Let’s face it: pregnancy changes your body, and one of the biggest changes involves your breasts. For some women, the new and enhanced cleavage is a welcome surprise. For others, it is a pain — literally. Hormonal changes during pregnancy cause the breasts to ache and grow larger. A good bra is essential during pregnancy to cut down on the pain and correctly support the breasts.
Athletic bras are an excellent choice for pregnant women. This is because, for many pregnant women, the slightest motion of the breasts can be quite painful. Athletic bras are designed to hold the breasts firmly but gently in place. Many pregnant women use these early in their pregnancy, then turn to maternity bras later on as their breasts grow larger.
Maternity bras are designed to accommodate the changing shape of a pregnant woman’s breasts. Usually the cups are made of a stretchy or giving material, and the support system in the bra is soft, unlike underwire bras. The shoulder straps are wide, which gives the breasts more support, and can be adjusted for size changes.
Nursing bras are similar to maternity bras in that they are designed to support the larger shape and weight of lactating breasts. The difference is that these bras are also designed to allow a baby to nurse easily while still supporting the breasts. Some women wear nursing bras while still pregnant so they can see which bras are the most comfortable and will work best for nursing before the baby is actually born.
Pregnant women may have to change bra sizes several times during the course of the pregnancy, according to KidsHealth.org. For that reason, it is best not to stock up on a bra you love, but do take note of what sizes are available in case you need to go up a size in the future. In general, look for soft but supportive bras with comfortable, wide straps that are adjustable.