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Pregnancy with style

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From around six weeks into your pregnancy you may start to notice a change in your breast size. At first you may think this is merely pre-menstrual breast tenderness, but when the test confirms you are pregnant the sensitivity and swelling won't diminish, and your breasts will continue to grow right up to ??and after ??the baby is born.

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Maternity & Nursing Bra Guide

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Bra Measuring & Fit Guide

[/fusion_text][/one_half][fusion_text]Breast changes are usually more noticeable during your first pregnancy. Symptoms include: an increase in breast sensitivity, darkening of the areola area around the nipple and veins around the breasts become more prominent. All of these symptoms are your hormones getting your breasts ready for feeding your baby in a few months' time.

Although you'll be able to continue wearing your old bras for a while, it won't be long before they become uncomfortable. That's when it's a good idea to get fitted for a couple of new bras ??ideally non-wired ??and to continue to return to be re-fitted every six weeks. Then, if you're planning to breastfeed, 36 to 38 weeks is the ideal time to get fitted for a feeding bra.

Some of these changes can be wonderful especially if you enjoy having a slightly more voluptuous figure!

What makes a good pregnancy bra?

In pregnancy, bras should have no wires that might dig into delicate developing tissue. Backs, straps and sides should be wide to give as much support as possible. This is to protect the delicate ligaments that hold up your bust. Unsupported breasts can lead to stretched ligaments and permanently sagging breasts after birth.

But all these clever structural bra features don't mean you have to compromise femininity. Bra manufacturers have come a long way since the industrial-sized monstrosities our mothers had to wear. You can still buy pretty, flirty matching sets with lace trims, or sexy black numbers to keep the passion alive.

The ideal fit

During pregnancy, big means beautiful and, as Mothercare's Moda range is designed with the help of midwives and pregnant women, we've got both function and style covered.

Why get professionally fitted?

Your rapidly changing body shape makes it very difficult for you to guess the right bra size. An expert fitter will be able to take into account your wider rib cage (which expands as the baby pushes up towards your diaphragm), and fit you with a bra that will allow for the following weeks' further growth.

At around 36 ??38 weeks when you get fitted for a feeding bra (which has simple clips so you can drop one cup and feed your baby whenever and wherever you are) the fitter will take into account your bust size now, and use her experience to estimate how large your breasts will be when your milk kicks in a few days after the birth. Don't be surprised if the feeding bra she recommends seems enormous. In the first few weeks, until your milk supply settles down, breastfeeding breasts can exceed all your size expectations!

Pregnancy briefs and tights

There is of course, nothing to stop you wearing your usual briefs or knickers throughout your pregnancy, but be aware that they will tend to slip below your bump as it grows through later pregnancy. Special pregnancy briefs (which are often designed to match pregnancy bras) are designed to sit under your bump for a smoother line. You can also get maternity thongs to banish any hint of VPL, or full comfort over-the-bump knickers to cradle and support your growing tummy.

In winter months conventional tights can be a nightmare, either digging in as your tummy grows, or sliding down under the bump in later months, leaving you with wrinkled knees and a baggy crotch area. Maternity tights have a super-large tummy section so you can pull them right up under your bust with no risk of them falling down.

Why do I need a sleep bra?

During pregnancy, big means beautiful and, as Mothercare's Moda range is designed with the help of midwives and pregnant women, we've got both function and style covered.

The ideal fit

A light-weight sleep bra looks more like a teenager's cropped top, or lightweight sports bra. It can be extremely useful, offering support at night if your breasts start to feel uncomfortable or when doing light exercises like yoga. They're also very useful for holding breast pads in place during late pregnancy (if you find colostrum beginning to leak out of your nipples) and when you are actually breastfeeding.

Whether it's a support bra for pregnancy or a sleep bra for night-time comfort or a nursing bra for feeding - the right fit is crucial to helping you feel your best and retaining your pre-pregnancy shape after your baby is born. Your breasts may increase in size by 2lbs so they need extra support at this time. Mothercare has an extensive range of maternity lingerie to cater for all tastes and budgets. It is always best to try before you buy and to be measured - even if you have a busy schedule, try to make the time. Remember a well-fitting bra also protects you from backache and helps improve your posture.

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