Looking for a good bra fitter?
Unfortunately, we don't have a local trained NCT bra fitter, but here are a few of suggestions of smaller independent local shops that have a good reputation for bra fitting:
Design Also ,101 St Pauls Road, N1, the Highbury Corner end, 020 7354 0035 - it looks like a chaos of boxes but the owner knows where everything is and has been fitting bras for years.
Pretty Pregnant, 271 Upper Street, London N1, 020 7226 9822
Rosa, 3 Stoke Newington Church Street, N16, 020 7254 3467
For all of these options, it is sensible to phone ahead to make an appointment.
When should I get fitted for my breastfeeding bras? If it is your first baby then you should aim to have your bras fitted at around 36 weeks pregnant. If it is your second or subsequent baby you can get your fitting from 32 weeks but it is better to leave it nearer to 36 weeks if possible.
How do I know that it will fit me once I have had my baby? Well we don't know for sure but what we do know is that your breasts will get bigger once your milk comes in and that once your baby is born your rib cage will get smaller over a few days and weeks. So, when your bra is fitted, the fitter should allow for that which means that you need to see enough room in the cup for expansion and enough spare hooks on the back of your bra so that you can tighten it as your ribs get smaller.
My current bra is beginning to feel too tight but I only have a few weeks to go and I don't want to buy a new bra, is there anything I can do? Yes, you could buy an extension piece for your current bra. Essentially this is four extra rows of eyes and an extra row of hooks to go in the back of your bra and provide you with extra breathing space. They come in black and white, 2 and 3 rows high, about £1.25 each. These are available from department stores such as John Lewis.
Why does this bra that I am wearing keep going up my back? “I always have to pull it down and it is not very comfortable”. That is because it is too big in the rib cage and too small in the cup. Try going one size smaller in the rib cage and one bigger in the cup and see how that feels.
I bought some bras when I had my last baby and I'm not sure if they still fit, what should I do? Take them with you when you go for your fitting and ask the fitter to have a look.
How many bras should I buy? We would recommend 2 or 3 daytime bras and 1 or 2 nighttime bras.
Do I really need nighttime bras? You are probably going to need something to wear at night, if for no other reason than to hold your breast pads in place. A nighttime bra will give you light support but its main purpose is to hold your breast pads in place.
I was planning to sleep on a towel, won't that be good enough? That will be fine so long as you can control the direction that your milk is going to leak in. For example if you are lying on your back and the towel is underneath you how will you avoid the duvet?
I was going to wear a crop top at night, will that be OK? It will probably be OK so long as when you feed your baby you ensure that the part of the top that you have either lifted up or pulled down is not pressing on your breast tissue causing the potential for blocked ducts or mastitis. The nighttime bras are designed so that you can get to your breast in a way that avoids this risk.
Why can't I wear an underwired bra? Again this is the potential risk of causing blocked ducts. Once you are breastfeeding there is the risk that the wires could press into your breast tissue and cause a blockage.
Surely I can just wear a normal bra and pull it down or lift it up to feed my baby? Once again this comes back to the possibility of causing blocked ducts by the bra pressing on your breast tissue when it is pulled down or lifted up. Also you want to be as comfortable as possible when breastfeeding and these bras are designed for the job.
Advice provided by an NCT trained bra fitter from out of the area.