A maternity bra or pregnancy bra is a necessity for mums and mums-to-be, as your breasts often change size and shape during pregnancy. Finding a comfortable bra is vital.
Looking for the right breastfeeding bra can be time consuming, but it's important to find one that's supportive, easy to undo when you're about to feed, and still gives you confidence and a good shape under your clothes. We know how hard it is to feel like 'yourself' when you have a new baby, but getting the foundations right with a good bra is the first step.
We've spent time doing some research so you don't have to - from pretty and feminine to seriously practical, here are the best nursing bras you can buy today.
Our favourite comfy nursing bras:
Jojo Maman Bebe Maternity u0026 Nursing Lace Bra
If you think that maternity bras are enormous, ugly affairs, think again. This lace dual-use maternity and nursing bra from Jojo Maman Bebe is seamless, while its moulded cups and soft cotton lining is ideal for sensitive nipples and drop down clips make for easy feeding access. The bra also comes in white.
Review: "A comfortable nursing bra which actually looks pretty too. Easy access when nursing and it seems to wash well."
Bravado Original Nursing Bra
The pink leopard-print bra is both pretty and comfortable, meaning it's great for everyday wear. The Original Nursing Bra is available in sizes S, M, L and XL, and comes in white, black, grey and pink. Additionally, the cotton is super soft against your nursing boobs. It has a wide bottom band and flat, smooth racer-back for a sporty look.
Review: "2-3 weeks postpartum I purchased this bra. I wish I had been wearing this bra the whole time! It’s simple, functional, comfy, and it doesn’t make breastfeeding any harder than it has to be. I love that there is no padding in it since I have to put breast pads in for leaky boobs anyway. Highly recommend! Don’t wait to purchase like I did."
Cake Maternity Rock Candy Luxury Seamless Nursing Bra
You won’t regret splashing out on high quality maternity underwear when the time comes and this bra from Cake Maternity is worth every penny.
Breast pads are concealed within a moisture-wicking, mesh lining, a godsend during those early first days, and the bra’s straps are extra soft.
As well as being stylish, the seam-free cups have been designed to be pulled aside for quick access to feeding, essential when you’ve got a hungry baby on your hands. You can find this bra in ivory, mocha, beige and black.
Review: "I love it. Very high quality. I love that the straps are thick, it holds up well. It’s also padded a bit so you don’t need to worry about nipples showing through. A wider clasp on the back so it looks smooth under a shirt. Overall a very comfy and supportive nursing bra."
Next Non Wire Padded Nursing Bras Two-Pack
You may find your breasts increasingly sensitive during this time so choosing a non-wired bra is a sensible option. This versatile black number also has a super-soft, lightly padded cup for added comfort and the drop-down clips makes nursing simple. However, the two-packs also come in black and white, white and nude and white.
Review: "Really comfy to wear and easy to unclip."
Figleaves FREYA Pure Flexi-wire Moulded Nursing Bra
Super smooth and seam-free, the Freya Pure moulded nursing bra has moulded cups made from breathable foam for shape and support to give a smooth look under clothes. It also features easy access clip adjustment.
The bra also features four rows of hook and eyes for good adjustment and flexible fit.
Review: "Have really been struggling to find a comfy and supportive bra whilst being pregnant and being a size 34GG doesn’t make it easy but this bra made a difference as soon as I put it on. Definitely worth the money and I will be buying more!"
Seraphine Maternity u0026 Nursing Bra
Seraphine founder Cecile Reinaud created this nursing bra while breastfeeding her own son.
"I wanted to create a range that would achieve the best flattering bust shape and allow you to wear low cut tops without showing the top of the bra," she said.
She has achieved this using a silky smooth micro-fibre that stretches while still maintaining support; the lace trim is a pretty feminine addition. This bra also comes in black with a lace trim.
Cake Maternity Zest Nursing Sports Bra
It’s important to stay fit and healthy while you’re pregnant and breastfeeding, and this innovative maternity sports bra allows you to enjoy gentle exercise while looking after your boobs. Bounce is minimised thanks to flexible underwiring and a supportive shape, while its wide padded straps help disperse pressure and avoid back and shoulder pain. The bra is available in black and white.
