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Everything you need to know about maternity bras

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Culture & Entertainment

Everything you need to know about maternity bras

Maternity Bra Guest post by Leah Morrison Buying a new bra on an average day is difficult enough, but for pregnant women, it can be its own form of torture. Janice Shelton, recently of Motherhood Maternity in East Gwillimbury, ON, has been helping women with maternity bras for the last five years. We spoke to her about how to keep your breasts comfortable, both before and after your baby’s arrival. Know your size Your breasts will transform dramatically during gestation and after giving birth. “Most women will go up at least one full cup size and up to four inches on the rib cage,” Janice says. “Some mothers will see an increase in breast size during the first three months while others may not notice a difference until the last trimester. Everyone is different.” This means that for most women, new bras need to be bought more than once. To keep yourself comfortable, measure your breasts as soon as your current bras start to feel tight or snug. Janice instructs mothers-to-be to take a measuring tape and measure their rib cage and then across the bust. “Subtract the bust size from the rib size. Every inch difference is a cup. For example, if the difference is one, that’s an A cup.” She does recommend, however, that women have a professional bra fitting for the most accurate results. Nursing bras If you choose to breastfeed your baby, it’s wise to invest in some nursing bras. “They are designed to accommodate the growth of the rib cage as well as the bust,” Janice says. “They allow for easy access for nursing, with a clip-down cup.” The cups have small clasps that connect them to the straps. These can be undone to allow the cup to fold down, exposing your breast without having to wrestle yourself out of the entire bra. When your baby is finished eating you can just clip the cup back to the strap. Nursing bras are all about convenience, which, at this point, is all you’ll care about. Quantity is key If you happen to find a style of bra you love, buy more than one (trust us, you’ll need them). Three is the magic number for maternity bras: “One to wear, one in the laundry, and a clean one,” Janice explains. Always make sure you have multiple bras—nursing or otherwise­—on hand. “It is recommended that moms even start with three sleep bras for support while the bust is growing,” says Janice. Sleep bras are cotton bras with no underwire, providing comfortable support during the night. Accessorize There are all kinds of goodies that go hand-in-hand with maternity bras. “Hook extenders are recommended if a client is between sizes,” Janice says. The extenders simply attach to the last hooks on your bra to allow for more room. Cocoa butter is wonderful for minimalizing the appearance of stretch marks. You can use it on your breasts, your stomach, or anywhere else needed. Nursing pads can be a lifesaver when you’re out and about in public. Just slip them into your cup to absorb any leakage that may happen after a feeding. They come in both disposable and reusable styles. Love the employees Shopping for maternity bras can be overwhelming, especially since you might be doing it multiple times during your pregnancy. Learn to love maternity store employees. They are there to make the ordeal as painless as possible and are more than happy to do so. Most are mothers themselves who empathize with your experience. So when you’re feeling frustrated that bras aren’t fitting or upset that your breasts just keep getting bigger, breathe calmly and look toward their smiling faces. They think you’re beautiful no matter what bra you wear. Heading back to work after having your baby? Here are some great CL tips on what to wear to the office. Photo: Thinkstock  
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Everything you need to know about maternity bras

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