When do I need maternity bras?
Your breasts will certainly grow bigger during your pregnancy. Should you buy maternity bras? Are there alternatives? Read on for more options.
Breast changes are to be expected during your pregnancy. In fact, breast tenderness is one of the earliest signs of pregnancy. As your pregnancy progresses, your breasts will grow. As early as 6 to 8 weeks into your pregnancy, you may notice that your old bras fit a little more snugly than usual. If you are having your first baby, you can expect to go up one full cup size or even two.
As your breasts grow, they may feel itchy. This is because your skin stretches. Stretch marks may also form together with the growth of your breasts. You will probably also notice bluish veins appearing under the skin of your breasts, as there is now an increased blood supply to the breasts in preparation for breastfeeding.
Your nipples and your areolas (which surround your nipples), will also expand and darken. On your areolas, bumps called Montgomery’s tubercles, which are oil-producing glands, will also become more prominent. All these changes are happening because your body is preparing you for breastfeeding. In fact, from about the beginning of the second trimester, your breasts will start producing colostrum. Click here to read about colostrum.
Coping with breast changes
Good support is necessary with breast changes that come with pregnancy. A good supportive bra will go a long way to give you the comfort you need to have a smooth pregnancy.
It may be wise to invest in a new bra. Try to look for one with a deep band beneath the cup instead of underwires, which may feel too restrictive and uncomfortable against your growing breasts. Wide shoulder straps would also be good to hold up your breasts comfortably. Back-fastening bras allow for different circumferences, and give you some room for growth, unlike front-fastening bras with just one hook. You should also get a cotton bra, which will allow your skin to breathe, unlike synthetic material.
Maternity bras would feature the characteristics stated above, but you could possibly find non-maternity bras that fit the bill as well. If you would like to continue wearing your old bras, you can! Just get a bra extender or a bra elastic, which will hook on to the back of your old bras, and instantly extend the circumference of your bra.