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Bras in big sizes

(23 Posts)
Magicpink Thu 17-Jan-13 11:39:41

I am having a complete trauma trying to find suitable bras to use when breast-feeding. I had one fitted in Bravissimo but i have returned it as i just couldn't stand the thought of wearing it...apart from being horrendous (really the least of my problems), it offered me virtually no support or shape.
I am currently 37 weeks pregnant. I was a 32G before pregnancy, and currently wearing a 34J which is fitting me fine at the moment, but the fitter at Bravissimo suggested i might go up in back size and cup size when my milk comes in, so fitted me with a 36K (but i don't know how well i can rely on that).
I have a hard time finding underwear normally and i find the whole experience upsetting but trying to find some with the added complications of being the size i am and ideally needing bras that either open at the front or can easily be yanked down is just sending my head spinning. Does anyone have any suggestions for me please? Based on the fact that i am now in a 34J, i know i'm going to need underwear that's bigger than that. Where do i go? Please help!
Stressed mum-to-be

LimeLeafLizard Thu 17-Jan-13 12:19:52

Hi - I am also 36 +6 and normally a 32FF / G, though I haven't grown as much in pregnancy. I recently bought the Anita bf bra from Amazon following advice on other threads here (do a search). It is great! They use US sizes though so check a converstion chart before ordering. I think I ordered 34I which is the same as UK 34G if I remember right.

I have found that post pregnancy in the first few days / weeks of BF, your boobs get huge, but back size goes back down to similar to what it was before pregnancy. Then as your milk supply settles, boobs aren't so huge either.

Squeakbgc Thu 17-Jan-13 12:27:51

Hi magicpink. Try for bras in larger sizes. I had the same problem and Bravissimo couldnt even find a bra with a decent enough fit blush. Happened to stumble across this site and got a couple of fabulous nursing bras (mine are the Bravado brand). Service and returns were a doddle. Can't recommend them highly enough grin . Hope you managed to get sorted x x

talulahbeige Thu 17-Jan-13 13:11:35

I have the exact same problem and am also tearing my hair out so you have my sympathies.
It amazes me that boobs get bigger and need lots more support but nobody makes decent bf bras that do the job.
Ill be watching this thread with interest and will share any thing i find, please do the same magicpink if you have any success .

Magicpink Thu 17-Jan-13 14:06:13

Thanks ladies, and i will do. Have been looking at the Bravado range online and ordered one to see what it's like (thank you Squeak). I can't believe there isn't provision out there for big boobed mums. Like you say Talulah, it isn't simply a case of making a bra big enough, it's the support it needs to have as well. It's so hard to go by what you see online...i want to be able to go somewhere and try them all on! It does get me down. I shall update with progress!

LimeLeafLizard Thu 17-Jan-13 15:57:35

I have a couple of Bravado bras from previous babies and although they are nice and comfy and smooth, the sizing seems a bit strange. OK if you have big back and small cup sizes but not so good for smaller back and larger cup. Also not especially supportive - great for in bed / around the house but not so good for out and about. They have introduced a couple of new styles though, maybe these are more supportive?

eminoxford Thu 17-Jan-13 16:44:05

does your local NCT have a bra fitting service?

csmm Thu 17-Jan-13 17:14:53

I have never been sold a bra in Bravissimo that has actually fit - all have ended up digging in between my ribs or giving me 4 boobs. I recently invested in some Hotmilk bras for pregnancy/bf - they have 6 hook and eye fastenings for back expansion, so allow quite a lot for expansion when milk comes in.
Think there's a gap in the market for a maternity bra which has an expandable cup...

KelleStar Thu 17-Jan-13 20:15:57

I found Anita and Royce say they are a 36J and in fact they are a 36H, as they are US/Continental so labelled the same as UK but are a size smaller, I had one of each. Miriam Stoppard & Elle MacPherson bras were having a laugh as they were smaller in the back and cup and it was returned. Elomi were quite good, I had a soft touch underwired bra once BF was established, the underwire is supportive but soft. In fact a normal underwired bra is fine when BFing as long as it fits well, but I prefer drop cups for convenience.

Before last pg was 34G went up to 34J when BFing and the start of this pg I am 36HH and I'm expecting to go up a cup size or two when i start BF.

Squeak for some reason they say they have 36K in stock [a friends size] and when you look they don't list them. Have you bought big cup sizes from them?

Kopparbergkate Thu 17-Jan-13 22:16:42

I'm finding a 38L Royce jasmine too small in the cup and too big in the back at the mo (not even 30 weeks yet - 32J pre-preg!). I had read that the Royce jasmine was US/Continental cup sizing, because it skips the double letters, it goes D,E,F,G,H etc rather than DD, E, F, G,GG etc BUT that all other Royce nursing bras were normal UK sizing. I've emailed them to ask and will post a reply if I get one.

Has anyone tried the Panache Sophie - it actually looks pretty (prettier than the sodding Royce ones anyway) and goes up to a (UK) J cup

louschmoo Thu 17-Jan-13 22:38:51

I have the Panache Sophie in a 34J. It is quite pretty but i find it very uncomfortable to be honest. Because my boobs are very heavy i really struggle with soft cup bras. The Sophie seems to just dig in round the ribs if i have it tight enough for any support, and if i loosen it then it digs into my shoulders instead. When BF DS i wore the anita underwired nursing bra in 34I (which is more like an H cup). Now i'm 30 weeks pregnant again i'm back in the anitas and they are reallly comfy as the underwire is quite flexible. The cups are a touch small but but the material is stretchy so they fit okay. Every time i've been fitted in bravissimo i've come away with bras that look absolutely fab - super perky etc - but they are always so tight that i get red weals all round my ribcage by the middle of the day sad. Boob reduction for me after this baby I think!

