What’s the deal with bras during motherhood?

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By the time we women think about having kids, most of us have been wearing bras for a while – and would like to think we’ve got this. We know our band size, our bust size and go-to shapes and have the perfect bra for every occasion. But… then we fall pregnant… and have a baby, and suddenly all bets are off! Because once we become pregnant and beyond, our boobs change – rapidly! 

Because people don’t really talk much about bras and motherhood, we’ve partnered with Triumph to do a deep dive into everything you need to know about bras (and boobs) during pregnancy, breastfeeding and motherhood. From swapping from an underwire to a wireless bra in the first few weeks of pregnancy to finding a feeding-friendly sports bra – and everything in between. Read on for the scoop…!

Maternity / Pregnancy Bras

Underwire vs. wire-free

Pregnancy bras are designed to be worn throughout the whole pregnancy and breastfeeding process. The problem with such a bra is that it doesn’t take into account the many changes in your breasts throughout pregnancy and postpartum. Often, the terms ‘maternity bra,’ ‘pregnancy bra’ and ‘nursing bra’ are used interchangeably, but traditionally there was a clear difference – particularly between maternity and nursing bras.

Although you will likely continue to hear maternity bras being referred to for all motherhood bras, for the purposes of compartmentalisation, we’re going to refer to maternity bras as the bras you wear when you’re pregnant. 

While swollen and tender boobs are often one of the first signs of being pregnant, your boobs will often not grow much until the second trimester – by which time you’ll be in serious need of a bra upgrade!

With that said, the first trimester is arguably the hardest – morning sickness and fatigue are unrelenting for some, and women can spend a lot of their early weeks of pregnancy on the couch, in bed or crouched by the toilet bowl…! Therefore, the first trimester might well see you making a necessary shift from underwire to wireless bras. Comfort is key!

Sports Bras

Pregnancy is ALL about comfort. If you want to take comfort and wireless up a notch, while also being able to get your move-on, investing in a couple of sports bras is a good idea during pregnancy. 

After the first trimester, safe and regular exercise, such as prenatal yoga and walking, are recommended for a healthy pregnancy and birth. Therefore, a comfy and supportive sports bra is a must. 

Nursing Bras

As soon as your bae is born, if you are able and decide to, they will be tethered to your breast for some time… That’s why nursing bras (also referred to as maternity bras) are so important. Breastfeeding will become such a regular part of your daily life that you’ll want to wear a bra that can be unclipped quickly and effortlessly as your baby hops on the boobs for a feed. 

The trick with nursing bras is to find one that also provides you with support and a good shape! We don’t need no sad-sack-Sally to cramp our style (amiright, mamas??). 

Triumph’s Amour Maternity Lace Bra provides soft, wire-free comfort, and contains magnet latches allowing for swift, easy access.

If you’re an active breastfeeding mum, you’ll probably also want to invest in a nursing/maternity sports bra. That way, straight after or during Yoga (hello Baby and Me Yoga), or after a run, pilates or a workout, you can conveniently whip out a boob, and feed in no time. 

Trust us, the old lift the sports bra up over the boob to let bae feed gets old (and uncomfortable) quickly. Make your life easy and invest in Triumph’s Mamabel active Sports Bra which is wire-free, with easy release drop-down cups and a side sling for nursing access, breathable mesh to keep you cool and shoulder straps that can be crossed for added support.

Post-weaning bras

Post breastfeeding boobs are a thing – minus the few lucky ones. Basically, when you’ve fully weaned from breastfeeding, your milk ducts are no longer filling with milk, which may lead to a smaller volume of breast tissue. In some cases, a woman’s breast skin will tighten to suit her new breast size, while for other women, there isn’t enough elasticity for the tightening to happen (yep, damn…).

But don’t be hard on yourself. Learning to love your post-baby body is part of the motherhood journey. Be proud of the many miracles your body has undergone and achieved to bring a new human into this world – it’s no wonder your body’s changed a little – or a lot – along the way!

Your boobs may return to about the same size as they were pre-pregnancy, but they also may not. Whatever the case, after all they’ve gone through – expansion, engorgement, breastfeeding, pumping, weaning – chances are they’re going to look and feel different. Some women find that their boobs feel a bit saggier or less perky, others feel like they’re a bit deflated. Of course, other women barely notice much difference at all (lucky them 😆).

Whatever your experience, once you’re through the early days of feeding around the clock it’s a great idea to go out and treat yourself to a fancy new NON-maternity bra with all the right support shape and feels – but that also makes you feel like YOU. 

Yep, motherhood sure is a trip. And between pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and weaning, you can expect your boobs to change. A lot. Therefore, getting your head around maternity bras – what you will need and when – is a great way of being armed and ready to go. You’ve got this.

This is a paid partnership between Kiindred x Triumph.

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