pregnant women – which is why I prefer bravado. Thyme maternity also has a decent quality bra that I liked. If there is one more brand that is recommended it would be Leading Lady.
Best Nursing Pads
- Best Disposable Pads – Lansinoh 20265 Disposable Nursing Pads, 60-Count Boxes and NUK Ultra Dry Disposable Nursing Pads, 50 Count are the top choices.
- Best Reusable Pads – Bamboobies Super-soft Washable Nursing Pads or any washable bamboo fiber ones like Washable Organic Bamboo Nursing Pads- 8 Pack (4 Pair) Reusable Breast Pads with Leakproof Back by EcoNursingPads