When it comes to pregnancy and postnatal life there’s one thing that all mamas need: a great supportive bra! A comfy nursing bra is a necessity in your maternity wardrobe. If you are breastfeeding, your nursing bra will become a second skin (as well as your new BFF!). We’re here to help you find the perfect fit, where to shop, and explain the changes to your breasts during and after 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. To help, here’s a handy guide on what to expect and how to stay comfortable and supported (bra-wise at least!) throughout your pregnancy, during the breastfeeding stage, and beyond.
From small to larger bosoms, we’ve listed the best shops in Hong Kong to get fitted for a bra as well as online shops so you can shop at your own convenience.
Understanding Your Breast Changes Before You Buy A Nursing Bra
Your breast size will fluctuate constantly during pregnancy and after giving birth, so we thought we’d break down what you should expect in six stages, to help give you an idea of what type of bra you should be wearing at each point:
Breast Changes In The First Trimester
As early as the first three months of pregnancy, you’ll experience dramatic changes in your cup size, possibly by up to three cup sizes. 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. Many get very sore boobs at this stage so it’s worth investing in a comfortable wireless bra.
Breast Changes In The Second Trimester
Your bras from your first trimester may be feeling increasingly snug, as well as other items in your wardrobe, so again listen to your body and adjust your bra size 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 underwired bra, just make sure that it fits properly.
Breast Changes In The 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 from the first three to six months of your pregnancy will also come in handy here.
Your breast size during the eight to nine month of pregnancy will most likely be your nursing cup size 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).
Breast Changes Immediately post-birth (baby is 0 to 4 weeks)
You will need the most comfortable bras during this stage (…as well as plenty of sleep, back rubs and to be showered with adoration because you deserve it!) because immediately post-birth there will be some engorgement as your breasts learn to regulate their milk supply. It’s not recommended to wear a cupped-size bra during the fourth-trimester, in order to avoid mastitis or other discomfort and pain. Your trusty seamless bra will, once again, come in handy here.
Breast changes four-plus weeks postpartum and during breastfeeding
From four to eight weeks post-birth, breasts will return to the size they were at eight 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-wired 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 the rigid wire found in mainstream bras.
Continuing breastfeeding with solids and weaning
As you continue breastfeeding, or feeds become less frequent after introducing solids, you will most likely see continued changes in your 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).
Where To Get Measured For Your Nursing Bra In Hong Kong
Sheer – Size A to F nursing bras
Sheer continues to hold its place as Hong Kong’s premiere lingerie destination with its curated collection of over 40 international designer labels, selling cup sizes A to F and offering an expert in-store complimentary bra fitting service (nursing and maternity wear included!). Some breastfeeding-friendly bras are a little pricey but you’ll find plenty of practical and a popular choice for nursing mums.
Mothercare – Shop for bras in-store with fitting service at the Lee Garden shop
Ah Mothercare, where would we be without it? If you’re not familiar, Mothercare is a British retailer born back in the 1960s 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. Though they have six locations across Hong Kong, you can only get measured at its Lee Gardens location.
Mother Court – Maternity wear and in-store nursing bra fitting service
A go-to for designer maternity and baby goods. Bra measuring services are available in three of its stores, though you’re most likely to find the most options of nursing bras and stylish maternity wear at the Central store.
MotherCourt, Shop G03, Man Yee Building, 68 Des Voeux Rd Central (entrance on Pottinger Street), Hong Kong, 2522 8934
MotherCourt, Shop 5B, G/F, 33 Sharp Street East, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, 2890 6288
Wing On – Nursing bras and maternity wear
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 the city, it gets very busy at the weekend so choose your timing wisely. We’re already struggling enough with being preggo in the heat, we don’t need to fight our way through even more crowds!
Wing On, various locations across Hong Kong
Marks and Spencer – Maternity and nursing lingerie with UK sizing
If we can’t survive without Mothercare, then there is no way we can forget about M&S! It’s a mamas 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 34E, you can order it online via the UK site and you’ll end up saving a little bit more. Prices start from around $200.
