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When To Buy Nursing Bras

Many pregnant women are well aware that they’ll need nursing bras to accommodate for fluctuations in their breast size. However, one of the most common questions from soon-to-be moms is when they should be buying them.

Buy the bras too soon before childbirth and you could end up with the wrong size entirely because you don’t know how much your breasts will grow — and most women will experience an increase of anywhere from one to three cup sizes. To make matters more complicated, your bra size may change over the course of breastfeeding. Ideally, you want a nursing bra that you feel entirely supported in — not only does it ensure you’re comfortable during breastfeeding, but it makes the process easier for you and your newborn, too.

So, when is the optimal time to buy this essential undergarment? Here’s what you need to know.

The optimal time frame

First thing’s first: When the milk first comes in, the breasts are typically filled with more milk than may be necessary. The body prepares to feed twins or triplets, and will regulate when it determines the suckling pattern only includes one baby. Then, you’ll see your breast size stabilize. As a result, it’s best to wait at least 14 to 21 days before purchasing a nursing bra.

That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go bra-less for the first couple weeks, however. Opt for ultra-flexible, wire-free bras or nursing tanks to hold you over. With plenty of stretch, these options will accommodate for any breast size changes until your milk production normalizes.

If you simply don’t want to wait until then to wear nursing bras, then the best time to get fitted and purchase them is at about eight months into your pregnancy. The reason for this is that your breasts will be relatively close to the same size as they are several weeks post childbirth.

Tips for true comfort

It’s always advisable to get fitted by a professional, but especially when it comes to nursing bras. You don’t want to risk compromising comfort while breastfeeding, and it’s crucial to make sure your size is as accurate as possible given that there may be subtle changes in your breast size over time. Leave it to the experts to determine your size and you’ll find a flawless fit that makes you feel secure and supported throughout breastfeeding.

You’ll also want to seek out a nursing bra with at least three rows of hooks and eyes in the back, as this will allow you to loosen and tighten it as needed. When you first get fitted for your nursing bra, you should be on the loosest hook and eye closure since that’s when your breasts will be the most engorged. As your rib cage contracts, you’ll then be able to gradually move to tighter hooks.

All in all, the best time to buy nursing bras is several weeks post-birth, but you can also opt to shop for them eight months into your pregnancy if you want to be prepared sooner. Regardless of which time frame you choose, be sure to get fitted by an expert and select a comfy, stretchy bra with sufficient adjustable closures so that you get maximum wear out of it during the breastfeeding stage.

Related: Is It Safe To Wear An Underwire Bra While Nursing?

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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, 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!

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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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