How to Choose the Right Bra During Pregnancy

Wearing a Bra During Pregnancy

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Sanjana Sainani (Gynecologist/Obstetrician)
View more Gynecologist/Obstetrician Our Panel of Experts

Pregnancy is an important phase in a woman’s life. It necessitates a lot of changes in the lifestyle, some of which may make you very conscious and extra concerned about whatever you do. The changes you must bring about during pregnancy start with the food you consume, and go on to affect the way you sleeping and also the clothes you wear. Innerwear, often an article of clothing which one does not pay much attention to, also needs to be of a whole new type. Read on to learn what kind of bra is best suited for you when you are pregnant.

Is It Safe to Wear Bra During Pregnancy?

It is completely safe to wear bras during pregnancy. However, you need to wear a different type of bra which is more comfortable for this crucial time. Pregnancy bras or maternity bras are specially designed to provide comfort and support during pregnancy. Most mothers-to-be select nursing bras instead of maternity bras when they are shopping for maternity wear, as they can be used while breastfeeding the baby too.

But, should all mothers-to-be go for nursing bras? Not necessarily. You must go for comfort first. Read on to know how to choose the right bra to wear during pregnancy.

Choosing the Right Bra to Wear During Pregnancy

Since the body is growing and changing constantly and rapidly during pregnancy, you may need a new bra sooner than you would think. You should keep measuring yourself as your pregnancy progresses. It is important to remember that your size may increase up to three cup sizes, and measuring frequently can help you buy one that fits well.

Mentioned below are a few important things to remember while choosing the right bras for pregnant ladies –

  • Good Fitting: The bra you choose during pregnancy should fit well. It should neither be very tight nor very loose and should provide good support to your breasts. You should check for any marks on your skin after wearing the bra for a little while. Ideally, a bra that fits well will not leave unusual marks.
  • Adjustable Straps: It should have straps which can be adjusted to ensure proper comfort and support to changing breast size.
  • Hook in the Correct Position: The hook of the bra needs to be in the correct position. It should not be towards the upper back as it may be difficult to hook and unhook.
  • Avoid Wired Bras: The bra should provide proper coverage since breasts are swollen and sensitive during pregnancy. They should not be hardwired or underwired. Wearing an underwired bra during this time does not cause any health problem for you or the baby, but the wire may hurt your already-sensitive breasts. Many women go on and opt for non-wired bras by the 2nd trimester.
  • Right Fabric: You should make sure that the bra is made of a light breathable fabric (preferably cotton). Fabrics such as synthetics and lace should be completely avoided because they tend to cling on to the skin.
  • Stretchable Bras: You should try to wear bras made from stretchable fabric which will be able to accommodate your growing breasts.
  • Larger Cup Size: From the 2nd trimester, the pregnancy hormones make the breasts swell rapidly. At this time, you will need bras with larger cup sizes to give you both support and comfort.
  • Wider Straps: During pregnancy, you should wear bras with wider straps as they are more stable and will ensure that the strap does not dig into your skin.
  • Support Bras: Light bras are advisable during this phase as they provide support and keep the breasts firm.

As per experts, it is not advisable to skip wearing a bra during pregnancy because the breasts will sag after the baby is delivered. Therefore, the bra chosen should be comfortable. If it is not, then it is probably not the right one.

You are probably thinking if it is just for support, why not wear regular bras? Let’s find out how maternity bras are different than regular bras.

How Maternity Bras Differ from Regular Bras

Normal bras

Normal bras come in various styles and different comfort levels. A normal bra is designed for breasts that are comparatively less heavy and less sensitive. The fabrics used for normal bras tend to be more for fashion’s sake which might not be very comfortable. This is why a normal bra will not work very well during pregnancy.

Maternity Bras 

The design and fabric used to make maternity bras are chosen for superior support, extensive coverage, and added comfort for day-long usage, keeping in mind the bloated and sensitive nature of the breasts.

During pregnancy, you will experience a swift increase in the growth of your breast, which stabilises by the 3rd trimester. For some women, the breast size increases up to 3 cup sizes. Hence, it is recommended that you should start trying on your first maternity bra immediately after your normal bra starts to feel uneasy. Consider investing in a seamless bra for added comfort.

Skipping the Bra at Night During Pregnancy

At times, women may not find wearing a bra comfortable during pregnancy. If skipping the bra has been on your mind, you should bear in mind that it is not recommended as your breasts may sag after delivery. However, you can skip wearing the bra during the night if you do not have a tendency to leak during pregnancy.

If you are keen on wearing one, you may find the tips given below useful.

Tips to Wear Bra During Pregnancy

Since the body undergoes huge changes (internally as well as externally) during this phase, you might not be able to keep up with the changes all the time. The right kind of bra will make you feel comfortable and ensure that it does not obstruct the changes happening in the body. Pregnant women may also experience breathlessness, and a tight bra can add to the discomfort. Hence, comfort and support should be given utmost importance while choosing the bra during pregnancy. Here are a few tips to remember:

    • Avoid Wearing Bras At Home: While at home, you can try going without a bra, especially during the last trimester of pregnancy. This will make you feel more comfortable.
    • Bra Extenders: Pregnancy might cause you to gain weight around the midriff. Hence, you should use bra extenders to extend the length of the bra. This ensures that the midriff area is not compressed.
    • Maternity Bras: Once you reach the last trimester, you can start shopping for maternity bras. The maternity bra should fit well, so you should have the measurement done accurately with a measurement tape before buying one. A good maternity bra will have extra fabric layers for extra comfort and support. The top of the bra will be stretchy to accommodate the fluctuations in the size of the breast.
    • Band Size: You need to measure the band size with the help of a measuring tape measure around your body to be able to purchase bras that have a well-fitting band.
    • Cup size: For the cup size, measure the bust around the fullest part of the bust.
    • The Signs of a Well-Fitted Bra – A well-fitted bra will provide complete coverage of the breasts with nothing bulging or spilling out. Do ask the salesperson to measure you before you decide on a size. Also, ask for a trial before buying.

Pregnancy is a time when surging hormones and physical changes make everyday tasks challenging for the mother-to-be. Choosing the right pregnancy bra goes a long way in ensuring comfort at this time.


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