Whether you were born with a bigger bust or have acquired one after pregnancy, selecting the right bra can be a challenge. If you are pregnant and looking for the right maternity bra, you may also be wondering what the different is between your everyday bra and a maternity bra.

Let's take a look at the differences between everyday bras, maternity and nursing bras, and help you pick the perfect maternity bra for you.

The Difference Between Everyday Bras and Maternity Bras

During pregnancy, your body undergoes a wide array of changes. You will likely need to purchase maternity clothes that accommodate your changing body. Your breast size and shape will likely change as well as your rib cage expands and your breasts swell.

Plus-Size & Plus Size Maternity Bras. Are They Different?

Many women find that their bra cup size gradually increases throughout pregnancy, especially during the second trimester and third trimester. If you plan to breast feed, your milk ducts will also expand and your breast tissue will likely seem much bigger than pre pregnancy. Your pre pregnancy bras likely won't fit the same as they used to, but this is completely normal. The majority of women find that their breast size increases during pregnancy.

Maternity bras and nursing bras have become a wardrobe staple for expecting mothers and new mothers. These bras are designed specifically to accommodate your changing breasts and provide the everyday comfort and support you need.

Maternity bras have a few additional perks that are great for a mom-to-be, especially if she plans to breastfeed or pump. If you don't plan on breastfeeding, you can probably opt for just a regular plus size bra, but make sure to measure your bra size so you have the proper fit.

If you want a few of the motherly perks, here are five benefits to going with a maternity bra.

1. Easy Access

Most nursing bras have a handy little feature for nursing moms. You can unclip the cups from the bra straps for easy access to feed your baby. If you plan on breastfeeding or pumping, a nursing bra is a great option.

2. Split Down the Middle

Nursing bras typically have a separation between the cups. Wearing nursing bras make it easy to lower one cup at a time. So you can maintain some privacy and comfortability while breastfeeding or pumping.

3. Extra Padding

Whether you breastfeed or not, you may experience some leakage as your breasts start to produce milk, even before your baby is born! Don't worry – maternity bras are built for that. Breast pads are a usual addition to maternity bras and won't add any extra volume, they simply act as an absorbent barrier and keep your skin dry.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding can also irritate nipples and create nipple sensitivity, and breast pads can help provide relief against soreness or chafing.

4. Sleep Bra Styles

Many women prefer to wear a supportive bra to sleep during pregnancy and postpartum. There are specific bras designed for nursing overnight, whether they are soft cotton bras with latches or wire-free wrap styles. These styles are great for breastfeeding moms that want just a little extra support after baby arrives.

5. They Look Like a Normal Bra

Between wireless, underwire, and sleep bras, generally speaking maternity bras look just like regular bras. A nursing bra comes in different fabrics and designs, but if you didn't notice the latches, it would be difficult to tell one apart from a normal bra.

The big difference is that a nursing bra or pumping bra is more accessible and built for breastfeeding or pumping mothers. But truly, an everyday nursing bra does not look all that different from your normal bras.

What is the difference between maternity and nursing bra?

The terms maternity bra and nursing bra are generally used interchangeably nowadays. Maternity bras were originally designed to wear during pregnancy, and often do not have the drop-down cups designed for breastfeeding.

Nursing bras are designed for breastfeeding, but can often also be worn during the latter stages of pregnancy. Whatever makes you feel most comfortable and confident!

When should you start wearing maternity bras?

Your breast tissue and size will fluctuate throughout your pregnancy and postpartum, but the most noticeable changes will likely occur during your second trimester and third trimester. For this reason, you might be most comfortable switching to a maternity bra in middle stages of your pregnancy. Comfort should be of the utmost importance during pregnancy, and therefore a soft cup maternity bra is a great option.

The Front-Closure Cotton T-Back Comfort Bra from Glamorise is an excellent choice as a pregnancy bra. This bra has soft stretch cups that comfortable adapt to growing breasts and will fit your body throughout your cup size fluctuations.

Which Bra is Right for You?

Choosing a plus-sized maternity bra is entirely dependent on your life and plan for your baby. If you don't plan on breastfeeding or pumping, it may make sense to purchase a normal plus-size bra to accommodate your new bra size.

There is no reason not to try a maternity bra. These bras look just like any other bra, but provide addition comfort and have additional benefits that your everyday bra might not provide.

About the Author

Maeve Gesualdi is a Fordham University alumna where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Fashion Studies. Based in New York City, Maeve is part of the marketing team at Glamorise. Maeve regularly interacts with customers via social media and product reviews, as well as with influencers and models. She is constantly getting feedback on our products as well as gaining a better understanding of what women in our category struggle with and/or look for when searching for a bra. Aside from writing, she is passionate about all things travel and fashion.

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