By: Morgan Annandale
One of the most transitional moments as a new mom is nursing. Breastfeeding is an amazing part of raising your kids and the health benefits for you and your baby are incredible. However, when you’re sitting in the airport at 6am with three suitcases, two toddlers, and a baby, it can seem almost impossible to feed your baby.
A good nursing bra is a must-have for every breastfeeding mom. Women need support that can go anywhere: from home to errands, weekends to office, and casual to chic. There are a ton of nursing bras and each one comes in a variety of designs and sizes with cups that open, lower, unsnap, unzip, and unhook easily with one hand --- EXTREMELY helpful when you’re in a busy public place and only have one free hand.
What to Look for
- Soft cotton lining.
- Smooth back, no itchy tags or multiple clasps.
- Clips for easy and comfortable feeding. Check that you can unhook with one hand.
- For the best results, get fitted by an expert to ensure you have the right size.
Support and Coverage
- Wide, non-slip shoulder straps for extra support.
- Broad sides and back for extra support and smooth lines under thin tops.
- Snug band for under the bust – you will need more support than before you had your baby. Also helps prevent sagging once you are done with breastfeeding.
- Bras with molded cups can help disguise nursing pads and enlarged nipples.
- Avoid underwire bras as they can sometimes cause clogged milk ducts and discomfort.
- Stretchy materials are best to accommodate the size fluctuations of your breasts during this time.
Types of Nursing Bras and Where to Find Them
Sleep Bra: It is essential to have a comfortable nursing sleep bra and being ready to go during those late-night feedings. Sleep bras have a little less support than an everyday nursing bra, and many of them may not have front clasps like typical nursing bras. Having a comfy bra that has room for nursing pads, if desired, and can easily be moved aside to accommodate night feedings is key for breastfeeding moms. Some of the best rated nursing sleep bras are:
Not every mom enjoys sleeping in a bra, so it’s good to note that these bras may not be for everyone. It is more if you are wanting to avoid leaking milk on sleep shirts or if you typically like to sleep in a bra even when you are not breastfeeding.
Everyday: With everyday nursing bras, it is important to find the perfect combination of support and ease of use. You will be out and about and may need to pump/feed at unplanned times, so you want to ensure you have an easy bra to work with! If you are looking for a bra that is similar to a t-shirt bra you would wear before breastfeeding, the Maternity Pip & Vine by Rosie Pope ($42) might be the best option for you. It has pretty lace detailing combined with quick drying spacer cups, easily removable front clasps, light padding and lining for support, and no underwire. If you are bigger busted and looking for more full coverage for everyday wear, the reviews for Cake’s Cotton Candy Seamless Nursing Bra ($53) are amazing and moms can’t get enough of the softness of this bra. This bra is double layered with no padding and has inner slings for lift and support. This bra also has quick-release front clasps for easy feeding. It is also good to mention that there are strapless maternity and nursing bras out there! For strapless tops and dresses Motherhood Maternity has a great seamless and strapless bra that is underwire free for comfort, but still has enough support to keep you in place. This bra is $20 online and many reviews say that this is an all-around great strapless bra and comes in handy both before and after the breastfeeding period.
Sports: It is important not to forget about shopping for a nursing sports bra while you are breastfeeding. If you are a yogi, runner, cross fitter, spinner, or jogger it is critical to find a sports bra that will fit your needs. Bravado Designs makes some of the best reviewed nursing sports bras for women, that come in a variety of sizes and also are perfect materials for a mom’s changing figure throughout the breastfeeding period. The Body Silk Seamless Yoga Nursing bra comes highly rated and is $49. If you are looking for a little more support for a higher impact workout, La Leche League makes a highly rated pullover nursing bra that is great for more support and easy feeding. Additionally, this bra is under $35, depending on your color and size, which is great so you are not blowing all your money on bras you may not wear again depending on how your figure changes. The pullover bra also comes in a variety of bra cup sizes, making it a perfect choice for women of all shapes and sizes.
Breast-Pumping: The final bra that you want to have on your radar is a bra, or bra assist, for breast pumping. These bras and assists create a hands-free pumping experience for moms when life gets busy and are also typically an easy accessory to throw over nursing bras you already have, or the bras are able to be used to both pump and feed. The Clip and Pump Hands Free Nursing Bra Accessory by Bravado Designs has great reviews and it simply is an accessory to clip onto other front clasping nursing bra. The bra accessory is $30 and ranges in size of 32 B to 44 DDD. If you are looking for a bra that is all in one for your pumping needs this 3-in-1 seamless maternity hands free pumping bra might be more up your alley. They are also a great deal with a two pack being only $24 and nursing pads are included.
The abundance of information on nursing bras can be a bit overwhelming, especially for new or expecting mothers. However, with a little research and asking for help from your friends, family or lactation consultants, you will be prepared with the right nursing bras to fit all of your needs!
*This blog was created solely off of reviews and research done on nursing bras. We were not given any incentives to mention the recommended bra brands above.