Pregnancy and nursing can make you feel like you're wearing someone else's body. Between hormonal shifts and milk production, your breasts may grow two whole cup sizes or even more. And that's a lot. The increased size and weight can be uncomfortable — even painful. Maternity bras provide support for your changing breasts, helping you not only to look your best but also to feel comfortable during these changes.
There are two different kinds of maternity bras: maternity support bras and nursing bras. Maternity support bras, as the name suggests, support and cradle your breasts for maximum comfort. Nursing bras allow you to feed your new baby without taking off your bra. Some bras, which you can wear both during and after pregnancy, do both. What are some of the features that make the best maternity bras? And where can you find them?
The Makings Of The Ideal Maternity Bra
First, what's the difference between maternity bras and nursing bras? A maternity bra is something a woman wears during pregnancy when the breasts are starting to swell and become heavier. It often features additional hooks and eyes at the back, as well as thicker straps. A nursing bra, on the other hand, has a specific design for breastfeeding. Often the cup often has a drop-down clasp design that exposes the nipple just enough for the baby to access. Other models may have a gap between flaps for easy access.
A third type, the maternity nursing bra, does double duty. It supports your breasts, as well as providing access for feeding your baby.
The Best Maternity Bras Need To Fit Well
Pregnant or not, no woman wants an ill-fitting bra. When your regular bra starts to feel tight and uncomfortable during your pregnancy, it is time to get fitted for a maternity bra. You can get a professional fitting at a lingerie store, or you can do the measuring yourself. When trying out bras, sit down and move around to check if it will be uncomfortable at any point or position.
Maternity Bras Provide Appropriate Support
When the breasts start to get bigger and heavier, you need every bit of support to keep your breasts from being a burden. Maternity nursing bras often have thicker straps to make the additional weight easy on the shoulders. There should be more hooks and eyes at the back, so you can easily adjust the tightness as you gain weight.
Maternity Bras Can Facilitate Breastfeeding
You'll find many different types of maternity bras for breastfeeding. You should take your time to learn about their features, how they work, and how suitable each design type is for your lifestyle. Some have features for women who are always on the go while some are for stay-at-home moms. Some designs are for outdoor use, while others are merely for breastfeeding during the night. Choose the design that makes it easier and more convenient for you to breastfeed.
A Maternity Bra Can Adjust To Full And Empty Breasts
The fabrics used for a maternity bra should be stretchable. Whether you like it or not, your breasts will grow more until you give birth and even more as they fill up with milk during the nursing stage. A stretchy material makes it easy for the cup to adjust when your breasts are full of milk or when they are empty, which is right after breastfeeding or pumping.
The Best Maternity Bras Manage Letdowns And Leaks
Nursing pads are important during the breastfeeding phase. Your bra should have enough space to accommodate a pad on each breast. The pad will absorb milk during a letdown, so that your bra will stay clean and dry.
Easy To Find And Purchase
When you find something good online, check to see if the brand is available near you — or for delivery. Never opt for items that are rare and difficult to find, no matter how awesome it is.
Cost is an influential factor when it comes to buying maternity nursing bras. As you save up for hospital or birthing costs, professional fees, and baby essentials, each bra you purchase should be within your means. Quality doesn't always come with a high price tag. There are affordable options that provide as many benefits as the expensive ones.
Observe the growth of your breasts. As long as your regular bras fit comfortably, you may not need to think about maternity bras. Think about the breastfeeding part after you give birth. If you're okay with loose sports bras and tanks tops with padded cups, then use them. The important thing is that you're comfortable.
How We Reviewed
We carefully researched the features of each of our picks. Then we combed through blogs, forums, and customer feedback to see what people really thought of them. Then we chose the best of the best to bring to you.
Top 10 Maternity Bras For Breastfeeding
There are plenty of maternity bras on the market. Here are some that we think are among the best.
HOFISH 3-pack Full Bust Seamless Nursing Maternity Bras
- Package Including:3PCS Bras+3PCS bras clips+ 3PCS matching bra extenders to ensure maximum comfort
- One-hand Access, Adjustable Shoulder Straps, Hook & Eye Closure.Easy drop cups for convenient feeding
- Seamless, Side Widening, Super Supporting
HOFISH is a company that specializes in luxury maternity apparel. They have a lot of maternity nursing bra models, but one that received rave reviews from over six thousand Amazon customers is the 3-pack full bust seamless nursing maternity bras. This bra provides a good fit with great coverage not only at the bust area but also under the armpits. The wide band under the bust keeps the bra from riding up. It features an easy drop cup that you can clasp and unclasp with one hand, and it has a removable foam pad, which you can replace with a nursing pad if needed.
