Quality nursing bras are essential for breastfeeding moms. Nursing bras of the past are notorious for lacking support, comfort and style. Today, the best nursing bras are designed with a modern mother’s busy lifestyle in mind, delivering nearly as many supportive, comfortable and stylish options as regular bras.
Choosing the best nursing bra for your needs is an overwhelming task. Women often want to shop before baby arrives, adding to the challenge of selecting the correct size. Preparing to meet your new addition is a stressful time, so we are here to simplify nursing bra shopping with this guide to purchasing a nursing bra with the features needed to start your breastfeeding journey.
Why Do I Need a Nursing Bra?
- Nursing bras have specific characteristics that set them apart from regular bras.
- Nursing bras provide a way for mothers to easily and discreetly give their baby access to the breast during feeding.
- Some nursing bras have a clasp that attaches the cup to the strap. When the clasp is undone, the cup can be pulled down to begin feeding.
- Other nursing bras have a crisscross panel design that allows the cup fabric to be pushed out of the way to breastfeed.
- Nursing bras offer wide straps and a thick band for optimal support of heavy breasts. They are typically made of soft, breathable fabrics to accommodate variable cup sizes, reduce skin irritation and prevent breast infections.
- Many women are hesitant to purchase bras that are only used during nursing, especially if they plan to nurse for a short time.
- Nursing bras often include features that make them appropriate for pregnancy so that women can purchase a bra that will be worn for a longer period of time.
Tips for Choosing The Best Nursing Bras
1. Get extra mileage out of your nursing bra by purchasing one that you can wear during pregnancy. Select a nursing bra constructed of a fabric that molds to your cup size to fit smoothly on breasts that fluctuate in size. Choose an option that includes a band extender to accommodate a larger ribcage during pregnancy.
2. If you decide to purchase nursing bras during your third trimester, remember that your band size will typically decrease by about one size while your cup size will increase by about one size after delivery. To allow for this change, opt for bras made of soft, stretchy fabric that are most comfortable hooked on the outer hooks.
3. Consider getting professionally fitted for your nursing bras, especially if you want to try an underwire style. Breastfeeding supply stores or maternity clothing stores offer this service.
4. Try on your new nursing bras with the absorbent breast pads that you plan to use to ensure that they fit discreetly.
5. Don’t forget to purchase a nursing bra designed for sleep. They provide light to moderate support and hold nursing pads in place to prevent leaking onto your clothing and bedding overnight.
6. If you are considering a style that uses a strap clasp, test it out ahead of time to ensure that it can be easily operated with one hand.
7. Choose styles that are compatible with the clothes in your closet. Some nursing bras come with a special clip to convert the traditional straps to a racerback style for wardrobe versatility.
8. Motherhood is a busy time! Choose easy-care styles to simplify your life. Machine washable nursing bras with minimal detailing work well for new moms.
9. Check the quality of your nursing bra before purchasing. Look for well-stitched seams and supportive material. Pass on bras with loose threads and bras that have defects. If you are purchasing online, read shopper reviews to get an idea about the product’s quality and durability.
10. Some women prefer nursing bras that include foam padding to add shape, absorb leaks and look discreet. Other women find that foam pads are cumbersome. If you prefer a style with foam pads, make sure they are lump-free, easy to move out of the way during nursing and made of a resilient material that resumes a smooth shape after being pushed out of the way to nurse.
The Best Nursing Bras Reviewed
This machine washable bra is made from a four-way stretch fabric to accommodate the ever-changing breast size of a nursing mother. The seamless design goes unnoticed under your favorite top.
Removable foam pads add shape and provide leak protection.
Bravado! Designs is known for their easy-to-use strap clasps that simplify feeding time for busy moms and hungry infants. If you fall in love with this bra, it comes with a conversion kit to transform from a nursing bra to a regular bra when your breastfeeding journey is complete.
The Athaelay nursing bra is a great combination of style and function. It comes with a specially-designed clip to convert the bra to a racerback style for wardrobe versatility. This bra can easily transition from a maternity bra to a nursing bra. It comes with a matching band extender to accommodate the ribcage pre and post baby.
