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Nursing Bra Basics:

We advise that nursing moms have a minimum of 3 bras: one to wash, one to wear, and (at least) one to have ready. Several clean bras on hand is strongly advised.

It is best to hand wash your LLLI bras and allow them to hang dry. Although you might want the ease of machine washing and drying, this is the fastest way to ruin a bras' construction.

Nursing bras should have a comfortable fit, adequate support, sufficient adjustment for your changing size, and easy, one-handed access. A jump of cup sizes and even one band size from pre-pregnancy to postpartum is typical. However, every woman's body is unique.

If you breastfeed often, you may want to consider using nursing pads to prevent leaking (be generous with your cup sizing to ensure adequate room for inserting pads).

Why should I buy a nursing bra?

During pregnancy and after the birth of your child, your breasts will grow larger and heavier; regular basic and fashion bras are not designed to provide this needed additional support. Nursing bras, however, are specifically designed to accommodate your ever changing size and shape. Additionally, while nursing your baby, your breasts are constantly changing as they fill with milk and shrink after feeding. The majority of our bras are constructed with stretch fabric to make these changes in size more comfortable.

When should I buy a nursing bra?

You should buy your maternity bra between 4 and 6 months into your pregnancy. When you buy your bra, it should fit on the tightest hook - as your rib cage will decrease in size after the birth of your baby. As your body grows through months 6-9, you can adjust the bra with your changing size. We also offer bra extenders as an option to allow you to increase band sizing options as needed.

Measuring for a Comfortable Fit

We always advise expectant mother to to buy nursing bras at several different times during their pregnancy. Measure yourself carefully and try to avoid buying a bra that allows too much room for future growth. A nursing bra that fits properly will not be loose and should not cause pinching under the arm, on the back, or between the breasts. Be sure to also purchase a sleep bra to help reduce back pain and provide natural lift.

To measure for your proper size, you will need a soft tape measure (the kind a seamstress or tailor would use). If you do not have access to a tape measure, find a piece of ribbon or string, along with a regular tape measure, ruler, or yardstick. It's advisable to measure yourself in front of the mirror as this will help you make sure you have the tape measure positioned correctly.

  1. Wearing you best-fitting, unpadded bra, snugly measure high under the arms around and above the breasts to determine the chest size in inches. Make sure the tape is horizontal the entire way around your body and do not pull the tape too tightly. Round up to the nearest even size. This is your band size (in inches).

  2. Measure around the fullest part of your bust and record this measurement in inches. Again, make sure the tape is horizontal the whole way around your body and do not pull the tape too tightly.

  3. Take your measurement from step 2 and subtract your band size measurement from step 1. This measurement, along with the following chart, will help determine your cup size:

For example, if your bust measurement is 36" and your band size is 34, you wear a B Cup.

0 - 1 1/2" A Cup
1 1/2" - 2 1/2" B Cup
2 1/2" - 3 1/2" C Cup
3 1/2" - 4 1/2" D Cup
5" - 6" DD/E Cup
6" - 7" DDD/F Cup
7" - 8" G Cup
8" - 9" H Cup