13 Best Maternity Bras + Nursing Bras [That Last From Pregnancy To Postpartum]

best nursing bras

Pregnancy is an exciting time, but it also comes with literal growing pains. Find the best maternity bras for comfort + support as your boobs change through pregnancy and postpartum (especially if nursing)… can feel challenging and expensive.

Table Of Contents
  1. Best Maternity Bras + Nursing Bras
  2. FAQS about Maternity Bras + Nursing Bras
  3. How can I choose a good nursing bra or maternity bra?
  4. Questions about maternity bra fit/sizing
  5. Nursing Maternity Bra Specific Questions: 
  6. Final Thoughts on maternity bras:

For moms that plan to breastfeed or pump, the best bra to wear during pregnancy are nursing bras which tend to offer more support (great for your new large busts!), will making your life easier once baby arrives, and can save you money when shopping for pregnancy bras since you won't need to buy more nursing bras postpartum. Buying a maternity bra that can also pull double-duty as a nursing bra is a smart way to get the most value out of your purchases.

Best Overall Maternity Bra: Bravado! Designs Body Silk Seamless Wireless Maternity Nursing Bra

The Bravado! Designs Body Silk Seamless Wireless Maternity Nursing Bra is a Mom's Choice Award Winner as it works great through pregnancy and postpartum if you're nursing. It's SUPER soft, wire-free, and seamless. Making it a great t-shirt bra option too!

maternity bras nursing

The wire-free design offers four-way stretch to accommodate your changing body and removable molded foam cups for added support or leak protection if nursing. You’ll get drop-down cups for breastfeeding as well.

Choose from 12 different colors with a size range from XS through 2XL which translates from 30A to 36GG.

  • 4-way stretch to accommodate your changing breasts
  • Large size range that supports 30A through 36GG
  • Available in 12 different colors

Some women may not find the high neck flattering

Most Comfortable: Kindred Bravely Organic Cotton Nursing & Sleep Bra

Expect your hungry baby to feed as much as every two hours during the newborn stage. And that means that you’re going to need a nursing bra for overnight feedings. The Kindred Bravely Organic Cotton Nursing & Sleep Bra is perfect since it combines comfort and function. 

The simple crossover design makes moving the cups for nursing easy to accomplish. And the soft fabric is breathable. This bra is available in sizes small through 3XL which translates from 30B to 40G. Choose from five classic shades and one soft tie-dye shade.

  • Soft organic cotton fabric
  • Simple crossover design makes nursing easier
  • Large size range from S – 3XL

Engorgement can cause fit difficulties

Best Maternity Bralette + Extended Nursing Bra: Mesh Trim Maternity Bralette by Lively

If you plan to nurse beyond the “fourth trimester” you won't need a maternity bra for big busts as your boobs do return to normal! Instead you'll want something that's comfortable, cute, and you can rock in the first trimester of future pregnancies.

The Mesh Trim Maternity Bralette from Lively is the perfect maternity bra for extended nursing – and that's from a mom who's been nursing for over 2 years now! The nylon and mesh style still looks just like a regular bra but drop-down cups make this a transitional bra for when it’s time to breastfeed. 

You’ll get added support throughout the straps and wide band and a cozy “light as air feel” that won’t make you feel like you have to give up on the styles you’ve come to love. This sexy maternity bra is available in sizes small through large which translates to sizes 30A through 38D.

It currently comes in five colors:

  • Stylish design similarly seen in regular bras
  • Breathable fabric
  • Stronger band and straps for added support

More ideal for small chests; not so great for large busts or when engorged in the early nursing days

Best Maternity & Nursing Bra for Bigger Breasts: Full-coverage Seamless Nursing Bra from Motherhood Maternity

It’s no secret that pregnancy and breastfeeding can make your breasts significantly larger. But sometimes shopping for a bra that fits properly when you have a bigger bra size can be difficult. We like the Full-coverage Seamless Nursing Bra from Motherhood Maternity that’s ideal for large cup sizes.

This bra features a soft seamless fabric that won’t irritate your skin and drop-down cups for easy feedings. You’ll also get a four-range closure designed to adjust to your changing body. Choose from nine classic colors, and a size range from small to XL which covers sizes 34B to 40DDD. It also comes in 9 colors:

  • Stretchy soft fabric that adjusts to your changing breasts
  • Large size range from 34B to 40DDD
  • Clip down cups for nursing
  • Plus size moms may experience band rolling

Best Budget Nursing Bra: Auden Women’s Nursing Seamless Bra

Undergarments can be expensive, but the Auden Women’s Nursing Seamless Bra is an affordable choice that’s a fan favorite! It's the bestselling seamless nursing bra at Target for a reason after all! The wireless bra features a six-hook back closure for more accommodation as your bust changes. 

