all the support you need:
buying a maternity bra

Between eight and ten weeks into your pregnancy your breasts will begin to change and you may start to outgrow your normal bras[1] . So when you know your little one’s on the way, it’s a great idea to invest in a special maternity bra.

Finding the best maternity bra for your changing shape is simple once you know a few key details, and our guide will help you to choose the perfect one. We know how important it is for mums-to-be to feel comfortable, which is why we speak to midwives and pregnant women when designing new bras.

mum-to-be in mothercare maternity lingerie admiring her baby bump

tender breasts: when to get a maternity bra

A couple of months into your pregnancy, you’ll notice that your breasts become fuller and more tender. It’s one of the wonderful ways your body tells you that you’re definitely expecting, and a gentle hint that your normal bras soon won’t fit as well as they did.

Most mums-to-be notice this change at around 12 weeks, so it’s worth booking an appointment and getting fitted for a maternity bra after four or five weeks. That way you'll be ahead of the game before your breasts become slightly swollen and your normal underwired bras start feeling a little uncomfortable.

like a glove: why maternity bras are the perfect fit

During pregnancy and while breastfeeding, the average mum will go up two underband and four cup sizes. Every mum is different of course, but this change doesn’t happen overnight to any of us, so there's plenty of time to get used to your changing shape. But the size increase does highlight why comfortable maternity bras are so important. This is what makes them different:

  • they’re adjustable – with at least four hook positions, you can adjust your underband throughout the day
  • they offer more support – maternity bras have a fuller cup shape, deeper centre front and wider straps
  • they’re made from fabrics which are breathable – normal bras are usually made from a mix of viscose, cotton and polyester. Maternity bras are primarily made from cotton, which allows your skin – which may be warmer than usual during pregnancy – to breathe easier[1] . They also have brushed back elastics which feel soft against your skin.

fitting help: our personalised service

We're with you every step of the way when it comes to making sure that your pregnancy bra fits properly. Our friendly staff at all mothercare stores are specially trained to offer professional bra fitting at each stage of your pregnancy. Consider us your personal bra fitting guide and guru.

By talking through your individual needs, our specialists can recommend the perfect bra. This means you’ll receive all the support you’ll need, from the first weeks of pregnancy to the first weeks of being a new mum.

While maternity bras are adjustable, we recommend being fitted every six to eight weeks to make sure you’re as comfy as can be. Feel free to go for a fitting whenever your bra starts to feel a little uncomfortable though. You can book a bra fitting appointment online or buy your maternity bra online and check the fit in store with one of our specialists.

pregnant mum relaxing in mothercare maternity lingerie

To find your perfect fit, book your complimentary bra fitting appointment online today.

Click here to book.

maternity bra timeline: how your body will change

  • 1st trimester – once you’ve chosen your maternity bra, we recommend it’s fitted on the first hook position with the cups not too tight, this will allow you to adjust as your breast size gradually increases.
  • 2nd trimester – between 12 and 28 weeks your rib cage will also expand to accommodate your beautiful bump. Your back and cup measurements will increase during this period, so it’s just a case of having another fit and adjusting your maternity bra accordingly
  • 3rd trimester – between 28 and 40 weeks it’s a good idea to have at least one more fit, especially if your current bra feels a bit tight
a pregnant mum holding her baby bump
  • feeding bra – from 36+ weeks it's the perfect time to be fitted for a feeding bra, which is essentially a maternity bra with a drop clips and retainer straps so that the bra strap stays in place even when feeding. The fitter will consider your current bust size and how much this is likely to increase, usually one cup size bigger for when your milk comes in. Made with breathable fabrics and enclosed inner cup seams for extra comfort. The feeding bra also has extra hook and eye fastenings to adjust to your changing shape post birth
  • sleep bra – try a sleep bra which will provide gentle support during pregnancy and while you nurse. A sleep bra will also keep breast pads in place during the night whilst still making night nursing easy with cross over designs or nursing clips
  • sports bra – maternity sports bras are designed to offer support and comfort whether you’re heading to the gym for a workout or dressing for a yoga session. Features include specialist fabrics, seam-free designs, padded straps and built in support

different styles: some suggestions

During pregnancy as your body changes, it’s more important than ever to make sure that you are wearing the best possible maternity bras properly fitted to support your new curves. A good collection of maternity lingerie is a must for a mum-to-be and you’ll find the maternity clothing collection at mothercare is expertly designed and includes bras in the latest seasonal trends, crafted from beautiful fabrics and with pretty detailing. So whether you’re looking for an everyday maternity support bra, something gorgeously girly, a pretty and practical nursing bra or a comfy sleep bra, we are here to support and advise you.


You can browse mothercare's maternity lingerie range here >>


[1]. Buying A Maternity, Baby Centre. [Accessed May 2019]