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Wednesday, 25 April 2007


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I am not going to laugh too much - before I made the best decision I've ever made to reduce my huge boobs (I was a 38DDD, and sometimes popped out of THOSE cups), I had the hardest time finding bras which worked well AND didn't look like my Aunt Maud's.

I feel your pain, hon.


Ooh, ooh! I actually have something useful to say! I am quite large-breasted myself, and I LOVE the Victoria's Secret non-underwire IPEX bra. It only comes up to a DD, but is extremely comfortable, much more supportive than you'd expect, and yet underwire-free. Worth a try, maybe?


I never heard that underwires were verboten during pregnancy, and wore nothing else until the very end when I moved into maternity sports bra styles. And I'm still breastfeeding at 14 months with no problems.

That said, maybe non-wired sportsbras or nursing bras would help. Nursing bras have the advantage of an extra layer of (light) support. I like both the medelas and the bravados (for sports bra style nursing bras).


Oh...this was just awful. I wore an old, stretched-out 36C for my entire pregnancy and was not terribly happy with it, but it was so much better than anything that I found in the maternity stores.


Sigh. Pregnancy really trashed my boobs, I'm a bit terrified to see what happens to them when I'm done breastfeeding.
And the maternity bras are dreadful, really, really dreadful.


Too funny- thanks for the laugh (sorry its at your expense.) I don't have much to offer here since I was a B cup before pregnancy. I haven't had the energy to get measured or anything and have been making due with old sports bras and prior maternity bras, but it would probably be better if I got my butt over to a lingerie store.


I admit that I wore underwire bras throughout pregnancy and most of breastfeeding. I was a 34C before pregnancy, was up to a 36D by 8 weeks, and was at a 36DDD by the end of pregnancy before my milk came in. It was miserable for a while there. There's just not a bra that I've found to be supportive that doesn't have underwires when you're that big. And none of them are pretty. Happily, they do go away (usually). I'm at a 32D now. A floppy 32D, but a 32D nonetheless. At least there are more bra choices!


I sympathise, I ended up going to m.otherca.re as I couldn't find anything anywhere else. That said have you checked out the miriam Stoppard range at de.benhams. They include at least one wired one which she designed for during pregnancy so it must be ok since she's a doctor. I can't find them online but she mentions them here: http://www.miriamstoppard.com/sub_section.asp?subid=37


If underwire is what you need, then buy underwire. As we all know books and "experts" are only guidelines. I was a B before pregnancy and only went to a C cup now, I'm breastfeeding.

I wanted to say there may be light at the end of the tunnel re:uneven boobs. My daughter would only nurse from the left breast for awhile and hard as I tried she never really evened out. Now my left breast is bigger than my right. Maybe you could do this to skew things in your favor? Even if it is only while your breastfeeding. :D

Betty M

Did you try Br@vissi.mo or Figle@v.es? I can't remember if I already gave you my plastic surgeon friend's advice which was that a) wear a bra (that fits) at all times - yup at night too - really sexy and b) try and stick to underwired unless specifically designed for pregnancy - this was nothing to do with b/feeding but shape preservation post birth and b/feeding. Although why he was trying to cut down his private practice in this way I don't know!


Hi, I recommend a really good sports bra (shock absorber are nice). They aren't girly or sexy in the traditional way and they do restrict the clothes that you can wear. They are very comfortable and supportive which for me outweighs the drawbacks, though my mum thinks it looks like I have one boob!

Emma Jane

I think they may have been discontinued, but if you can find the Wacoal nursing bras anywhere, my goodness, are they good bras.

I was teensy until I got pregnant, then got huge and have stayed nearly huge while breastfeeding. I mostly wore Bravados, out of fear of underwires, through most of the first year... and then I got the only Wacoal nursing bra I could find in my size anywhere, and I love it to death. (It's even stretchy enough to gracefully handle the uneveness issue---see Heather's comment!)

Bravado has recently introduced underwire bras, and they claim to really care about large cup sizes.