You’ll get drop-down cups and a size range from XS through XL which covers 32B through 40D. The 92% nylon and eight percent spandex content gives you plenty of stretch for a comfortable fit. Choose from six colors here.

  • Affordable price point
  • Seamless design with 8% spandex for added comfort
  • Six-hook closure to adjust to your body

Not the cheapest bra, but the best budget for the quality

Best Multi-Pack Maternity Bra: Seamless Nursing Bra Set

One common complaint that we hear about nursing bras is that they’re not always flattering. Often the neckline doesn’t work well with most tops, making them impossible to wear outside the home. The Suekaphin Five-pack Seamless Nursing Bra Set features a u-shaped neckline with a gathered front that can work with a wider range of tops. 

Meanwhile, you still get the support, drop-down cups, and soft fabric that you need to stay comfortable throughout the day. The size range shifts from small through XXL which covers 30A to 36F. This bra also has a u-back design, which makes it ideal for lower-backed tops and dresses.

Aside from coming in a 5 pack, it also comes in 12 different color/style options and combinations

  • U-neckline and back offers more outfit versatility 
  • Great budget buy
  • Comfortable
  • Size range from 30A to 36F
  • Wide range of colors and styles
  • Removable “cups” don't really work as nursing pads; really more to hide nipples under t-shirt

Best Maternity Sports Bra: Sublime® Nursing Sports Bra

Whether you plan to workout while pregnant or postpartum, or just prefer wearing sports bras (hey, we get it!) the Sublime Nursing Sports Bra from Kindred Bravely is a clear winner!

It's easy to get in and out of and offers plenty of support for your bustline. More importantly, this nursing bra is made from breathable, moisture-wicking material that’s made from nylon, polyester, and spandex for a soft hand-feel. It features a molded cup and works great as a t-shirt bra too for everyday wear!

This maternity sports bra features a racerback design that’s available in sizes from small through 2XL. This covers a size range from 30B to 44I.

Choose from five colors:

  • Moisture-wicking material for added comfort
  • Large size range from 30B to 44I
  • Racerback design
  • Some people felt it ran small
  • Doesn't come in “nude”

Best Nursing Bra for Hands Free Pumping: The Original Pumping Nursing Bra

If you’re nursing, there’s a good chance that at some point you’re going to need to pump. This is probably one of the least enjoyable aspects as it usually requires you to hold the bottles while you express milk.

The Bravado Designs Original Pumping Nursing Bra gives you the hands-free freedom you desire. It's truly innovative and revolutionary wire-free multi-purpose design. It's made from a super soft, breathable, cotton modal fabric. The back is a racerback style for added support, and no back closure for added comfort.

You simply unclip the outer layer, insert the flanges to the inner layer, and pump. If you'd like to breastfeed, the inner layer is a deep V making it easy to pull out your boob.

No need to remove your bra or attach pumping accessories with this! It's a huge time and sanity saver! The clip and pump bra can be purchased in sizes small through XL which covers 32B through 46G and is available in two colors. 

  • Offers a hands-free pumping experience
  • Wide size range accommodation
  • Comfortable sports bra style
  • Some reviewers found the pull-out nursing access for breastfeeding not great

Best Everyday Maternity Bra: Colorblock Maternity and Nursing Bra from Bravado Designs

If you want a nursing bra that’s designed for everyday wear, this sporty-styled Colorblock Maternity and Nursing Bra from Bravado Designs makes for a fashionable choice. We like the crossover front neckline, making it work under a slew of tops. The back is a supportive racerback style.

Plus for added comfort, you get drop-down cups for easy nursing. While this is a blend, we like the cotton, modal, and spandex composition which ensures that this pick is breathable while also offering stretch for added comfort.

This style is available in sizes small through XL and in several different colors:

  • Stylish design looks like a regular bra
  • Cotton blend adds comfort and breathability 
  • Drop-down cups

Limited size range

Best Underwire Nursing Bra: Maternity Croissant Contour Underwire Nursing Bra

While underwire nursing bras can cause a debate, it is possible to find one that won’t negatively impact your milk supply or block your ducts. The Cake Maternity Croissant Contour Underwire Nursing Bra is a full-coverage seamless bra that offers plenty of structure for mamas that prefer a more traditional bra style. 

