I’m already well endowed and now I’m pregnant. How am I going to find a nursing bra for a fuller bust like me?
We all know that during the early stages of pregnancy and immediately post birth, our breasts fluctuate (ahem, increase) in size.
On average, women will experience growth of about 3 cup sizes, and sometimes even more when your milk comes in. I increased 5 cup sizes and (oh my) was not prepared.
This increase can be especially difficult if you are already fuller busted. Not only will you be fuller but heavier too. Did you know that a breastfeeding breast is heavier than one that isn’t breastfeeding, even at the same size?! That’s why it’s so important to find the right fit and help ensure optimal breast health.
So what is the best nursing bra for large breasts?
The best nursing bras are those that are great fitting and supportive. They will not only make you feel beautiful and comfortable but will be your best (or should I say breast) friend for your breastfeeding journey.
How do I know if I’m wearing the wrong size nursing bra?
Around 80% of women are wearing the wrong size bra in general, so combine this with being fuller busted AND the extreme size fluctuations during and after pregnancy, and you’ve got yourself a problem. Your bra might fit you perfectly at 10am, then by 11:30am you’ll be spilling out.
Hot tip: Buy a multi-size fitting bra for the first 6 weeks to accommodate size fluctuations, such as SugarCandy.
Wearing a bra that is too small or lacking support can be an uncomfortable experience and can cause you lots of problems, from quad boob to clogged ducts.
If you experience any of these scenarios, you may be wearing the incorrect size.
- The straps keep falling off your shoulders
- Your breasts sag or have no lift or support
- You have 4 boobs instead of 2
- The back of the bra keeps riding up
- You’re uncomfortable
How do I find the right fit?
No matter what size you are, the same rules apply when fitting a nursing bra.
- Ensure your breasts are actually in the bra. There should be no breast tissue spilling out the top, sides or being squished underneath.
- When you lean forward your bust should not fall out of the cups.
- The underband should fit snug and firm (parallel to the floor). When you lift your arms up the underband shouldn’t move and should stay below your breasts, not on them. If the back is riding up, your band is too big.
- The straps should feel comfortable and shouldn’t be holding all your breast weight. A bra’s support actually comes from the underband, not the straps, so they shouldn’t be digging into your shoulders. You should be able to run two fingers underneath your strap.
- Hooks and eyes:
- If purchasing a maternity bra in the second trimester, the back band should be fitted to the tightest hook. This will allow room to grow as your rib cage continues to expand.
- If you are purchasing a nursing bra in the 9th month of pregnancy, ensure the back band is done up on the loosest hook. This way you can tighten the band as your rib cage begins to contract post birth.
When is the best time to buy a nursing bra?
It’s important to invest in a good maternity or nursing bra early on. For some women it may only be a matter of weeks until their pre-baby bras no longer fit.
Hot tip: The size of your breasts at 8 months pregnant is approximately the same as 6 weeks postpartum, once your milk flow has regulated. This is the perfect time to purchase a nursing bra, as it will most likely fit you for the duration of your breastfeeding journey.
If you’re going to breastfeed, you will need a nursing bra before you have your baby. For the first 6 weeks after you’ve had a bub, your breasts will have a mind of their own, so a supportive and stretchy seamless bra is perfect at this stage.
Your breasts will be at their largest in the first 6 weeks of nursing. After this your supply will regulate. Instead of buying a cupped size bra for these 6 weeks, go for a stretchy seamless bra that will support you and fit you in multiple cup sizes.
After 6 weeks of nursing you should be the same size for a few months. If you didn’t purchase any bras during your 8th month, this is the perfect time to reintroduce flexi-wire and cupped sized bras.
Where can I purchase a nursing bra for my fuller bust?
Searching for supportive and comfortable maternity and nursing bras that are still pretty and feminine isn’t always easy, particularly if you have large breasts.
While bra shopping in department stores seems like the easy choice, their size range and expertise can often be lacking. The lack of a personalised service can leave many women without a correctly fitted nursing bra.
We recommend visiting a specialist fuller bust bra boutique. They specialise in fitting women with larger breasts and have a wide range of products that will support and lift you in all the right places.
Not only that, but online purchasing has come a long way in recent years. There’s an abundance of fitting tools which help ensure your purchase will fit you well. So take some time to follow the questionnaires and fitting guides set up specifically for you.
What should I look for in a maternity/nursing bra for the fuller bust?
