We all have our favorite, silky bra that we love. No matter how many times we wear it, we always know we can count on it to make us feel confident and ready to take on any situation. Unfortunately, you might have to give up that trusty bra during your pregnancy. Even if you aren’t planning on breastfeeding, you’ll need to invest in a new bra that allows for the inevitable enlargement and changes that are about to take place. In fact, you’ll probably need a few.

The most important thing about your new maternity bra is that it is not tight and does not squeeze your skin or breasts in any way. As your body gets larger during your pregnancy, your usual bras will start to cut into the skin on your back and sides. Also, the underwire will cut off the circulation to your breasts.

You can purchase a maternity bra and a nursing bra depending on your plans, and both serve different purposes. Both are malleable and comfortable, but nursing bras have a clasp in the front to allow for easy nursing in any situation.

If you keep wearing your regular bra as your pregnancy progresses, you could get an infection called mastitis. Your breasts will start producing milk, and when the milk is trapped under a constricting underwire, it will pool and grow bacteria. Make sure you switch over to maternity or nursing bras as soon as your usual undergarments begin to feel too tight.

Unfortunately, there is no telling when your breasts will change. Every woman’s body changes at a different pace during pregnancy, so you won’t know exactly when to go out and buy the new bras. However, you will be able to tell when it’s time by the marks your usual bra leaves. It’s a great idea to buy the bras ahead of time or even pick out a few that you like and send your partner out to get them when you feel it’s necessary.

When it comes down to it, you’re pretty much going to need an entirely new wardrobe during pregnancy. Your shirts need to be loose, your pants need to be elastic, your shoes need to be flat, your stockings need to be specially designed, your underwear needs to be cotton, and your bras need to be stretchy. Even if you’re not feeling stylish, you’ll definitely be feeling comfortable.

Source: Maria Noonan: Lactation Mastitis. British Journal of Midwifery Volume 18 Issue 8 pp. 503-508 August 2010

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