Review: "I have tried so many nursing sports bras but the Zest bra is the most supportive and comfortable one I’ve found. It looks great too!"
Jojo Maman Bebe Emma Jane Seam Free Maternity u0026 Nursing Bra
Emma Jane maternity bras regularly win awards, thanks to their comfort and style and this seam-free version is one of their most popular. It’s made from a clever polyamide-blend fabric that stretches as your breasts change size and shape, so one cup size fits anything from a size B to an F. The bra comes in black and white.
In contrast, the straps have restricted stretch so they’re supportive and good for your shoulder and back muscles.
Review: "Great, comfy nursing bra, at least for smaller boobs (B-C). I struggle with nursing bras as sometimes they're too restrictive and cause me blocked ducts, but I've not had problems with this one so far. Lovely and comfortable in pregnancy too."
Bravado Body Silk Seamless Sheer Nursing Bra
Available in three subtle colours, this nursing bra achieves a lot at once. It’s pretty, it’s supportive, it’s comfortable, and it’s easy to use.
Tested by Sophie Knight, mum to Matilda (7 weeks): "I’ve found it really hard to get a comfortable nursing bra that supports my large boobs - either they’re easy to use but lacking any support, or they’re really supportive but uncomfortable and I end up struggling with scaffolding at feed times. This bra does it all at once, and in lovely colours too. The only downside is that the inset padding is tricky to realign after washing - but that’s the same with all of these types of bras, it just takes a bit of patience."
Tutti Frutti Nursing Bra
This super-soft wire free support is made from bamboo viscose and memory foam. We love the plunge neckline with a touch of pretty lace. It has a low racer back design for medium level support and comfort plus adjustable hook and eye options for ribcage expansion. When your baby is here, simply use the easy-feed drop down cups with nursing clips if you're breastfeeding.
Review: "I have had such a hard time finding a wire free supportive nursing bra for my H cup chest, but not anymore! This bra is so comfortable, supportive, and looks great. I feel so confident in it! As soon as I got it and wore it for the first time I bought 2 more! It's my bra to wear to work or wear out when a lounge bra just won't cut it but I could easily wear this around the house all day and be comfortable as well. Highly worth it!"
Picking a maternity bra
We spoke to Felicity Savage, Associate Designer at Bravado Designs for her tried-and-true shopping guide on maternity and nursing bras.
There must be stretch in the cups for your changing breast size during your pregnancy.
Support in the band should be snug, but not uncomfortable because this is where most of the support in your bra comes from. For a daytime bra, look for adjustability in the band, so it can accommodate your expanding rib cage as your tummy grows. If you’re wearing a bra at night, go for a band that doesn’t have hooks and eyes so that it’s flat for comfortable sleep.
Look for wider straps to help comfortably distribute the weight of your breasts.
For nursing bras specifically, stretch is important, top boxes to tick include:
Full breast access through drop-down or pull-away cups for essential skin-to-skin contact with your baby
Nursing clips that you can unfasten and refasten one-handed is important for when you have a baby in your arms, or if you’re half asleep.
A wide bottom band, which is where you will get most of your support.
A non-underwire design during the first few weeks of breastfeeding, as underwires can lead to clogged milk ducts.
Layers in the cup such as a removable foam insert, or a double layer of fabric provides a smooth silhouette and nipple discretion.
To determine how well your bra fits you, check for the following:
This should sit parallel to the floor. If the band rides up in the back, it’s too big.
You should be able to fit two fingers comfortably underneath. If you can fit more than 2 fingers, it’s too loose.
The fabric in the cup should be smooth with adequate coverage. If there is puckering or extra room, it’s too big. If the top edge cuts into the breast, it’s too small.
Breast tissue should not spill out of the sides of the bra.
The shoulder straps should anchor the bra without providing support. If the straps are slipping off, they should be tightened, or a smaller cup size may be needed. If the straps are digging in, they should be loosened, or a larger cup size may be needed.