by Kmom

Copyright 1996-2006 Kmom@Vireday.Com. All rights reserved.

Last updated: August 2006




This document contains information about plus-sized maternity clothing, nursing bras and clothing, and related products (like nursing pillow or baby carriers/slings) for large women in the U.K, Canada, and Australia/New Zealand. Related FAQs on this site contain information about U.S. resources for plus-sized maternity wear, nursing bras and nursing clothing, and maternity-related products. 

Readers outside the USA might also want to read the USA FAQs, as there are many who do mail-order even internationally, and there are also additional websites and hints that might be useful in these FAQs too.  Similarly, non-USA readers who sew may want to particularly read the section on Sewing and Pattern Resources in the USA FAQs, as they may be able to utilize some of these resources to sew their own custom sized clothes (or have them sewn for them).  

Since the majority of the people who post to these newsgroups and mailing lists are from the USA, most of the known resources are going to be for the USA. My apologies for the lack of more resources listed for other countries; I hope to add greatly to this list eventually.

The information sections are mine, but are not intended to be medical advice. They are essentially copied from the information sections of my USA maternity FAQs, so remember that the sizes referred to there are US sizes, and weight gains etc. are listed in pounds instead of kilograms, and companies listed are mostly US companies. My apologies; since sizes are so non-standard world-wide it seemed simpler to keep it this way for now rather than try to cover all the possible variations. If you have suggestions for handling this problem differently, email your suggestion to me.

Opinions of companies are from contributors; my comments are in {brackets}. If you have any companies you would like to see added to these lists, please email me with the information. I am especially eager to add more non-USA resources to this FAQ, and would also like to expand the countries covered, so please contact me with any updates or additions! There must surely be other websites with information about plus-size clothing options in various countries abroad; if you have any URLs that might be helpful, please be sure to include these in your email as well.

This FAQ is now updated about once per year, sometimes twice if there are a lot of changes needed.  If you have emailed me changes or updates for the FAQ, keep in mind that it may take a while to see them in the FAQ.  I spend most of my limited computer time researching and writing the other areas of this website; to keep this part of the job manageable I limit my updates to once or twice a year.   Thank you for your understanding.

Take note that I have not confirmed the names and numbers of all companies; nor can I speak to the quality of any of them--Caveat Emptor! Keep in mind also that many of these are small cottage industries or online businesses, and these tend to go in and out of business or change contact information frequently. For that reason, you may find that some of this information is already incorrect by the time you read it. 

Maintaining this FAQ is a big job; I depend on the help of others to streamline the amount of work involved. If you find any errors, have updates on contact information, have feedback on the companies, or just have suggestions for improving the FAQ, please let me know. 

Good luck in your pregnancy, and good health to you and your baby! ------ 


Handling Plus-Sized Maternity Clothing Decisions

Note: Contains many personal opinions, written from personal experience. Other people's experiences may be different. Your Mileage May Vary!

Ethnocentrism Disclaimer: These information sections are essentially copied from the information sections of the USA maternity FAQs, so remember that the sizes referred to here are US sizes, weight gains etc. are listed in pounds instead of kilograms, and companies listed are mostly US companies. My apologies; since sizes are so non-standard world-wide it seemed simpler to keep the US size references for now rather than try to cover all the possible variations. If you have suggestions for handling this problem differently, please email your suggestion.

Do I really need specialty maternity clothes?

The first question is whether you'll NEED special maternity wear. Many large women need it--but not all do! Large women as a group tend to gain less weight in pregnancy and show less; this means that sometimes we can 'get by' in our regular clothes or by buying clothing a size or two larger than normal. Some choose to get along without any special maternity wear in pregnancy in order to save money; others have been forced to 'get by' without it in the past because of a lack of resources in this area. 

Large women who need to have special maternity clothing (and those who simply want it) should of course be able to find companies that carry quality items in their size. Clothing manufacturers are beginning to understand this now but the situation is still not ideal. Right now, the best idea is probably to combine regular clothing in larger sizes for early and mid-pregnancy, with a few true maternity things for the final months. Take a wait and see approach until you know what your needs will be.

Wearing regular clothes in slightly bigger sizes tends to work best for women who are around a size 24 or larger at the beginning of the pregnancy, as they tend not to gain much weight or size. Women who are size 16 - 22 are more likely to need the special fit of maternity clothes earlier and more extensively, as they gain weight and size more like average-sized women. Body type can also make a difference, with "apple" body types tending to need the special fit of maternity clothes more than "pears" or "hourglasses". Of course, your experience may differ! But generally speaking, if you are a size 16-22, you should probably plan on buying a fair amount of maternity wear. If you are a size 24 or above, you have the choice of buying maternity wear or regular clothes in larger sizes, or combining the two approaches.

Where To Find Maternity Specialty Clothes in Plus Sizes

If you do order specialty maternity wear, it is usually recommended that you order it in your pre-pregnancy size. Good places to start a search for maternity wear include 

There are a few consignment stores that have 'pre-loved' maternity clothing in larger sizes.  These are invaluable if you need to trim costs but still get specialty maternity clothing. These stores include Baby and Me Consignments, Maternity Treasures, and The Fairy Godmother at Large (see below for contact information). These companies generally encourage re-consigning the clothing after you are done with it, providing it is still in excellent condition. Although choice can be limited and arrangements can be a hassle, consignments can be a very economical way of handling specialty maternity wear.

The OMOM mailing list maintains a swap board for pre-owned maternity clothing (see below), and Mother's Nature ( has in the past offered an auction site for used baby, breastfeeding, and maternity products, with many bargains available. Many times, Ebay has plus-sized maternity items for sale as well. The Maternity Closet ( has plus-sized maternity clothes for rent instead of outright purchase. Or, if you sew, you can adapt some of the patterns from Elizabeth Lee Patterns ( or the other pattern companies listed below. These are other ways in which you can stretch your maternity wear dollar.

For information on finding nursing bras, nursing clothing, and other maternity-related products such as nursing pillows and baby carriers in larger sizes, see the related FAQs on this website.

Making Do With Regular Clothes If Needed

Many large women have gone through a pregnancy without special maternity clothing, so you may want to consider not buying much, especially if money is an issue. Maternity specialty clothing is notoriously overpriced, and consignment stores can be a hassle. Getting regular clothes in larger sizes is often a better choice than buying maternity specialty clothes. Although most large women want to have maternity wear to declare to the world that they are pregnant, it is not a true necessity for many (or not till the last month or two), so you can certainly save money by avoiding buying much maternity wear or by combining regular clothing with a few selections of specialty maternity wear.

If this is the route you choose, there are many choices for casual wear. Knit leggings, elastic-waist pants, drawstring pants, and sweats 1-2 sizes larger than you normally wear are especially comfortable and useful. Waist gain in pregnancy may average somewhere around 10-15 inches or so, making elastic or drawstring pants nice options since they expand with you. You'll also probably feel best with soft, unconstraining fabrics against your skin. Think cotton. Knit or cotton jersey pants and leggings are an excellent choice for pregnancy.

Large, loose tops often work up till the last month or two, and "baby doll" or "trapeze" style tops that are a size or two big will probably get you through the last month. Although not specifically maternity companies, Lane Bryant and Roamans almost always have a couple of "babydoll" or "trapeze" style tops in their catalogue every season; these are basically similar to pregnancy tops and a workable choice for the last month or so of pregnancy. They also carry knit pants and leggings up to size 4-5x and usually have at least one 'swim dress' each summer that would work for maternity too. However, the quality of the company and its service sometimes lacks greatly (see below). 

Other companies that have regular plus-size clothing like leggings and big shirts that might work for maternity include Junonia ( ), Making It Big ( ), Just My Size ( or ), Plus Woman ( ) and Ulla Popken ( ).

For sleep wear or exercising, try t-shirts in men's large sizes. These usually tend to be cut extra-wide in the belly, come in a greater variety of colors and less 'fussy' styles than maternity tees, are 100% cotton, and are significantly cheaper than in maternity stores. Junonia (  specializes in plus-size exercise wear; it is of excellent quality but pricey. Many of the above companies also carry fairly cheap t-shirts and casual tops that could also be used for sleeping or exercising, and Laughing Sisters (see below) makes beautiful high-quality nightgowns that they will adapt for you for maternity and nursing. also carries nice maternity swimsuits in plus sizes.  

Coats are harder; a few choices are available from Baby Becoming ( ). Warmer climates can usually make do with sweaters, but for heavier coats, try a poncho, swing or cape style or borrow a larger-size coat. Plus Woman ( ) also has coats in loose styles up to quite large sizes.

