How To Buy A Maternity Bra | Mama + Baby

September 27, 2015

Ok, let’s talk maternity bras. Look, they’re not usually very exciting – more practical than beautiful. And to be honest, my current maternity bra collection is in dire straits – full of holey, over-stretched, faded and flimsy bras. I’m not even joking! However, lately I have received a few reader questions about maternity bras, and thus I thought I had better up my game and do some serious research.

The reason for my terrible, uninspiring bra wardrobe is that I find lingerie, and in particular maternity lingerie, quite expensive and uninspiring, usually. I dislike buying lingerie, I dislike trying it on and to be frank I dislike wearing it (however, sensibilities prevail…)! I invested in a few maternity bras during my first pregnancy and this time around I wasn’t looking forward to spending the big bucks on more lingerie, however I knew it was imminent as my size and shape changed dramatically.

On my maternity bra research journey I came across the brand Hotmilk, and, on admiring its range and price points, contacted the company to see if they would be interested in a collaboration. The lovely people at Hotmilk said yes, so after measuring myself using the online specifications (more on that below!) I was sent two bras, and on receiving them I was very pleasantly surprised indeed. Surprised first of all that I measured myself correctly, and they fit so well; and second of all in the quality of the product and the fit. They’re easily the most comfortable, great-looking maternity bras in my wardrobe. What I love most about them is that they’re not daggy AT ALL, and actually feel lovely and slinky on. They’re maternity and nursing bras, but they could easily fit into my pre-maternity wardrobe. They’re actually underwired however it is a soft, flexible wire, which is actually quite comfortable. They’re also side sling so will provide maximum skin to skin contact, which is a great bonus for nursing.

My number one top tip for investing in maternity bras is to be sure to measure yourself, or be fitted by a professional. Now is NOT the time to wear uncomfortable or ill-fitting bras, trust me! On measuring myself, I actually went down a cup size and up an under-bust size (to what I thought I was), and they fit perfectly. So, on that note, here are more of my top tips for how to buy a maternity bra, when you’ll need them, how many you’ll need and how to get the right size. (AND, read on for your exclusive 20% off Hotmilk discount code!)

1. When do I need to start wearing a maternity bra?
This can be a personal decision, however I found from about 4 months or 16 weeks pregnant I was simply sick of my old, stiff underwired and padded bras and felt in pain when I wore them. I do know pregnant friends who kept wearing their old bras long into their pregnancies, however. If you intend to breastfeed, maternity bras are a necessity for practical feeding so you will need them for afterwards, anyway, so probably best to invest in a few before the baby is born. Even if you do not intend to breastfeed, a maternity bra (or a soft-cup bra) will be the most comfortable lingerie to wear in the last few months of your pregnancy.

2. How many maternity bras will I need?
Also a personal decision, however I’d suggest if you intend to breastfeed you will need at least three bras to start. The first time, I bought different coloured bras in the same style – two black, two beige, one white, one grey and one brightly coloured and that seemed to serve me well. I also wore a simple bandeau strapless bra (non-maternity) in the first few weeks post-partum as I found it was too hot (mid-December) to wear a full top and all I wanted to wear was strapless sundresses!

3. How do I select the right size?
Measure, measure and measure again. Use the sizing information provided by the brand you are purchasing and measure yourself across the widest part of the bust and then directly underneath it. (Or go into a lingerie or department store and be measured by a professional.) I found the Hotmilk measuring information very easy to understand and use. Remember also, you will likely go up at least a couple of cup sizes in the first week after birth so if you’re between sizes, I’d suggest to go the size up. You want comfort, remember! Hotmilk suggests wearing a normal bra (not padded) when taking your measurements, and it’s best to stand in front of a mirror to ensure the tape measure is in the right place and not twisted or crooked.

Firstly, measure your under-bust which is literally directly underneath your bust. You want this measurement to be quite firm. Use a mirror to make sure the measuring tape goes straight across your back. Then, measure around the fullest part of your bust, and you want this to be quite a loose, comfortable measurement. Not firm. You can then use these measurements to find your size! Here is Hotmilk’s sizing information (or view online here):


4. What sort of bras will I need?
What you wear while pregnant or intend to wear while breastfeedimg will determine what colours and styles of bras you will need. Wear a lot of white t-shirts? You’ll need beige t-shirt bras. Wear black? You’ll need black bras. The season your baby is born in (and when you are pregnant) will also somewhat determine the styles too. Personally, I believe a good starting point is one beige t-shirt bra, one white or grey bra and one black bra. Then, go from there. I’d also suggest perhaps a few nursing singlets and/or a couple of ‘sleeping’ bras with soft cups (something like this) to wear in the last few weeks of pregnancy/in the hospital/directly after the birth – they’ll be the most comfortable.

So, here are the bras I selected from the Hotmilk range – the Forever Yours Nude Nursing bra in black, AUD$59.95 And nude AUD$59.95
I’m wearing them with the (gifted) St Frock Iris Cape in Paisley Print AUD$59.90 {I’m wearing the S/M}




Hotmilk discount code: Hotmilk has graciously provided a generous 20% off discount code for Pretty Chuffed readers! Simply use the code PRECHUF20 when shopping online for 20% off everything! Happy shopping x (And be sure to let me know if you make a purchase, I’d love to know how you go!)

Do you have any top tips for buying maternity bras? Did you have a favoruite maternity bra, or is your bra wardrobe in dire straights like mine was?

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  • Lucy

    Great post thankyou. I am long overdue a new nude tshirt bra. Baby number 3 and yes most are holey, bobbly and overstretched. Just as a side note I always find the first 6 weeks of feeding my boobs are far bigger until we settle into a feeding routine. So it may be worth waiting before blowing the budget. I have a beautiful hot milk bra which is far too big because I was too eager and bought it day 5 post partum with #1. 🙂 Lucy

    September 27, 2015 at 8:35 am Reply
    • Jasmine

      Oh yes! Great tips Lucy. I bought few while pregnant and then a couple of months after Hannah was born – so totally agree! Xx

      September 27, 2015 at 8:37 am Reply

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