Welcome back to PregnancyPillows.org! We’ve done a lot of talking about sleeping and back pain, because let’s be real, back pain is a huge inconvenience during pregnancy, and probably one of the most universal. It affects more than 75% of pregnant women. But as you’ve gone through your first few months of pregnancy, you may have noticed pain somewhere else. Somewhere on the front of your body, and higher. That’s right. Your breasts.
During pregnancy, your breasts not only get larger, but can often become tender, making sleep and daily life difficult. This mean you need two things to help get back some normalcy. Support, to keep your growing girls up where they belong, and coverage, to help protect them from the pain that comes if they are touched. Sleep can be especially problematic during this time, because the extra weight of your breasts that may not be adequately supportive can cause pain, not just in your breasts but in your shoulders and back.
What should you be looking for in a sleep bra? Firstly, cut back on the padding. You really don’t need a structured cup in a sleep bra, because while you are looking for support, you are not in need of the same sort of support you need during the day. You are also looking for something that is not going to get in the way of your sleep. Usually, a soft cup bra is ideal, with no underwire unless you really need it.
Secondly, make sure you are wearing the right size. Most women aren’t, and it can mean that even the best bra doesn’t fit right. Now, it’s important to note that pregnancy and nursing are two times when a woman’s breasts fluctuate greatly in size. But knowing your size now can give you a starting point. Here’s how to measure yourself. Get a fabric tape measure. Standing strait, bend at the waist until your torso is parallel to the floor (hopefully you aren’t doing this at eight months pregnant. If you are, get some help). Wrap the tape measure around the fullest part of your bust and write the number down. Next, stand strait and wrap the tape measure just under your breasts, where your band is supposed to go. Write that number down. That’s your band size. Now subtract the band size from your bust size. The difference in the two numbers will give you your cup size. Check the chart below for the cup size you need.
(insert chart here)
For instance, your charming author has a 32 inch band size and a 38 inch bust. 38 minus 32 equals 6….refer to the chart….I wear a 32E (always go with UK sizes if you can, they are more accurate). I can get away with a 34DD, also, but a 32E would be better. Don’t be freaked out if you measure WAY larger than you would have thought possible. People guess me at a B at biggest. Our ideas of what breast sizes should look like are skewed.
Anyway, making sure you are measured for the right size bra, you can now tackle the task of buying. If you are going to be nursing, you may want to measure up a size.
If you measure at anything above a D, you are probably going to have to shop online, especially if you live in the US. But never fear! Online retailers carry everything you need! Always check the return policy of the retailer you choose, because nothing is worse than accidentally ordering the wrong size (although with your newfound power of measuring, that shouldn’t be a problem!) and realizing too late that the retailer doesn’t accept returns. Here are a few options:A Pea in the Pod Unlined Nursing Sleep Bra
You may find that most bras suggested for maternity sleeping are also nursing bras. This does not mean that you need to use them for nursing, it is simply the nature of the product. Nursing bras tend to be less structured to allow for easy access, and they tend to come with just the right amount of support for sleep.
This bra is from A Pea in a Pod, which is a highly recognizable maternity brand. It is a soft material, and though it doesn’t have an underwire, it is supportive enough even for everyday wear. The elastic is durable and doesn’t lose its shape. Like many nursing bras, this one is not sized like a traditional bra, but instead comes in a small-medium-large-extra-large. A sizing chart on their amazon listing can help you choose.
$38Bamboobies Brahhh: Maternity, Sleep and Nursing Bra with Flower Accent (Large, Black)
This is another pull-aside nursing bra, but it offers superior support and is made of organic cotton and bamboo rayon, meaning that it is stretchy, but also absorbent, helping keep you comfy during the night. You may find that you need to size up, as many women find that this bra runs a bit small. Also, while it is very supportive, once you clear the D cup size, you may want something with even more support. As a side note, if you are planning on nursing, the same company that makes these bras also makes a line of reusable nursing pads that are simple lovely.
$34.99Bravado Designs Body Silk Seamless womens Nursing Bra Maternity bra 1401 Pink Ice L
Ok, I know I said go easy on the padding, but with this bra, it is worth it. The cups are padded with removable foam that molds to your body, much like a memory foam mattress. This means that it is incredibly comfortable, especially for sleep. It does have nursing clips, but they are small and discrete. It is not as supportive, perhaps as some others, and might not be appropriate for use during the day, but for night-time wear, it is ideal. Again, this is sized in a small-medium-lard fashion, so refer to the chart on the listing.
$44.10You! Lingerie Double YOU Maternity & Nursing Bra Tank – Lilou Women’s XL White/Turquoise
Personally, I have always preferred nursing tanks to sleep in. It’s one less layer to worry about, while still providing the support I need. This tank is versatile, breathable, and absorbent, keeping you cool and comfy at night. It is also incredibly cute. Who says pregnancy means you need to look frumpy? It can be worn either classic style or racer back, whichever you chose. It is a good choice for women with larger busts, as it provided excellent support. It is cut a bit low across the bust, so keep that in mind if you are planning on buyingit.
$39.99Royce Women’s Sadie Wire-Free Nursing Bra, Ivory/Silver, 40FF
This is one of the few nursing and maternity bras that are sized according to the letter/number system, but it is also specifically designed for larger breasts, as the smallest size offered is a 28DD. This is designed with larger-busted women in mind, and so offers incredible support, even while sleeping. It is also sewn with a special fibre that is anti-bacterial, heat-regulating, and ant-odour. What does that mean for you? Well, it means that this bra ensures that you stay dry, fresh, and clean during the night.
$30 -$55, depending on size.
The Bottom Line
There are so many choices for moms to be when looking at maternity bras. There are more brands, more styles. Take a quick peruse around Amazon and see if you can’t find just what you need. There are wonderful bras, not just from the retailers above, but also from Medela, Motherhood, Lamaze, and La Leche League. Find the best one for you, and enjoy your better night’s sleep!