Guest Writer: Sheena with Facebabies.com
After the beautiful journey of breastfeeding, it’s important to find a bra that fits your changed breasts perfectly. However, measuring your bra size post-breastfeeding can be challenging due to various changes in your breasts’ size, shape, and firmness. In this detailed guide, we’ll walk you through the process of accurately measuring your bra size to ensure optimal comfort and support.
Understanding Post-Breastfeeding Changes:
Breastfeeding brings about significant changes in your breasts, and it’s essential to familiarize yourself with these changes to understand your new bra size requirements. Some common changes include shrinkage and loss of breast volume, changes in breast shape and firmness, and variations in breast size and asymmetry.
Preparing for Accurate Measurements:
Before you embark on measuring your bra size post-breastfeeding, it’s crucial to take a few steps to ensure the accuracy of your measurements. These preparations will help you obtain the most precise and reliable results, leading to a well-fitting bra that offers optimal comfort and support. Follow these guidelines to prepare for accurate measurements:
- Wait until breastfeeding is completely finished:
It’s recommended to wait until you have completely weaned your baby from breastfeeding before measuring your bra size. This allows your breasts to stabilize in terms of size, shape, and firmness. It typically takes a few weeks or months after weaning for your breasts to settle into their new post-breastfeeding state.
- Give your body time to adjust and stabilize:
Even after weaning, your breasts may undergo some changes as they gradually return to their pre-pregnancy state. Give your body sufficient time, usually a few weeks, for these changes to occur and for your breasts to reach a more consistent size and shape. This will ensure that your measurements accurately reflect your post-breastfeeding breast size.
- Choose the right time of day for measurements:
The time of day can affect the size and fullness of your breasts. It’s advisable to measure your bra size when your breasts are not swollen or engorged. Many experts recommend measuring in the morning when your breasts tend to be less swollen and before any activities or external factors, such as heat or physical exertion, can cause temporary changes in breast size.
- Gather the necessary tools for measurement:
To measure your bra size accurately, you will need a soft measuring tape and a mirror. A soft measuring tape is ideal because it easily conforms to the contours of your body. If you don’t have a measuring tape, you can use a piece of string or ribbon and measure it against a ruler or a flat surface to determine the length. Additionally, having a mirror will help you position the measuring tape correctly and ensure that it lies horizontally around your body.
Measuring Your Band Size:
Finding the correct band size is crucial for a well-fitting bra. Follow these detailed steps to measure your band size accurately:
1. Wear a non-padded, comfortable bra or no bra at all:
It’s important to have your breasts in a natural state to get the most accurate measurement. Avoid wearing heavily padded or push-up bras, as they can alter your breast shape and affect the measurement.
2. Stand in front of a mirror and wrap the measuring tape around your ribcage, just beneath your breasts:
Position yourself in front of a mirror to ensure the measuring tape is straight and parallel to the ground. Take a soft measuring tape and wrap it snugly around your ribcage, just beneath your breast tissue. The tape should be positioned horizontally and lie flat against your skin.
3. Ensure the tape is snug but not too tight:
The measuring tape should be firm against your body, providing a snug fit around your ribcage. However, it should not be overly tight, as this may result in an inaccurate measurement. You should be able to breathe comfortably while wearing the tape.
4. Take note of the measurement in inches or centimeters:
Once you have wrapped the measuring tape around your ribcage, check the measurement at the point where the end of the tape meets the rest of it. Read the measurement in inches or centimeters. It is recommended to note down the measurement in both units for convenience when purchasing bras.
5. Alternative methods if a measuring tape is unavailable:
If you don’t have a measuring tape on hand, you can use a piece of string or ribbon to measure your band size. Wrap the string around your ribcage, mark the point where the end meets the rest of the string, and then measure the length of the string using a ruler or a flat surface.
Determining Your Cup Size:
Finding the correct cup size is crucial for achieving optimal comfort and support in your post-breastfeeding bras. Follow these detailed steps to determine your cup size accurately:
- Measure the fullest part of your breasts:
Using a soft measuring tape, wrap it around the fullest part of your breasts, making sure the tape is parallel to the ground. This measurement should be taken while wearing a non-padded bra or no bra at all. Take note of the measurement in inches or centimeters.
- Calculate the difference:
To determine your cup size, subtract your band size measurement (obtained in the previous section) from your bust measurement. The difference between these two measurements will help identify your cup size.
- Refer to a bra size chart:
Consult a bra size chart to determine your cup size based on the difference calculated in the previous step. Each inch or centimeter of difference corresponds to a different cup size. For example, if the difference is around 1 inch, it typically corresponds to an A cup, 2 inches to a B cup, 3 inches to a C cup, and so on. Different charts may vary slightly, so it’s advisable to refer to a reliable source or consult with a fitting specialist for more accurate guidance.
- Consider breast shape and fullness:
Keep in mind that cup size alone does not determine the perfect fit. Consider your breast shape and fullness as well. Some individuals may have shallow breasts, while others may have more projected or full breasts. This may affect the specific style or shape of bra that works best for you, even within your determined cup size.
- Adjust as needed:
It’s essential to try on bras in your determined cup size and assess the fit. Pay attention to how the cups enclose your breasts, ensuring they provide full coverage without any spillage or gaps. Additionally, check if the underwire (if present) rests comfortably against your ribcage without digging in or poking. Adjust the cup size if necessary, as different brands and styles may have slight variations in fit.
Tips for Bra Shopping Post-Breastfeeding:
When shopping for bras after breastfeeding, keep these tips in mind:
- Explore different bra styles suitable for changed breasts, such as full-coverage bras, balconette bras, or nursing bras if you’re still nursing.
- Try on bras before purchasing to ensure the right fit and support.
- Consider factors like comfort, support, versatility, adjustability, and ease of nursing (if applicable) when choosing a bra for everyday wear.
Finding the right bra size after breastfeeding is essential for your comfort, confidence, and overall well-being. By understanding the changes in your breasts, accurately measuring your band and cup size, and considering additional factors, you can find bras that provide the perfect fit and support. Embrace and celebrate your post-breastfeeding journey, and remember to prioritize self-care and body positivity as you navigate this new phase of your life.