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For some if not most women getting measured for a bra is not something they enjoy doing or want to have done. What most women don’t know is there is an easy way to measure yourself so you don’t have the embarrassment of having some stranger do it for you.

Did you know that during your pregnancy you will increase one full size or more around the ribs and in the cup? You will also increase at least one full cup or more 48 to 72 hours after birth? Here are some easy to follow steps to measure yourself for a nursing bra.

Step 1: Find your band size

To do this properly you need a paper tape measure and you need to be wearing your current bra that is unpadded. Take the tape and measure around your chest and under your arms. Make sure you have it snug but not to tight. Now breathe normally and make sure it feels comfortable. Remember that bra sizes are only in even numbers so if you measure 37 you will need to go with a 38. You don’t want to go down because they will be too tight and it will be uncomfortable to wear.

Step 2: Find your cup size

You need to wear your bra for this measurement as well. You need to put the tape measure over the fullest part of your breasts, right over your nipples. Don’t pull it to tight when you measure. Take this measurement and subtract your band size from it. The difference, in inches, will determine your cup size. So if your band size is 38 and your cup size is 43, the difference is 5 inches. To get the right cup size you will need to look at a cup chart.

Here are some tips that will help you find a good fitting bra.

1. Position

Position is the most important thing when you are looking for the right nursing bra. You want to make sure that your breasts fit in the cups properly. The straps are not meant to provide support.

2. Hooks

Your bra should fit comfortably on the middle row of hooks. Most bras have three sets of hooks and you’ll want to fit yours so you can use the middle set and have the most comfort.

3. Bulge

If your bra fits correctly, your breasts to be completely covered. If you see breast tissue you will want to try the next bigger cup size but, keep the same band width.

4. Pinch

You should not be able to pinch material from the cup. When the bra is brand new you may be able to see a slight pucker at the seam but this will go away as the cup naturally shapes to your breast.

5. Bottom band

If you run your finger along the bottom band and it doesn’t move easily you will need to increase your band size by one. If your finger moves too easily you will need to decrease your band size by one. It needs to fit comfortably and snug not too tight and not too lose.

Using this measuring strategy and these tips the next time you purchase a nursing bra, you will have a great fit and no embarrassment. You will feel better knowing your bra fits perfect and you will be comfortable wearing it as well.

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Cerise Nichol is mom to two active boys, numerous pets and owner of is a home-based business offering a variety of breastfeeding supplies.