Athaelay nursing bras have basic desirable features, such as stretchy, breathable fabric, easy-to-use strap clasps, a wide band and removable pads.
The Simple Wishes pumping bra is a useful accessory for a busy mother who wants to pump breastmilk hands-free, allowing her to multi-task. It is compatible with all major electric pump brands. This bustier bra holds pump flanges securely in place with four layers of machine-washable cotton. It has a zip-in front panel and generous Velcro adjustment in the back to make it easy to place the pump flanges in the optimal position. The Simple Wishes pumping bra comes in extra small, small and medium sizes that will fit women with bra sizes that range from 30AA-34J.
While this bra could be used as a nursing bra for daily wear, many women choose to put it on solely for hands-free pumping since it fits easily over a regular nursing bra. This makes it a convenient option for working mothers who need to pump quickly, discreetly and hands-free.
This wireless nursing bra is a practical choice for new mothers who need their bra to pull double-duty as a supportive maternity bra and a convenient nursing bra. It offers basic features that new moms expect from a maternity or nursing bra. The breathable cotton material and removable pads absorb leaks, preventing breast irritation. Matching band extenders and adjustable straps ensure a supportive fit as breast size fluctuates during pregnancy and through nursing. The strap clasps are easy to operate with one hand while holding a fussy infant.
The Simple Wishes Signature bra is the workhorse of hands free pumping bras. It is designed to be flexible to always give the perfect fit as your nursing body changes in size and shape. It’s a good choice for working mothers or women who pump exclusively. It is made of a cotton/spandex blend for a wrinkle-free fit under regular clothing.
This bra provides the same conveniences that women expect from a top-quality nursing bra, such as a matching band extender, adjustable straps and reusable nursing pads.
The Running Girl nursing bra provides a feminine fit for moms-to-be and nursing mothers. Its wireless design and smooth construction define the breasts, rather than flattening them. Nursing moms can either unclip the easy-to-use strap clasps or slide the supportive yet flexible band over the breast to breastfeed.
This bra is sturdy enough to provide plenty of support during light exercise, yet soft enough to sleep in.
The common features expected in a great maternity or nursing bra are also offered in this style. This bra comes with extra nursing pads, matching band extenders and a clip to convert it to a racerback design.
SodaCoda’s Wireless Maternity Lace Nursing Bra is a stylish yet practical choice for nursing mothers. It has a lace design to make an overwhelmed mother feel feminine again. This full-coverage bra is uniquely sized by dress size for the ideal supportive and uplifting fit. The bra straps are smartly placed at an angle toward the middle of the back to prevent straps from sliding down the shoulders. This bra offers a crisscross design in the front for easy access to the breast during daytime or nighttime feedings. The four-way stretch fabric is easy to care for, breathable and durable.
The Lingerie4Moms Nursing Bra & Panty Set is a functional and stylish choice for nursing mothers. The sexy yet comfortable design gives a new mother confidence in her changing body. This set is an ideal gift for a soon-to-be nursing mama.
The bra offers soft, full coverage cups made from breathable material. The sturdy construction holds up to the demands of a new mother. This bra comes with a band extender, making it a practical choice for pre and post partum. The strap clasps are easy to use with one hand, a necessary nursing bra feature. The manufacturer offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee on this bra and panty set.
The Mirity Women’s Nursing Bra has a high thread count for a luxurious feel. The wireless design takes a nursing mom from day to night. This seamless design is even comfortable enough to wear to bed. The fabric molds to your shape, offering a flattering fit and medium support throughout the changes of pregnancy and nursing. Removable padding provides shape while hiding lumpy disposable nursing pads. This bra offers a one-of-a-kind strap clasp that is simple to use with one hand.
This bra focuses on comfort for expecting or nursing mothers. It provides enough lift to wear during the day while maintaining a cozy fit for sleeping. This bra is also supportive during light exercise. This bra is a racerback style with wide straps, designed to decrease back strain for full-figured pregnant and nursing moms.
The crisscross design provides easy access to the breast for baby. This style does not offer removable padding. The cups are constructed of a double layer of elastic material. Disposable nursing pads fit easily and discreetly in the cup to prevent leakage. The soft, stretchy fabric is forgiving to a women’s changing breast size.