Get set with the right bra for post-pregnancy
We know that preparing for the birth of a newborn means that you already have enough on your mind, besides thinking about your underwear. However, the risk of blocked milk ducts is something you don’t want to experience either (trust us!), but if 80% of women are wearing ill fitting bras, then this number is likely to be even higher for nursing women.
When you’re nursing, wearing a properly fitting bra is more important than ever. You’ll want to be comfortable and you need to be supported. Here’s a handy guide on what to expect and how to stay comfortable during your pregnancy (bra-wise at least!), during the breastfeeding stage and beyond. We’ve listed the best shops in Hong Kong where you can get fitted but also online shops so you can shop at your own convenience, which means more time at home for you with your new bundle of joy.
Some facts to know before you buy:
Your breast size will fluctuate constantly during pregnancy and after giving birth, so we thought we’d break down what you should expect into six stages, to help give you an idea of what type of bra you should be wearing at each stage.
Stage 1: First Trimester
As early as the first three months of pregnancy, you’ll experience dramatic changes in your cup size, possibly by up to 3 cups up. It’s not always necessary to wear a maternity bra during the first trimester but because your breasts are starting to swell, the best thing to do is to listen to your body.
Stage 2: Second Trimester
Your bras from your first trimester may be feeling increasingly snug, again, listen to your body, adjust bra sizes based on how it fits. This is the stage where some women also like to invest in a sleep bra for support and comfort during the night. Seamless, non-wired or flexi-wired bras which are less restrictive are perfect for this time. If you want to stick to your traditional underwire bra, just make sure that it fits properly.
Stage 3: Third Trimester
This is when your breasts first dramatically increase in size due to the introduction of the milk supply (it’s getting real now mama!). Your bosoms will be at their maximum size, weight and tenderness (we feel your pain) due to the milk production. Your seamless bra will also come in handy here from your first 3 to 6 months of pregnancy. Your breast size during the eight to ninth month stage of pregnancy will most likely be your nursing cup from when the baby is one month old until you introduce solids (your breast size will reduce then due to weight loss and less feeds therefore less milk production). This is the perfect time to get yourself fitted for a nursing bra (around 36/37 weeks).
Stage 4: Immediately post birth (Baby is 0 to 4 weeks)
You will need the most comfortable bras during this stage (and plenty of sleep, back rubs and showered with adoration because you deserve it) as immediately post birth there will be some engorgement as the breasts learn to regulate their milk supply. It’s not recommended to wear a cupped-size bra at this time to avoid mastitis or other discomfort and pain. Your trusty, seamless bra will once again, come in handy here.
Stage 5: 4+ weeks post pregnancy/breastfeeding
From 4 to 8 weeks post birth, breasts will return to the size they were at 8 months of pregnancy. This generally happens as the body has learnt just how much milk is required to feed your baby and it should, hopefully, no longer produce any excess. A flexi-wire nursing bra will give you added support and a flattering shape at this stage. The flexible nature of the wire is designed to move with your body and is much more comfortable than a rigid wire found in mainstream bras.
Stage 6: Continuing breast feeding with solids and weaning
As you continue breast feeding or feeds become less frequent after introducing solids, you will most likely see continued changes in your breast size. Often your breasts might drop to a smaller size, this is often due to weight loss and the introduction of solid foods to your baby’s diet which means less milk production. If you feel at any time that your bra is not fitting you as it should, it’s best to get re-fitted so that you are properly supported and unrestricted (well, as unrestricted as a bra will allow you to be…).
Find your perfect fit: where to get measured
Sheer continues to hold its place as Hong Kong’s premier lingerie destination with its curated collections of over 40 international designer labels, selling cup sizes A to F and expert in-store complimentary bra fitting service – nursing and maternity wear included! The Chantelle Merci Maternity T-Shirt Bra is a little pricey ($690) but is a practical everyday t-shirt bra and a popular choice for nursing moms.
Sheer, Shop 310, 3F, Landmark Atrium, Central, Hong Kong, 2388 2876, sheer.com.hk
Linea Negra Maternity
Founded in 2002 as a result of the lack of fashionable and flattering maternity clothing in Hong Kong (when the owner, Patty, was expecting her first child), Linea Negra Maternity sells around 30 sought-after maternity/nursing/pregnancy and postpartum skincare brands from around the world. It sells stylish clothes that you can continue to wear well after delivery, nursing and for when you decide to get back into shape (when you’re ready mama!). The Noppies Seamless Maternity and Nursing Bra ($320) is made from soft, stretchy, flexible fabric which can accommodate to any changes to your breast size throughout pregnancy and nursing.
Linea Negra Maternity, 7/F, 118 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, 2522 7966, lineanegra.com
Ah Mothercare, where would we be without it? If you’re not familiar, Mothercare is a British retailer born almost 50 years ago out of an idea to provide parents and parents-to-be with the best quality and most innovative products for their children, all under one roof. You can get measured at its Lee Gardens or iSQUARE locations.
