THE ULTIMATE MATERNITY & NURSING BRA GUIDE:

How to Choose, How Many You Need, and Many More Questions Answered

Let’s be real - shopping for bras is rarely fun.

What size am I? How do I choose the right ones? How many do I need? They cost HOW much?

And bra shopping on top of being pregnant or nursing? Yea, we feel for you. Which is why we’ve made this easy.  

You have questions, we have answers.


INTRODUCTION TO NURSING & MATERNITY BRAS 

From what they are, to where to buy them – let’s cover the basics of nursing bras and maternity bras. 

Why do I need a maternity or nursing bra?

What is the difference between a maternity & nursing bra? 

What is a maternity or pregnancy bra? And why do I need one 

When to buy a maternity bra

What is a nursing bra? And why do I need one? 

When to buy a nursing bra 


SELECTING A MATERNITY & NURSING BRA STYLE 

The maternity bra and nursing bra styles Motherhood Maternity offers, and how to find the perfect one for you. 

HOW TO CHOOSE A MATERNITY BRA 

HOW MANY MATERNITY BRAS DO I NEED? 

HOW TO CHOOSE A NURSING BRA 

HOW TO CHOOSE A PUMPING BRA 

HOW MANY NURSING BRAS DO I NEED? 

THE BEST MATERNITY & NURSING BRAS 

THE BEST BRAS FOR EVERY STAGE OF PREGNANCY & POSTPARTUM 

FINDING YOUR MATERNITY & NURSING BRA SIZE 

How to take your measurements and ensure a perfect fit for your maternity and nursing bra. 

HOW TO MEASURE FOR A MATERNITY BRA & NURSING BRA 

They say 80% of women are wearing the wrong bra size…don’t be one of them! Measuring yourself to find the perfect bra fit is essential. To measure yourself, you’ll need a measuring tape. 

Prefer to watch a video on how to measure? Check out our Bra Fit Guide

A few tips for success before you get started: 

  • Measure yourself in a well-fitting, non-padded underwire bra if possible. This will give you the most accurate results. Wearing a padded or push up bra could give you a false cup size.  
  • It’s best to measure yourself in just your bra or in a thin tee shirt or camisole. 
  • Note where the ruler starts on your measuring tape, this is where your measurement starting point. Some measuring tapes start right at the edge, while others have a border before the ruler.  
  • Having a partner or friend do the measuring for you may make things easier! If you’re measuring solo, do it in front of a mirror.  
  • If you are currently nursing, try to measure yourself when your breasts aren’t overly full, or completely empty. We recommend about an hour after your last feeding or pumping session.  

 

If You’re Measuring Yourself 

FIRST, FIND YOUR BAND SIZE 

A perfect fitting band should lay flat across your back, parallel to the floor. Grab a measuring tape and make sure you’re wearing a well-fitting, non-padded bra. 

  1. STEP ONE: Wrap the measuring tape snugly around your rib cage, just under your bust. If you are wearing an underwire bra, tuck the tape under the wire. 
  2. STEP TWO: Make sure the tape measure is flat against you and parallel to the floor all the way around, check yourself out in a mirror to confirm. 
  3. STEP THREE: Exhale and take your RIB CAGE MEASUREMENT, ensuring your fingers are not under the measuring tape.  
  4. STEP FOUR: Use the chart below to determine your band size. 

Example: Let’s say your RIB CAGE MEASUREMENT is 31”. This makes you a 34 BAND SIZE  

    RIB CAGE MEASUREMENT
  • 27-29"
  • 30-32"
  • 33-34"
  • 35-38"
  • 39-41"
  • 42"
  • 43-45"
  • 46-47"
    YOUR BAND SIZE
  • 32
  • 34
  • 36
  • 38
  • 40
  • 42
  • 44
  • 46

THEN, FIND YOUR CUP SIZE 

Your breasts should fill your bra cup without spilling over or gapping – and when wearing an underwire, it shouldn’t poke you.  

  1. STEP ONE: Wrap the measuring tape loosely around the widest part of your bust. 
  2. STEP TWO: Make sure the tape measure is flat against you and parallel to the floor all the way around, check yourself out in a mirror to confirm. 
  3. STEP THREE: Inhale and take your measurement, ensuring your fingers are not under the measuring tape. 
  4. STEP FOUR: Subtract your BAND SIZE from your BUST MEASUREMENT. This will give you your cup size, every inch difference equals one cup size. Use the chart below to confirm. 

Example: Let’s say your BUST MEASUREMENT was 38” and your BAND SIZE is 34. 38 – 34 = 4”. You are a 34D. 