This seamless maternity bra, made of a soft and stretchy nylon and spandex blend material, comes with extenders and clips so you can adjust the bra to be a racer back type or when you want an extra lift. The straps are thick enough for support, and the cinched part between the breasts give the bust a more flattering shape.
Kindred Bravely French terry racerback nursing and sleep bra
- AWARD-WINNING COMFORT - The ultra-soft French Terry Racerback Bra is a wire-free nursing bra with no clasps or hooks to...
- A NURSING MOM’S BEST FRIEND - This nursing sleep bra features easy pull-aside breastfeeding access so you can move...
- IDEAL FOR SLEEP - The French Terry Racerback maternity bra offers gentle support during pregnancy while you sleep. Great...
The award-winning French terry racerback nursing and sleep bra is known for how soft and comfortable it is. It can fit multiple cup sizes — perfect for the nursing stage when the breasts fluctuate from being full to empty and vice versa. It features a racerback design that provides full support for the breasts without being too hard on the back and shoulders.
This nursing bra is made of a French terry material, which is 92 percent rayon of bamboo and 8 percent spandex. It's so super soft and comfy that moms use it even as a sleep bra. The crossover design at the front makes it easy to pull the fabric aside for breastfeeding, No hooks. No clasps. You can easily insert a nursing pad in the cup to manage letdowns. This nursing and sleep bra by Kindred Bravely is available in a variety of colors and designs.
Bravado! Designs Body Silk seamless nursing bra
- MOM’S CHOICE AWARD WINNER - An iconic and best-selling maternity and nursing bra that's loved by moms worldwide. This...
- SEAMLESS AND WIRE-FREE - Designed with 4-way stretch fabric that hugs your changing shape. Provides breast support...
- MOLDED AND REMOVABLE FOAM CUPS - Molded cups provide a natural shape without compression, maximizing lift and breast...
The Body Silk seamless nursing bra by Bravado Designs won two awards: Mom's Choice and Eco Excellence. Amazon customers also seem to like it. The four-way stretch fabric makes it easy for this bra to conform to your shape, perfect for the changes your body will undergo through pregnancy and during breastfeeding. It has supportive straps and B nursing clips for one-handed unclasping of the drop-away bra cup. The molded cups have removable foam inserts so you can insert nursing pads inside and use it as a sleep bra.
The seamless design of this very soft nursing bra makes it ideal for moms who need something they can use in bed, around the house, or just about anywhere.
iLoveSIA 3-pack full bust seamless maternity bra
- iLoveSIA ultra soft wire-free and seamless nursing bra provides added comfort during pregnancy and breastfeeding....
- The adjustable soft strap and clip down nursing featuring one-handed access,offers comfort and ease for the...
- Center front has ribbed stitch which creates slight shirring at bust and bottom band of bra is ribbed. which provide...
The 3-pack seamless maternity bra by iLoveSIA is made of a buttery-soft material. It has been featured in different best-of lists because of how comfortable and versatile it is. Aside from the cinched design between the cups, the bra is seamless, ideal for wearing under thin tops. The bra drops down fully without compromising support. It has inner nursing slings that hold the breasts up. You also can replace the molded foam cups with disposable or washable nursing pads. You can maneuver the clips of the cups with one hand while you hold your baby in the other. The wide, adjustable straps provide significant support when the breasts are heavy.
Gratlin comfort seamless nursing bra
- Wirefree bralette using soft smooth fabric performs unique body hugging stretch and fit
- Full drop down bra cups offer easy access to breastfeeding
- Removable pad made of molded cups for shape and discretion
Made of 94 percent polyamide and 6 percent spandex, the fabric of this maternity nursing bra is stretchable and comfy. The soft and smooth cloth adjusts to the changing size of the breasts. The cup features a full drop down flap for extra skin-to-skin contact with the baby while nursing. You can remove the molded foam in the cups and replace them with a nursing pad if needed. It is wide enough at the sides to help hide underarm bulge and provide enough ribbing support.
Pump Strap hands-free pumping and nursing bra
- Pump Strap is the best handsfree pumping bra for working or busy moms who like to multitask; nursing moms can keep their...
