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In our 15 years of experience as couture trained patternmakers and fitters we have learned how to make the very best bras, especially developed for when you are in *that-most-amazing time of life*: New motherhood. Our bras are perfect when you are pregnant, nursing or even after - many of our customers buy a new Bella Materna bra post nursing.
Some Tips on what you will need in New Motherhood;
0-3 Months Pregnant - Congratulations! Your pre-pregnancy bras are getting tight... for your bras; buy an extender, for your clothes get a pant cover band to make it to 4 months(ish)! Now you might be thinking more practically about the nursery...the baby clothes...thoughts of labor and breastfeeding...happy thoughts! Take your vitamins! Exercise!
4-6 Months Pregnant - Ok, if you were not feeling too pregnant...you will by now! You will need your first Maternity/Nursing bra... your breasts are usually about 1 cup size larger, the rib cage is starting to enlarge (those ligaments stretching...they were like growing pains!).
Now, most people need to buy a new regular non-nursing bra, which will very unlikely ever fit comfortably again. So it gets thrown out out by the time you are 7-9 Months along. Interesting finding; the bra you buy in this stage, will usually fit again when you are breastfeeding (when it is designed properly). Usually you are a size down (dress and bra) by the time your little cutie is about 6 months or maybe starting solid foods. Plus buying a Bella Materna bra while pregnant this is a positive environmental approach not to mention the financial savings long term!
We recommend: you get the Sexy T-Shirt Nursing Bra now.
What size? 1 cup size larger than your pre-pregnancy bra & the same band size, - you should be on the middle hook (ie 3 of 6 settings), and have 3 settings to go.
For example I was a 34C pre-pregnancy I bought the 34D at this stage. Note; unless you have changed more than 1 dress/pant size, then you may need to jump up in band too but the cup size actually stays the same ie 36 because the cups ladder with the band. So a 34D cup is the same as a 36C cup and a 38B cup.
7-9 Months Pregnant - Phew... your belly is getting to be something you can no longer hide... it is time for some Transitional clothing and a new bra! The bra you buy now, will most likely work for the next 6 months. You can check that off your list! A Nursing Bra! I recommend our Anytime Nursing Bra and or Tank, as you will need to have a 'comfort bra' in addition to a 'day bra'.
Labor and Delivery - My L&D bag recommendation is the Anytime Bra / Tank and a comfortable pant with a beautiful layering piece, you can begin your labor in it (It is up to YOU what you wear while laboring - unless you have a C-section or if the L&D staff cannot monitor safely!
Your Baby is born! - Wow! Congratulations! you reached the pinnacle! This moment is marked forever (even if you cant remember it!)
That Anytime Bra / Tank you have on is great for easy access breastfeeding! Its side sling support helps lift your breast in place for easy nipple access! Breastfeeding can be a challenge, it seems like it should be easy, but there are many factors to get right! Nipple - Mouth - Tongue - once you and your adorable newborn get the hang of it there will be bliss! ask for help it takes a village. If you had never cooked a meal, there is nothing wrong with asking for help!
Engorgement 2hrs to 4 days after birth - Only Colostrum up until now, the ducts are primed with the newborn breastmilk and your breasts hurt! Breastfeeding is best to reduce that plentitude, but if you are too full to breastfeed you will need to express milk, which you may need to do once your baby is full!! Click for Hand Express tips here.
1-2-3 weeks along - Settling in to breastfeeding, you have been wearing the Anytime, but now you are ready to be out an about. I recommend waiting until this point to wear your underwire nursing bras, it is important to establish breastfeeding, rest & heal from the labor before you add to the mix!
Starting Solids - this is up to you and your pediatrician, WHO code suggests 6-12 months for exclusive breastfeeding. You will decrease back to bras that fit at 3-6 Months.... and you will decrease in size from there to the 0-3 month bras depending on your breastfeeding amount and your weight loss.
Breastfeeding weaning/ending - this might have only been a short time, or years! But this is a personal decision for you and your family, we want to support you every step of the way.
Please call or email us any questions. We are here to help!
We use the European method of sizing where DD=E, DDD=F - we like to keep it straightforward! Our bras are known for their comfort and longevity, the back closure is longer, so it is easier to fit, and last - as long as when you first get it - you are on the 3rd - 6th hooks --- this way your investment will last longer for you!