If there is one thing that is intimidating to shop for when you are expecting, it is nursing bras. From fit to quality to purpose to functionality--the list goes on and on on the criteria for the perfect nursing bra. I've tried quite a few between my time nursing Brody and now have been experimenting with others as I prep for baby #2. I have rounded up my favorites (and some of those that have been highly recommended by moms in the Momma Society Private Facebook group and a few of my friends). Hopefully it will help make your nursing bra shopping a bit easier!
A few things to keep in mind:
1. You're chest size is likely to fluctuate from pregnancy to birth to postpartum. Some expectant mommas have chests that grow substantially during pregnancy, while others seem to grow quite a bit soon after birth when their milk comes in. You may need a bigger cup size temporarily, or a flexible bra that can accommodate.
2. If your cup size is changing during pregnancy, start stocking up on nursing bras. Rather than spending the money on new, temporary bras, spend the money on quality nursing bras you will use when your little on arrives. Confession: I still wore my favorite nursing bras for an entire year after Brody was weaned.
3. You'll likely need different styles of nursing bras. If you plan on pumping, add a handsfree pumping bra to your shopping list. Workout buff? Make sure you stock up on some nursing sports bras. Sleep nursing bras? Yup, you will probably need a few of those too.
My favorite places to shop for Nursing bras:
+Nordstrom Did you know Nordstrom will convert any bra from their store into a nursing bra for a nursing bra for a $10 alteration fee? Seriously!
+Cake Maternity: High quality, great styles, and lots of options for larger chested mommas!
+Dairy Fairy: Innovative all in one design that works well for everyday use and pumping.
+Target Affordable and comfortable options, particularly the Gilligan O'Malley line.
+H&M Stocking up? H&M has a selection that make great sleep bras and come in a 2-pack.
Shop these bras:
One: Waffles 3D Contour Nursing Bra* | Cake Maternity | I love wearing this bra. It is well made with cups that keep their shape after use. The nude is perfect for everyday wear and the underwire helps keep everything in place. Comes in cup sizes up to J! Great for large chested mommas.
Two: Never Say Never Bralette | Nordstrom | This stretchy bralette is perfect for those early days of motherhood where your chest size may still be adjusting. It is lightly padded and made of a soft non-itchy lace. The lace detail adds a sexy touch when you may be feeling anything but sexy. Runs small.
Three: Seamless Nursing Bra | Target | This was one of my favorite nursing bras with Brody, particularly during postpartum when I was experiencing quite a bit of engorgement. It is soft and wire-free. In my opinion, it has fairly light support, but when you're engorged, support is the last thing on your mind. Tip: Buy a dark color if you are dealing with leaking so it doesn't stain as easily.
Four: Sexy Mama Underwire Nursing Bra | Nordstrom | If you are looking for a little style boost or headed out for your first date night post-baby, this is the bra you will want. Sexy lace and underwire support for the win! It looks amazing in black or nude.
Five: Ayla Luxury Lace Nursing & Pumping Bra | Dairy Fairy | This is a bra that is on my shopping list. It is designed to be used as a nursing bra with drop down cups OR a nifty hands-free pumping bra that keeps your chest completely unexposed. Not to mention, pretty dang chic as well! Keep in mind, the reviews say the texture of the lace can be visible through some shirt materials.
Six: Mousse Padded Plunge Wireless Nursing Bra* | Cake Maternity | If you are looking for comfort and support, look no further. This padded wireless bra is the most supportive of all of the wireless bras I have tried. I love that is has quite a bit of coverage, making it easy to tuck in nursing pads. There's nothing more frustrating than nursing pads popping out of your bra!
Seven: MAMA Soft Nursing Bra | H&M | If you are looking for an affordable bra to sleep in, look no further. This lightweight bra comes in a 2-pack and is perfect for those nights of nursing.
Eight: Lotus Yoga & Pumping Nursing Bra | Cake Maternity | Planning on working out again after you receive the green light from your care provider? You'll want this bra in your closet. I love 2-in-one products and this sports bra doubles as a hands free pumping bra!
Nine: Pump & Nurse Underwire Bra | Rosie Pope | If you are a looking for a bra that doesn't have a clasp in the back, this bra zips in the front. It has an underwire for support and can also be easily used for pumping.
Ten: Bandita Nursing Bra | Belly Bandit | If you are looking for an everyday nursing bra, this may be the perfect option. It is soft and comfortable. I haven't tried it yet, but have heard great things from others.
Eleven: Arden Nursing & Handsfree Pumping Bra | Dairy Fairy | This bra is another on my must-try list. It has 5 different settings on the front top cotton layer to adjust the sizing depending on how engorged you may be. It is a great option to last you from pregnancy through postpartum.
Twelve: Wireless Unlined Nursing Bra | Soma | This bra and brand came highly recommended from mommas on Momma Society. It is designed to be supportive without the underwire. It has lots of raving reviews for larger chested mommas.
What have been your favorite nursing bras? What struggles have you had shopping for the perfect one?
Related: Postpartum Essentials for Momma