It was the time when I was nursing my baby & faced quite a lot of challenges. There were quite a lot of questions in my mind, such as how to get through the phase safely, am I doing it right, do I need a breastfeeding pillow, how & where to buy nursing bras, how to find the best nursing bras or a pumping bra, and many more. So today in this post, I’m gonna share few tips from my nursing experience, to help all new lactating mothers.
Firstly, I noticed a lot of physical changes in my breasts during and after nursing. During nursing, they used to be quite hard, but after I fed my baby they used to get tender. That’s when I knew that I had to get proper nursing and/or pumping bra to protect my breasts during this phase.
You may notice that nursing and pumping bras are costlier than regular bras. Many moms make the mistake of buying regular, but bigger-sized bras while nursing to save money on nursing bras. However, nursing bras are really worth the price. They give you easy access to nurse your baby in such a way, that you and your baby feel absolutely comfortable during the nursing process.
With their comfortable and breathable fabric, nursing bras come with pull-down or push-aside cups. Thanks to these cups, you can have skin-to-skin contact with your baby while nursing.
Here are some of the common styles of nursing bras that you will come across when you set out to buy them:
- Underwire/Wireless bras
- Lined/Unlined bras
- Shaped/seamless bras
Apart from these, there are some special nursing bras that you can use for wearing overnight or when you want to pump. All of them are quite flexible and have many hooks to fit your changing breast sizes in the postpartum phase.
Here, I have listed down some of the best breastfeeding bras that not only make new moms comfortable, but are stylish in design as well.
Best Overall Nursing Bra
Hidden Glamour Maternity Bra
If you are looking for the best maternity bra in all categories such as comfort, style, fit and design, this Natori bra is one of the best nursing bras on Amazon. With its padded cups, underwire pattern, clip-down access and full-coverage this one looks just like my normal bra, and is very comfortable for nursing moms. Some other models you can try from this brand are the plunge nursing bras in low-cut fashion & wireless maternity bras.
- Great grip and offers ultimate comfort
- Helps in giving good shape to your breasts
- Great if you are nursing for a long time
- Underwire pattern may cause slight discomfort during the first few days of nursing for some moms
Best Overall Pumping Bra
Kindred Bravely Sublime Hands-Free Pumping & Nursing Bra
If you are looking for one of the best pumping bras that will fit all pump flanges and keep you comfortable as well, this one from Kindred is the right choice for you. I have worn it day and night, and I have experienced comfort even during my late-night pumping sessions, while wearing this bra. In my view, it is the best sleeping nursing bra you can buy.
The best part about this bra is that it can be used with most pump flange sizes from S to XXL-Busty. Also, this nursing bra is available in various sizes – from 30B to 44l.
Best Affordable Nursing Bra
Lightly Padded Wirefree Maternity Bra-3 pack
With a massive 4.5 star rating and more than 90000 reviews, this nursing bra is quite popular on Amazon. It provides great value for your money, as it costs just about $10 per bra. At this price, it comes with user-friendly and impressive features, such as comfortable fabric, removable foam cups and bra extenders that help to lengthen the strap clips and bandwidth. Thanks to these features, this affordable nursing bra can be transformed into a racerback.
- Made from comfortable, stretchable and soft fabric
- Comes with flexible strap styles & lengths of bands
- Doesn’t offer as much support as you would have wanted
Best Nursing Bras for Large Chest
Pure UW Molded Nursing Bra
Considered as one of the best breastfeeding bras for nursing women with large breasts, these Freya bras are available in cup sizes of up to K as well. They come in various nursing styles to give you excellent comfort, but this one, especially, is an absolute delight with its lacy padding & underwire. They come with clips, which you can use for nursing your babies easily.
- Available in very large cup sizes – from D to K as well
- Comes with underwire pattern to support your breasts while nursing
- Clip-down access provided for easy nursing
- Wider separation option not liked by some moms
Best Nursing Bras for Small Chests
The Mesh Trim Maternity
Here is a maternity bra for nursing moms who have small breasts. This is a nursing bra that comes in small cup sizes such as A, AA and B. It is a small bralette that comes with a wireless band at the bottom to give your breasts the required support. The straps of this bralette are designed in a front-accessible design, and they are adjustable as well.
- Great bralette to support small breasts
- Front-facing, adjustable straps help in easy nursing
- Size may be a little small
Best Plus Size Nursing Bra
Maternity Wirefree Nursing Bra
Designed to suit your changing breast sizes, this nursing bra from Playtex, comes in special foam fabric material. It is compatible for sizes 36 to 44. You can also try the Playtex underwire nursing bra, if you are looking for more stability, support and flexibility while nursing.
- Compatible for band size up to 44
- Flexible foam bras that can support changing breast sizes
- Sizing may not be as per standard measurements; have a close look at the measurement chart before buying this bra
Best Cotton Nursing Bra
24/7 Classic Nursing Bra
This is one of the best breastfeeding bras you can buy, if you like the feel of natural and stretchable fabrics on you. Using Pima cotton and spandex for additional flexibility, this nursing bra is a great choice for all breast sizes. Currently, this bra is available in sizes 32 to 48 and cup sizes of A to I. It also comes with other impressive features like free shipping and 60-day return policies.
- Made from flexible and natural Pima cotton
- Offers lots of options in sizes, as it is available from 32A to 48I
- Quite expensive, when compared to other nursing bras
Best Nursing Bras for Pumping
Sublime Hands-Free Pumping Bra
Are you looking for the best maternity bra that will allow you to nurse and pump simultaneously without any hassles? This one from Sublime is a great option. It comes with two clipped layers; you can use one for pumping and another one for nursing. The best part is that both these clips get unclipped separately, allowing you to pump and nurse simultaneously. The layer for pumping is designed in such a way that it is compatible with pump flanges of ll standard sizes.