Mamas with large busts are especially raving about this bra because it offers plenty of support and even has a six hook-and-eye extension for more adjustability. As is standard you’ll get drop-down cups. But we like the v-neck front and u-back design which makes this ideal for a range of outfit necklines and backlines.

  • Ideal for larger bra sizes
  • Lightly lined and padded 
  • Six hook-and-eye extension for greater flexibility
  • Oeko-Tex® Standard 100 approved and certified free of harmful substances

Runs large

Most Stylish Maternity & Nursing Bra: Cake Maternity Tutti Frutti Bra

Navigating postpartum life is hard enough without feeling frumpy every day. The Ribbed Lace Keyhole Back Seamless Maternity and Nursing Bra from Cake Maternity adds a little oomph to your underthings while still providing the support and function that you need. 

We like the deep v-neck and the lace trim on the cups making it the perfect bralette you won't mind showing off under a sweater, overalls, dress, or tank. You’ll get drop-down cups and a ribbed cotton-bamboo blend fabric for added breathability and moisture wicking.

This maternity bra comes in sizes from small through XL and is available in three shades.

  • Stylish design 
  • Cotton-bamboo blend fabric offers stretch and cooling
  • Keyhole back provides support and breathability
  • Oeko-Tex® Standard 100 approved and certified free of harmful
  • Limited size range

Best Leak-Proof Overnight Sleep Maternity & Nursing Bra: Nooni's Nursing Bra

Any woman who’s ever breastfed has had to deal with leaks. It’s annoying, it’s uncomfortable, and it can get everywhere if you’re not careful.

The Nooni’s Leak Resistant Maternity and Nursing Bra is perfect nursing sleep bra that doesn't require breast pads! It's SUPER soft, and loose so you won't feel like you're wearing anything really.

NOTE: It seems like this maternity bra runs big, but it's created that way. It's specifically for women who hate wearing a bra while they sleep, but also don't want to get breast milk all over their bed. It’s ideal for lounging around the home and overnight use.

Available in three shades and a wide size range from 32A to 36G. 

  • Helps to prevent leaks 
  • Soft fleece lining interior 
  • Larger size range
  • Not meant for daytime/out of house use

Best Extender Maternity & Nursing Bra: Hofish three-pack of Full Bust Seamless Nursing Bras

It’s no secret that your size can change dramatically through pregnancy and postpartum— especially if you're breastfeeding. Engorgement, along with being painful, can also cause your cup size to expand. Some women even report their rib cage seemingly shifted while pregnant and they were never able to go back to their old bra band size!

We are kind of obsessed with this three-pack of Full-coverage Seamless Nursing Bras! It's definitely budget friendly, comfortable, has a wide arrange of sizes, and is a best overall maternity bra in our opinion than's to the band extender.

These nursing bras feature drop-down cups and a nylon-spandex composition to give you all the stretch you need to stay comfortable. These wire-free bras are breathable with removable foam molded cups. Available in sizes small through 2XL, that covers cup sizes from 32B to 40DDD. These bras are available in an assortment of colors.

  • Comes with extenders for added size accommodations
  • Three-pack set of maternity and nursing bras
  • Soft nylon-spandex fabric
  • Sizing chart can be difficult to interpret
  • Breast pad insert may loose shape/get lumpy in washes

FAQS about Maternity Bras + Nursing Bras

What is the difference between a nursing bra and a maternity bra?

Think about it like this: all nursing bras are maternity bras, but not all maternity bras are nursing bras.

Most maternity bras are designed as combination nursing bras; but this isn’t always the case.

A nursing bra will often feature drop-down cups that make breastfeeding easier. Likewise, a nursing bra may also feature hidden pockets so you can insert a nursing pad to catch any leaking. 

In contrast, a bra that is solely designed for the maternity stage is more similar to a traditional bra. However, it’s designed with more support to create a comfortable fit for a pregnant woman’s growing large breasts. For example, these bras typically feature wider bra straps to provide extra support. 

Do you really need a maternity bra or a nursing bra?

At some point during your pregnancy you will likely need to get a new bra to accommodate your growing chest.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding are two stages in a woman’s life that can be uncomfortable. While technically you can go through pregnancy and postpartum without opting for a specialized maternity or nursing bra, the reality is that this could be an unwise and uncomfortable choice to make. 

Even if you do not plan on breastfeeding, we suggest considering a nursing maternity bra since you may choose to pump and will appreciate the quick access.

Even if you plan on doing neither, your milk may not get the memo, and you could experience leaking or engorgement where the drop cups can be helpful to quickly relieve any pressure or discomfort postpartum.

