When Do New Mothers Get Fitted for Nursing Bras?
Nursing bras are a must if you plan on breastfeeding your little one. Not only is comfort an important factor in this equation, proper fitting and timing are of the essence. If you get fitted too soon, your bras will probably be the wrong size, but if you wait for the right time, you can get nursing bras that offer much-needed support during this special time.
Since you will have to wait a bit for the initial first milk engorgement to subside, you can wear certain kinds of bras during the transition period. Comfort bras, sleep bras and nursing tanks can get you through this stage. They keep your breasts covered, somewhat supported and still provide accessibility for your baby when it’s mealtime.
You should wait until after the baby is born to get fitted for a good-quality nursing bra. An international board-certified lactation consultant, you should wait to be fitted until you are seven to 14 days post-birth. At this point, your breasts have had some time to adjust to the amount of milk you will be producing to feed your little one.
Getting the Right Fit
To get the best fitting, get fitted by an attendant at the intimate apparel section of a maternity or department store. If you don’t have time for this fitting or want to order a nursing bra online, you can size yourself at home. Measure around your back, under your armpits and above your breasts. Round the measurement to the nearest whole number. This is your band size. For the next measurement, you should measure behind your back and over the fullest part of your breasts. Subtract the first measurement from the second number to get your cup size. For an A cup, the difference between the two will be 1/2 to 1 inch, B cup is 2 inches, C is 3 inches, D is 4 inches, DD/E is 5 inches, DDD/F is 6 inches and G is a 7-inch difference.
To get the best-fitting bra, you should go beyond just a fitting. Try it on and see how it feels. The band shouldn’t be binding, too loose or have an underwire that cuts into your skin and mammary tissue. The straps should rest against your back. Keep in mind that full cups offer the most support. A wide underband can provide a supportive foundation for the bra. Opt for a nursing bra that opens partially at the front instead of one that completely unfastens during nursing. Breathable fabrics are best so moisture is not trapped against your breasts and skin. The Ask Dr. Sears website suggests buying at least three nursing bras — one to wear, one in the drawer and one in the wash.
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