Career wear and dressy clothing tend to be much harder to handle than casual wear. Specialty maternity options are often limited, though some selections are available through about size 22/24, occasionally to size 26 (see and In regular plus-size clothing, loose fitting empire-waist dresses/jumpers (topped with an unbuttoned large blazer or swing jacket if you need a more professional look) are very versatile and can be used again after pregnancy. Maternity hose is hard to find in plus sizes, but Just My Size ( or and Plus Woman ( ) carries regular pantyhose to size 7x or so, and this usually works fine even for pregnant women. 

Maternity business suits in plus sizes are quite unusual, but Pickles and Ice Cream ( ), and Maternal Instinct ( ) have a few things, and Plus Woman also makes some very nice blazers and suits that could be used for pregnancy (especially since they make items to order). Full Figure Designs (see below) also reportedly has business suits for women in supersizes to 36W; these may be adaptable in some cases for maternity. 

Very formal clothing such as maternity evening gowns are extremely hard to find in plus sizes (Maternal Instinct and Motherhood maternity have a few), but there are several non-maternity companies such as Peggy Lutz, Myles Ahead, and Sandie's Boutique included in the FAQ that specialize in very upscale clothing; some of their styles might work for maternity for women who absolutely had to have very dressy options, and they tend to go into supersizes so you could buy larger as needed. However, be prepared to pay handsomely for any of these products. (Special Note: Sandie's Boutique also carries gently used clothing up through supersizes, and often has some very nice, affordable used gowns available.)  

Slinky knits are a relatively new option that look very dressy but often work well for maternity (and can be worn afterwards too!).  The material is shiny but expandable, the colors usually are very rich and beautiful, and a slinky knit top can be combined with a non-slinky bottom for a more formal look without spending an arm and a leg.  Just add a beautiful shawl or fancy jewelry and you have dress up or eveningwear without bankruptcy.  Kmom highly recommends looking into Slinky Knits if you have a formal or dressy occasion to dress for!  Many regular plus-size clothing shops like Catherine's or specialty boutiques like Magical Creations often carry Slinky Knits and they DO work for post-pregnancy outfits too. 

Women who wear supersizes or close (28/30+) often need to improvise more than those who wear traditional plus sizes (16-24). Very little maternity or nursing wear is made for women in super sizes; if manufacturers can barely believe that mid-sized large women have sex and get pregnant, they certainly don't believe that supersized ones do! So while maternity wear in mid-sizes is not easy to find but can be had, it's even harder to find in supersizes.  The welcome exceptions that do carry  clothing above 3x (size 24) include Jake and Me,, Pickles and Ice Cream,, and Baby Becoming,, which carries maternity clothing to 6x. 

Fortunately, supersized women do not generally change as markedly in size and dimensions in pregnancy, and most can wear their normal clothing for most of the pregnancy. Getting a few options in jumpers, empire-waist dresses, and trapeze or 'baby doll' shirts to cover the very end of pregnancy when larger clothing might be needed is often all that's necessary, though frankly these women should not have to 'get by' in this way.

Tall women who need plus sizes also generally have a very difficult time finding pregnancy clothes. Many companies carry Talls, but their sizes usually end at about 16/18.  Finding fashions that are plus-sized and tall in sizes above 20 is not easy. Jake and Me Clothing Company ( ) is your best bet; they carry talls in sizes up to 4x in most items. Their clothing is made to order, so you can get exactly what you need.  Plus Woman ( ) also makes (non-maternity) clothing to size, often including different proportioning and lengths, so this is another option for tall and large women, though a spendy one.

Because the selection of maternity clothing and even regular clothing above a size 24 is so hard to find, Kmom has included a number of companies that specialize in supersizes in the FAQ. Although none of these carry maternity clothes, many of their designs would work well anyhow, and a few items up one size from normal is probably enough to get by in the last awkward-sized month. Good companies that serve the supersize market (30W+) include Full Figure Design (see below), Plus Woman ( ), Ulla Popken (, Making It Big (, Myles Ahead (, Sandie's Boutique (, Big on Batik ( and Love Your Peaches ( ). 

How much weight can I expect to gain?

Larger size women, as a group, generally tend to gain less weight in pregnancy than average-sized women (barring complications), though there are no guarantees for any individual woman. Doctors generally recommend a gain of about 15 pounds if you are large, but the gain often seems to go down as size goes up. Some large women gain less or more than this yet have healthy pregnancies and babies, but of course it is important to consult with your medical practitioner regarding nutrition and the adequacy of your own pregnancy weight gain patterns. Dieting is absolutely to be avoided during pregnancy.

As a loose guideline, women size 18-22 tend to gain 15-25 lbs. in a pregnancy; women on the lower side of this range tend to gain closer to 25 while women on the higher side of this range tend to gain closer to 15. Women size 24-28+ tend to gain very little in a pregnancy, i.e. 5-15 lbs., or may not gain weight at all. Occasionally some women, generally supersized, actually have a net loss during pregnancy, and yet still have healthy babies. Few pregnancy books mention that many large women actually gain less than the recommended 15 lbs. and that this can be perfectly normal; however, this is not a goal to aim for. If it happens even though a woman is eating extremely healthfully and well, with adequate caloric intake, then it is not necessarily something to panic over, but one should never approach a pregnancy with the idea of gaining no weight or losing some. The point is not how much you gain (or don't), the point is how healthily you eat.

On the other hand, there are some large women who gain more than 15-25 pounds; sometimes this can be due to complications like pre-eclampsia or polyhydramnios, where fluid retention can be a problem. Women who diet or lose a lot of weight before pregnancy also tend to have large pregnancy gains, since they are combining their body's diet regain phase with the fat storage phase normal to pregnancy anyhow. And of course, some women view pregnancy as an excuse to 'eat for two' and overindulge. Large gains are generally thought to be bad for mother and baby, but there are certainly also women who gain more than the recommended 15-25 pounds, despite eating very nutritiously and carefully, and who do just fine. Poor nutrition has been shown to increase poor outcomes, so if a large gain is due to junk food and poor nutrition, that likely is going to cause problems. But if care is taken to eat carefully and very nutritiously, then the exact gain is not especially important. It is nutrition that counts more than a number on a scale.

Studies have shown that outcomes are best, on average, at about the 15 lb. mark, for large women as a group. However, that doesn't mean that YOU will gain in that range, or that you CANNOT have a good outcome if your gain is more or less than this. Averages are just that---AVERAGES---and do not necessarily apply to specific cases. Again, nutrition is what is most important. If you eat nutritiously, consume adequate but not excessive or restricted calories, and choose nutrition-dense foods instead of junk, your gain will probably be what is right for your body. Aim for about 15 pounds or so, but concentrate more on quality nutrition.

Note: Medical studies show that, on average, most larger women gain much less than the usual 25 pounds recommended for average-sized women, but these studies do not generally differentiate between typical weight gains of size 16 women vs. size 32 women. The number averages above were determined from a large but informal net survey of plus-sized women who had had children; they are not scientific, and they are not medical advice, but they do represent general trends seen among these women, differentiated by size. However, remember that individual results may well vary. Consult your health provider.

Maternity Underwear

Maternity/larger underwear may or may not be needed. You may wish to wait and see whether you'll need it before ordering it. "Apples" may need it more than "pears". Many larger women are able to go through their entire pregnancy without getting different underwear, difficult as that may be to believe at first. Some women can meet their needs by buying a size or two larger than normal, while others use spandex lace undies, which tend to stretch for the belly and return to its previous shape when washed. Some women opt for the bikini style undies and wear them under the belly, but most find "granny-style" or hi-cut to be their preference.

Just My Size ( or ) is a good source for cotton underwear up to size 13, Decent Exposures ( ) now makes cotton underwear for larger sizes, and many Target and Kmart stores have cotton underwear to about size 13 as well. carries maternity underwear in larger sizes, but it's not cotton and tends to run small. Plus Woman ( carries regular underwear to about size 15-16 (hip size to 70"), but they are a blend of cotton, nylon, and spandex and come in limited colors.

All-cotton underwear is very important to use if possible since pregnancy tends to increase rates of bladder and vaginal infections anyway. Since some studies show that larger women tend to have higher rates of bladder infections in pregnancy, it makes sense to take as many precautions as possible. Skip the pantyhose entirely, if possible; you'll be much more comfortable and healthier. However, maternity hose is available from the JCPenney and Baby Becoming catalogues if you must have it. Just My Size and Plus Woman, while not carrying maternity hose, do carry pantyhose to size 7x or 8x, and usually this works fine despite it not being specifically for maternity.

After delivery, some women find the post-partum panties the hospital provides not to be "one-size-fits-all." You may want to consider taking a couple of pair of old raggedy undies to use instead, and then just discard them afterwards, or use the new disposable Kotex panties, though these are not available in all sizes. If you have a c-section and you tend to wear low-riding panties, place a maxi pad across your incision to protect it from the elastic waistband of the panty, or you can temporarily use high-waisted underwear.