Cat, Galloping

really? you can't were underwire bras while you're pregnant? i thought that was just during nursing. hmmm...


Dear Thalia, I'm still laughing at "bazongas," so I'm finding it hard to focus here. I, too, have had a nightmarish time all my life finding bras that fit -- though my problem tends to be that bras either pucker or cut into my rib cage... Now, strangely enough, I'm suddenly getting into a size that's available in stores. So yay! for my top half -- pity about the other one...


This brought back so many funny memories!

Do they have Spanx in the UK? They make something called a Bra-llelujah that I loved even though G found it uninspiring (to say the least). It doesn't have underwire, but that was just luck since I had never heard that tidbit until just now (?!!!). Good luck :)


Bravado (based in Toronto) do an excellent job at maternity bras/nursing bras, even for the big girls...bravadodesign.com


Bravissimo. Every time. And they are brilliant at fitting. They are in Covent Garden.

I think the underwire thing is a myth. I even looked it up on Medline when I was pregnant the first time, but it seems it is such a mad idea no-one has even bothered to research it.


PS I'm normally 34F. As a friend so sensitively said, heaven help me if I ever carry to full term.

And the Bravissimo people told me that 34F is more or less equivalent to 36E i.e. go up one back size, go down one cup size.


Bravado - they're excellent. Make sure you get fitted by somebody who knows them well. I'm still wearing mine, and they're fab.

Urban Chick

my mother told me it was rude to laugh at other people's misfortune

but really...i couldn't help myself! sorry!

(if we're talking rapid cup increase, if you can allow yourself to project this far ahead - i know, it's weird/scary - but wait until a couple of days after the birth: YIKES, just YIKES)

Urban Chick

my mother told me it was rude to laugh at other people's misfortune

but really...i couldn't help myself! sorry!

(if we're talking rapid cup increase, if you can allow yourself to project this far ahead - i know, it's weird/scary - but wait until a couple of days after the birth: YIKES, just YIKES)


Hahaha, very informative indeed. For a person like me who's never worn bras. They just don't make bras for the combo of large ribcage and tiny boobs. People (women!) asked me when I was pregnant how I was planning to breastfeed with 'non-existing' boobs. But they did fine, feeding two bubs exclusively for 10 months. I swear I could have fed triplets. When I was pregnant I bought one bra, and wore it maybe twice. The days after the birth I was in shock that I could have such ginormous boobs. From B to DD overnight. Can you imagine the tension? They felt like wood, and that hurts A LOT. So much that I couldn't even wear a t-shirt... I really wonder to what size yours will blow up to...
When I was breastfeeding I sometimes wore some kind of top while horseriding. When I wore a bra for a whole day I got mastitis.
Now I've finished breastfeeding. I worried ending up with 'tea bags' but they look allright. A bit sad to say farewell to my clevage...


Most of the growth in the first three months? No underwires while pregnant either? Huh. Didn't know that. I went in for a re-fitting this weekend, at 16 weeks, 4 days. I started out a 32C, and am closer to a 32D now. That's it. Not quite a measly cup size. My lower cut bras are out, the fuller coverage ones are still ok. The 32 makes it hard for me to buy bras anywhere other than better department stores and specialty lingerie stores. VS doesn't carry my size, and many maternity stores don't go as low as a 32 either. Well, perhaps, I'll top out here and not need more, if most of the growth is over or my ribs will actually expand and make it to a 34? Who knows.

Also, as Katie said, while the up a band and down a cup size rule will give you equivalent cups, but the band measurement is different and 90% of the support should come from the band. So, be careful about substituting. You really want the band to fit properly.


My boobs didn't grow with pregnancy or breastfeeding, so I'm not much help, but I thought the no underwire thing wasn't until you actually start breastfeeding to prevent plugged ducts. I hadn't heard about during pregnancy.