Regular bras aren’t always designed to accommodate a bustline that’s growing and may lack the support needed to prevent common bra-related discomforts like backache. Additionally, an ill-fitting bra can dig into your rib cage or shoulders. And for nursing mothers, regular bras aren’t designed so that you can easily adjust the cups to accommodate breastfeeding. 

What is a drop cup nursing bra and do I need one as a maternity bra?

A drop cup nursing bra is exactly as it sounds. The cups are designed to unclip or unsnap so that you can drop the cup and easily nurse your baby.

You don’t necessarily need a nursing bra while you’re still in the prenatal stage. But opting for a maternity bra that can also transition into the nursing phase can be a good way to get the most value for your investment.

Many of these bras are designed so that you can easily unclasp the cup with one hand — which can be an essential feature considering that you’ll often be holding your child in your arms and trying to get situated to feed them.

Again, even if you do not plan on nursing, your milk will still typically come in and you'll likely appreciate the drop cups if you choose to pump or for quick access at relieving any engorgement pressure during the transitional period postpartum.

How can I choose a good nursing bra or maternity bra?

Shopping for a nursing or maternity bra can be overwhelming, but doesn’t have to be difficult. Keep the following tips in mind as you consider which type of maternity or nursing bras are best for you. 

Maternity bra shopping tips: 

  • Use a measurement tape and check the sizing guide of the bra to find the right fit
  • Look for comfortable and breathable materials like bamboo, viscose, and cotton that will help you stay cool especially since pregnant women can experience more sweating. 
  • Don’t forget style. Just like with standard-size bras, maternity bras come in a variety of options from sporty to lacy. Consider what you'll wear it under
  • Consider features you'd like: nursing drop cups, thicker straps, racerback for added support, adjustable back band clips, underwire or no underwire, etc.

Nursing bra shopping tips:

  • Opt for fabrics that dry quickly as leaks are bound to happen — or consider having nursing pads on hand
  • Consider how easily you can open the nursing panels so you can quickly feed your child. The last thing you want is to find yourself fighting your bra while also dealing with a hungry baby
  • Avoid wire-based underwire bras as some believe this impacts milk supply. However, experts do note that with innovations that rely on plastic instead of metal, nursing moms can wear plastic-based underwire nursing bras. 
  • Invest in a variety of styles, including a soft noclip version for the night that features soft bra panels that simply slide out of the way when you need to nurse. 
  • As a general guide, expect to add a cup and band size to your pregnancy bra size to accommodate your big busts now that you’re nursing. So, someone who is a 34B during pregnancy should consider buying a 36C nursing bra. Or someone who orders a “small” typically should size up to a “medium.”

When should you buy maternity bras?

For most women, the first trimester doesn’t require any specialized clothing, and this also extends to bras. But between the 16th to 20th week of pregnancy — which is right around the middle of the second trimester — a woman’s bust may have grown as much as an additional cup size — making her pre-pregnancy bras uncomfortable and impossible to wear. 

Again, don’t just buy a bigger size of your regular bra as this may still mean that your undergarments are lacking in critical support. Find a good maternity bra with supportive bra straps and cups that properly accommodate you so that your bust isn’t spilling out the top and side of the cups. 

How many maternity bras do I need?

It depends on your lifestyle and intended wear. Think about how often you do the laundry, how much of the day you wear a bra, types of bras you'll need for different situations, etc.

More than likely, you don’t have just one pre-pregnancy bra. Consider getting maternity bras in a variety of fabrics, designs, and finishes. This can include sportier bras designed for exercise, lacy bras that can make you feel sexy, and everyday bras that are part of your regular rotation. 

Personally, I got 3 maternity bras and 2 maternity sports bras. I don't go to an office and work from home so I spend time bra free and this worked for me.

Questions about maternity bra fit/sizing

How do you know what size to get when it fluctuates so much through pregnancy and postpartum and nursing?

If you feel like your chest size is fluctuating, you’re not alone. Sometimes it’s best to opt for a stretchy maternity or nursing bra that lacks underwire and is meant to accommodate a changing bust line. 

While you should still target a bra that’s one cup and one band size larger than your pre-pregnancy (for maternity) or pregnancy (for nursing) sizes, a stretchy bra is more forgiving than a bra with underwire or one made from a fabric that lacks stretch. 

Also, look for bras that feature a wider hook closure range or come with an extender. For example, the Hofish three-pack of Full-coverage Seamless Nursing Bras comes with extenders which helps to enhance their longevity. 