Good fuller bust nursing bras will provide the support and comfort you need, with the added bonus of nursing functionality.
Here are some things to consider when buying a nursing bra:
- Strong, supportive fabrics. Single layers are a definite no-no, unless they are laminated or structured in a way that is super strong and supportive. Look for bras that have linings (cups linings, top cup linings, back linings), laminated fabrics (layers that are stuck together for added support) or extra sections within the bra that provide additional support (slings, etc.).
- Strong straps that are easily adjustable. Narrow straps, although they may look pretty under tank tops, will not be comfortable by the end of the day (or even after an hour). Opt for straps that are wide and don’t have much stretch. Better still, look for a strap that is completely rigid as this will be the most comfortable on your shoulder.
- Durable fabrics. Get label savvy. Care labels show the composition of a bra. Look for bras that have a high elastane or Lycra/Spandex (branded names of elastane) content. Anything less than 5% is a no-no.
- Drop down cups for feeding. This is the time when a pull aside nursing bra is not your friend. Drop down cups that clip up and down are better structured for your needs and will keep your bust in place.
- A-frame sling for discretion. These are the ones that cover the front and the sides of the bust. These will not only be more discreet and only expose your nipple for nursing, but will also keep your bust in place and offer support when the outer cup is not there. Try and find one with a folded edge against your bust to allow for growth without digging in.
- Higher centre front for more coverage. If you want support and comfort, then opt for a higher centre front and save the cleavage for date night.
- Flexible wire for added support and shape. Normal bra wires are not your friends, they are hard and restrictive and are not forgiving for fluctuating breasts. Cake Maternity has specially engineered flexible wires that not only move with your body, but have a wider smile shape so that they avoid any contact with the breast tissue completely.
- Wide supportive back band. This is called a cantilever design, and is when the back fabric of the bra joins to the back strap before the hook and eye. This ensures the bra is wider at the back to offer more support around your body and bust. Remember to look for a double layer back panel as well.
- Wide hook and eye closure. This will ensure that the cups are more supported and kept in place. For maximum support, there should be 5 to 6 rows of hook and eyes to accommodate rib cage expansion. On well designed bras, there should also be 3 to 4 hooks on each of these rows. I know it sounds a bit like corsetry as that’s 24 hooks on one bra, but your breasts will thank us later.
- Cotton lined cups to keep you cool and comfortable. Nobody likes scratchy seams! Especially sensitive, breastfeeding nipples.
- No padding. If you are looking for something discreet to avoid nipple show through, look for a “spacer” bra. These are made with a fancy breathable fabric that has been laminated together with a microfilament so the two layers (inner and outer) do not actually touch each other. This forms a space between each layer and is similar in appearance to a thin foam.
What are the best nursing bras for my large breasts?
Invest in a good transition bra in the first trimester. Seamless bras are a popular choice and are designed to stretch and grow with your changing body.
Available in easy sizing (XS-XXL) they will fit a number of cup sizes into each size, which makes them perfect for this period of change.
Tip: Not all seamless bras are created equal. Spend some time researching the market first before investing.
A seamless bra should feel comfortable and lift and support your bust. You don’t have to settle for monobood! There should be minimal contact between your breasts. The Sugar Candy seamless bra has been designed with this in mind, and its unique construction lifts and separates fuller busts without any uncomfy wires.
By your second trimester, your breast size should have stabilised. You can now start wearing flexible wire bras (avoid traditional wire bras). Invest in a good flexi-wire or cup size non-wire bra.
Croissant is a flexi-wire bra made from a spacer fabric, which gives the wearer a smooth profile under clothing without the bulkiness of padding, because let’s be real, busty women don’t need any extra help!
Croissant is the perfect t-shirt bra for pregnant and nursing mamas, and is available in 32C-42K (US).
Tip: You might like to use your seamless bra from trimester 1 as a sleep bra during this period. It will help to keep your bust in place and provide good levels of support while you sleep.
Towards the end of the third trimester, it’s time to jump back into your seamless bra. Your rib cage will be at its widest and you’ll want to be as comfy as possible.
After you have your baby, your milk will come in whether you breastfeed or not, so you’ll need to wear something that will allow for some pretty crazy size fluctuations.
At the end of the day, your choice of bra is totally up to you. But if you’re fuller busted and want to have the most comfortable experience possible, you’ve come to the right place. Whatever style, size or shape you’re searching for, we’ve got you covered, literally.