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Everything You Want To Know About Maternity & Nursing Bras

Pregnant moms know it better  – that a bulging belly is accompanied by an ever-increasing breast-size. And, it doesn’t stop there—nursing can make your boobs swell and become bigger. One of the biggest worries of many a pregnant or breastfeeding mom is finding a bra to love.




While maternity lingerie isn’t about the laces and underwires, we’re wanting style and function, a bra that will lift and separate an ample bosom and be breastfeeding friendly. Click on through to discover a handful of our favourites that do exactly that!


Why should you wear a maternity bra?

When your pregnant, your breast can grow up to two cup sizes. Not only do they get bigger but also heavier. This can cause issues such as back and neck aches. A maternity bra offers more support and is designed to prevent and relieve such aches.


What is a maternity bra?

A maternity bra is a bra made of soft and stretchy materials that accommodates your changing shape. A maternity bra is especially designed to offer more support than your regular bra as it has a wider bra band and straps. If you buy a maternity bra you don’t have to invest in new bras every time your breasts grow slightly.


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

The difference between the two is the fact that a nursing bra has special cups that you can unfasten. This way you can breastfeed without taking off your bra.


Types of bras for pregnancy and post delivery


Maternity Bras

During the first trimester, your breasts will become tender and slightly swollen. An underwire bra may press against and poke your skin. This is when you should buy a maternity bra. It need not be of any specific design—it should be comfortable and provide necessary support. Maternity bras have extra hooks and eyes and broader straps—to provide an additional space as your breast size increases over time. By the second trimester, your maternity bra may become tight as your rib cage will expand—indicating that it’s time for a size upgrade.

Look for the following when choosing maternity bras:

  • A minimum of four rows of hook and eye clasps at the back to allow for plenty of growth in your breast tissue.
  • Wide, supportive straps to help evenly distribute the weight of larger breasts. This helps prevent neck and shoulder pain.
  • Different options for breast access. If you’re planning to breastfeed and use your maternity bras in the postpartum period, try a few different styles to see what feels the most comfy and practical. Some bras will have clasps that open at the top for feeding and others will have them at the sides, while others might be a crop top design that you can pull aside.
  • Choose a soft, breathable fabric like cotton. It breathes betters, washes better and dries quickly.


Sleeping Bra

There will be times when you just want to throw away the support and unleash the boobs – which means hanging around with baggy breasts—which cause discomfort them.In such cases, a sleeping bra might come to your rescue. Most importantly, they are not underwired. An underwired bra can make you feel extremely uncomfortable and clog your milk ducts. A sleeping bra usually has its fabric in a crossover fashion in the front, which can easily be pushed down to breastfeed at night.


Nursing Bra

Nursing bras are more similar to maternity bras. The things you should know about nursing bras are:

  • They may be worn starting from a few weeks to days before delivery—sometime in the last trimester.
  • Most of the nursing bras have a flap over the cup, which can be unhooked to breastfeed the baby.
  • A nursing bra should fit in the last hook-eye combination since your bra band size is going to reduce as you continue nursing.


Sports Bra

Exercising post delivery can be worrisome considering you are still nursing. Your breasts will be tender, bouncy, and all over the place. A sports bra provides much-needed extra support along with comfort. Plus, its fabric can absorb moisture, leaving your skin sweat-free and less sticky.


The Leak-Protector Bra

Post delivery, your breasts may feel fuller and leak often until some time into nursing—it may turn out to be a mess. In that case, you don’t have to blindly spend on buying a specially-designed leak-proof bra. Any comfortable bra with nursing pads will do. You can even buy washable silk breasts pads separately, which can be inserted into the cups of your maternity bra. They have breathable fabric and are easy to wash and wear.

Your bra size can grow up to 2 back sizes and 4 cup sizes. However, every mother’s body is different. You will know if you experience discomfort—just look out for the subtle signs.


10 maternity bras for mamas-to-be which are both pretty and practical


Marks & Spencer Maternity & Nursing Bras

Whether you’re breast feeding or newly pregnant, the bras in this two-pack –  have double cups. One unfastens to let you feed and the backing one keeps you supported and covers you up a bit too. With a handy drop cup feature and built-in sling to support the breast, this nursing bra makes feeding that bit easier and more comfortable.


Mothercare Feeding Bras

A special mention to their Hotmilk nursing bras. As the name suggests, they are ‘hot’ nursing bras and will definitely make you feel sexy if you’re ready to the price for it ! For basic nursing bras, go for Blooming Marvellous and for flexible sizing pick up a couple from their ‘Belly Bandit’ brand which is similar in fabric and fit as Cantaloop but come with padding. You might or might not prefer that given that your assets are already a couple of sizes bigger that before.


Lamaze Sleep Bra

The Lamaze Sleep Bra is is comfortable, breathable, and supportive! The design features double lined bust panels for added support and a surplice pull down & over neckline for easy breastfeeding.Also, its material is quite soft and is comfortable right from pregnancy to nursing stage. Available in sizes 32 to 43.


Cantaloop pregnancy bra

The Cantaloop pregnancy bra has been designed to follow you. The bra is comfortable to wear and also ensures optimum support throughout your pregnancy.They are great if you’re looking for comfortable, breathable bras. You don’t need to change these as your bra size increases and decreases as they adapt to these changing sizes. The problem however, is that they cannot stop your breasts from sagging as the fabric is too stretchy for that.


Hunkemöller Maternity Bras

Comfy, stylish and practical the Hunkemöller Maternity Bras utilises an innovative design that  allows you to change the straps from feeding to regular meaning you can wear the bra before, during and after pregnancy. The back fastening also offers  hook attachments giving plenty of room for growth both during and after pregnancy.


Jessica Simpson Seamless Jacquard Nursing Bra

This seamless nursing bra by Jessica Simpson for Motherhood Maternity features a convenient clip-down superior nursing access, ultra-soft fabric that is cool and soothing against the skin and molded cups that combine the support you need with the fit you want.


Hot Milk ‘Eclipse’ Nursing Bra

There’s plenty of reasons why the ‘Eclipse’ is the best selling Hotmilk bra of all time. It not only looks great with silky microfibre, lace details and delicate diamantes, but is supportive and comfortable thanks to the 100 per cent cotton lined, wire free soft cups, wide straps and six hook and eye extension options for breast growth and ribcage expansion. It comes in sizes 10B-20H.


Cake Maternity & Nursing Bra

Cake Lingerie has maternity bras for every stage of pregnancy and nursing bras or breastfeeding bras for postpartum, and available in sizes 10DD to 20 HH.Find it at Cake Maternity.


Bravado Designs Ballet Nursing Bra

Slip on this cozy bra by Bravado Designs and enjoy the smooth material that’ll make you forget it’s even there. It’s wire-free, so you’ll be comfortable whether you’re committed to a Netflix binge or focused on getting some spring cleaning done.


H&M MAMA Nursing Bra

You already love their clothes, and the Swedish fast-fashion brand’s affordable maternity wear is just as impressive. This nursing bra looks just like your pre-pregnancy ones with adjustable straps and a hint of lace, but the softly padded cups have room for nursing pads.


One bra does not do it all when it comes to breastfeeding! For pumping, sleeping, yoga, and more, this was our picks that are the best nursing bras to give you real support.