Choose Your Bras Wisely

Wide straps are the way to go during pregnancy, experts say.


As your breasts expand during pregnancy, you'll be better off wearing bras with the widest possible straps. Thin straps, especially "spaghetti" types, put pressure on the back's large, diamond-shaped trapezius muscle. This can knot the muscle and cause headaches or neck pain, and possibly lead to tingling and numbness in the arms. The sensations caused by pressure on the trapezius will fade after pregnancy without permanent damage but can take weeks to resolve. Fortunately, plenty of bras out there can prevent the problem.

"Wearing sports bras with racer backs during pregnancy is great," says Tanya Chaney, president of the National Association of Myofascial Trigger Point Therapists, who treats head and neck pain in pregnant women. Sports bras have wide straps that connect in the middle of the back and evenly distribute the weight of the breasts.