Updated at: 26-04-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

Maternity clothing shopping can be a daunting affair, especially if you’re already pregnant. While expecting a kid, you might be thinking how on earth they expect pregnant women to know how to estimate their bra size. There’s no need to worry, because we’re here to help you figure out what size maternity bra you need so you can start shopping.

During the second trimester of pregnancy, most women begin to discover that their usual bra is becoming too tight. This is a wonderful sign that you should get some maternity and nursing bras to get ready for the rest of your pregnancy and breastfeeding. That’s why it’s critical to be able to accurately gauge your bra size.

In general, nursing bra sizing does not differ from that of regular bras, however larger breasts during pregnancy and breastfeeding may necessitate a cup size or two larger than normal.

Steps on Measuring Your Maternity Bra Size

First, measure your bust with a tape measure and make sure it is level across your back.

The second step. Take a nipple-height measurement from the underside of one armpit to the other (or where nipples would normally protrude).

Step 3: Subtract five inches from the total length.

How do you know what size bra you need for your pregnancy? Now that you’ve learned how, it will be a cinch to get the appropriate one the next time around.

To ensure timely delivery, use our free shipping option if you spend over $75 (US only) or use the promo code “blog hosting” when you spend less than $100 (International purchases excluded). Shopping should be a joyous experience, so have fun!

Nursing bra in the right size | Pregnancy advice | Medela

The Importance of Correct Nursing Bra Sizing

As your body changes, it’s critical to find a nursing bra that’s both comfortable and functional. Before purchasing a nursing bra, make sure to check the sizing chart for the exact measurements. Aside from the fact that every woman’s body is unique, it is important to avoid lacing and underwire in maternity wear in order to avoid discomfort when you breasts are growing and producing milk for your new child.

Approximately 80% of women are wearing a bra that is too small for their bust size. On the other hand, just ten percent of women use bras that are too big. According to popular belief, a nursing bra that scrapes into your breast tissue or is overly tight could prevent one or more milk ducts from working properly, decreasing your milk production. If left untreated, a blocked milk duct can develop to an infection called mastitis, which can be extremely painful and debilitating. There are easy-to-follow instructions below that will help you determine your ideal nursing bra size.

How to Measure Bra Size Using Our Nursing Bra Sizing Chart

Before trying for nursing bras, you should measure yourself to get an idea of your bra size. Before you begin, gather the following items:

What You’ll Need

  • Tape measure for measuring
  • A sheet of white paper
  • Pen
  • A bra without padding that shows off your natural curves.
  • A bathroom mirror with a full-length mirror

The following steps can help you determine your current bra size:

Find Your Rib Measurement

  • Measure around your back and under your armpits using the measuring tape. When taking your breast circumference, make sure the measuring tape is above your breast tissue.
  • Make sure the measuring tape is parallel to the floor around your back while you’re staring in the mirror. Exhale after making sure there aren’t any fingers hidden beneath the tape.
  • Take a measurement and write it down. It’s always best to round up or down to the nearest even number if you’re in doubt about your size (such as 34, 36, or 38). This is the width of your ribcage.

Measure Your Nursing Bra Cup Size

  • Adjust the tape so that it measures around the fullest region of your breasts while still being wrapped around you.
  • Keep one hand on either end of the measuring tape as you measure along your chest.
  • The tape measure should be pressed in with your free hand between the breasts and into your chest area.
  • Take a measurement and write it down. It’s important to keep in mind that this measurement is likely to be larger than your rib band, but it should provide a reliable estimate of your cup size.

Nursing Bra Size Chart

In this case, 36 – 32 would be the result of subtracting the circumference of the rib band from the cup size. The following nursing bra sizing chart has the following discrepancy as its corresponding letter:

Nursing bra sizes are determined by your initial rib band measurement (36) and the letter (D) that corresponds to your cup size. Our sample bra size is 36D.

Finding the Best Nursing Bras

Our Ultimate BodyFit Maternity and Breastfeeding Bra, designed with soft four-way stretch material, drop-down cup holders, and one-handed nursing clips, may be a good option for you. To accommodate your changing body during and after pregnancy, this maternity/nursing bra offers additional back support and a wide range of sizes.

This line was created by Medela in order to address the demands of new mothers around the clock, every day. Our nursing and pregnancy bras adapt to your changing form and keep you comfortable at all times while allowing you to comfortably pump or nurse when you need to do so. Medela is delighted to offer superior fit, comfort, and functionality to parents throughout the world throughout their breastfeeding experience.

Do I need to buy new bras?

For the first few days after your baby’s birth, your breasts produce a fluid substance known as colostrum, after which your milk will begin to flow. Investing in a few new bras is a smart choice because your breasts will change over time.

Because your breasts include milk glands and ducts that are still developing, it’s critical that you wear a bra that provides adequate support, is comfortable, and doesn’t put pressure on any of these developing glands.

Can I choose under-wired bras?

Breastfeeding mothers should avoid using underwired bras because they can put pressure on the milk glands in their breasts. Your primary concern should be the fit and support of the bra, not the’soft’ wires that offer a little lift. If you’re looking for a bra that doesn’t have any wires, you won’t be disappointed.

Allow for changing sizes

As your breasts can fluctuate by many cup sizes before and after feedings, be sure that the bras you purchase have enough ‘give’ in the cups. You may also buy bra extenders to insert in the backs – these are useful to use at first, before your ribcage returns to normal, and they save you at least one bra purchase.

Should I be properly fitted?

An professional in the shop can help you find the ideal nursing bra for your needs.

How to work our your bra size

Because most UK bras are sized in inches for the band and in letters for the cup size, we’re going with inches for our measurement.

