It is recommended that towards the end of your pregnancy, during your third trimester, you stop wearing bras with underwire, as these can put pressure on your breasts where the milk ducts are starting to produce milk. Continue wearing non-underwire bras after birth for at least the first few weeks.
If you find this a comfortable choice and don't want to buy more bras in order to return to underwire, then keep wearing your non-underwire bras if you feel they are giving you the support you need. So long as your bra is well-fitted, even when worn with breast pads added if necessary, this will be fine.
If you do return to an underwire bra after the first few weeks post-birth, it is recommended that you avoid sleeping in them as, again, it can put undue pressure on your breasts. You may also like to use a flexi-wire bra, as a nice in-between option. Two flexi-wire bras we have are the Ambition Plunge and Forever Yours (Nude and Black).
All maternity and nursing lingerie can be found here.
When will I need a maternity bra?
You may find that you need new bras as early as the first trimester, as not only your breasts increase in size, but your rib cage too, and this will mean you need bras with both a larger cup size and band size. A typical increase may be up 2 sizes in each. (Do note that your band size is likely to go down again post-pregnancy and return to a size similar to your pre-pregnancy size.)
What is the difference between a maternity bra and a nursing bra?
A key difference between a maternity bra and a regular bra is that it has more hooks at the back for a wider range of size adjustment, giving you more wear throughout your pregnancy and then beyond. It also has either no underwire or flexiwire to make sure it is gentle on your body and ultra comfortable.
A nursing bra will have some kind of clip at the top of the cup to undo for nursing, making the cup fall for easy access to the breast, as it is then only attached to the bra at the base. Some of our clips are magnetic, such as our Ambition Triangle.
Nursing bras often have a 'sling' underneath the cup; a discrete style sling is an 'A'-frame, whilst a side sling offers less coverage.