How to Pick the Right Bra Size for your Postpartum Breasts

How to Pick the Right Bra Size for your Postpartum Breasts

Sep 22 , 2021

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Megan McDonough

In case you missed the big news, our Lilu Massage Bra is now available in L and XL sizes! This was a big goal of ours from the beginning, and we’re beyond excited to offer more mamas our bra, so they can pump more milk in less time. 

A big thank you to all the moms who have patiently awaited our new sizing. We always love reading your emails and DM’s and can’t wait to hear your feedback. 

When it came time to start our design process for L and XL bra sizes, we enlisted the help of Irene Mak. As a creative and strategic expert in product development and technical design execution of refined clothing for retail, Irene helped narrow in on the pinpoints many women face when trying to find the right bra size. 

Scroll below to learn more about how your breasts change during pregnancy and after giving birth, plus sizing tips from Mak. 

How your breasts change during pregnancy

You'll probably start noticing changes in your breasts during the early stages of pregnancy—the size will increase and your nipples may feel tender. This is all due to hormonal changes happening in the body; you’re growing another human after all! For some women, their areolas and nipples grow darker in color; however, this fades after giving birth. 

Another culprit is colostrum. While this ‘super food’ for your baby usually comes in during their first 24 to 36 hours, it’s not uncommon for women to see colostrum leaking out during pregnancy. Don’t worry; this won’t affect your milk production once your baby is born. 

There’s so much on your mind as you plan for your baby to arrive, so we suggest treating yourself to a few maternity bras as you go along. Adjustability is key! 

How your breasts change after pregnancy

For many moms, the most significant change in their breast size comes a few days after giving birth, especially once colostrum is replaced by breast milk. Since newborns feed every couple of hours, your breasts will feel large and full most of the time. This is your body’s way of matching the growing nutritional needs of your little one. 

As the volume of your milk increases, your breasts might become engorged, which can be really painful. In a previous post, we covered how to heal blocked ducts, milk blisters and nipple blisters. Working with a lactation consultant or counselor, taking ibuprofen and wearing breast shields are a few ways to alleviate the pain you are feeling. 

When you stop breastfeeding, you may return to your normal weight but not your normal bra size. It really depends on so many factors and every mama’s journey looks different. 

How to size for a normal bra 

According to Mak, most women struggle with knowing their correct bra size. Pregnancy, age, body changes, weight gain/loss all impact bra size. Here are a few things to keep in mind: 

    • Know when to let go. Old bras stretch out and become distorted, so just because you can get your body into it doesn’t mean it fits properly. Out with the old, in with the new.
    • Evaluate how your breast tissues fill the bra cup. Do not settle for a poor fit. 
    • Treat yourself to ‘bra shopping’ where you go into the store or order online and try different styles and sizes. Wearing a well-fitting bra feels good. 
    • Get measured by a professional on a regular basis, especially during stages when your weight or bra size fluctuates (see below). 

How to size for a pumping bra

If you are already pumping and know your bra and cup size postpartum, our sizing chart is pretty straight forward. However, if you are currently pregnant and not yet sure what size you’ll need, we suggest sizing up at least one cup size and one inch around the waist. 

The important thing to remember is that your breast size is going to fluctuate. We offer a sizing chart as well as free shipping and free returns. This way, if you try on the bra and find that it’s not the perfect fit, you can swap it out for a different size. You can always reach out to us with specific questions via our live chat option on our Shop page.

“The importance of fit flexibility is key for a nursing mom,” explains Mak. “Lilu designed the bra to enable the mom to manage the fit as her body adjusts to nursing. The straps and underband are all in comfortable elastics that can easily adjust to be the perfect size.”

Lilu is a Women’s Health company building tech-enabled devices to empower new moms. Our first product, the Lilu Massage Bra, mimics compression massage, so you can empty your breasts fully to establish, increase and maintain your milk supply. Pump up to 50% more milk each session, all while going hands-free.
Lilu Massage Bra with flanges

Lilu Massage Bra


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