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How Should A Nursing Bra Fit

A nursing bra can make your life a whole lot easier during breastfeeding — that is, if it fits properly. Fit obviously plays a key role in comfort, and it goes without saying that the goal is to be as comfortable as possible while nursing. On top of that, an ill-fitting nursing bra can put pressure on the milk ducts, causing them to get clogged (which then leads to inflammation).

So, how should a nursing bra feel? Follow this guide to find your perfect fit.

Get fitted

It’s difficult to say how much your breasts will change throughout the nursing experience. Every woman’s body will go through unique transformations — while some may go up a band size, others won’t see their rib cages expand much at all. Some new moms will need a larger cup size, while others may need to go up two sizes in the cup.

It’s extremely difficult to determine how your size has changed after pregnancy, which is why it’s highly recommended to get fitted by a professional. An expert fitter can measure you to figure out your band and cup size, as well as suggest specific nursing bras that are well suited to your body, lifestyle, preferences, etc. Fittings can be performed at many department stores as well as lingerie boutiques, and are generally free (but you may want to call ahead to make an appointment).

Seek some stretch

An optimal nursing bra will lend plenty of support without making your breasts feel bound whatsoever, as this is an indicator that it may interfere with milk flow. Cotton blends and stretchy synthetics (such as microfiber, which is ultra-breathable) are the best way to go. One common mistake new moms make is to buy bras that have additional room in the cup — however, doing so means you won’t likely be getting the support you need. Ideally, cups will have a bit of stretch so that they can accommodate your breast size as it changes slightly throughout the nursing process.

Related: Finding The Right Nursing Bra: Everything You Need To Know

what size nursing bra

Leila Nursing Bra NB502 in Black

Always choose adjustability

As your breasts may enlarge and then return to a smaller size over the course of breastfeeding, you’ll obviously want a nursing bra that features multiple hook-and-eye closures (at least three or four) in the back as well as adjustable straps. That way, you can ensure that the bra continues to fit you despite any size fluctuations.

Look for red flags

If your the band rides up in the back or your breasts fall out of the bottom of the band, then you know the nursing bra doesn’t fit properly. Other signs of an ill-fitting bra to look out for include: wrinkled or puckered cups, straps that slip off your shoulders when adjusted at their tightest, breast tissue spilling out of the top or sides of the cups, or a center gore panel that is raised away from the body instead of laying flat. 

Give it a test run

While trying on nursing bras, be sure to sit down and stand up to check if it pinches, bunches, or slides out of place at all. Make any adjustments as needed (such as loosening the straps or tightening the band) and if the issue persists, you need a different size.

A nursing bra can only serve you to the best of its potential if it fits well. Keep the previous tips in mind while you’re bra shopping and hopefully, you’ll find one that makes your breastfeeding experience as comfortable as possible. And remember: While you may not be wearing your nursing bras for a very long time, it’s well worth it to invest in good quality pieces to ensure that breastfeeding is hassle-free.

Related: Where To Buy Maternity Bras

what is a nursing bra

Leila Nursing Bra NB502 in Black

We Highly Recommend

Whether you’re shopping for new everyday bras or lingerie for a special occasion, it’s always a good idea to seek out a second opinion. We know how hard it is to find bras that fit well and feel good, especially when you’re doing it on your own. If you’ve ever felt unsure about your bra size or you just don’t know where to go to find good bras, it’s time to let a bra fitter help.

Many specialty lingerie boutiques offer bra fittings. Their expert bra fitters will take the pain and frustration out of bra shopping and do all the work for you. Even better, their product knowledge can save you time and money. Plus, they know where all of the best bras are hiding.

If you’ve struggled with finding bras in the right size, it’s time to make a change. Visit our specialty store locator to find a store near you and schedule an appointment.

Happy bra shopping! 

Featured image lingerie:
Leila Nursing Bra NB502 in Bare
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Published by

Rebecca Strong

Rebecca is a Boston-based freelance writer who focuses on style, fitness, food, and travel. She has contributed to such publications as HuffPost, Elite Daily and U.S. News & World Report. When she's not writing, she can be found at home or in the studio working on the songs for her upcoming album. Her favorite bra is a black demi-cup style with all-over-lace — timeless and feminine.

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