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Are You Wearing the Right Bra Size?

Recommendations for Nursing Bras:

  • It is best to purchase bras when the one you are wearing becomes uncomfortable and not supportive as the breasts increase in size. This usually occurs about 2-6 weeks before your due date or as needed for comfort and support.
  • Three nursing bras is the ideal number to purchase. You will have the one you are wearing, one that is ready to wear and one that is drying.
  • To preserve the life of your bras, wash in warm water on a gently cycle or by hand and line dry.

Method for Determining Bra Size:

Stand up straight with both arms held straight out to your sides.

For the band size (32, 34, 36, etc.), take a tape measure and place it under your arms. Make sure the tape measure does not slip down your back. Lower your arms. If you measure an odd number, add one inch. For example if you measure a 33, add one and your band size is 34.

There are two steps to determine the cup size. Place the measuring tape loosely around the fullest part of the breasts and across the nipples. This will again give you a number (36, 37, 40)...etc. Take this number and subtract the band number from this number. The difference between the numbers will give you your cup size.  For example:

   40 inches = bust measurement
- 36 inches = band measurement
    4 inches difference; In this instance, the cup size is D. See the guide for cup sizes below.

 Difference in Inches Cup Size
 Less than 1  AA
 1  A
 2  B
 3  C
 4  D
 5  DD
 6  DDD (E in UK Sizing)
 7  DDDD / F (F in UK Sizing)
8  G/H

Criteria for a Perfect Fit

  • Bra cups should be smooth with no wrinkles.
  • The bra cup should provide adequate coverage over the entire breast without squeezing out tissue from the sides of the cups or under the armpit.
  • Your bra should provide a snug fit. One or two fingers should fit under the band. If more fingers fit, then the band is too big.
  • The band should be at the same level all the way around, even through the middle of the back. If it is riding up your back, it is probably too big.
  • The center panel of the bra should be flat against the chest between the cups. It shouldn't be digging into your skin.
  • When the middle hook of the bra is fastened, your bra should feel comfortable. This allows the band, to be loosened or tightened as needed.

If you would like a professional bra fitting, stop in our Great Beginnings lactation shop in the front lobby of The Women's Hospital. We also have a variety of nursing bras and supplies.


Posted: 10/31/2013 3:24:57 PM by Julia Baumeyer | with 0 comments