The first step is to take a tape measure around the bottom edge of your bra while you’re wearing a plain bra that doesn’t have any padding. Make sure the back is level with the front – you may do this by turning sideways to see if it’s the same height. Make a note of the distance. This is the first measurement.

In the second step, measure your breasts horizontally and at their largest point with a tape measure. The tape should be snug, but not painfully so. This is the second measurement.

Tips for best fitting

  • The cups should completely cover your breasts, with no flesh protruding from them.
  • The band should not be higher at the front or back of your body.
  • Straps are there to enhance the wearer’s comfort, not to elevate their spirits. However, they shouldn’t be too tight. As they grow, they will adapt.
  • At the front, the bra should be snug against your chest wall.
  • Use the middle adjustment when trying on to allow for alterations in size as your body changes.


When to Buy Nursing Bras & How to Fit Them

It’s time, ladies, to talk bras… in particular, maternity and nursing bras. When to buy them, how to put them on, and which ones you’ll need to buy.

Having worked in the maternity fashion industry for more than 18 years, we’ve learned a few things. You need to know everything, so we’ve put up a detailed buyer’s guide. Pregnancy bras 101 is here!

Maternity & Nursing Bras – Is there a Difference?

No, that’s the solution. When you shop at Seraphine, you’ll find that all of our bras are designed to provide a comfortable, flexible fit during pregnancy as well as built-in access for breastfeeding.

Visit our website to see our entire collection of pregnancy and nursing bras.

When to Buy Nursing Bras

It’s common knowledge that during pregnancy, the first thing you’ll have to get rid of is your bra… As long as you don’t mind the pun!

Buying two maternity bras at different stages of your pregnancy is recommended…

A woman’s cup size will increase during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy while her rib cage expands from around the 20th week onwards.

Once your cup size is more or less steady in the second trimester, you should shop for your first maternity bras.

During the latter weeks of pregnancy, your cup size will increase as your milk production increases. Once you’ve established a breastfeeding habit, your cup size will return to its ‘new normal’.

For the last few weeks of pregnancy and the first few weeks of breastfeeding, we recommend purchasing a second set of bras a few weeks before your due date.

Fitting Your Nursing Bras

In the first place, it’s a good idea to go up a cup and a back size from your pre-pregnancy bra size. To begin, if you generally wear a 32C, you should try a 34D first.

Even on the tightest setting, these bras should feel solid, allowing you plenty of flexibility to fine-tune the fit as your breasts expand.

To get the second number, double your pre-pregnancy bra size by one cup size plus one back size. A 32DD would be ideal for nursing, as long as you’re wearing a 34D by the end of your pregnancy.

The loosest setting should feel secure, but you should be able to fine-tune the fit when your body returns to normal.

Which Maternity Bras to Buy

It’s preferable to wear something light and airy in the daytime (non-underwired is best). You can’t go wrong with our bamboo seamless maternity and nursing bras with elasticated support.

Our Maternity & Nursing Sleep Bras are the best for both comfort and convenience while you sleep. With no snaps or hooks to keep you awake at night, they’re incredibly comfortable. When the baby is born, the cups simply pull out of the way, making it easy to breastfeed.

A little lace can go a long way if you’re looking for something a little more fashionable! Lacy maternity bras from our collection offer the same shape and support as our regular bras, but with the added benefit of boosting your self-esteem when you’re pregnant.

The benefits of staying active throughout pregnancy have been demonstrated, thus a great maternity sports bra is essential. These are also ideal for when you’re ready to ease your way back into shape following the birth of your baby, thanks to the easy drop-down access for breastfeeding.

Let us know how it went in the comments below! Why not browse our breastfeeding collection after you’ve found the ideal bra?

How many bra sizes do you go up when pregnant?

During pregnancy, how much larger will my boobs become? In my experience as a personal trainer, I normally see pregnant women gain one band size and two cup sizes. Hormones are mostly responsible for the majority of the changes that take place during the first trimester. These changes are normal when a person gains between 25 and 35 pounds in weight.

When should I start wearing maternity bras?

As soon as your breasts begin to expand and change during your first trimester, you should begin wearing a maternity/nursing bra.

What trimester do breasts grow the most?

During this time, some women notice that their breasts begin to enlarge. Second trimester (week 13-27): Breasts will develop bigger and heavier. Larger bras with additional support may be necessary for you. Tenderness and tingling in the early stages of pregnancy are likely to diminish.

How do you buy maternity bras?

Your pregnancy bra cup should be large enough to accommodate your open hand. The bra band should not cut into your underbust or skin in any way, shape, or form. At no point should the bra straps bite into your shoulders. You need to move up a cup size if your bra is riding up in the back.

Should I wear a bra at night while pregnant?

During pregnancy or breastfeeding, you should wear your maternity bra if you prefer. It is entirely up to you whether or not to wear a bra, and you are under no obligation to do so.


What happens if I don’t wear a bra during pregnancy?

When it comes to pregnancy, there’s no medical reason not to wear a maternity bra, regardless of how you feel about it. An issue with wearing underwire bras while pregnant is that they may impede blood flow and hinder breastmilk production.

How do I measure myself for the correct bra size?

The band of a bra normally sits under your bust, so measure across your back and under your bust using a measuring tape. Use a steady, even line to keep the tape rolling. Not too tight, but not too loose either. If you’re measuring in inches, your band’s size will be an even number.

Can I breastfeed my husband during pregnancy?

As a general rule, breastfeeding your spouse or significant other is acceptable. When someone you’re intimate with asks to try breastfeeding or tastes your breast milk, it’s neither perverted or inappropriate.

Do your nipples go back to normal after pregnancy?

Fortunately, most women’s nipples regain their pre-pregnancy form within a few months after giving birth.