Large women vary greatly in their clothing needs during pregnancy. Some never need special maternity clothes while others need the special fit of maternity wear early on. It is probably smartest to wait and see what you will need, clothing-wise, until you start to increase and you can determine your needs. Then buy either in larger sizes or in maternity wear (or both) as needed. Of course, some women don't "need" maternity wear but want some anyway, which is perfectly appropriate!

Note to Clothing Manufacturers

Plus-sized women do get married, have sex, and have babies--really! 

In the past, clothing manufacturers could barely manage to make regular clothing for women of size, let alone acknowledge the need for special clothing like wedding gowns, eveningwear, or maternity clothes for us. Happily, this is beginning to change as some manufacturers begin to recognize the tremendous profit potential of the plus-sized market. If the average dress size of women in the US is a size 14, then obviously there is also a strong market out there for sizes 14 and above! More and more companies are now beginning to enter the plus-sized field, but few still address maternity needs.

As of now, what few companies carry maternity in plus sizes only cover to size 18 or maybe 22. A few go to size 24 or 26, and a couple have sizes above that, but many large women find they have to 'make do' or adapt regular clothing for a great deal of their pregnancy needs. It is possible to 'get by' without a great deal of special maternity wear (and if money is a concern women should be encouraged to explore these alternatives fully), but large women should not HAVE to be deprived of the pleasure of wearing obvious maternity tops, t-shirts with cutesy baby sayings, and elegant dressy maternity wear. We do have sex, we do get pregnant, and we DO want to show off our baby tummies, just like any other woman! When will the manufacturers take heed?

If you are a clothing manufacturer that specializes in larger sizes for maternity or otherwise, you should also consider your marketing strategies. Many large women 'make do' with non-maternity styles or poorly-made large clothing because THEY DON'T KNOW THAT ALTERNATIVES ARE OUT THERE! Plus-size clothing manufacturers should strongly consider advertising in magazines that specialize in plus-sized clientele, such as BBW magazine. Furthermore, they should reach out to the plus-sized community through the National Organization to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA; ) and other size-acceptance organizations. There are many online 'webrings' that connect websites for large-size people, and websites such as also collect links that specialize in products/clothing for larger people.

Kmom has found that some manufacturers discontinue plus-sized offerings because of disappointing sales volume, but a closer look reveals that they made no effort to market or advertise to the plus-sized community. Plus-sized women are so used to not finding their sizes in 'regular' stores (especially regular maternity stores) that after awhile, they rarely look in malls or even online. In fact, Kmom herself has repeatedly experienced rude treatment from salespeople when inquiring about size ranges in maternity stores; eventually, she quit asking and assumed that no plus sizes were to be found for maternity wear. It was only after her first pregnancy that she finally found some sources that carried larger sizes, and as a result created this FAQ. If you don't advertise to the plus-sized market, they probably won't find your product. Target your market!

And finally, treat your plus-sized customers with respect. If you advertise that you have a certain style or size in stock, be sure to have enough of it to meet demand. Many manufacturers routinely underorder in the largest sizes, and sell out quickly in sizes 22/24/26, but have many size 18s left over. Know your market; mid-sized women have many more clothing choices so can choose from many clothing store sources. Clothes in the largest sizes are generally in great demand and choices more limited, so they sell out more quickly. If you consistently find that your larger sizes go quickly, order more next time! Many retail and online companies refuse to do this, despite routinely running out of larger sizes, and it is a source of great irritation to women who buy in the largest sizes.

Another sign of respect for the plus-sized customer is to use plus-sized models in your catalogs and advertisements. It is insulting to the larger person's intelligence to show plus-sized clothing on a size 10 model. Although technically a size 12 qualifies as 'plus-sized' in the fashion world, it is insulting to use only size 12s to model clothes that are marketed to size 22 or more. Mail order companies such as Lane Bryant and Roamans have in the past justified this by stating that their research showed that big customers preferred seeing clothing on smaller-sized models, but this research is dubious and out-dated. Online newsgroups and mailing lists of women of size routinely gripe about the lack of appropriately-sized clothing models in catalogs and magazine ads, and lament that they cannot see what the clothing really looks like on a person of size. Using average-sized models to show plus-sized clothes is outmoded and insulting. Use models of a variety of sizes!

Also be sure your sales staff treats the large customer with politeness. Most larger women have had experiences similar to Kmom's, entering a store to inquire its size range but being treated rudely or with disdain. Even companies that routinely cater to larger women can be rude and inconsiderate of their clientele, taking for granted that these women have nowhere else to turn. Since more and more companies are beginning to see the potential for the large-size market, large women are going to be more and more able to pick and choose where to shop, and you'd better believe we will remember where we were treated well and where we weren't! Most average-sized people would be surprised at the rudeness commonly given larger people in many stores, and many larger people are surprised at the difference in treatment they receive if they lose weight. But we should NOT have to lose weight in order to receive decent service---money is money regardless of the size of hand that holds it.  Treat ALL customers with respect!

Excellent customer relations is a BASIC tenet of good business, regardless of the clientele. Plus-sized customers should demand excellent service too, and will remember when they get it (or when they don't!).  We will vote with our feet and with our credit cards.  Market to us and treat us with respect and we'll help make your business successful. 

Information Regarding Nursing Bras and Nursing Clothes

Sizes and Brands to Consider

If you plan to nurse, you will probably want a nursing bra. The amount of chest/cup size increase seems to vary greatly, so it's best to wait until about the eighth month of pregnancy to purchase a couple, then wait until after engorgement to buy more. However, do not wait until after baby is born to buy your first nursing bras, since your size will be temporarily larger due to engorgement.  Buy a few now to tide you over, then buy more a week or two after baby is born to assure the best long-term fit. 

The general rule for women of average size is to buy one numerical size and one cup size higher than normal.  However, this may not work for everyone, particularly very well-endowed women. Very well-endowed women in particular should carefully consult a knowledgeable representative when deciding on a size.  (Several companies in the FAQ below offer consultation with a professional lactation consultant, who will be able to advise you about sizing and bra choice.) Be sure to consult with the proprietor of the company you purchase from, since sizing advice varies widely with the manufacturer brand. The size you wear in one brand may not match the sizing of a different company.  

Some experts recommend buying 2 or so nursing bras ahead of time, using a bra back extender to get through engorgement, and then buy more nursing bras after your long-term nursing size is more established.  This is probably a VERY good idea (extenders are available from Motherwear and other stores), since a pregnant ribcage often expands due to the child, and then returns to its usual size after delivery. As mentioned, engorgement will also make your breasts temporarily larger than they will end up being later. Using the bra back extender can help your bra fit better during these times, and then you can eliminate it later when you return to your long-term nursing size. 

Several specific bra brands that are frequently recommended for very well-endowed women include:

At one time, Kmom was told that the Leading Lady 491 and Goddess 510 designs were being phased out, but this appears to have been unsubstantiated.  Of the brands listed above, Kmom prefers the Goddess bras, but your mileage may vary. recommends the FanceeFree 94305 (a type Kmom has not tried) as the best nursing bra for well-endowed women, while other sites seem to recommend the Goddess 511 frequently as well as the FanceeFree 94305.  Kmom has not tried the Anita bras but has heard good things about them from others.  They have one bra (the 5064) which has lower center snaps instead of bra-strap fastenings, which some women find more useful.  

Most nursing bras are available to about a size 44F or so.  The ones listed above generally are available to about a size 48E or 48J. Fancee Free 94305 is available to a size 50K.  For women in need of extremely large sizes, there are businesses that can custom-make an excellent bra for you (such as, ).  In addition, the Cameo/Colesce bra, while not specifically a nursing bra, has "drop" cups that women have reported to work great for nursing, and this bra is reportedly available to a size 52HH.  Although quite expensive, very well-endowed women report that this is a wonderful bra, and one that really helps minimize upper back pain.  Another option is to convert on of your own favorite bras into a nursing bra (see directions below).

Of course, not all large women are well-endowed. For women who need a larger band size but a small cup size (i.e., a 44B), Bravado Bras are excellent. They can also be custom-made in many different fabrics. Bravados are carried by many different businesses, including and  Decent Exposures ( ) also makes an excellent custom-made bra that is terrific for women that need smaller cup sizes.  

Although both come in larger sizes, neither the Bravado bras nor the Decent Exposures bras are supportive enough for women who need very large cup sizes. Extremely well-endowed moms who have used these brands have reported recurrent problems with plugged ducts and mastitis.  If you are less well-endowed, however, these brands are quite good, or stores like Target and Wal-Mart often carry nursing bras to about 42D that are perfectly adequate yet more affordable.

One great website for comparing different types of nursing bras is This website is NOT commercial and sells no bras.  It merely compares and reviews the various types of bras available (often with photos), specifically for women who need an F cup or more.  They have a page on nursing bra choices (not all brands are represented yet, but many are), and links to retailers who do carry those bras.  They even have some non-USA brands and retailer links reviewed on their site.  

