During pregnancy and nursing, in addition to stopping your super-sensitive chest from hurting during exercise, the best nursing sports bra will help prevent sagging too.
If you’ve decided to get back on the workout wagon, or up the ante now that you’re able, a reliable sports bra to hold everything in place becomes extra important during these months as breasts seem to take on a life of their own.
Related: The best maternity bras that are really comfortable
Why choose a supportive nursing sports bra
Breasts are composed of fatty tissue supported by skin and fragile ligaments, which can become stretched during repetitive or high impact sport, even more so when the breasts are bigger or swollen during those body-changing pregnancy and post-partum months. The right bra will help reduce movement, giving you a comfier, more supported workout and protect the chest.
Read our full guide on sore breasts in pregnancy: tender breasts in early pregnancy and how to soothe them.
How to choose the best nursing sports bra
Victoria Shelton, a garment technologist from Figleaves.com, tells us, “Your sports bra should be a snug fit. Once you’ve got the bra on, stand in front of the mirror and move your arms around,” she advises. “Your bra shouldn’t move or lift. Next, try jogging and jumping on the spot. Your breasts should be fully encased with no movement. If they are spilling out the neckline or underarm, try a bigger cup size. Sports bras are designed to fit snugly and to provide firm support so will feel tighter than a normal bra, but they shouldn’t feel restrictive or rub.”
Best nursing sports bras 2021
If you find bra clips fiddly, the clever hook and eye Velcro tying straps of this moulded-cup bra from Amazon make feeding the baby super easy. It’s available in an impressive selection of 19 colours in sizes 32B to 42E.
One happy reviewer wrote, “The Velcro straps are so easy to open and you can adjust them throughout the day depending on how much little one nurses.”
This high impact non-wired sports bra is super-comfortable, keeps the ladies tucked in nice and tight, and has a handy front-zip opening which makes for easy wear and removal. It comes in a wide array of sizes from 32A to 42E in either black or patterned dark graphite.
One reviewer said, "Great quality sports bra fits well, I have been looking for front zip for ages in various sports shops, glad to have now found one."
The Zest nursing sports bra from award-winning maternity and nursing lingerie company, Cake Maternity, is made from high-quality flexi-wire for ultimate comfort and can withstand even the most rigorous exercise regimes. The cups are lined and easily unclip for feeding time.
One happy reviewer proclaimed, "What a fantastic bra!! SO great to have a supportive sports bra that I can nurse in as well as being a regular bra shape with no squashed under boob! Love that it's now in black too - I have a few of these and wear them almost all of the time as they are SO much more supportive than any others I have tried, with the additional clip at the back for racerback style support! Highly recommend it for anyone with a bigger bust!"
For a seamless sports bra that can’t be seen through clothing, the Bravado Bodysilk sports bra from Next is a perfect choice. It has easy cup clips, removable padding, and you can choose from either grey with turquoise straps or black with purple straps.
With its moisture-wicking, fast-drying fabric, this nursing sports bra from top sports apparel brand Reebok is great for staying dry, comfortable, and supported during sweaty workouts. It’s seamless, has removable pads, adjustable straps, and easy-release clips for breastfeeding mums.
One reviewer wrote, "Tried various brands to find a nice nursing bra that wasn't too frumpy and this one is perfect! Great that it is available in various colours too :)".
This front-zipping bra from high-end athleisure wear brand, Lululemon, is made with a specially-designed smooth, supportive, and shaping fabric that keeps everything where it should be. The built-in under-band doesn’t dig in like traditional underwire, providing maximum support during high-impact sports and activities, without the discomfort.
One reviewer said, "Best sports bra I have ever worn. Very comfortable and no bounce!"
Whether going for a run, doing HIIT, or even horse-riding, even larger breasts will not budge in the Adidas Ultimate bra. Made with a stay-dry, breathable fabric, moulded cups and stabiliser inserts, you’ll stay dry, safe, and supported.
One customer described this high-quality product as a “highly effective boob prison,” adding, “They are too scared to move!”
For more low-impact sports like walking, yoga, Pilates, or mat-work and stretching, this highly-rated maternity bra from Kindred Bravely on Amazon is just the ticket. It’s super soft, yet supportive, and has a comfortable elastic chest band and clip-down cups so you’re ready to provide a meal when baby needs it.
One reviewer wrote, "Bra fits as expected and has nice support. Easy to nurse in and works with tank tops."
A high-quality sports bra made for use during pregnancy and nursing, this pretty black and white marble number from Latched comes with an extension piece to accommodate your expanding pregnancy ribs. Also included: removable padding and a handy little O-ring that turns the bra into a racerback.
One reviewer said, "As a girl who never had that big boobs, now I'm pregnant it's like woooah what do I do now for exercising and support?! But this sports bra supports my newer bigger boobs perfectly. And I love that you can change it to a cross-back as well. And of course the nursing feature will be ideal later on!"
Don’t let the underwire in this nursing sports bra from Hotmilk worry you; it’s super flexible and all you will feel is supported. Designed for larger bosoms (up to 38GG), it’s made from a firm-fitting Coolmax cotton blend which is moisture-wicking and breathable and provides a full-cup coverage.
One reviewer claimed, "It's the best nursing sports bra I've bought, and the only one I will buy again in future. Comfortable, supportive, and not hideously ugly. Can't wait for my size to come back into stock so I can buy another one (or two!)"
Good old trusty H&M has this awesome and stylish nursing sports bra with many great features, such as a quick-drying fabric, a breathable mesh racerback, a wide elastic hem, and clip-on cups for feeds that can also accommodate nursing pads. It’s available in this lovely heather purple or plain black and is great value for money.