Top ten tips for choosing the perfect nursing bra – by qualified bra fitter, Karen Swan

I should begin this post by letting you know that I’ve seen more breasts than, well, Hugh Hefner. In my life BC (before child), I spent a over a decade as a bra fitter and I’ve seen them all. Implants, reductions, A cups to K cups (yes, there is such a thing as a K cup, and an L for that matter!).

Maternity Bras.

I can hear the collective groan as thoughts of hideous nanna bras and humiliating change room experiences rise to the surface. Let’s face it though, this is when our ‘girls’ are doing what they’re built for, so the least we can do is support them!  It‘s confusing to know where to start so here are my Top 10 tips for getting the right fit!

1) Be fitted by a professional.

This is no time for DIY!  Seek out a specialty boutique with trained staff.  Gone are the days of the grey haired old lady yanking back the change room curtain as you stand there in horror.  A good fitter will do everything possible to minimise your discomfort.  Just do it – it’s never as bad as you think.  For online shopping, look for a ‘virtual changeroom’.  Here you’ll find tips on self measuring and getting the right fit.  For the Arden all in one pumping and nursing bra (pictured above) size guide head here.  

 2) Step out of denial.

“But I’ve always been a 12B.”  Probably not.  80% of women wear the wrong size bra, so don’t be surprised if the size you are fitted is vastly different (read: bigger) than what you thought.  Accept it, exhale and move forward.

 3)When to be fitted?

Maternity bras are designed to be worn from around 12 weeks.  This allows for initial growth and ensures you get maximum wear from your bra.  General rule – when you feel uncomfortable in your pre-pregnancy bras, it’s time.  Once bub is here and you’ve settled into your breastfeeding journey, it’s worth having the fitting checked again.

 4)How many to buy?

 Three bras is a good start – ‘one on, one in the wash and one in reserve’.

 5) Ditch the underwire.

Now is not the time to be upping the cleavage factor.  Through pregnancy breasts fluctuate almost constantly and need a softer, more flexible support.  You’ll be amazed at how comfortable you feel.  It’s the breast equivalent of trading stilettos for slippers!

6) My cup runneth over!

A correctly fitted maternity bra will allow for growth, but no one can predict exactly how much change will happen.  If your bra is feeling restrictive or you have entered the ‘four boob zone’, have your fitting checked, (a good idea just before you’re due too.)

7) Beige be gone!

Maternity bras no longer look like something out of Nanna’s top drawer (Ok, some of them do).  There are brands doing some gorgeous, even sexy maternity bras.  Don’t ignore the old beige cotton number though.  Black lace will show through under your  white tops! You can check out the Arden bra in blush or nude – they both have cream lace so don’t look at all like Nanna bras and they don’t show through your white tops.

 8) The skin you’re in.

The most beautiful bra in the world is useless if it scratches and irritates skin made more sensitive by pregnancy.  It pains me to a say it, but choose comfort FIRST. (Particularly in the early breastfeeding days when you feel you’ve been dragged along the asphalt by your nipples!)

9) Spoiled for choice.

Don’t stop at bras.  There are some great feeding singlets available.  My choice for speeding morning dressing!

10) Embrace the Change!

Flat to Fab, voluptuous to va va voom! Pregnancy and breastfeeding gives us freedom to embrace our curves!  Enjoy it!

Karen Swan is a qualified bra fitter and a mama who has breastfed her child. 

We recommend the Arden all in one nursing and ‘hands free’ pumping bra. For a gorgeous bra that will support you from the newborn stage of breastfeeding through to weaning (and beyond if you love the comfort), see the Arden bra – the only beautiful all in one bra that lets you breastfeed, double hands free pump or simultaneously breastfeed and pump.

With the added benefit of adjustable sizing using the cross over cover panel which can be tightened or loosened depending on your fullness level.

Check it out here

dairy fairy bra

  1. Anna says

    I used to work as a lingerie fitter, it amazed me how many woman I would measure and they would disagree and get a smaller (back size) down, it resulted in some massive back boob, uncomfortable looking bras. Until one day I told a woman to just cut the tag out so she wouldn’t see the size!

    1. Pinky says

      Thats crazy isn’t it – nobody checks our bra size labels except us. Good idea to cut the tag out if we don’t like the numbers

  2. Jay says

    Waiting for my Arden bra to arrive! Hoping it’s as comfy as you say.
    Would love an exercise friendly maternity bra I find normal maternity bras are just not supportive enough. I’m starting to get back into exercise but with DD breasts I need support for a brisk walk , I want to be able to feed anywhere if need be atm I’m having to double bra with a crop over the top for support

  3. Sammi says

    What happens when your boobs are different sizes? One is like a “B” and One is a “D” 🙁

    1. Pinky says

      You may like to have a look at the Arden Bra (you can return if it doesn’t fit. Cups can be individually adjusted in the front so each cup fits separately

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