Whose Breasts Are These, Anyway? Pregnancy and Your Bra Size

By Alison on January 21st, 2011

Does it seem like you wake up with larger breasts every morning? Even in the first few weeks of pregnancy, you’ll probably notice your bras fitting differently than normal. Women in the first trimester often ask me what size they’re going to be when they have the baby. Unfortunately, the only accurate answer is “bigger”! Most women go up one band size and anywhere from one to three cup sizes. Rather than try to predict what size you will be in the future, pay attention to how your bra is fitting you at that moment. If the band is starting to dig into you or you are spilling out of the cup, it’s time for an upgrade.

Ideally, you should get re-fitted by an experienced bra fitter whenever you outgrow your current bras. If that’s not possible or practical, you can estimate your size based on what you are currently wearing. If the band feels tight, go up a band size, but remember that when you go down a band size, you’ll have to go up in the cup. If you are spilling out of the cups, keep going up cup sizes until you can fit all of your breast tissue comfortably inside the cups. Sometimes, women with larger cup sizes are a little afraid to go past DD cups, but you really shouldn’t worry about the letter on the tag. When you’re pregnant, your bust is heavier and more sensitive than normal, so you absolutely need the correct size for support.

When you get close to your due date, be sure to also buy two non-underwire bras that have extra room in the cup or are made of stretch fabric. Right after birth, your breasts will become engorged, and you’ll need comfortable bras with extra room in the cups. I recommend Bravado and Bella Materna for comfortable bras with flexible sizing.

Once you know what size bra you need, you’ll have to determine the style that’s best for you. Many women find non-underwire bras to be more comfortable during pregnancy, especially in the third trimester or if you are “carrying high”. Another bonus is that soft cup bras tend to be a little less expensive. If you prefer underwire bras, be sure that you also have soft bras that you can wear to sleep. Because your breasts are heavier, a sleep bra is essential for support during pregnancy. One cash-saving tip is to wear nursing bras after about 36 weeks, so that you can get more use out of the bras later. I recommend having at least two comfortable bras to wear right after birth, since you probably won’t have much time for laundry!

Have more questions about this confusing stage in your bra fitting life? Feel free to ask us in the comments!