What makes for a comfortable fit, other than size?

While size is one of the best clues that a bra will fit you comfortably, you also need to think about a few other factors.

In particular, considering that pregnant women often struggle with feeling overheated, you want a breathable, soft fabric that helps to keep you comfortable by promoting airflow and doesn’t make you feel itchy. 

Depending on the size of your chest, you may want larger straps or more of a racerback for added support.

Lastly, stick to what brings you comfort typically. If you do not like bra clasps, now is not the time to start getting bras with them.

How can I tell if a bra is too small or too big?

A bra is too small if you find that you’re spilling out of the tops and sides of the cups, or the bra straps are digging into your shoulders and the band is cutting into your rib cage.

Likewise, a bra is obviously too big if it doesn’t feel like your bust has any support or the cups are gaping away from your body. 

A bra that fits comfortably should allow you to slide a finger between your bra band and your body. The bra should sit comfortably against the body without any gaping or constriction. Additionally, for bras that feature a traditional hook and eye closure in the back, you should be able to comfortably wear the bra in the loosest closure setting. 

Do I need to get measured for a good fit?

It’s a good idea to get measured as maternity bras are designed somewhat differently than regular bras. In particular, you want to make sure that your maternity bra is designed to provide the support you need to avoid additional back or neck strain.

If you can’t get a professional fitting, begin by measuring the cup size. Measure just under your arms, using a measuring tape. If you get an odd number, round up to the nearest even digit. This is your band size. For the cups, be sure to measure around the fullest part of your bust. To get the most accurate measurement, be sure that the measuring tape is flat against your body and held at the same level all the way around.

A properly fitting bra should feature cups where your breasts don’t spill out and the band shouldn’t ride up in the back. It should sit flat against the body without feeling too tight. You should be able to comfortably wear the bra in the loosest closure setting. 

How should I wash my pregnancy, nursing, or maternity bras?

These bras should be washed just as you would your pre-pregnancy bras. Ideally, keep them in a delicates bag to prevent the bra from losing shape during the wash cycle and hang dry.

For nursing bras, aim to wash them after every two to four wears. If you experience leaks, baby drool, or spit up, you’ll want to wash them more frequently.

If you’re concerned about damaging your bras in a laundry machine, you can opt to wash them by hand and line dry them. However, most nursing and maternity bras are designed to be machine washable. 

Nursing Maternity Bra Specific Questions: 

What are the benefits of wearing a nursing bra?

One of the biggest benefits of wearing a nursing bra is that it allows you to quickly remove or lower the cups so you can easily feed your child or pump.

Additionally, many nursing bras are made with additional hidden pockets to hold nursing pads to aid in absorbing any leakage that might occur. 

Should you wear a bra to bed when breastfeeding?

If you’re breastfeeding, you don’t have to wear a bra to bed, but it's a good idea in the early days until your milk supply regulates. Consider slipping a nursing pads into your bra to prevent leaks on your sheets and mattress or invest in this sleep nursing bra.

Women with smaller breasts, may not need to wear a bra to bed. However, for women with larger breasts, wearing a bra can aid in providing support so that they’re more comfortable.

But if you choose to wear a maternity bra to bed, be sure that it’s not an underwire bra for both comfort and protecting your milk supply.

Should I wear an underwire nursing bra? 

There’s a lot of contention around this question. The answer is, it depends on the underwire. If you previously wore metal underwire bras before your pregnancy, you should avoid wearing those types of nursing bras as they can be restrictive and interfere with milk production, leading to blocked ducts. 

However, these days there are underwire nursing bras that utilize plastic instead of metal. This means that the underwire is a bit more flexible and shouldn’t cause issues for breastfeeding women. 

Does Victoria Secret make nursing bras?

While the style range isn’t as diverse as the rest of their product offerings, Victoria’s Secret does make a small collection of maternity and nursing bras. 

Final Thoughts on maternity bras:

Picking a maternity or nursing bra that works for you can include a bit of trial and error as everyone’s preferences and ultimate favorites are going to vary. But overarching goals such as flexibility that can accommodate your changing bustline, and a comfortable, breathable fabric are essential. 

We’re partial to crossover bras like the Kindred Bravely Organic Cotton Maternity and Nursing Bra which is perfect not only for nighttime use but as a lounging bra.

Meanwhile, for everyday wear outside the home, v-neck and u-back nursing bras like the Bravado! Designs Body Silk Seamless Wireless Maternity Nursing Bra can work with a wider range of clothing without making you feel frumpy. 

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