Whatever size you require, there are many bras and brands available, so be sure to shop around. A word of warning, however, about Internet companies---they tend to come and go rather quickly in some cases, so companies that are in business when this list was updated may well go out of business later. Additionally, many new companies come online every day and may not be listed yet in this FAQ, so be sure to do a search in order to identify any new resources that may be out there.

Hints for Nursing Bras

Nursing bras can help prevent a lot of problems, but they can also cause problems as well. Be sure you have really good, supportive nursing bras if you are well-endowed! This is extremely important. Some women try to get by with soft bras and just lift the bra up for nursing. This may work well for smaller-busted women, but is not supportive enough for really well-endowed women, where the weight of the breast can cause the milk ducts underneath to drain sluggishly or infect.  It may be possible to do this later on as baby nurses less and the breasts are less full, but this should definitely be avoided early in nursing.  When transitioning into a softer bra to just lift up for nursing, be sure to watch carefully for signs of plugged ducts or mastitis.    

Less well-endowed women sometimes try to get by with an athletic bra. Athletic bras tend to reduce "bounce" by constricting the breasts snugly; this can reduce milk supply in some women, or cause a tendency towards plugged ducts/mastitis. Thus, these bras are generally contraindicated in breastfeeding.  A looser, soft cup bra that can be just pulled up may be a good compromise--as long as you are not in the early days of nursing.

Underwires can press against sensitive duct tissue, and often are the source of recurrent duct problems, especially in larger women. Many lactation specialists also recommend against "cut-out" nursing bras, where the cup unfastens but there is a large flap at the bottom to help support the breast. Unfortunately, this can cause too much pressure on the milk sinuses and also cause recurrent problems with mastitis and clogged ducts. It's worth noting that some women use underwire or cut-out nursing bras without problems, so 'your mileage may vary', but in general these types are best-avoided in larger women, especially those who are well-endowed.

If you have soreness problems when breastfeeding, the most common culprit is poor positioning by the mother, or poor latch-on by the baby.  Often, correcting the baby's position or latch is all that is needed to make breastfeeding more comfortable.  If you have these problems, be sure to consult with a lactation consultant ASAP for extra evaluation and help.  

Another cause of breast soreness that is often overlooked is nursing bra problems, so be very careful when purchasing your bra. An excellent nursing bra is worth its weight in gold.  Although they tend to be expensive in larger sizes, they are well-worth their purchase price just by helping to prevent infections and other problems. If you have recurrent plugged ducts or mastitis, consider whether your bra is supportive enough or is too tight/pressing against key areas among the possible causes. An underwire bra, an unsupportive bra, or a  too-tight/ill-fitting bra is often the culprit.

Kmom has had personal experience in this; she does not generally get many plugged ducts or problems, but did encounter occasional problems at times. Upon reflection, she realized she had worn two of her less-supportive bras just before the problems occurred.  Whenever the bras were used for even a half-day, the problem recurred. By avoiding use of these bras, she was able to eliminate the problem.

If you nurse long-term (more than a year or so) then you may be able to return to using other bras even while nursing, but during the first 6-9 months or so, be very careful about the bras you pick. Be very sure to use only the best and most supportive nursing bras if you are well-endowed.  

Other hints for helping a sore breast/plugged duct include:  

Remember that if you have any problems, see a *professional* (certified) lactation consultant AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!. Going too long without *expert* help is a consistent cause of breastfeeding pain, poor supply, infections, and breastfeeding 'failure'. Swift and expert feedback is critical to resolving the majority of breastfeeding problems. Don't wait!

Hints For Nursing Clothing

There are many great companies that carry plus-sized nursing wear now.  One of the best places to start looking is, as it has nursing wear available in sizes 4-30 (up to a 4x) and also has "talls" and "petites" available in all sizes too.  It is also one of the only places Kmom has ever found nursing dresses above a size 2/3x!!  However, selection does tend to be limited. also has some nursing clothes, often available into supersizes.  If you need a nursing outfit, especially one above a size 2x, Jake And Me and Baby Becoming are the places to start looking. sells a wide variety of truly beautiful nursing wear and has begun carrying them to size 2x and 3x, with a few items to a 4x.  J.C. Penney also has some nursing wear in its catalogue in plus sizes up to about a size 26 or so, and is often a more economical choice than other companies. has also started carrying more nursing clothes now too.

Many women wonder whether they will need nursing clothing, whether they should buy nursing clothing before the baby is born, how much nursing wear they will need, and what items are most important. The answer is---it varies according to your needs and budget. 

Some women swear by special nursing wear, while others feel it is unnecessary. Whether it is handy for you is something you'll have to discover when you get there. Generally speaking, special nursing wear is not really critical. If you have the money, you can invest in several nursing tops and perhaps something for a dressier occasion. If money is an issue but you think you will want nursing clothes, invest in a top or two and then see after a week or two postpartum whether it's really worth the expense in your situation. If you are really pressed for money, skip the nursing wear altogether. It can be helpful but it's not really critical to nursing success.

Using a two-piece outfit (a loose top and a bottom) and pulling up your shirt often works just as well as having a nursing top. You can also unbutton clothes from the top, but pulling up is FAR more discreet. Generally speaking, it seems to hold true that smaller-busted moms find nursing tops more important and handy to have; most nursing tops are not really designed for the needs of a really well-endowed mother, and they find it just as easy to get by in a regular shirt. However, your mileage may certainly vary! Do whatever seems to fit your needs best. [Note: many twin-moms feel that nursing wear is a must for them; women with other special nursing situations may also find it handier.]

Nursing wear usually has hidden slits for easier nursing, and these are covered by fabric flaps for modesty. Different types of nursing outfits have different access panels. Some have one central slit that you can access from either side; others have two slits, one on each side, covered by fabric. Some have a horizontal slit and fabric flaps, and there are other variations as well. These are hard to envision, so a visual aid is helpful. Excellent summaries of different types of nursing openings are available at,,  and   You will want to study this to further familiarize yourself with how nursing clothing works before you make any decisions about buying anything.

Some moms in cold-weather areas like to wear an old comfy t-shirt and cut openings over the breasts to wear under their regular clothes.  That way they do not need special expensive nursing clothing, yet once they unbutton or lift up their other clothes, their tummies are not exposed and they stay warmer.  

Other moms buy a couple of basic nursing t-shirts and camisoles from Motherwear or other companies, and then wear these under their regular clothes for similar coverage.  Still other mom convert their favorite regular t-shirts into nursing shirts, a very thrifty way to get nursing clothes.  Instructions for converting a t-shirt into a nursing shirt can be found online at

Since most casual wear is easy to nurse in, if you are on a budget, you may want to purchase special nursing wear only for more formal occasions, since most 'regular' dresses are very awkward for nursing. The other alternative for dress-up occasions is to use a top-and-skirt set. This way you and baby have easy access and you do not need to purchase any special clothing.

Other options for budget-conscious moms include sewing their own nursing clothes; has many great patterns. Most go up to size 20 and some go to sizes 22 or 24.  NAAFA has a great book to help learn to size average-sized patterns accurately into plus sizes (Sewing For Plus Sizes, available from ). An experienced sewer should be able to use this to alter regular patterns into plus patterns.  Or you can hire a local seamstress to help you customize the pattern and make a number of items for an economy discount.  There are even patterns online to help you make your own sling (at ) or nursing bra (at if you are a very advanced sewer!

Nursing in Public

Many mothers are very concerned about nursing discreetly in public, but with practice, it CAN be done with a minimum of fuss. Again, smaller-busted moms tend to find that special nursing clothing helps them nurse more discreetly in public, while well-endowed moms generally find that normal clothing (a loose top plus bottom) is more discreet for them. Nursing in a sling is often so discreet nobody even notices that you are nursing, but this is generally also easier for small-busted women than well-endowed ones. 

The key to being at ease with nursing in public is practice at home, mastering the latch-on process, and practicing in less-stressful situations first. While mastering the technique, keep a baby blanket nearby for security in case you feel you need more cover-up, but eventually you will not need it often. See the Nursing When Well-Endowed FAQ on this website for more specific hints about nursing in public, and below for hints for adapting special nursing holds for public nursing.

For women who have been schooled to be embarrassed about their bodies (as many large women have been), nursing in public often presents a daunting emotional challenge at first. However, with practice, it really is NOT that big a deal--take it from one who agonized over it! You CAN do it, or you *can* find a compromise that will give you a bit more privacy while still enabling your baby to nurse. It doesn't have to be all or nothing; with time and determination, you'll find something that works well for you.