H&M – Low cost high street nursing bras
H&M is a great affordable option for nursing bras (and maternity wear for that matter) 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.
Gennie’s – Bespoke nursing bra fitting service
Originally founded in Taiwan, Gennie’s has a range within the SOGO department store and a store on Lee Garden Road. It offers a good selection of maternity and nursing underwear and a personal fitting service. No matter how many months pregnant you are, this bespoke service takes measurements that allow for the inevitable growth! We’d recommend to call ahead and book in to make sure you can be seen by its trained shop assistants.
Gennie’s, Shop 23, 7F, SOGO, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, 2838 4938, www.sogo.com
Gennie’s, 56 Lee Garden Rd, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, 2504 5885, www.gennies.com.hk
Sassy Mama Tip: Eugene Baby is also worth checking out as nursing bra fitting can be done in store. As a side note, Uniqlo also deserves a special shout out for its selection of women’s maternity wear, including the ultra-stretch jeans and leggings pants, which we love!
Where To Get Nursing Bras In Hong Kong: Online Stores That Deliver
The good news is, shopping for nursing bras gets easier and better once you are confident that you know your current size. Although bras do vary depending on the cut, style and even brand, so keep that in mind when ordering online. So once you know your fit, try online. There are many online shops with great maternity bra selections that will deliver to you.
Baby Basics – Simple, non-wired maternity bras
Once an in-store shop, Baby Basics is now available online only. Not only does it stock everything you might need to get ready for your new arrival (including cots, bottles, bibs…you name it!) but it also has a range of maternity and nursing bras perfect for your growing bosom. Think no-frills, non-wired nursing bras, which are perfect for comfort.
Baby Central – Online mum and baby shopping favourite in Hong Kong
A familiar name on the Hong Kong baby shopping scene, Baby Central stocks a range of different feeding bras and pumping bras from Bravado, Belly Bandit, Haakaa and Youha.
Milky Mama – Online nursing lingerie and maternity essentials
With a mission to supply fashionable and practical maternity and nursing clothing and products, at Milky Mama you’ll find nursing bra and maternity pants sets, plus other useful items like the Haakaa handsfree breast pump bra.
Petit Tipi – New mum and new baby essentials
Bravissimo – Huge range of nursing bras for larger breast sizes
For those slightly more blessed in the boob department, Bravissimo is a great option for larger sized maternity and nursing bras (we’re talking HH+). With non-wired, soft cup (great for lift, support and separation – no sweaty mono-boob here in the summer!), sleeping and sports bra options – with maternity swimwear included– this UK-based store ships to Hong Kong and takes around a week to arrive. If the items are not the right size, you can return them for an exchange or refund (paying a small fee at the Hong Kong Post Office). But note, you can only return by standard delivery as the customer service team in the UK cannot sign for tracked deliveries. We’ve never had any issues returning items though.
Seraphine – Great for maternity wear and nursing
A well-known name in the world of maternity wear, Seraphine has a good selection of nursing bras. We especially love this sensory maternity bra with a black and white animal print on one side, perfect for curious developing eyes. Delivery costs around $150 and takes five to seven working days.
Nursing Bra Shop – The name says it all!
Another online shop that stocks some of the best nursing bras in the market. With sleep nursing bras, wire-free, soft cup options and more, you’ll find whatever you need. It offers fast international delivery, too, if you need some support stat (a bargain at only $10 for shipping)!
ASOS – Low cost nursing bras online
ASOS has definitely upped its maternity wear game. It has a whole dedicated section to nursing wear. There’s a variety of reasonably priced tanks, tops and dresses specially designed for new mums, too. A special shout out goes to the double layered tops ($392 for a pack of two), which are perfect for summer in the 852 and keep breastfeeding on the go.
Other Places To Shop For Maternity And Nursing Bras
Baby Online, www.babyonline.com.hk
Next Direct, www.nextdirect.com/hk
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on 25, May 2018 by Czarina Sunga and updated in January 2022 by Alex Purcell Garcia.