To understand why it is important to wear a maternity bra is is good to know how the breasts change during pregnancy.
The female breast comprises of connective tissue, glands, fat and a covering of skin. It does not contain any muscle but sits upon the musculo-skeletal frame. In the early months of pregnancy hormones start to stimulate the breast glands enlarging your chest. In addition, water is stored in the tissue, so that each breast gains around 300 to 500 grams in weight during pregnancy. Other changes include your nipples becoming larger and darker, and the blood vessels under the surface may become more visible. Don't worry if your breasts do not grow significantly, as breast size is directly related to the stores of fat in the breast and not the size of your milk producing structures. Small boobs can produce enough milk, just as well as large boobs.
Growth of the breast during pregnancy
|Normal condition||Growth phase|
This growth puts a great strain on both the skin and the connective tissue of the breast. If it is not given sufficient support, its form can change and unsightly stretch marks can occur on the skin. If the mum-to-be has a large bust, she can also suffer from painful tension across the shoulders, back and neck.If your breasts grow sufficiently to make your bra feel tight, then it is worth considering a maternity bra. This may seem extravagant, but it is better to do so than feel uncomfortable.
Maternity bras provide support as they are designed to expand along with the growing breast, providing sufficient support and room to grow throughout pregnancy.
Maternity bras, such as those from Anita and Emma-Jane are made of soft, stretch fabric which ensure a particularly high level of comfort and do not irritate the sensitive breast. They adapt perfectly to the growing breast without restriction and with the wide, adjustable straps effectively relieve strain across the shoulders, back and neck. With optimum support through to the larger sizes a good maternity bra can help or minimise the appearance of stretch marks. (sadly some women will still get stretch marks no matter what bra they wear and how much vitamin e oil they use)
If you still feel it is extravagant to purchase a Maternity Bra, then opt for a Nursing Bra in preparation for breastfeeding.
Information provided by Anita Maternity Underwear