Breastfeeding Hints

Women of size may want to experiment a bit more with different nursing positions in order to find what works best for them. The traditional 'cradle' hold often works well for small-busted women, including women who are 'overweight' but are a C/D cup or less pre-pregnancy). However, large-busted women (pre-pregnancy cup size DD+ or so) of any size often find the 'football' (under the arm) hold easier for nursing.  Kmom strongly recommends that they experiment with this position as well as others and find what works best for them.

With the football hold, the baby is held to the side of the body and under the arm (like a football) and its weight is supported by pillows or a chair armrest.  This frees the mother's arms and hands to help control the baby's latch-on and position, as well as to support the breast as needed. With the traditional cradle holds, the mother supports the baby with her arms and this makes it exceedingly difficult to support and guide the breast as much as most larger breasts need.   Since the very large breast generally needs so much support, it is difficult to hold the baby, support the breast, and guide the baby's latch-on as needed.  Therefore, the football hold often works best for well-endowed women in the early days of breastfeeding because it frees the mother from having to support the baby's body with her arms, , and some well-endowed moms use it long-term as well.  

The key to using the football hold successfully is to use as many pillows as needed to bring the baby up to the level of your breasts (bring the baby to your breasts, not your breasts to the baby).  Many women do not use enough pillows at first, making them tend to lean over the baby to nurse.  This is hard on her back and on the integrity of this hold, and can result in soreness.  Have plenty of pillows available to use as needed when learning to breastfeed, especially if you use the football hold.  You may also need to flex the baby's body at the hips so that it does not push against the back of the chair or arch its back.  

An excellent aid to learning how to use the football position is the Medela video, "Breastfeeding Your Baby: Positioning", which can be bought by calling 1-800-TELL-YOU. Another good resource is The Nursing Mother's Companion by Kathleen Huggins, Kmom's top recommendation for nursing manuals. Finally, the website at has excellent pictures and even downloadable movies of the various nursing positions, including the football hold (what appears to be a space in that URL is actually an underline).

When going out in public, the traditional cradle hold may make it difficult to be discreet if you are well-endowed. You can either hope to find a perfectly private spot wherever you go (a car, dressing room, or private office works well), use a blanket over your breasts as you nurse, or you can use the football hold instead for nursing in public. This is awkward to get used to but ultimately much more discreet and comfortable; not enough well-endowed women explore this option. 

To use the football hold in public, put a large diaper bag behind and to the side of you, then prop the baby up on the bag and your lap in order to achieve a more comfortable, discreet position. Then use your shirt to cover the breast up to and around the baby's mouth; very little flesh is exposed this way. Some will be exposed briefly while latching on or detaching, but much more flesh would be exposed with the cradle hold in women who are well-endowed! Turning away briefly while latching on, or using a blanket briefly to cover up while getting started is an option for those who wish to avoid even the briefest glimpse of flesh.

When you and baby are first learning to nurse, be sure to pre-express some milk before trying to latch on, especially during engorgement (temporary extra breast fullness when the mature milk 'comes in'). This will soften the breast and make it easier for a small baby to latch on. Many well-endowed women have difficulty at first with the baby latching on to the large breast, especially if they have flat nipples (no distinct protruding nipple). This leads many to abandon breastfeeding prematurely. 

The best advice in this situation is one of prevention. Nurse EARLY and OFTEN in order to prevent engorgement from becoming severe, and then pre-express some milk shortly before trying to latch on the baby. Pre-expressing will soften the breast and help bring out flat or slightly inverted nipples, making it much easier for a small baby to latch on correctly. The football hold offers additional benefits in this scenario as well, since it allows for greater control over the baby's head as you guide it towards the nipple, and you can see to check the latch-on more easily.

Some moms are able use the cradle hold without problem from the very start; others go on to use it as they and their babies become more proficient at nursing, while still other moms choose to stay with the football hold until the baby is much older. Whatever way works best for you is fine. The key is flexibility and experimentation to find what works for you.

More hints for breastfeeding when well-endowed are available in another section of this website. Kmom strongly recommends reading this section if you are well-endowed. Large women have a lower rate of breastfeeding in several studies than women of average size, but a great deal of this may well be due to the lack of advice and support for women of size in how to adapt breastfeeding techniques when needed. 

Don't let anyone tell you that you cannot breastfeed your baby simply because of your size; even VERY well-endowed women have succeeded in nursing their babies long-term. Sometimes it takes an adjustment in positioning and technique, an appropriate nursing bra, and expert help knowledgeable in helping well-endowed women, but it CAN be done! And for many of us who started the process dubious about the 'joys' of breastfeeding but determined to try it for the sake of our babies, it can be an incredibly powerful and healing path to body acceptance. Not only is it great for your baby, but it can be great for YOU, too.

Maternity Resources Outside the U.S.A. (Limited Resources)

Check out the big-folks clothing FAQs for Canada, Australia, U.K., and Europe. They are updated periodically and may well have resources that are not found below. They can be found at


U.S./Canada Sources That Ship To Other Countries

Bosom Buddies

Regular bras, sports bras, and nursing bras in brands such as Leading Lady, Fancee Free, Bravado, and Goddess. They recommend the Fancee Free 94305 as the best bra for well-endowed women, saying that the "inner 'sling' type construction gives great support, [and is] far more comfortable and breastfeeding-friendly than any underwire." Also large size maternity belts, breast pumps, and a number of products not always shown on their website.  Will also do special orders.  Also does mail orders, including to women in Europe and Japan.  They have a special 'Try the Fit Kit' to help women know how to order/fit a bra, even via the internet.  Details on their website.   Owner is a professionally certified lactation consultant (IBCLC).  


Table I: Size Conversions, UK/USA/EU

Note: Sent in by a cyber-friend, so Kmom cannot confirm the accuracy of this conversion.  Always ask about converting sizes before ordering!

UK 10 12 14 16 18 20
USA 8 10 12 14 16 18
EU 36 38 40 42 44 (46)


Resources for Canada


Many plus-size clothing stores all over Canada.  Above are listings/contact info for several.  When last checked, website did not work beyond a cover page.  

Ample Mama Maternity

"I am the first and only Canadian website to cater specifically to the plus-sized market for both maternity and nursing clothing."  Also carries baby carriers.  

Baby Love Products

Not much info except that this Canadian company also has Bravado bras for sale; would be cheaper than buying in the U.S.

Baby Trekker

Basically a heavily padded front-pack baby carrier, which can reportedly also be worn as a backpack with the baby facing out.  Receives rave reviews from parents.  Has heavily-padded shoulder straps that criss-cross in the back for less stressful support, and a waist strap that fastens with Velcro for ease of use.  

Bare Ware

Discount prices on nursing bras and other lingerie.  (Canadian prices seem high but if you convert to US dollars it is apparently cheaper than many US companies.)

Born To Love

Not much info except that this is a Canadian source for baby supplies, cloth diapers, etc.

Bravado Designs

Breast is Best: Clothing for Nursing Mothers

Nursing clothing mostly to 1x (20), some to 2x (22/24). "We are dedicated to providing quality clothing at affordable prices for today's nursing mothers." Call for free brochure. Please note that there is more than one company with a similar name.

Cotton Ginny Plus

Not a maternity store, but has casual and comfortable cotton clothing to about 26/28. Has stores all across Canada. Could be used to buy clothing a size or two larger by some women.  Reportedly went out of business for a while, but is apparently back in business now, but with less selection than before.  Website apparently doesn't work anymore.  

Cuddle Karrier

Hip style baby carrier best used for older children.  It is supposedly a fanny-pack that converts into a hip seat, with the waist belt converting into a padded shoulder strap.  Very compact, and it's double-duty design is very versatile.  From the owners: "The Cuddle Karrier is an ingenious baby carrier & child sling that is a 7-in-ONE KiNDER Mobility System.  Comfortable, secure, and easy to use.  One hand to put on, to adjust and remove...[Can be used for] a mini diaper bag, expandable waist pack, shoulder tote, travel high chair, shopping cart security restraint."  It's size-friendliness is unknown.

Fashion Magazine List of Clothing Resources

Website list of MANY clothing stores around the US and Canada, including many plus-size stores and websites.  This site takes quite a while to load, so be patient.  

Heart to Heart

Not much info, just a padded constructed sling made in Canada.  One customer reports that a size "long" was suitable for her at 5'3" and 225 lbs (busty).  She thinks they would do a custom-sized sling if asked.  She said the company was great to deal with.  

Lingerie Elegance

Right now only carries nightgowns, pyjamas, and negligees but plans to add more lingerie in plus sizes to 5x (34-36). Also carries tall sizes too. A few styles would work in pregnancy. Very upscale, pricey, but truly beautiful work.

Maternity Cupboard

Maternity store and mail-order business in Calgary.  Carries up to 3x.  May also have some used maternity clothing too.

MilkFace Nursingwear

Nursingwear, bras, slings, and many breastfeeding-related products.  Sizes to 2x.  

