First things first, and to clear up any confusion: a maternity bra and a nursing bra are not quite the same thing. Maternity bras are worth purchasing at some point in your second trimester, once your cup size has stabilised (it will grow over the first 20 weeks or so of pregnancy). In the final weeks of pregnancy, your cup size will grow again when your milk comes in, so it may be worth buying a second set of nursing bras around that time, a couple of weeks before your due date and in readiness for the first weeks of nursing.
The maternity bras that you purchase in the second trimester should fit as follows: add one cup size and one back size onto your pre-pregnancy bra size. So, for example, if you usually wear a 32D, your nursing bra should be a 34E. Maternity bras should feel comfortable and secure on the tightest setting so that you can get the longest wear from them as your body adjusts.
The nursing bras that you purchase in the final few weeks pre-pregnancy should fit as follows: take your pregnancy bra size, add one cup size, and subtract one back size. So, if your pregnancy bra size is 34E, you should try 32F for a nursing bra. These should feel most comfortable on the loosest setting.
During the day, you want a nursing bra that's soft, breathable, flexible, and provides great support (non-underwired is the better option). At night, an ultra-soft sleep bra that has fewer hooks and clips to dig into you is the ideal option.
Kidadl's Top Pick
1. Bamboo Nursing Bras Twin Pack - Seraphine
These bras are bamboo, which makes them antibacterial, hypoallergenic, moisture-wicking, and temperature-regulating. What more could you want? They're seamless, without underwire, but still provide lift and shape, and they allow for easy breastfeeding access with their drop cups. The flexible stretchy bamboo will adjust to changes in your body shape over time so that these bras are fully adjustable. They also come in a variety of colours, and pair with matching maternity briefs.
- Price: £35
- Bamboo fabric: antibacterial, moisture-wicking, temperature-regulating and hypoallergenic
- Drop cups for easy nursing
- No underwire
- Adjustable and adapt to your shape
- Seamless and super soft
Best For Families On A Budget
2. Maternity Lace Nursing Bra - Gap
The lace overlay makes this bra a feminine option, and at this price, this bra for breastfeeding is an absolute steal. Although slim, the straps are sturdy, and the lace band underneath the cups provides support and lift for your breasts. Plus, the breastfeeding clip is easy to undo, and the sizing is simple (XS, S, M, L, XL), for ease.
- Price: £19.95
- Lace texture for fashionable feel
- Slim but sturdy tank straps
- Hook closure at back
- Clip easy to undo one-handed
Best For Longevity
3. Emma-Jane Seam-free Maternity & Nursing Bra - Jojo Maman Bebe
This nursing bra adapts to your changing breast size and shape, so it has longevity and supports you through the post-pregnancy period. It's also soft and comfortable, with no seams (so no nasty digging), with drop cups for easy access, and four hook and eye fastenings to make adjustments as your back size changes.
- Price: £13
- Seamfree for extra comfort
- Back and body adapts to your changing breast size
- Drop cups
Best Adjustable Nursing Bra
4. Emma-Jane Zara Maternity & Nursing Bra - Jojo Maman Bebe
Another of Jojo Maman Bebe's breastfeeding bras, this bra is designed to see you through the whole nine months. Seam-free, supportive, adjustable, it also has removable foam pads, and the cups are made with two layers of fabric for extra support. Both cups also have a clip for quick and easy breastfeeding access, and there are four settings on the back to allow for growth and body change.
- Price: £17.50
- Ideal bra for the whole of pregnancy
- Drop cups
- Removable foam pads
- Double layered fabric
Best For Day
5. 2 Pack Santoni Full Cup Nursing Bras - M&S
We love a twin pack here at Kidadl, but it's important that the product still performs to the highest standard. M&S underwear has always been up there, and these nursing bras are no different. They're wireless and super soft for extra comfort and have four hook and eye fastenings at the back to adapt to your developing shape. The drop cups allow for easy access, and the muted colourways make them great to wear under most clothing.
- Price: £32.50
- No wire
- Drop cups
- Fits true to size
Best For Comfort
6. Bravado Body Silk Seamless Maternity & Nursing Bra - Jojo Maman Bebe
This is such a comfortable nursing bra: it actually feels luxurious. Silky soft, seamless, and wire-free, it comes in four colours so that you have options (or can just go with all four), and the fabric is double layered. The 4-way stretch fabric moulds to your shape as it changes, the cups are drop-down for easy access, and there are also removable foam inserts for shape and your discretion.