- Perfect for moms sizes XXL and above; our handsfree pumping bras have completely adjustable velcro and fit women with...
- Machine washable with sturdy velcro that allows for easy on and off; simple design allows you to wear the pumping bra by...
Pump Strap is a hands-free pump bra that allows you to pump one breast while the baby is breastfeeding. It's also ideal if you need to pump both breasts together. It has a sturdy velcro enclosure that makes it a one-size-fits-all nursing bra. You can wear it alone, like a strapless bra, or use it over a nursing bra. If you want more support, it comes with detachable straps you can easily attach. The bra applies just enough compression to help speed up the pumping process. It is ideal for all sizes and compatible with most electric pump brands.
Cake Maternity Cotton Candy seamless sleep and yoga nursing bra
- FOR THE MINDFUL MAMA: Ideal during your pregnancy & for breastfeeding, Cake Maternity is consciously made with love by...
- UNIQUE NILIT6.6 SOFTEX MICROFIBER & OEKO-TEX CERTIFIED: This maternity soft cup nursing bra is densely knit with high...
- FOR SUPPORT & SUPERIOR COMFORT: This luxurious double layered full coverage nursing bra with shaped cups and structured...
The Cotton Candy seamless sleep and yoga nursing bra by Cake Maternity is an award-winning product. Its fabric is a blend of 92 percent polyester and 8 percent elastane. It comes in a range of different sizes, but the flexibility of the fabric makes it easy to wear even when breast size is erratic. You can unclasp each side with one hand to expose the breast for breastfeeding. The Cotton Candy bra has adjustable straps that lead to a low t-back design at the back for medium support. Despite being stretchable, it still has two hooks and eyes at the back. This fully supportive design makes it an ideal yoga nursing bra. The Cake Maternity nursing bra is a bit on the expensive side.
Sunzel Women's Cotton Spandex Seamless Sleep Bra
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The nursing sleep bra by Veami is ideal for breastfeeding at home and while sleeping. It is wire-free and made of a smooth and breathable fabric that stretches well enough to make it easy to slip on. The crossover design in the front makes it easy to pull the fabric down for nursing or to insert a nursing pad. It has a sports-bra-type design with wide straps and no locks or adjustments at the back.
Majamas Organic Easy Bra
Majamas Organic Easy Bra is made of 91 percent organic cotton and 9 percent spandex. It features a V-neck crossover design at the front, making it easy to pull the fabric aside or down for nursing. The bra has no closures or adjustable straps, but it still provides optimal support. This is what makes it ideal for moms who are into sports and yoga. It has no cup pads, but you can insert nursing pads to manage let-downs. It has enough coverage but still looks sexy. This is also ideal for women who just had breast surgery or a mastectomy.
Suekaphin 5-pack nursing bras
- SUITABLE FOR MOTHER AND BABY: Our design ideas are all for mom and baby,most important for pregnancy or nursing is...
- DESIGN BOTH FOR PREGNANT AND NURSING: Our nursing bra features,WIRELESS design makes the bra very soft,it don’t stress...
- SELECTIVE MATERIAL: The fabric is very smooth and gentle to your skin, no any irritation, the good elasticity will keep...
The Suekaphin nursing bra is ideal to wear during pregnancy and the nursing stage. It has one-hand access drop down cups with removable molded foam cups. You can remove the foam cups and replace them with nursing pads if necessary. The soft and breathable fabric stretches easily to conform to the shape of your body. The bust area is seamless, great for wearing under a tight shirt or blouse. You can wear it to work, around the house, or as a sleep bra.
The Best Of The Best
If you're looking for a maternity nursing bra that is worth the investment you are going to make, we recommend the HOFISH full bust seamless nursing maternity bra. It's quite similar to the other bras included in this list when it comes to the design, the stretchy fabric, and the one-hand drop down cup. However, they have added clips and extenders that make the bra easy to wear during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. You can even still wear them after your child has weaned and your body has returned to normal.
The extenders allow you to widen the rib area to accommodate the changes in your body, abdomen, and your bust. The clips help pull the straps to the middle of your back, giving your breasts an instant lift. Plus, they sell them in sets of threes! A great deal for moms who do not want to splurge on maternity nursing bras but would still want to get good quality products.
Do you have a favorite maternity or nursing bra that didn't make this list? Tell us about it in the comments!