Finding a nursing bra that fits

As your body prepares for breastfeeding during pregnancy, you will notice changes in your breasts. Choosing a well-fitting, supportive nursing bra is important for your comfort.
Nursing bras

Types of nursing bras

Squeezing into a bra that is too small is uncomfortable and can cause plugged ducts, mastitis or even decreased milk supply. If this is your first child, you do not know for sure how much your breasts will change when your milk comes in – some moms only gain one cup size, others increase by three or more cup sizes.

In your last month of pregnancy, you might want to buy one or two sleep nursing bras that are made of stretchy fabric and accommodate growth of one to two cup sizes. They are more comfortable to wear during the early weeks when your breasts may change sizes as you begin producing milk. Sleep bras hold bra pads well and do not usually have hooks or snaps to fumble with.

After some weeks, your breasts should feel less swollen as your body adjusts to how much milk your baby needs. This is the right time to shop for a supportive nursing bra.

How to purchase

Purchasing nursing bras

The first step is to get accurately measured, which can be done easily in the comfort of your home or by a professional at a shop. Every woman is unique and this calculation is just a starting point. As with any bra purchase, it is best to try it on to ensure a proper fit. You will also get the chance to test out hooks, snaps, wraps or other features that allow you to drop the cup. While wearing the bra, try to unhook the cups using only one hand, because you will soon need to quickly undo and re-fasten it while holding your baby.

Buy bras that fit on the loosest hook, so that when the elastic loosens over time, you can just move to the next tighter hook. Make sure the bras you are going to buy have no wires to avoid pressure on the milk ducts and pathological engorgement.

Bra size calculator

How to measure

Step 1:

Measure around the fullest part of the bustline, keeping the tape measure level.

Enter results in cm here:

Step 2:

Measure around your body, just below your breasts. Be sure to keep the tape level all the way around.

Enter results in cm here:

All women are different and Medela embraces this diversity. In case you cannot find your size outlined on our size chart, we advise you to try the closest Medela size to your measurement.

Remember, every woman is unique and this is just a starting point. It is recommended to try on bras before purchasing to determine the best fit for you. There are many styles of nursing bras available, so you are sure to find something comfortable and convenient.


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