How to Measure for a Nursing Bra

As your breasts swell throughout your pregnancy, it is important to wear a bra that fits correctly for maximum support and comfort. Once you deliver, wearing the right bra is just as important. If you will be breastfeeding your baby, you may want to purchase a nursing bra. Unlike ordinary bras, nursing bras have removable cup flaps, which make breastfeeding more convenient. Manufacturers of nursing bras recommend taking measurements in inches before you purchase, to ensure an accurate fit. According to Breastfeeding Essentials, the best time to measure is within the month that you expect to deliver.
Step 1
Measure your nursing bra size using a cloth or tailor measuring tape. Jot down the measurements with a pen and paper, so that you have them when you go shopping for the nursing bra.
Step 2
Hold the measuring tape in your dominant hand. Raise the other hand and arm up above your head.
Step 3
Rest one end of the measuring tape on the inner fold of the underarm of your raised arm. Lower your arm, securing the measuring tape.
Step 4
Stretch the measuring tape across your chest and under your other arm. Wrap the measuring tape around your back--the area just above your breasts--until it meets the end stationed under your arm.
Step 5
Jot down the measurement with your pen and paper. This is the underarm measurement for your bra band size. This measurement needs to reflect an even number. If not, round up to the next digit. For instance, if you measured 39 inches, round up to a 40-inch nursing bra band.
Step 6
Measure your cup size using the same cloth measuring tape to measure your breast size. Hold the measuring tape in your dominant hand and wrap it around the fullest part of one of your breasts.
Step 7
Stretch the measuring tape under your arm, around your back, under your other arm and across the widest part of your other breast, until the two ends of the tape measure meet.
Step 8
Write the result down using your pen and paper. Subtract your band size from your breast size. For instance, if your band size is 40 inches and your breast measurement is 44 inches, the difference would be 4 inches. Because nursing bra cup sizes run A--1 inch, B--2-inch, C--3-inch, D--4-inch, DD--5-inch, DDD--6-inch, your nursing bra cup size would be a D. Therefore, you will need to purchase a size 40-D nursing bra.

Tips and Warnings

  • Some manufacturer of nursing bras prefer to measure bra band size under the breast instead of under the arms. If this is the case with your preferred manufacturer, instead of stretching the measuring tape from underarm to underarm and around your back, place one end of the measuring tape under one of your breasts. Stretch the measuring tape and slip it under your other breast. Wrap the measuring tape around your back, continuing to wrap it around your body until the two ends meet. Round up to the next number if the measurement is not even. Subtract this number from your breast size to get your cup size.
  • If you find yourself fumbling with the measuring tape, ask your spouse, a friend or family member for help with measuring. Don't be modest. The correct measurements are important. Without correct measurements, you may end up with a nursing bra that fits awkwardly. Even worse, the nursing bra may not fit at all.

Things You'll Need
Cloth measuring tape

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