Bitter Mama

I'm going to chime in on the don't worry about underwires while pregnant tune. They absolutely will not ruin your breasts for breastfeeding. You can even try them out while breastfeeding... if you get a plugged duct, work it out and switch to un-underwired. I did have to switch to un-underwired for breastfeeding due to frequent plugged ducts and my are they truly hideous (especially now that I'm wearing my five pitifully worn out nursing bras for another year of breastfeeding). I plan to burn them as soon as the wee girl is weaned.


Without an underwire, mine are dangerous to the point of lethal weapons. I can't even imagine not having them under control with underwires. Ever.

Carla Hinkle

I went up 2 sizes during pregnancy ... once around 12 weeks, and again around 26 weeks ... so good lord, woman, you may end up something really impressive.

I think underwires are fine while pregnant, it's while breastfeeding that you need to worry about. If you need underwires (and it sounds like you do), by all means, get them.

That said, I have a lot of nursing sports bras that I find quite comfortable and supportive while breastfeeding (I started out a generous B and ended up a D while nursing). They have the added benefit of being thick enough to absorb the lovely leakage that never fails to happen. I get a bit of the uni-boob look, but hey, a girl can't have everything.


Always interested in boobs. (.)(.) See?

My Reality

I dread bra shopping. I don't know what I would do if I couldn't wear an underwire. I would need a boob sling to keep them north of my belly button.


I have the same trouble, except that one of my breasts is not quite so noticeably larger than the other. But that's not what I'm here to say. I want to say that I wore undersized underwires through my last pregnancy and had no trouble breastfeeding. I'm again wearing those undersized underwires as my only other choices (without going shopping) are my nursing bras. Yah, I need new bras, but right now I'm in the scary end of the alphabet not served by most department stores and I really hate to spend huge $$ at a specialty store for something I may only wear a few months. My undersized underwires aren't that uncomfortable, after all.


I breastfed two gigantic hungry boys whle wearing underwire bras no problem, same for every pregnancy, no issues, so I have no idea where that myth came from? as for ruined---mine are perky and small again years later, and were damned uneven from one kid preferring one boob over the other.

That said, Bravado is the best, and comes in size H, I swear to God. And sexy.


I'd heard the no-underwire while nursing thing, but hadn't heard that it applied to pregnancy. I don't even like underwires (understatement) but the two new bras I got were both Wacoal underwires (same brand, same size, one fits, the other doesn't). Otherwise, I'm mostly wearing stretched out old Decent Exposures bras (no underwire).

Good luck. I've heard Wacoal discontinued their nursing bra. The lingerie store I went to told me to wait till v. close to due date to get measured for a nursing bra.


The whole thing about them growing in the beginning is junk- they might very well get bigger still, Thalia.

I found some amazing maternity bras at Mimi Maternity (*I know they have a website). I wore an "E" at my biggest, and I found at least one that was uber supportive and comfy.

Good luck!


Oh the joys of pregnancy boobs! I don't miss that part one bit :)-

Ellen K.

I'm a smaller-busted girl, and I cannot stand wireless bras. They are not flattering. Support = uplift! I hope you find a good bra for your pregnancy.

Jo in Utah

I am sorry, but I did laugh at the mental image of your boob doing the pop out at work. I think a maternity store would be more likely to have a bra that would be more supportive. 17 weeks. I am in awe.


hee hee hee. laughing WITH you dear, of course!

I wore underwires throughout my pregnancy. nursed just fine. back to underwires now that i am back to work, and i am still pumping/nursing fine.

my breasts went from a nice 36D to a now 38DDDD.....i hope these puppies deflate when I wean....Lord knows I have bras in every size now.

and Bravado are good nursing bras. you are going to have so many bras by the time the little one arives! get fitted for nuring bras in your 3rd tri.


I too am the owner of "bazongas" and feel your pain. Underwires were the only way for me to go, and I found nursing bras for afterward that were underwires as well. I nursed for 14 months with no problems (duct issues were usually caused by going too long between feedings/pumps). The biggest thing is to find something that honest to God fits-and don't be worried about the size. I went from weaning to pregnant in two months, so I have no clue where I will end up this time-although I've already outgrown the bras that I wore at full term...just call me an amatuer porn star!