BUST MEASUREMENT minus your BAND SIZE = your CUP SIZE
    BAND SIZE
  • 32
  • 34
  • 36
  • 38
  • 40
  • 42
  • 44
  • 46
    2"
  • 32B
  • 34B
  • 36B
  • 38B
  • 40B
  • 42B
  • 44B
  • 46B
    3"
  • 32C
  • 34C
  • 36C
  • 38C
  • 40C
  • 42C
  • 44C
  • 46C
    4"
  • 32D
  • 34D
  • 36D
  • 38D
  • 40D
  • 42D
  • 44D
  • 46D
    5"
  • 32DD
  • 34DD
  • 36DD
  • 38DD
  • 40DD
  • 42DD
  • 44DD
  • 46DD
    6"
  • 32DDD
  • 34DDD
  • 36DDD
  • 38DDD
  • 40DDD
  • 42DDD
  • 44DDD
  • 46DDD
    7"
  • 32G
  • 34G
  • 36G
  • 38G
  • 40G
  • 42G
  • 44G
  • 46G
If Someone Else is Measuring You 

FIRST, FIND HER BAND SIZE 

Grab a measuring tape and make sure she’s wearing a well-fitting, non-padded bra. It’s best to measure her in her bra only, or with just a thin tee-shirt or cami over her bra. You’re going to want to take a tight measurement. 

  1. STEP ONE: Wrap the measuring tape snugly around her, just below her bust. It may be easiest to stand facing her back so you can get the tape as flat to her ribcage as possible (which may be difficult to do from the front if she is pregnant).  
  2. STEP TWO: Position the tape measure under her underwire (if she’s wearing one) and make sure the tape is flat against her ribcage and is parallel to the floor all the way around. 
  3. STEP THREE: Ask her to exhale and snugly bring the two ends together to get her RIB CAGE MEASUREMENT.  
  4. STEP FOUR: Use the chart below to determine your band size. 

Example: Let’s say her RIB CAGE MEASUREMENT is 36”. This makes her a 38 BAND SIZE  

    RIB CAGE MEASUREMENT
  • 27-29"
  • 30-32"
  • 33-34"
  • 35-38"
  • 39-41"
  • 42"
  • 43-45"
  • 46-47"
    YOUR BAND SIZE
  • 32
  • 34
  • 36
  • 38
  • 40
  • 42
  • 44
  • 46

THEN, FIND HER CUP SIZE 

Unlike her rib cage, which should be measured tightly, her bust should be measured loosely. 

  1. STEP ONE: Ask her to extend her arms out at her sides. Slide the tape measure around the widest part of her bust. 
  2. STEP TWO: Making sure the tape is parallel to the floor and even around her back, ask her to take a deep breath in, then loosely measure her bust. 
  3. STEP THREE: Subtract her BAND SIZE from her BUST MEASUREMENT. This will give you her cup size, every inch difference equals one cup size. Use the chart below to confirm. 

Example: Let’s say your BUST MEASUREMENT was 41” and your BAND SIZE is 38. 41 – 38 = 3”. She is a 38C. 

BUST MEASUREMENT minus your BAND SIZE = your CUP SIZE
    BAND SIZE
  • 32
  • 34
  • 36
  • 38
  • 40
  • 42
  • 44
  • 46
    2"
  • 32B
  • 34B
  • 36B
  • 38B
  • 40B
  • 42B
  • 44B
  • 46B
    3"
  • 32C
  • 34C
  • 36C
  • 38C
  • 40C
  • 42C
  • 44C
  • 46C
    4"
  • 32D
  • 34D
  • 36D
  • 38D
  • 40D
  • 42D
  • 44D
  • 46D
    5"
  • 32DD
  • 34DD
  • 36DD
  • 38DD
  • 40DD
  • 42DD
  • 44DD
  • 46DD
    6"
  • 32DDD
  • 34DDD
  • 36DDD
  • 38DDD
  • 40DDD
  • 42DDD
  • 44DDD
  • 46DDD
    7"
  • 32G
  • 34G
  • 36G
  • 38G
  • 40G
  • 42G
  • 44G
  • 46G


WHEN TO MEASURE FOR A MATERNITY BRA

WHEN TO MEASURE FOR A NURSING BRA

SOLVING BRA FIT ISSUES


ADDITIONAL FAQs ABOUT MATERNITY AND NURSING BRAS 

HOW MUCH DO MATERNITY BRAS COST?

HOW MUCH DO NURSING BRAS COST?

How do I care for my maternity and nursing bras?

Where to buy maternity & nursing bras 

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