If you’re planning on nursing after you give birth, one of the most important things you can do is buy several quality nursing bras.
A good nursing bra can not only provide essential support — much like a traditional bra — but can also make it easier to quickly nurse your little one. This is good, because you may find that baby goes from hungry to hangry in an instant.
Especially when you’re just beginning to breastfeed, your breasts can fluctuate in size. And if you’re wearing a bra that doesn’t provide stretch and support, you’re going to be uncomfortable, especially if you’re struggling with issues like engorgement.
Supportive nursing bra
During pregnancy, many people transition directly to a nursing bra rather than opting for a maternity bra. Typically, nursing bras tend to feature more enhanced support than standard bras. This can include:
wider shoulder straps
back straps with additional hook and eye closures for a more secure fit
a back extender to accommodate your changing bustline
Shopping for a nursing bra isn’t too different from normal bra shopping, but you’ll need to consider a few additional factors.
To get you started, we looked at a range of nursing bras for a variety of lifestyles and body types — you definitely want to choose one that fits comfortably and doesn’t put pressure on your breast tissue to avoid health complications.
Bravado Designs Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra
If you’re larger than a DD cup, you already know the frustration that comes with bra shopping. The Bravado Designs Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra is available in sizes XS to XXL to accommodate traditional cup sizes from A to J.
The soft, wire-free construction features molded cups, removable foam inserts, and a four-way stretch fabric that not only hugs your shape but can accommodate your breasts as they grow — so important while breastfeeding! And nursing is made easy thanks to the clips and drop-down cups.
While most reviews of this nursing bra are positive, some people noted that the seams frayed in critical areas such as where the clips are fastened to the straps and bra cups. Others noted that this bra can run a little small and recommended ordering up a size to guarantee a comfortable fit.
Cake Maternity Croissant Flexi Wire Nursing Bra
Sometimes you want more support than soft cups can offer. In that case, Cake Maternity Croissant Flexi Wire Nursing Bra fits the bill. This bra may cost a bit more than some of the others listed here, but it’s made from cotton and has wider shoulder straps with hook and eye closures to provide excellent support.
Some drawbacks are that this bra isn’t available for sizes smaller than 32C and the underwire isn’t padded, which can add to your irritation as you breastfeed. Underwire bras can cause pressure and may lead to mastitis, though more research is needed to prove this. Don’t wear an underwire if it’s uncomfortable. If you’re entirely set against underwire, Cake Maternity makes fantastic wire-free options like this Cotton Candy Nursing Bra.
Elomi Smoothing Underwire Molded Nursing Bra
Especially in the early days of breastfeeding, a supportive nursing bra is a must-have item. This bra is a full-coverage design that’s created with larger sizes in mind. Specifically, this bra is available for DD through H cup sizes. It also accommodates you as you grow.
This bra relies on U.K. sizing, although most cup sizes are comparable between the U.S. and U.K. While reviews are overwhelmingly positive, a common issue among negative reviews is that the clips can be hard to maneuver, can be stiff, and in some instances require serious force to open or close. Another complaint was that this bra lacks padding in the cups.
Motherhood Maternity Seamless Clip-Down Nursing Bra
Going bra shopping can be tough enough if you wear a larger bra size. But when you’re shopping for a nursing bra, it can be even more difficult.
The Motherhood Maternity Seamless Clip Down Nursing Bra gives you good support and a smooth silhouette (it’s seamless!). This full-coverage bra is designed with stretchy nylon and Spandex to accommodate size fluctuations.
On the downside, many women compared this to a traditional sports bra in that it pushed their breasts together rather than providing individual lift and support.
Daisity Seamless Sleep Nursing Bra
Whether you’re not ready to invest in pricier nursing bras or your budget won’t allow you to, you don’t have to go without. The Daisity Seamless Sleep Nursing Bra is a great value — three bras for around $20.
These seamless, wire-free nursing bras provide core features like clips with drop-down cups, adjustable straps, light padding, and breathable nylon and Spandex fabric.
However, some women found the material to be scratchy and felt that the stitching dug uncomfortably into their skin. And for some people, this discomfort created skin irritations. So if you have sensitive skin, this might not be the bra for you.