Like one of the commenters, I have a big ribcage and tiny breasts--36AA--so my specifics are very different. But the underwire avoidance is mostly for nursing so there's no obstruction in milk flow. I believe the caution for pregnancy is so you don't wear something so tight that you mess up your ducts prior to birthing, but I think that's unlikely.

I found Warner's had a good selection of non-underwire bras in wide bands and with good coverage. They were comfortable and stretchy.

Get used to wearing a bra at all times. I had to wear a bra 24/7 for each of the year+s that I nursed my kids, because I always had to wear breast pads, or I'd leak. I found the Bravado's reasonably comfortable for that.

waiting line

...I'm dreading buying a bigger bra. So far, I too have been dragging my feet but am now starting to pour out of my D cup (23w3d).... I'm going to rely on the great comments so far for guidance!

Lut C.

Well, I don't have your problem at all. Even at 13 weeks, I found myself trying on an A and AA bra. Enough said.
Still, finding a bra is hard for me too, since I have a large girth.


Wha?! No underwire? Nobody told me that. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one. I'm still waiting for the big expansion, though I'm afraid I may already have had it. I'm still rather small chested, though I do now, in the right light, at the right angle, have what you might conceivably call cleavage.


oh jeez. sounds agonizing. I haven't done the bra shopping yet - I've been managing to get by with a couple I had that was a little too big before. My boobs have grown some, but not too much yet. sounds like I have loads of fun to look forward to.

but I've never heard that bit about not wearing underwire while pregnant. why??

julie B

it's a nasty shock to put on a maternity bra after years of underwire; suddenly you have something resembling a loaf of bread under your top. However it's even more of a shock to put on an underwire bra after 8 months in maternity bra - god it's uncomfortable. And if that's not bad enough - when you get your period back? good grief! that dragging pain is unpleasant - you wonder how on earth you used to blithely go about life for 5 days!


Hoping the boob growth slows down a wee bit for you. I think someone else suggested tne non-underwire IPEX, very comfortable.


Buying a maternity bra made me cry! I was pregnant with my much-longed for first child, and all excited at the prospect of my first bit of maternity shopping. An hour later I was in floods of tears because all I'd found was unsympathetic staff and horrible giganormous white bras which didn't effing fit anyway. It was such a come-down.


I'm a 38DD. For pregnancy I love a N.ike non-underwire sportsbra. Very comfortable and very supportive. For nursing I prefer a nursing bra. If you get Brav.ado be sure to get their specialized, more expensive and more architectural large sizes, not the regular-model large Brav.ado which is stretchier and claims to work up and beyond a 38DD but gives inadequate support.

fisher queen

Oh girl wait till you nurse. You think the boobs are big now? My hope is that what they say about the boobs shrinking from their previous "normal" size after BFing is true. In the meantime, I've just become accusomed to my National Geographic sized ta tas.

Also- don't worry too much about the weight. I gained 60 lbs with the Bear if you include the IVF weight. Most of it has come off by now- mainly due to his voracious eating. Frankly I think I would have been wiped out if I hadn't gained the weight. Maybe your body is preparing you for a little gourmand.


I read and was told that underwires are OK during pregnancy as long as the bra fits. I went up from 34B before my pregnancy to 34C to 34D to 34DD in quick succession. I am only 5 months pregnant and the 34DD (or E in Europe) already feels tight! I was convinced to invest in a Chantelle bra, and I LOVE IT. Perfect support, completely invisible under clothes (especially with the dreadful constant erect nipples of pregnancy), and pretty! I say, get a good well fitted bra. There is no reason for you to wear uncomfortable, scratchy, cheap bras at such an uncomfortable period of your life. I am usually a cheapo, but I am so glad I splurged. Good luck in your search and keep us updated!

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