A Fitting Gone Wrong, Part Two: Pregnancy Fit Issues and How To Avoid Them!
Yesterday I showed you what happened with a pregnancy bra fitting that went awry. The results were not pretty! So I picked Linda’s brain (from Linda’s Bra Salon) to see why the advice used to fit me–be able to fit a whole handful in the top of each cup–didn’t work.
Q: Ack!! Help! What happened with these bras?
Linda: A full hand into the top is a bit too much. That will leave a lot of gaping and cause underwires to dig in since there isn’t enough breast tissue to fill out the cup. You do have to “estimate up” in the cups, but too much room will just have the wires digging into your body. With such a full cup pre-baby (read: an even fuller, heavier cup during pregnancy), you really can’t skimp on the support. You have to get bras that fit NOW — not in 3 weeks.
Q: What about the empty space on the bottom of the cups?
Linda: That empty space at the bottom of your cups meant that the back was too loose and riding up, causing the bra to slip down in the front.
Q: Why did I get those wretched gashes?
Linda: With a bigger back (as they suggested), not only will your breasts droop and wires fall down onto your belly, but it will slip and slide all day, causing major friction and irritation.
Q: And what was the deal with the band ending up sitting a bit lower on my underbust? Was that something to be concerned about?
Linda: A bra may need to sit a tad higher during pregnancy, but the underwire or band of the bra should always sit directly under the breast tissue. Not on it, not 1/8″ under it–directly under it. Some women who are very petite, short waisted, or carrying very high cannot wear an underwire for this reason during pregnancy, especially during the third trimester. Your bra should never slide around during the day. That means the bra is too loose and not tacking on your body. If that’s happening but wearing a smaller band size is too uncomfortable, try a non-underwire bra. Comfort and support are key during pregnancy!
Q: Finally, some of my other well-fitting bras did leave some red marks, but they weren’t painful, like these were. I know some of this is because my skin is more sensitive, like you mentioned before, but in general, is that okay?
Linda: You have elastic strapped around your body, so it’s almost impossible to avoid red marks! Painful digging and discomfort is not ok, but a little indentation around the bust it no biggie. Try lots of different bra styles and see what feels best. Just remember, your body will be changing so much during this time that it may be hard to find a style that feels fabulous for more than a month or so.
Okay! So…with the cups so big, my tissue didn’t fill them out and caused the wires to dig in, and the too-loose band left those digging-in wires to move around my breast tissue, especially at the center gore. Voila: the painful results pictured (I won’t make you look at them again in this post; I’ll just let you click through if you really, really want to!). My takeaways from all Linda’s feedback?
- TIP #1:
Even if you think it may feel more comfortable, don’t get a band that’s too big! If your underwires don’t feel good, try other bra styles or a soft cup. (You can read my soft cup bra reviews here!)
- TIP #2:
Don’t go too big in the cups–you need a bra that fits now, or opt for a transition bra.
- TIP #3:
Try a softcup bra if you are petite, short-waisted, or carrying high and an underwire is causing you too much pain.
I know, I know, this means maybe you have to end up buying more bras throughout pregnancy. Seriously, who wants to spend so much money on bras when you could likely be in and out of them in a month? But each time I wasn’t in a bra that fit well, I had issues–a breast yeast infection from a too big band in my second trimester, and then these painful gashes…so this is a bra issue that I’d file under “Health.” And remember, there are a few easy ways to try and cut down on how many bras you need throughout pregnancy.
So how bad was it buying bras that fit “now” once I was out of the size range of most transition bras and the Panache Andorra available in my size didn’t work with my breast shape? I needed to buy bras with regular cups, unfortunately, so I’ll cover how that shaped up in my next post!