Moms To Be 

Lots of maternity clothing, now in plus sizes up to size 26 (4x), with more items to be added soon, according to their website.  Some good maternity clothing basics.  Also carries breast pumps, nursing pillows and many gift items.  Has nursing bras, but mostly Bravado nursing bras (which is not as good for well-endowed plus size moms, but okay for less endowed plus size moms).  

Nurtured Cub Slings

Makes a "lightly padded ring sling" out of cotton fabric in many colours and patterns with lightweight metal rings. Will custom size a sling for you.  "Handcrafted and comfortable Baby Ring Slings with beautiful cotton fabric.  Durable and lightweight metal rings, 'light' padding with a pocket are some of the features. Custom Orders are welcome!"

Other Miscellaneous Sources

Virtually no information about these companies/sites, except that they possibly carry some limited plus-size maternity stuff.


Plus-size clothing to about 5x.  No specific maternity stuff, but their regular clothes in a size higher might work for many women.  

Plus Size

Non-commercial website which does not SELL bras, but does compare and review bra options in sizes above an F cup, including maternity and nursing bras.  It then has contact info and links to retailers that sell those bra brands.  Includes companies that sell in the USA, and some companies that sell in the UK, New Zealand, Australia, Germany, and possibly Mexico.  A good review (with photos) of some of the different types of bras available in larger cup sizes. New updates periodically, so check back often.  

Thyme Maternity

Thyme Maternity has now started carrying a line of maternity clothes. Sizes up to 2x, maybe larger at times.

Under and Above

Undergarments, lingerie, and they reportedly do alterations.


One customer writes that Walmart carries maternity clothes to a size 16/18, and they are generously sized.  

Yes!  Breastfeeding

Nursing bra that some extremely well-endowed moms swear by.  Sports-style bra, large wide back for better support, no underwires, one-handed unlatching of the bra cup, side panel for extra support, flexible sizing as your bra sizes goes up and down in the latter part of pregnancy/early days of nursing.  Company is in Vancouver, British Columbia but they ship.  Some retail stores carry it; the site lists these.  Also carried by internet companies like  Sold by companies in the UK, Canada, US, and Australia; see the website to find these companies.  


Resources for Australia/New Zealand

Adele Ravallese

Store with some plus-size maternity wear.  Mostly regular plus-size clothes. (From the website.)

Belly Basics

Maternity clothing in sizes to 16/18 (Australian sizes).  Located in New South Wales.

Belly Button Maternity

Maternity clothing to size 20 Australian (they list this as being size 16 US and size 18 UK).  Stores in North Cote, Victoria and Camberwell, Victoria.  

Big Girls Don't Cry (Anymore)

Retail store in Queensland that carries some maternity/nursing bras (store hours 8-4, M-F, and 8:30-1 the first Saturday of each month). Also does mail-orders. In the U.S. and Canada, their stock can be found through Treva's and Lingerie at Large (see nursing bras FAQ). Also has a "Fashion Directory for Large Ladies and Men in Australia" which includes maternity resources among others. It costs $9.95 for a period of 12 months.

Big On Brook 

Big Time Casuals

Store with some plus-size maternity wear.  (From the website.)

Cosmic Clothing

Plus size clothing in New South Wales.  

Daimaru, Melbourne CBD

Huge department store, well-known in the area. Multiple styles of maternity bras from 30AAA to 52FFF; willing to order if you cannot find what you needed.

Fertile Mind

Maternity clothing distributor; has some plus-sized clothes in limited sizes (to size 18).  Glamourmom nursing bras to XXL, and Bellybras for maternity support to XXXL.  

Jayem Underfashions

Store with some plus-size maternity wear.  (From the website.)

Kool Baby Slings

Little information except that this is a sling available in Australia.

Leonora's Boutique

Store with some plus-size maternity wear.  (From the website.)

Mackay Maternity Wear

Maternity in sizes 8-18.  

Margg's Collection Plus

Store with some plus-size maternity wear.  (From the website.)

Mary White's 

Store with some plus-size maternity wear.  (From the website.)

Maternity Matters

Good selection of plus-size maternity wear. Does mail orders in Australia only.  Sizes 8-24.

Mums N Bubs Maternity Wear

Maternity shop in Darwin, Australia.  Maternity clothing to size 24 (3x).  

Nursing Mother's Association of Australia

Sort of like a La Leche League-type organization for Australia; anecdotal reports Kmom has heard have been very positive. Contact them for support for nursing or for consultation if you encounter problems. Email counseling available.  Will also order slings with longer straps for plus-size moms. May be a resource for nursing clothing information, too.

One Plus One Maternity Wear

Store with some plus-size maternity wear.  (From the website.)

Other Miscellaneous Resources

Paris Bras & Beauty

"We are a mail-order (only) company in Australia and we offer Goddess style 510. Also offer stle 421. We have a seamless cotton maternity brief style 4037, and maternity half slips - styles 376 and 392. We offer bra extenders and shoulder ease (little pillow that easily attach to most bra straps)."

Plus Size

Non-commercial website which does not SELL bras, but does compare and review bra options in sizes above an F cup, including maternity and nursing bras.  It then has contact info and links to retailers that sell those bra brands.  Includes companies that sell in the USA, and some companies that sell in the UK, New Zealand, Australia, Germany, and possibly Mexico.  A good review (with photos) of some of the different types of bras available in larger cup sizes. New updates periodically, so check back often.  

Ready and Waiting

Store with some plus-size maternity wear.  (From the website.)

Special Delivery Maternity Wear

Store with some plus-size maternity wear.  (From the website.)  Does mail order as well; you pay for $5000 of merchandise and they send you a package of things to select from in your size.  You try on and choose what works for you and return the rest, and they refund the difference (plus a shipping charge).  Sizes to about 16 or 18.  

Target Stores

U.S. store reportedly beginning to be found all over Australia now. In the U.S., it carries plus sizes and good, inexpensive nursing bras (though not in high cup or band sizes)--some have reported this for Australia as well, plus nursing pillows and other associated products.

Tropical Climax Boutique

Store with some plus-size maternity wear.  (From the website.)

Two Resource List

List of plus-sized maternity wear in Australia.  Most generalized info put into FAQ above, but they have specific stores listed as well.  May be periodically updated, so check it out.  

Yes!  Breastfeeding

Nursing bra that some extremely well-endowed moms swear by.  Sports-style bra, large wide back for better support, no underwires, one-handed unlatching of the bra cup, side panel for extra support, flexible sizing as your bra sizes goes up and down in the latter part of pregnancy/early days of nursing.  Company is in Vancouver, British Columbia but they ship.  Some retail stores carry it; the site lists these.  Also carried by internet companies like  Sold by companies in the UK, Canada, US, and Australia; see the website to find these companies.  


Resources for the UK


Blooming Marvellous 

Maternity wear.

Bump Start

Maternity fashions and other products.  Sizes mostly to size 18 or 20, with an occasional 22.

Curvy Diva

"We have a wide range of clothing in sizes 16-54.  A majority of our styles are ideal for pregnant BBW ladies."


An American living in London reports that Evans is like a Lane Bryant (if that means anything to you).  Carries UK sizes 16-32, and carries "pretty much everything from underwear to shoes and their clothes are relatively reasonably priced."  Carries Dawn French's clothing line as well.  

Expecting Matnernity Wear

No real information about this company, just a tip that it carries some plus sizes in maternity and nursing wear.  

French and Teague  (Sixteen 47)

Store that carries a line of clothing co-designed by Dawn French, prominent British actress and comedian.  According to the website, they have sizes from 1-6, which they list as size 1 (size 16-20), size 2 (20-24), size 3 (24-28), size 4 (28-32), size 5 (32-36), size 6 (36-47).  One of the few British companies to carry supersizes.  No maternity wear but some options that might work for larger women, especially for those who are supersized.  

From Here To Maternity  

Its Sketchbook Collection offers a personalised maternity wear service that can cater for individual requirements. Sizes 8 - 28 (UK sizes), garments can be made to measure at no extra cost. Very wide range of styles and fabrics to choose from.

Kari-Me Baby Carriers

Baby carriers sold in the UK but will ship worldwide as needed.  Baby "wrap" much like the "Baby Bundler" from the US.  They will offer special size Kari Me to anyone who needs it.  

Margaret Ann

Specialist in underwear, nightwear, swimwear in full range of sizes. Also maternity.

Room For Two Maternity

Excellent resource!  Room For Two used to be part of the "Becoming" group, but that group has closed.  This company manufactures and retails maternity wear in ALL sizes.  The clothes are made to order using your measurements, so tall, petites, plus sizes, between and mixes sizes are all catered for.  Goes into supersizes!  Looks like a valuable resource for the UK.  

Nursing bras and Clothes

Miscellaneous brands in large sizes:

Bras Direct  

Maternity bras to 40G or 42DD.


Lingerie site "with a wide range of maternity wear catering for every shape, including plus size."


