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Shop early—but not too early Nadine Harding, a certified bra fitter and director of sales and marketing at Bravado Designs, recommends buying in the third trimester. “We want your breasts to be closer to the size you’ll be when you’re actually breastfeeding,” she says.
Expect some changes In the third trimester, your band size is typically one size larger than it will be after you deliver, as your ribcage expands to accommodate your growing baby. Harding advises buying a bra that fits you comfortably when worn on the loosest setting; this will allow you to tighten the band after the baby’s born.
Your cup size, meanwhile, is usually one size smaller. Harding therefore recommends buying a “transitional” bra that’s very stretchy, with a molded cup; this style will accommodate the growth that occurs when your milk comes in.
Choose cotton Because your nipples are more sensitive when nursing and your body temperature is higher, Harding recommends going with a cotton bra. “It’s more breathable and comfortable,” she says. Plan on buying at least two; you’ll need one to wear while the other is in the wash.
Underwire? It’s up to you Worried about an underwire bra causing clogged ducts? Here’s advice from Harding: “Underwires are appropriate given two things: They must be professionally fitted and worn only after breastfeeding has been established, at about six to eight weeks.”
Go with a pro Want to get fitted by an expert? Most breastfeeding support stores have certified bra fitters on staff; to find one near you, visit fitpregnancy.com/supportstores.