How to fit a bra post-pregnancy
Posted on June 24 2014
Pregnancy changes the shape of your breasts and body drastically. Breast feeding further changes your body into shapes you never thought you'd be. We still like to feel sexy, even after baby (at some point), and a good-fitting bra helps with that.
Recently, we properly learned how to fit bras and I've been sharing this knowledge near and wide. First thing's first - throw out everything you know about bra fittings. A 36C is not "the same" as a 38B. Your straps should not be tightened to "hold up" your boobs and your bra should fit snugly on the first clasp when it is new and only be tightened to the last clasp over time.
How do you measure for your new bra? First, you need to measure under your breasts around the part where your bra will sit. Many "experts" (cough cough) measure up above your breasts. I'm not sure what kind of bra you are buying that has straps that go up that way! Once you measure this you'll get a number. Generally, you either fall on an even number in inches (say, 38) or an odd number. The rule of thumb is that you round UP to the next even number. For my entire life, I was told my band size was a 38 using the traditional measurement. My bras never sat straight across my back and my straps worked triple over time! Upon proper measurement recently, I found that I am, in fact 35 inches around an therefore need a 36 size bra.
I was FLABBERGASTED.
Next, the cup size. The best way to measure this is without a bra on, leaning forward (I know, sounds insane) but do it. In my case, I measured 42 inches. Next, you subtract the lower number from the higher. In my case, the 6 inch difference rates me at a DDD or F cup. I couldn't believe it. Me, a 36DDD after years of 38C? I was always told that going up a band size and down a cup size was "the equivalent in measurements." Apparently, this is a way to sell bras to women with differences greater than 4 inches between breast and rib cage.
You wouldn't let a salesperson talk you into a 14 regular jean if you wore a 12 long, so why let someone sell you a bra that doesn't fit?
There has been a lot of misinformation and confusion in the bra-world and I finally got the record set straight. Your band size is pretty standard across brands and the differences generally come in cup sizes over a C cup. Different companies call their "plus size" (note I hate that term) cup sizes something different basically everywhere, but your band size is based on your true-life measurement and should not go up.
After baby, your body will be changing and different. Hell, even after breast feeding, your body will be crazy and different, but that doesn't mean that in the mean time you can't look and feel your absolute best.
When searching for a nursing bra, comfort and stretch are the first two important things. Early days of engorgement mean you will have moments of fullness and emptiness post feed. You want something that will be able to move with the changing of your breast size. We love the Cake Lingerie cotton candy nursing bra for this reason. It goes on like a sports bra and clasps in the back. In this bra, I recommend going with your regular band size as in the first few weeks post partum, women tend to loose a lot of extra padding around that area as our organs shift back into place.
This bra is great for it's elasticity and movement and looks awesome under a tee or dress. It's got the little snap thingy for easy breast feeding and washes really well. These reasons are why we chose to carry it in store. While the size guide on the back of the package gives a general idea of how the bra fits, we always encourage women to try the bra on at home and look for signs of ill fit - four boob, straps tightened too tight or starting off the bra on the last clasp are all signs that the bra doesn't fit. As long as all tags are still on, we're always happy to exchange for the right size.
If you have any questions about the best way to fit a bra or how our nursing bras fit, drop by the store or come on in. It can be scary to spend over $50 on a bra and worry that it won't fit right, but remember that life's too short to wear an ill fitting bra and that if the band is riding up your back or the straps are digging into your shoulders, that bra does not fit right. And if your bra is uncomfortable in any way, it's not the right bra for you!
Not nursing? Parkdale women should know that a new bra shop has opened on Roncesvalles called For The Girls Inc. I bought my first non-nursing bra in almost 4 years there and not only does it fit like a charm, it looks gorgeous and was reasonably priced. Tricia is also going to start carrying Bravado nursing wear soon to compliment our collection of Cake and we are both working on some sexy made-in-Canada nursing gear!