We are here to help with years of experience. Please feel free to Chat/Message from the site (if we are not there it sends us an email, so we can easily answer your question if we are not at the shop) or call our Seattle boutique M-F 10-3pm: 206-286-8108 / Toll Free: 1-888-700-8438
While measuring make sure you are wearing the best fitting bra you have.
This measure method may be different from others!
1/ FIND YOUR BAND SIZE - The underbust measure is the most important measure to start with, because it establishes your BAND measure. See below the best hook settings for each stage. All of our bras come with an extender sewn on; 6 hook settings total, to give the most flexible fit.
1st Trimester- The band should be on 2nd-3rd hook out from the tightest, loosen as your ribcage expands. It is perfectly smart to get a nursing bra now, you can wear it again when breastfeeding.
2nd Trimester- The band should be comfortable on the 3th - 5th hook out. Still enough room to let it out during 3rd trimester and bring it back down after birth. Usually you will outgrow these cups in the 3rd trimester. This nursing bra will be handy for the 2nd stage of breastfeeding.
3rd Trimester- The band should be comfortable 5th-6th hook out, the 6th hook for the last several weeks. This bra will fit for your 1st stage of breastfeeding.
After Baby Comes- Band should be comfortable on the 5th-6th hook out, make it smaller as needed.
2/ DETERMINE YOUR CUP SIZE -The overbust measure will change the most during pregnancy, you will increase 1 cup size by the 2nd trimester and a 2nd cup size by the end of your pregnancy. That means 2 - 3 changes in bra size throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding!
i.e. if you were a 36D pre-pregnancy you will likely be a 36F before delivery in Bella Materna. If you increased more than one dress size and the if the 6th hook is too tight, then you should go up 1 band size and down 1 cup size: 36E = 38D. Cups ladder, for example, all of the following sizes are the same cup volume, only different band lengths: 32G = 34F = 36E = 38D.
Other maternity bra and nursing bra fitting tips:
Band - (bottom edge of bra) should be paralell to floor, if your band rides up, tighten the hooks, or you need go down a band size.
Underwire Nursing bras - should be near-to planting at the center front of your body, there is some flexiblity here - determine if you are growing bigger in the next 3 months or smaller, to help determine if it will flex with you in the next phase. If underwires clearly, too far away from the sternum, and your breast tissue is getting creased at the top edge, then you need to go up a cup size. Underwires should not sit on breast tissue.
Wirefree Nursing bras usually do not plant at center front, but if you are spilling over the top edge, then increase cup size. Consider the cup flexibility you will need in your bra cups for changes in pregnancy and breastfeeding your baby.
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!