Last pregnancy I went to a local independent shop and also JoJoMamanbebe and M&S. I don't think I was properly fitted at all though and never felt very well supported. This time round I have made myself go to Bravissimo for the first time- and I wish I had been going for years!! They have fitted me twice so far and whilst the sizing makes me blush!, I am much more comfortable! I clearly have been wearing the wrong size for years. I think the brand I have at the moment is Royce. Re. underwired bras- I think the main problem is if they don't fit 100%- the wire can then press on the breast tissue. Bravissimo actually fitted me first of all with underwired ones (at about 10weeks) and by 21 weeks they were getting uncomfortable so I opted for soft ones this time. Get yourself to Bravissimo!
Another vote for Bravissimo here - last time I went to M&S and was fitted for 2 bras, both of which I was falling out of. Went to Bravissimo the following week and came out in a completely different size (smaller back, bigger cup) which fitted beautifully and some advice on when to get fitted for nursing bras and scope to let out the existing one! Went straight there as soon as I outgrew my bra this time.
One word of warning - they do fit quite tightly across the back (not least so you can let out as your ribcage expands), so can feel a bit uncomfortable at the end of the first few days, but well worth persevering. The only other downside is that they currently have a frankly hideous selection of soft cup bras in - but they're comfy and that tends to win at the moment. They do have larger sizes in, which a lot of maternity suppliers don't (I used Emma Jane last time around, can't this time as was an F cup by 12 weeks).
I was measured at 12weeks in this pregnancy as a 36H - finding non-underwired in larger sizes in nearly impossible - especially if you wan tsomething nice and not for a nana. i have resorted to Freya Sports bras - really good support - not the cheapest but also have 4 hooks and allow for some growth. My next quest is to find feeding bras - would love it if i could have HOt Milk or Elle MacPherson but alas they don't cater for the large proportion of large breasted women. My course of action was to enter the size in a search engine and spend a few hours working my way through the results.
This site www.bras4mums.co.ukhas a great range of nursing bras- I am now a size 34H pre babies was a 34D. If you live within 40-50 miles of the shop (in the NorthWest) they will fit you at home for a tenner extra.
I mostly use the Anita underwred ones which are brilliant but only recommended from 12 weeks as boobs settling down then.
BUT I actually have 2 lacey pairs (hotmilk and another i cant remember) they are comfortable and look good- from the same place.
PS no vested interest in the shop/site just thought they were fab.
DO you have any local shops that stock anita/emmaJane (EJ not to dear either. £19) or debenhams/huse of Fraser/john lewis. I'm a 32G and found that the small local shop is better than anywhere else as they happily order. Blooming marvellous do the emma Jane bras.
I get Royce bras (John Lewis, Bravissimo or direct from the Royce website). For nursing bras, we were advised to wait until 36 weeks.
One thing that I did find - my cup size went up massively in the first few weeks, and then seemed to stabilise, but then my chest size expanded - John Lewis do bra extenders for around £3, and they have been invaluable, and have reduced my bra expenditure!