- Innovative and convenient nursing bra that helps you nurse and pump without any discomfort
- Made from comfortable, soft and flexible fabric
- May not help you much in getting the perfect shape of your breasts
Best Maternity Lounge Bra
Original Maternity and Nursing Bra
Looking for a nursing bra that gives your breasts the much-needed support, but doesn’t come with wires or clips? Here is one of the best nursing bras that you will find, in this category. You can wear this comfortable cotton-blend bra as a pull-over, as there are no clips, cups, wires and hooks on it. Designed in the style of a racerback, it comes in a full-cup style to support nursing moms with big breasts. If you want help with pumping, you can also get a hands-free insert along with this bra.
- Free from metal hooks, clips and underwire
- Pull-over style bra made in comfortable and breathable fabric
- Doesn’t highlight the shape of your breasts when you wear them under your clothes
Best Nursing Tank Top
Maternity and Nursing Tank Top
This is a tank-top that comes with an inbuilt nursing bra that is free from cups and wires to make you feel comfortable. You can choose to wear clothes over this bra or not. As a standalone, this one makes for good loungewear as well. The fabric that it is made of is extra-smooth, soft and stretchable, to suit your size changes during different stages of nursing.
- Comes with an inbuilt shelf bra
- Smooth design and fabric makes you feel extremely comfortable
- Doesn’t offer as much support as a real bra
Best Nursing Sleep Bra
Racerback Nursing Sleep Bra
This is the best sleep nursing bra that you can trust, especially during the first few days of nursing, when you need to wear one throughout. I used during the first month of nursing, and was pleasantly surprised to know that I could just pull-over and pull-down the bra whenever I wanted. It didn’t have any cups, clips, hooks or wires to disturb me.
- Great for new nursing moms, as it is free from hooks, clasps, wires and clips
- Made from soft and comfortable fabric
- Support and grip is not as good as the ones offered by daytime bras
Best Nursing Sports Bra
Kindred Bravely Sublime Sports Bra
Made from soft, flexible, stretchable and elastic fabric, this nursing bra offers you excellent comfort while you work out. So, you can continue with your gymming, cycling, lifting weights and all other workouts wearing this moisture-resistant bra.
The bonus is that this nursing bra comes with secret nursing access, which you can use to breastfeed your baby even during your workout sessions. Since the bra is seamless, you can feel extreme comfort even when you are doing intense workouts or nursing. The clip can be easily removed, whenever you want to nurse or pump.
- Smooth, flexible and compatible for sizes small to XL
- Great companion for your workouts
- Buy a size larger than your normal size, as it can run small
Best Strapless Nursing Bra
Basic Strapless Padded Bra
Try out this strapless nursing bra from Natori, if you want to show off your well-toned shoulders to the outside world. It makes you feel confident, as it offers great support and comfort for you under your clothes. You don’t have to worry about adjusting them at all.
It comes with an additional set of straps that you can insert in it and use it as regular nursing bras. With its front-access design, this bra is designed to help in your nursing process, without you having to take it off. Currently, this bra is available in sizes from 36C to 40DDD.
- Made from stretchable fabric that can be accessed easily
- It is more for rocking the off-shoulder look and less for nursing
Best Underwire Nursing Bra
Anita Microfiber Underwire Nursing Bra
This is one of the best nursing bras you need, if you want to give good grip and support for your big breasts, while nursing. These are designed to lift up larger cup sizes; however, they are unlined. So, you should be very careful if you are using nursing pads, as they may show under thin tops or shirts, when you wear this bra.
- Excellent grip for nursing moms who have big breasts
- Made from breathable fabric and provides easy access for nursing
- Size may run small
- Cups are not as durable as you would have expected
How a nursing bras works?
The only difference between a nursing bra and a regular bra is that the former comes with a snap-down access in a V-shape, to allow new moms to nurse their babies easily. I used to have three sets of nursing bras – 2 for use in the day and 1 for use in the night.
How a pumping bras works?
Pumping bras are designed in such a way that they can suit breast pump flanges of all standard sizes. They help the breast pump to be attached to your breasts, so that you can pump with ease. They come with clips that can be removed to attach the flange to your nipple.
How do you choose the best nursing bras?
Here are some tips that you should keep in mind to ensure that you buy the best nursing or pumping bras for yourself:
Comfort & breathability – Never compromise on the quality of the fabric; you will be wearing these bras for a long time, so you have to feel comfortable in them.
Additional clasps – Choose nursing bras that come with many hook & eye closures to adapt to your changing breast sizes during your nursing phase. There are bras that have up to 6 columns of hooks so check yourself to know your requirements.
Pads – Always choose nursing bras that are lined or that come with padding. These help to absorb the milk leakage and save you from embarrassment.
Some other types of nursing bras you will come across are:
Cups that can be clipped down – Choose nursing bras that can be clipped and unclipped (as and when you want) with one hand, so that you can hold the baby close to your chest while nursing. If you want to nurse and pump at the same time, you can choose the bras that can be clipped separately for both purposes.
Bras that can be pulled down – Used mostly for night-time nursing, these bras are known as bralettes. They don’t have any clasps, clips, or hooks. You can pull them over your head and pull them down whenever you want, for easy access. They are usually made from soft and stretchable fabric.
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