CookieMonster88 Thu 17-Jan-13 23:18:14

I second the hotmilk recommendation, expensive but lovely, just ignore the weird names they have given each style!! I have 3 on rotation, wash really well with the other baby bits.

My only grumble is that I was fitted at 38 weeks and the fitter gave me 38H when I'm normally 34GG, perfect cup size but a bit loose so don't believe everything you hear. I can understand going up a cup size but why would my ribcage expand post baby?!?

specialknickers Fri 18-Jan-13 08:07:39

Chipping in from the flat chested ladies department... My girls are now a whopping 38b and can I find a bra that fits, is supportive, not underwired and doesn't make me look like a fat nanna? Can I buffalo.

Seriously, WTF?

marriednotdead Fri 18-Jan-13 08:49:49

Specialknickers have you tried the Bravado Bodysilk?

Magicpink I'm sorry but the Bravado sizing is nowhere near true. They do a J/K in some styles but at best it's really about a GG angry

TBH the best I've found in 5 years as a bra fitter in the size you're quoting has been the Elomi wired one. It ain't sexy but in terms of support and shape, it's unbeatable.

turningitaround Fri 18-Jan-13 09:03:16

Hi OP - it's grim, isn't it? No great ideas, but just to confirm that I went from 36J at 30ish weeks to 36/38K at two weeks post birth. If this is your PFB don't worry if when your milk comes in, your boobs swell up beyond all bra sizes - they settle down after 2 to 3 days.

You really do need nursing bras anything else is an impossible faff.

I don't understand either why there aren't more big-sized nursing bras. We should lobby!

cyclecamper Fri 18-Jan-13 09:39:38

I'm getting worried! When I'm thin (I'm always a bit up and down!) I have been known to drop to 28F, at size 10 I'm 30E and my more usual size 12 is 32E - so far (19wks) I'm into my size 14 32FF and 34Es, and I'm going to be holding off the search for larger ones as long as I can - I can't afford to add 6 more sizes to my drawer! I shall be watching this thread for ideas!smile

Kopparbergkate Fri 18-Jan-13 11:56:03

I've had a response from Royce!!!!

Here's what I asked:
"I'm currently wearing a Royce Jasmine (nursing bra) in 38L and although the back fits (if anything it's a little large) the cups are too small.  I've noticed that the Jasmine doesn't have "double letter" sizes whereas the Sadie and Charlotte do.  Does that mean that a Sadie cup size K is bigger than a Jasmine size K? thanks..."

and the answer....
Yes it does, the Sadie K is 3 cup sizes bigger than a Jasmine L.  
The Jasmine L is equivalent to Sadie HH then there is J JJ & K.
Hope this makes some sort of sense, If not you can give us a call on 01295 265557."

Woo hoo!! I thought I was bigger than an L and there was no hope but it turns out their sizing is inconsistent so I might (might) actually be able to find a nursing bra to fit.

The next question is why none of the websites that sell the Royce Jasmine (including the "experts" like the NCT or Bravissimo) actually point out this inconsistency?????

KelleStar Sun 20-Jan-13 19:41:53

it would be really great to have a site to point out all these inconsistencies as it's down to forums like this to get an idea of what is a more realistic size compared to the labels.

kopparbergkate that is really helpful information. Going to check that out in a few weeks, not worth getting fitted yet as I'm 28 weeks.

turningitaround it really is ridiculous as boobs [tend] to get bigger when BF'ing, if you can find a K cup in a high street you should be able to find it easily in nursing bras.

Twattybollocks Mon 21-Jan-13 07:21:21

It is slightly depressing. I have never had a nursing bra that didn't give me uniboob! This time I'm determined that I'm going to have a decent shape and once my milk settles down I will be looking at the underwired version to see if they are any better.
Also, if you are reasonably handy with a needle and thread you can get nursing bra converter kits online and you can put in your own drop cup clip and strap in a standard bra which fits.
Ftr, underwire is ok for nursing provided that the wires lay flat against the chest wall (which they should anyway if the bra fits correctly) and no part of the breast tissue is stuck behind it.

glenthebattleostrich Mon 21-Jan-13 07:38:07

I have 3 of the royce sadie ones from Bravissimo, they are lovely and fit really wel and are very comfyl. Wore them for almost 3 years (finally down to 1 feed at bedtime so can wear nice undies again!)

If anyone would like one I'm happy to pass on, they are just sitting in the charity bag waiting to find a new home. Think they are 38HH

mrsbugsywugsy Mon 21-Jan-13 08:56:24

So does the Anita bra use us sizing too? That would explain why the one I have doesn't fit! I have a 34h and it is loose on the band and a little tight on the cup. So do I need a 32i, 32j, or something else?

Magicpink Tue 22-Jan-13 21:24:42

Wow so much info! It's crazy how many women seem to be reporting the same problems/confusion/brick walls....someone could make a killing making decent nursing bras in big sizes it seems! Its very surprising not to mention totally frustrating that, as someone else has said, given the fact that even the high street shops now go up to a K cup, why is there not nursing bras to accommodate these women?! Nuts. Bra designers....get to work! And make sure you're done by the time i have another...please and thank you!
For now, i can see myself resorting to regular bras that i know are a good fit, but just in bigger sizes than i am now in. Bravissimo make one i think its called Alana which i have worn nothing but for the past 9 months and i love it so might just stick with it and put up with the irritation of having to virtually remove it every time! Its better than having no support/monoboob/feeling uncomfortable and self conscious.

maxybrown Tue 22-Jan-13 22:48:46

I breastfed for 19 months only ever wearing well fitted underwired bras that I was comfortable in. I was same size as you OP and went to bravissimo but could manage on my own now if I were to do it again. We found one that meant I could slip my arm through the shoulder strap and wore suitable tops.

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