When is the Right time to buy a Maternity Bra?

Every mum to be must at some point address the need for a maternity bra. Otherwise known as nursing bras, these bras make it easy to breastfeed – but they serve other purposes as well.


Maternity bras come in an array of styles and you need to find the right one for you.

Fullness and tenderness of the breasts can be one of the first signs of pregnancy. Breasts grow significantly throughout pregnancy, and a good quality maternity bra worn from as early as the first trimester can make you feel much more comfortable and supported.

Most women begin to outgrow their normal bras by about ten weeks into the pregnancy. This is a great time to have a professional fitting for your maternity bras to accommodate sensitive, heavier breasts.

As soon as you are spilling out of your normal bras, finding band or straps are digging in, that under wires are uncomfortable, or your bra is simply too snug, it’s time to get fitted for a nursing bra.

What should you look for?

  • Coverage – the entire breast should be covered without overflow at the top or sides.
  • Support – wide straps, wide band, deep centre at the front, and straps made from firm elastic.
  • Adjustability – with at least four rows of hook and eye closures. Early in the pregnancy, the bra should fasten easily on the tightest closure, giving plenty of room for widening rib cage in the coming months. Later in pregnancy, make sure you have a bra that is comfortably fastened on the last hook and eye closures – your rib cage will reduce in circumference gradually after you give birth.
  • Comfort
    • Cups should fit smoothly and snug
    • Centre seam should sit comfortably on the breastbone
    • Soft cotton lining
    • Straps should be wide and comfortable
    • No under wires is preferred

Breasts change throughout pregnancy and even more so after childbirth when lactating, so your bra needs may well change also.

Every pregnant woman is different, and you need to accommodate your changing needs.

Is there a difference between maternity and nursing bras?

A maternity bra is a more supportive version of a normal bra.

Nursing bras are also supportive but have panels and clasps that allow easy nipple access for breastfeeding.

If you opt to buy nursing bras during pregnancy, allow for room to go up at least a cup size when your milk comes in. Buy at least two or three to keep on rotation.