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Breastfeeding And Maternity Lingerie

May 23, 2008
Over the years there have been lots of exciting developments in the fabrics and design of maternity and breastfeeding bras and the bras are now wonderfully supportive and comfortable.

It's essential that your maternity and breastfeeding bras fit really well and support you properly because all the way through your pregnancy the milk ducts in your boobs are growing and developing.

This season there are lots of fab maternity bras - wonderful vibrant colours and pretty chic lace trimmed bras - so there really is no excuse for anyone to be wearing those boring black or white bras. This year's favourite styles are fun silver prints embellished with silver trims, bright cherry flower prints and pale pink roses trimmed with lacy frills and a silky bow. The matching boy leg knickers and bikini briefs have the same simple lines and are specifically designed to be comfortable - they are gathered at the back to sculpt and enhance your changing shape.

The best breastfeeding bras have an easy to use one handed nursing clasp which allows the cups to drop down for feeding. They also contain a comfy soft cotton lining, powerful and strong mesh side panels for that added strength, wider than usual bra straps and several back adjusters as well as extra lined cups to give superb support.

As your boobs start to grow, your usual bra will probably start to feel rather uncomfortable. This usually happens when you are about eight to twelve weeks into your pregnancy. Now is the time to start looking for maternity bras.

It is best not to wear your usual under-wired bra as they may damage the milk ducts that also grow at the side of your breasts. The special maternity under-wire bras are designed specifically for pregnancy and they have soft, specially shaped wire, which doesn't interfere with the development of the milk ducts but still offer great support.

When buying a bra try to fasten the bra on the smallest fitting so that the bra has plenty of room to grow with you. The bra cup should cover and support your boobs and have no overflow above, below or at the side of the cup. If there is overflow you will need to select a larger cup size. The strap that goes round your back should fit snugly and be straight across your back and not ride up.

It's not the easiest of things to bend over and lower your boobs into the bra cup when you are pregnant, so it is best to put the bra on first and then lift your boobs gently into each cup. If the bra is correctly fitted then it will lasts for the whole of your pregnancy. If by eight or nine months your bra is getting rather tight across your back then a bra extender is probably the best thing to buy for the last few weeks.

Ideally around thirty-seven or thirty-eight weeks, you should be thinking about buying breastfeeding bras. By now your baby will have gently moved down into your pelvis allowing your rib cage to have slowly reduced in width. When trying on a breastfeeding bra use the loosest fitting clasp as the bra will need to be tightened after the birth. Try to fit your hand in between your boobs and the cup - it should fit easily and comfortably - this allows for growth. Your boobs will get bigger when you start breastfeeding, but will shrink down when you start feeding your baby regularly.

The best specialist maternity shops will be able to offer personal bra fitting in their shops with experienced and trained staff. If you are ordering mail order or on the web from home, to find out what your bra size is in inches, simply measure across and under your boobs. Bra brands come in slightly different shapes so try on a few different styles to find the correct fit.

Until you have actually tried on a bra on it often rather hard to tell if it fits correctly, so the best specialist maternity lingerie companies tend to exchange a bra for a different size or style or give you a full refund within 14 days. For more advice on bra fitting most of the specialist shop staff or customer advisers of mail order or online companies will willingly be able to offer advice to you by phone to help you find your perfect bra.
About the Author
Sharon writes for Blooming Marvellous - suppliers of nursing bras and other maternity wear.
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