One of the outlets of the National Childbirth Trust, an outlet which just makes maternity wear.  Sizes up to 52H?

Mother Nature Bras

Carries Bravado bras and Anita bras in the UK.  Also has maternity swimsuits.  

Plus Size

Non-commercial website which does not SELL bras, but does compare and review bra options in sizes above an F cup, including maternity and nursing bras.  It then has contact info and links to retailers that sell those bra brands.  Includes companies that sell in the USA, and some companies that sell in the UK, New Zealand, Australia, Germany, and possibly Mexico.  A good review (with photos) of some of the different types of bras available in larger cup sizes. New updates periodically, so check back often.  

Royce Lingerie 

Support and nursing bras to 40J.  


Nursing bras from 32A to 44G, and has some nursing clothes available to 3x. 

Yes!  Breastfeeding

Nursing bra that some extremely well-endowed moms swear by.  Sports-style bra, large wide back for better support, no underwires, one-handed unlatching of the bra cup, side panel for extra support, flexible sizing as your bra sizes goes up and down in the latter part of pregnancy/early days of nursing.  Company is in Vancouver, British Columbia but they ship.  Some retail stores carry it; the site lists these.  Also carried by internet companies like  Sold by companies in the UK, Canada, US, and Australia; see the website to find these companies.  

Support pantie girdles and maternity belts

Some available from Emma Jane and Anita.

Slings and Baby carriers

Better Baby Sling

Suitable from birth to 15kg. (32lbs). Comes with an illustrated instruction leaflet to show different ways to carry your baby (and even 3 ways to carry twins) and an optional video. Newborns and bfing babies can be cradled, older babies may prefer to be more upright, facing in, out or on the hip. From UK P21.75. 

Caboodle carrier

Front carrier with padded straps, leg openings, enclosed sides and a removable head hugger. It is suitable for babies up to 10kg/22lbs. (about a year) and can be adjusted for each wearer. Costs from UK P19.99 from nursery/dept. stores.


From birth to 30lb toddler. An instruction leaflet, with photos of babies of different ages showing different carrying positions. Quick to put on, a sleeping baby can be put don without being woken up. Bfing is easy and babies over 6 months can be carried on the back for short distances. Costs UK P32.95. 

Sling Easy

Suitable from birth to 15.4kg. (35 lb) (about 30 months). Photographic leaflet shows how to put on the sling easily with your baby cradled (for sleep or discreet bfing), upright facing in or out, or sitting on your hip. Available in 4 sizes. Helpful if you ring them. Costs between UK P 26.99 and 36.99 depending on size and fabric. 

Suantrai sling

Suitable from birth to about 35lb. Cradled for sleeping/bfing, or cuddled chest to chest. Later sit up sideways, facing the front or on your hip. As well as a written and photographic leaflet there is a history of the sling and its use in different cultures. Available in 3 sizes. Provide your own fabric and you can have your own made. Costs from UK P17.95 to UK P23.95.

Tommy Tippe Baby carrier

Front carrier with padded leg holders and detachable head support. Suitable from birth to 9kg/20lb (9 months). Fastens one side for easy access and front opening for discreet bfing. Supplied with 2 waterproof terry bibs. Costs UK P27.99. Widely available. 

Wilkinet Baby Carrier

Carried on front facing in or on the back or hip. From newborn to 30lb. toddler. Cushioned head, back and leg support. Wide comfortable shoulder straps. The strap wrap around and tie over baby's bottom, there's no rings, buckles, clips or zips. UK P28.95. Princes include p & p. 

Nursing pillows

V shaped pillow

Excellent for comfort and back support during pregnancy, back support whilst bfing, supporting baby when learning to sit up. Approved by midwives and active birth teachers. Comes with handmade washable cover. 


Resources Elsewhere

And Baby Makes 3 Maternity

Anita Bras

Carries the Anita brand of nursing bras, including the Anita 5022 etc. suitable for larger busts.  Sells primarily to Germany, Switzerland, France, and Italy areas.  


Resources for Further Information and Help with Breastfeeding

The Breastfeeding Advocacy Page

Extensive discussion and documentation on the many benefits of breastmilk. Excellent resource, with many medical references and studies examined.

Breastfeeding After Reduction Surgery

Information, hints, and FAQs about Breastfeeding after Breast Reduction Surgery.  Reportedly an excellent resource.  


Superb site devoted to helping mothers nurse. Usual advocacy information, but its best value lies in its extensive photos of babies nursing in various positions, even video clips of how to do the various positions (including the much-neglected football hold!). Extensive photography of nursing babies, including twins, tandem nursing (toddler and newborn), multiethnic nursing mothers, etc., plus lots of beautiful artwork of nursing mothers from ancient to modern art.

The Breastfeeding Helpline (A La Leche League International Service)

Recorded information available immediately. Counselors available during certain hours.

CARE NW (Care and Advice on Reproductive Exposures)

This *INVALUABLE* service provides information on the effects of drugs and other exposures on the developing fetus and during lactation. If you are not sure about the safety of a certain drug or chemical exposure during pregnancy or during breastfeeding, call and they will research it for you. They often have access to more complete information than your physician. Their services were formerly available only to residents of the Pacific Northwest, USA, but they have now opened up to service elsewhere through the use of the 900 number. At this time, they will also work via email, but request that a donation be mailed after they give you their research on your question. No amount is specified, but I would hope that people would honor this generously as it's a very valuable service. (So far they have had some problems with people using the service and then not donating, so the email option may be taken away.)

Hale's Medications and Mother's Milk

THE most reliable source for up-to-date information about medications while nursing is this book. It is updated every year; every medical library and pediatrician should have it. Unfortunately, not all do. A smaller version of the book is available at the website plus information about the full book. If you really need to access this book, call a large local hospital and ask for the medical librarian. Ask if they have this book, and if not, whether they can borrow the book from another hospital or library. If not, they can probably photocopy the page of the medication in question for you and mail it to your local hospital. Most hospitals do this for free, but some may charge a small amount.

International Lactation Consultant Association

THE place to start searching for a truly qualified lactation consultant, one with the initials "IBCLC" after their names!  To search for an IBCLC in your area (USA or Internationally), go to

Jane's Breastfeeding Resources

Extensive list of breastfeeding FAQs, resources, and support information for women in the UK.  

La Leche League International

The very best resource for information/support for nursing around. Call to find the nearest meeting to you, or to get in contact with a volunteer leader to ask questions or get a referral to a good lactation consultant. Also check out the web site! The best time to start attending meetings is BEFORE you deliver. Some women are afraid LLL is too radical for them; most are not, but quality depends on the local leadership. However, the philosophy is "take what you need and leave the rest behind," so if you don't agree with something, ignore that recommendation. Truly an exceptional resource. Also offers many fine pamphlets on nursing-related topics/concerns.

Medela, Inc. Breastfeeding Tips and Products

Call 1-800-TELL-YOU for Breastfeeding Advice Booklet that gives hints on breastfeeding, as well as offers several Medela products. Some products that might assist a large woman in particular are the Extra Large Glass Breastshield Kit (#610.7041) and a 15-minute video on Breastfeeding Your Baby - Positioning (#610V010). This excellent short presentation on positioning includes the football hold, which often works better for women who are extremely well-endowed, as well as more traditional holds. This is often not covered in other books or videos on the subject, so this is an extremely valuable asset to a large woman. A longer version of this video is available but the positioning section is all that's really needed for most people. A spanish version can also be ordered.

Nursing Mother's Association of Australia

Sort of like a La Leche League-type organization for Australia; anecdotal reports Kmom has heard have been very positive. Contact them for support for nursing or for consultation if you encounter problems. Email counseling available.  Will also order slings with longer straps for plus-size moms.

Nursing Mother's Counsel

Another breastfeeding support organization in the USA, emphasizing peer support and volunteer leader help.

parent-l mailing list

An extensive, high-volume mailing list designed to support breastfeeding and parenting the nursing child. There is somewhat of an emphasis on extended breastfeeding and attachment parenting. To subscribe to the single message mode simply send a message to with 'subscribe' in the body of the message.

Pumping Advice and Story

Owner of the BigMom's mailing list details her story of breastfeeding difficulties at first, pumping travails, how she stuck it out, pumping advice to others, etc. (the space in the URL above is really an underline).

Pumping Moms Information Exchange Website

Information about pumping etc. Many good FAQs and a great Links page!

Rx List

Provides comprehensive information about 4000 commonly prescribed drugs; no charge. However, if this list is like the Physician's Desk Reference, it is overly conservative because of liability fears, and may list certain drugs as incompatible with nursing when under certain circumstances they might be ok. Use this list as an adjunct resource but not as your sole resource when researching drugs and lactation.

Working Cow Website

More info about being a nursing mom while working outside the home, pumping advice, etc.


