Pregnancy leads to a lot of physical changes that can take some getting used to. During this time, you’ll no doubt start looking for the perfect maternity bra to accommodate your changing body. Having a comfortable, supportive maternity bra during pregnancy and postpartum is essential and will quickly become your favourite item in your wardrobe (or, at the very least, your most worn item).
What are the key features of a maternity bra
Quality maternity bras are designed to support and provide comfort as your breasts grow. This is why most feature extra hook and eye adjustments to account for size fluctuations and adjustable shoulder straps to cater to your growing breasts.
To find a comfortable maternity bra, look for soft, non-irritating fabric that will keep you cool and comfy, cushioned shoulder straps with minimal stretch, and a wire-free design to prevent discomfort as your breasts and belly grow. We also recommend maternity bras with flexible wide-back bands that will provide gentle support.
How should a maternity bra fit?
When looking for a maternity bra, it’s important to get the fit right. If the fit isn’t correct, you are at a higher risk for developing back pain, neck pain, and poor posture. Some red flags of an ill-fitting maternity bra are:
The bra straps feel too tight or too loose
If your maternity bra has straps that dig into your shoulders, then it probably isn’t a great fit. Straps shouldn’t be so tight that they dig in and cause discomfort, but they also shouldn’t be loose enough to slip off your shoulder. Cushioned straps with minimal stretch help alleviate shoulder pain and keep you lifted and supported throughout the day.
If the cups don’t offer enough coverage and your breasts are spilling out the top or sides of the bra, it isn’t the right bra for you.
The best maternity bras have adjustable features that can change with you. Look for maternity bras that have extra hook and eye adjustments in the back. The tighter you can do up the hook, the better – as it will enable you to loosen it throughout your pregnancy as your breasts grow.
The best option is to pop into your local Bendon store for a professional bra fitting from our Fit Experts, who are professionally trained at finding you a supportive, comfortable bra that ticks all of your boxes. If you’re unable to find time to stop by in person, take a look at our handy size chart for guidance.
When you should get fitted for a maternity bra
You may begin to notice changes within the first trimester, such as sore nipples, tenderness, or enlarged breasts. It is recommended women come in for a fitting as soon as their regular bra begins to feel uncomfortable; this could be anything from underwires starting to dig in, bulging cups, or bras that are simply too small.
You may need to come back in for another fitting later on down the tracks as your breasts continue to grow during pregnancy. It isn’t unusual to increase one or two cup sizes throughout your pregnancy, so be sure to have a maternity bra or several in your rotation to account for this size increase.
The benefits of wearing a good maternity bra
Here are our top benefits of purchasing a good quality maternity bra.
Reduces stretching of the breast tissue
Proper support is super important during pregnancy, as it prevents your breast tissue from sagging and causing stretch marks. Maternity bras typically have wider bands for additional support, as well as adjustable shoulder straps and extra hook and eye adjustments so you can continue feeling supported as your breasts grow.
Helps with back aches
When your breasts begin to grow, your back has to support the extra weight, which can lead to back pain. A supportive maternity bra can help reduce backaches, as it helps to distribute this extra weight evenly across your body. Bonus: A well-fitting maternity bra can also assist with maintaining good posture throughout the day.
Keeps you comfy all day long
Maternity bras usually have a soft fabric lining the cups, helping reduce the chance of nipple irritation. The soft padded shoulder straps and lack of underwire also add to your comfort levels since nothing will dig into your skin, so you can wear it all day long and even while you’re sleeping. Plus, the material tends to be soft and stretchy for additional comfort.
Answering your frequently asked questions about maternity bras
How many maternity bras do you need?
You’ll want to have at least three maternity bras in your rotation. You want comfortable, correctly fitting bras that can take you from day to night. You may also want a few different colour options to go with different outfits. But the most important reason to have multiple maternity bras in your collection is so you have a few you can rotate throughout the week, which ultimately means less laundry and stress for you.
Is a maternity bra and a nursing bra the same thing?
A nursing bra allows quick and easy access to nipples so your baby can feed – something not all maternity bras have. Nursing bras often have clasps or panels around the nipple area, in contrast with traditional maternity bras. With that said, maternity bras have come a long way since their initial design. Nowadays, you can easily find a maternity bra that doubles as a nursing bra.
Check out our Elodie Maternity Bra and Nurture Maternity Bra for maternity bras that allow easy access for breastfeeding.
Why don’t maternity bras have underwire?
When your breasts are growing at a rapid pace, traditional underwire can’t offer optimal support during these fluctuations. Underwire isn’t super forgiving and doesn’t have a lot of flexibility, so your breasts gradually begin to outgrow the cups, leading to the underwire digging in and hurting your skin. Wire-free bras are the more comfortable option, especially later on in your pregnancy.
What are the main differences between a maternity bra and a regular bra?
Maternity bras offer increased support and comfort for growing breasts, which is demonstrated by their unique features. Compared to traditional bras that often have slim straps and underwire, most maternity bras have wide comfortable shoulder straps and a back band that doesn’t need underwire support. Maternity bras will also have more hook and eye closures on the back band compared to regular bras, allowing for flexibility as your breasts and belly grow throughout pregnancy.
While traditional bras come in a plethora of different materials, maternity bras are designed with super soft fabrics, like cotton, to keep you comfortable. Some maternity bras may also have nursing features, such as clasps or panels that allow for easy access to the nipple during breastfeeding. Many women prefer this combination of maternity and nursing bras as they get later into their pregnancy.
Best maternity bras available at Bendon
Shop all our maternity bras to find your perfect match. Some of our favourites include:
Bendon Nurture Maternity Bra
Ideal for new and expectant mums, the Bendon Nurture Maternity Bra is a comfortable combination of a maternity and nursing bra. It features adjustable straps and extra-long hook and eye adjustments, so you’ll always have your perfect fit, no matter what stage of pregnancy or nursing you’re at. It also features internal support when feeding, drop-down cups for easy breastfeeding, and a double layer of super soft fabric that is smooth and comfy on the skin.
Bendon Elodie Maternity Bra
The Elodie is another wonderful maternity bra that doubles as a nursing bra. It features everything you want in a high-quality maternity bra: soft, stretch fabric, a wireless design, adjustable straps, and a stretchy back strap for optimal comfort and support. It’s also perfect for new mothers, thanks to a nursing clip that allows you to drop a cup with one hand and an internal frame for extra support when feeding.
Find the perfect maternity bra from Bendon