Mothercare, Shop 208, 2/F iSQUARE, 63 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon,Hong Kong, 2312 0070; Shop 201-202, 2/F Lee Garden Two, 28 Yun Ping Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, 2504 1088, mothercare.com.hk
A go to for designer maternity and baby goods. Bra measuring services are available in all three of its stores, where you can find many options for nursing bras and stylish maternity wear.
Mothercourt, Room 107, 1/F, Melbourne Plaza, 33 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, 2522 8934; Shop 5B, G/F, 33 Sharp Street East, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, 2890 6288; Shop 29, Level 1, Discovery Park Shopping Centre, Tsuen Wan, N.T., Hong Kong, 3100 0089, mothercourt.com
A household name in the department store business in Hong Kong, you might just be surprised with the practical nursing bras and maternity wear options you’ll discover here. Just remember like most department stores in HK it gets very busy at the weekend so choose your timing wisely. We’re already struggling enough with being preggo in the Hong Kong heat, we don’t need to fight our way through even more crowds!
Wing On has multiple stores, see its locations here.
Mark & Spencer
If we can’t survive without Mothercare then there is no way we’re forgetting Marks & Sparks on our list. It’s a mum’s go-to shop (especially for those blessed with more up top and nursing mums). The only issue is that it sometimes runs out of certain sizes, but don’t worry, if the store doesn’t have your 34C, you can order it online via the UK site and you’ll end up saving a little bit more. Prices start from around $200.
Marks & Spencer has various locations in Hong Kong. Use its store locator to find a shop near you. Make sure to call before you go to make sure nursing bras are available in the specific store you are planning to visit. marksandspencer.com
Nothing too fancy here, but H&M can be a great affordable option for nursing bras, and comfortable chic maternity wear such as easy-to-wear dresses and cute blouses, perfect for when you need something unrestrictive. Choose from its many locations across Hong Kong; call ahead first to make sure they carry nursing/maternity wear in the store you plan to visit. Use the store finder here.
Sassy Mama Tip: Eugene Baby is also worth checking out, nursing bra fitting can also be done in store here, find the store locations here. As a side note, Uniqlo also deserves a spacial shout out for its selection of Women’s Maternity ultra stretch jeans and leggings pants which we love.
Once you know your fit – go online!
The good news is- shopping for nursing bras gets easier and better once you are confident that you know your right size! There are many online shops with great selections that will deliver to you. Check them out here:
Perfect for mums-to-be and new moms who need a little more time at home instead of battling the crowds; Mayarya offers free shipping and returns worldwide, and same day delivery to Hong Kong. We love this brand as you can request multiple sizes online and its staff will deliver your items straight to your home! You try them on and a courier will take any unwanted items back for you. Now, that’s service!
Sassy Mama Tip: Try the “Easy Fit Nursing and Sleep Bra” for effortless night-time feeding ($320).
One of the most recommended online shops for nursing bras. It’s easy to understand why in-the-know mums love Figleaves- with over 200 brands, they carry A-K cups, offering something for all women- whatever their shape, size and style. Figleaves is also a member of the Ethical Trade Initiative, ensuring that looking great does not come at the expense of others. It checks its suppliers to make sure products are manufactured in safe working conditions and that the people that make them are treated fairly and paid a fair wage. Props to that!
Sassy Mama Tip: Some of our favourite brands from Figleaves include: HOTMilk (starting at $370) and Heidi Klum Intimates for sexy and functional nursing bras (because nursing bras never have to be boring). Freya ($400), Royce ($300), Emma Jane ($200) are the best brands to look into for comfort and good value for money.
Mothers en Vogue:
Focused on natural fabrics (think cotton, linen, silk, bamboo and naturally derived yarns), MEV believes nursing mothers and babies benefit most from wearing natural textiles as these are most comfortable and breathable, reducing incidences of skin sensitivities or reaction. Check out MEV’s most popular t-shirt friendly nursing bra called “In the Clouds Too Nursing Bra” ($459), it’s easy to wear under fitted clothing, with a soft lace that adds a hint of sexiness.
Mothers en vogue, 2866 7171, mev-hongkong.com,
Another online shop that stocks the best nursing bras in the market. They have the Bravado ($275) and Anita ($400) nursing bras which mums swear by. They offer fast delivery too if you need a some support stat!
A fun online shop that aims is to inspire women with bigger bosoms to feel amazing, Bravissimo carries nursing bras to uplift and boost confidence. Bravissimo wants women to be able to ask themselves “which bra do I actually like?” rather than “what comes in my size?”. Aside from other established nursing bra brands, they also carry the pretty and practical Panache bras ($320).
There’s not the widest selection of nursing bras on ASOS but we absolutely love that it has a whole dedicated section on its site to nursing wear. There’s a variety of reasonably priced tanks, tops and dresses specially designed for new moms. A special shout out goes to the double layered tank tops ($192), which are perfect for summer in the 852 and keep everything discreet for when you’re breastfeeding on the go.