Nursing Book Resources

These are the best books on the market, in Kmom's opinion. Your Mileage May Vary! You can find these books through various sources, including

The Nursing Mother's Companion, Kathleen Huggins, 4th Revised Edition, c. 1998?.

By far the easiest-to-use and most practical of nursing guides. Pack this one in your hospital bag! Especially useful is the quick-reference Survival Guide for the First Weeks--much easier to use for trouble-shooting if you have any questions or problems. Has a few brief references to the problems of larger breasts, and actually shows some in a section on the different sizes and shapes of breasts. 4th Edition has more attention to the problems well-endowed women can encounter. One of the only nursing books to address this!

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, La Leche League International, 7th Revised Edition, c. 2003.

Classic text on breastfeeding, very well-done--but does not address the issues that can challenge some large-breasted women. Barely addresses the football hold, and some women find it very preachy. Still worth reading, however, and the section on medical benefits of breastfeeding is superb---a must-read.

So That's What They're For! Breastfeeding Basics. Janet Tamaro, c. 1996.

A more humorous approach to breastfeeding, but still full of useful information. A great book to get if you are not sure whether you want to nurse or not, or if you think you should but are not really crazy about the idea. Good for spouses too. Good book, but don't make it your only nursing manual; use it in tandem with another nursing manual like Nursing Mother's Companion or Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. Contains a few sizist remarks but still overall a good asset.

Breastfeeding Your Baby, Sheila Kitzinger c.1989

Beautiful pictures, including many of women of a good variety of colors and breast sizes/shapes. Spends most of its time on the traditional cradle holds, but does mention strategies for dealing with large breasts (supporting breast with hand, a breast sling, or tucking the baby under your arm, which is another way to describe the football hold). Nice as a supplemental resource but don't use as your only nursing manual.

Bestfeeding: Getting Breastfeeding Right for You, Renfrew, Fisher, and Arms. c. 1990.

Deals *only* with the cradle position, but has *extensive* discussion and photographs of positioning problems and strategies. Truly excellent for diagnosing and correcting positioning problems! Great photographs, but not much breast-size diversity. Still worth checking out from a library.


What To Do With Used Plus-Sized Maternity Clothing

When you are done having children, what should you do with your used plus-sized maternity and nursing clothing/products?  There are several options for you to consider.

First, Kmom strongly encourages women of size to consider donating all or part of their wardrobe to other plus-sized moms who need extra help affording these clothes.  Many larger women are economically disadvantaged and cannot afford to buy this kind of clothing.  They rely on donations, consignment stores, used clothing stores, or gifts from other big moms.  Unfortunately, little is donated to these resources.  Many big moms end up making do in pregnancy with little or nothing that fits right.  To donate your used maternity clothing, contact email support groups like the Big Moms list or those sponsored by and ask if anyone needs any maternity donations in your size.

Another option is to contact your local pregnancy resource hotlines and ask around your community about organizations that would like to have plus-sized maternity clothing.  Or you can donate to a national shelter through organizations like (1-800-395-HELP).  Or you can mail your clothing directly to:

If you need the money, you can sell your plus-sized maternity and nursing wear (and slings etc.) online.  Selling it through online companies like eBay usually can net you quite a bit of your investment back.  Or you can sell it through the OMOM Trading and Swapping Board, This URL may eventually change; if you try it and it doesn't work, further information about this swapping board may be able to be found at  Other auction boards that may also sell plus-sized items include

However, Kmom requests that if you decide to resell your clothing and baby equipment to recoup part of your costs, please consider donating at least one or two items to other big moms in need.  There is nothing wrong with trying to make back some of your money spent on maternity clothing, but please be willing to make a small donation to help out our less-advantaged sisters.  There really is a shortage of affordable and readily available gently-used maternity etc. clothing in plus sizes.  It's up to US to help out.  


Other Size-Acceptance Resources


NAAFA (National Association for the Advancement of Fat Acceptance)

An American human rights organization working very hard on social and legal fronts to make fat people's lives a bit easier. They have several mailing lists, which you can find out more about through NAAFA's website. Although NAAFA is an American organization, you can email it for more information about similar size-activism groups elsewhere in the world.

International Size Acceptance Association

Another organization working hard on size-acceptance issues.  They have a links page that connects to a number of non-maternity clothing options, often for very large sizes.  If you have trouble finding clothes in your size, you might want to check out their list of links.  


Size Wise

Collection of information and links to size-positive sites.  "Dedicated to bring you all the information you need to live your life fully---at any size."  


Lots of info and products geared towards larger women; lots of links to other size-positive sites.  


An internet newsgroup for support for large people. Dieting discussions are not part of the charter; fat-acceptance is. A number of FAQs for big-folks are posted bi-weekly here; their web site is These FAQs include general clothing resources, health FAQs, research FAQs, and general resources FAQs. An excellent resource for more information.

Another internet newsgroup about fat-acceptance, not dieting. Many topics are cross-posted with, but not all are. The Big-Folks FAQs are also cross-posted here.  The advantage here is that this is a moderated newsgroup, so some of the trolls and spammers that annoy other fat-acceptance newsgroups are screened out.  

Mailing Lists

Big Moms Mailing List

Kmom's favorite mailing list (though she likes many others too!). Devoted to the concerns of big moms everywhere. Topics include size concerns, general parenting issues, and issues unique to big moms, as well as general socializing and support. You do not need to be a mom or pregnant to join, just interested in having kids someday. Not just for moms with new babies; moms with kids of all ages (biological, adopted, or foster) are all welcome. Discussions can occasionally get vigorous; list is not moderated but posts are usually very supportive. Note: This is not a diet-free list; be sure to use clear subject headers for any discussion of dieting/non-dieting issues (see subscription info). In order to subscribe, send a message to the above email address with a body of SUBSCRIBE big_moms_list.  

Mailing Lists for Large Women and Pregnancy

Source of a large number of mailing lists on large women and pregnancy. All lists are semi-moderated and well-run. Go to for information about joining.

Other Lists for Large Moms

Fat-Acceptance Mailing Lists

To join, email the above majordomo address. In the body of your email, put only the words "subscribe fat-acceptance" (without punctuation). Most people on this list are NAAFA members, but you do not have to be a member to subscribe.

This mailing list is for the enjoyment of all people who either BBWs or who appreciate BBWs in all of their glory.  In the message of the subscription message, type only subsingle

ICAN Mailing List (International Cesarean Awareness Network)

High-volume but invaluable mailing list for women who are recovering from a c-section or trying to avoid one. Very pro-VBAC; lots of information about educating yourself about childbirth care. To subscribe, email the above address and put the word 'subscribe' (no punctuation) in the body of the message (nothing else).


About This FAQ

Some of the information in this document is drawn from the FAQ, Clothing for Big Folks in the US. This contains numerous clothing resources for large people, including ski clothes, lingerie, wedding/formal attire, shoes, costumes, exercise wear, etc. and is an invaluable resource---Kmom highly recommends checking into it! There are also a number of other related FAQs on plus-size clothing resources for the UK, Canada, Europe, Australia, etc. Other related FAQs include information on health questions for large people, obesity research, common questions, etc. These FAQs are posted bi-weekly to the newsgroups and They are also available at

There are other online lists of clothing resources for plus-sized people; these tend to come and go a bit and are not always reliable. However, more information is better than none, so try looking at the FAQs at:

Thanks to Sasha Wood who contributed a great deal to the fat-acceptance FAQs from which this FAQ was first drawn. Thanks also to Rebecca Smith Wadell, who maintains a number of mailing lists for large women in the process of trying to have children, and to Laura De Leon, who maintains the Big Moms mailing list. They have provided a support service that has been truly invaluable to many. Many entries to the maternity and nursing clothing FAQ have come from suggestions from these lists, and the past and present members who have helped in this way must also be thanked.

Many other people (too many to credit individually!) contributed information that appears herein via email, the fat-acceptance net groups, etc. Thanks to them all. Some entries were also drawn from resource lists put out by articles in BBW magazine and Mode magazine. Many others were found through online searches and digging by Kmom. Thanks to all who have helped contribute to this FAQ! In particular, special thanks to those who take time to email Kmom specially with contact information updates, new additions, and suggestions. Your assistance is greatly appreciated!

This FAQ is updated about once a year. Suggestions for additions/improvements are always welcome. Contact Kmom with your information by emailing her at


Copyright 1996-2006 Kmom@Vireday.Com. Permission is granted to copy and redistribute the clothing section ONLY of this website, provided that this copyright notice is not removed or altered, that the clothing section is used in its entirety ONLY, that it is used for non-commercial purposes ONLY, and that it is provided for no charge. No portion of this work may be sold or published elsewhere, either by itself or as part of a larger work, without the express written permission of the author; this restriction covers all publication media, electrical, chemical, mechanical or other such as may arise over time.

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