- Price: £34
- Soft and seamless
- Double layered
- Drop-down cups
- Removable foam inserts
Best Fuller Bust Nursing Bra For Shaping
7. Smoothing Flexi-wire Moulded Nursing Bra - Elomi
This is an underwired nursing bra, providing shape and support for women with fuller breasts. The moulded cups allow for a lower neckline without compromising on fit, but the non-padded drop cups still allow for easy breastfeeding.
- Price: £36
- Great for women with fuller busts
- Drop cups
Best Nursing Bra For Easy Unclipping
8. Mamabel Comfort - Triumph
Triumph is another underwear brand that has been around for a while, and whose products always deliver. This bra is renowned for being a 'one-hand wonder', meaning that the drop cups can be opened with just one hand - ideal for late-night feeds with a hungry newborn. The style is simple but comfortable, and it's wireless and available in many sizes.
- Price: £28
- Can be clipped and unclipped one hand
- Super comfortable
- Comes in many sizes
Best For Feeling Good
9. Show Off Non Wired Nursing Bra - Hotmilk
We've included a few nursing bras in our selection that are a little bit sexy design-wise because it's important that you feel good in yourself even as you focus on nursing your baby. This is one of those. It's best-selling and made from silky soft microfibre with soft cotton cups to ensure breathability. It's a balconette style, but non-wired, and has one-hand drop cups for no-fuss breastfeeding.
- Price: £39.95
- Silky soft microfibre outer and breathable cotton-lined cups
- Wireless balconette design
- Drop cups for breastfeeding
Best Lacy Nursing Bra
10. Temptation Flexiwire Full Cup Nursing Bra - Hotmilk
Another more glamorous option, this bra from beloved brand Hotmilk has a racerback fit with a super feminine back, but still ticks all the boxes for what you need from a nursing bra. There's a flexi-wire for extra support and comfort, the top cup is somewhat stretchy, and there are five hook and eyes on the back panel to allow for your growth and change over the nursing period. Drop-down cups ensure easy breastfeeding.
- Price: £45.99
- Lace and rosebud details, plus a racerback design
- Flexi-wire for comfort and support
- Drop-down cups
- Fab colour options
Best For Night
11. Maternity & Nursing Sleep Bras Twin Pack - Seraphine
This is a super comfortable, soft nursing sleep bra. The crossover design offers support without underwire thanks to the wide straps, and it allows for easy breastfeeding: you can just pull the style to the side. There's gentle elastic support, too, and the keyhole back is pretty.
- Price: £32
- Soft but stretchy cotton and gentle support
- Crossover design - makes for easy nursing
Best Nursing Bra For A Fuller Bust
12. DD+ Comfort Cotton Modal Sleep Bra DD-GG - Figleaves
This is one of the best nursing sleep bralettes for women with fuller busts. Non-padded, wireless, this option offers light support, and the thick, soft straps sit on your shoulders without digging. Made from modal, it's also super soft - perfect for lounging and getting snuggle with your new baby.
- Price: £26
- Designed for women with fuller breasts
- Non-padded and wireless
- Modal and cotton for softness
- Thick, adjustable straps that don't dig
Best Twin Pack Nursing Bra
13. 2-Pack Maternity and Nursing Sleep Bras - Jojo Maman Bebe
Another great twin pack, these are simple in design, but still some of the best nursing bras for you to sleep in (as proved by their bestselling status). The cotton is soft but stretchy and comfortable, and the bra is pull-on, so no faffing around with annoying straps or clasps. The crossover style makes for easy breastfeeding - just pull it aside - and the lace trim adds a touch of femininity.
- Price: £19
- Crossover style for easy nursing
- Soft, stretchy cotton
- Pull-on design
Best Sports Bra For Nursing
14. Maternity & Nursing Sports Bra - Seraphine
In need of the best nursing bra that will also allow you to stay active? Look no further. This sports bra is made of high-performance sweat-wicking fabric, with mesh detailing that allows breathability. It still provides easy nursing, with drop cups, but there's an elasticated under band to support you in medium impact activities, a racerback style, and neon pink pops of colour to add some spice to your sports routine. Who says you have to be housebound with a new baby?
- Price: £35
- Sweat-wicking racerback style
- Mesh for breathability
- Drop cups for easy breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is a special time for you and your newborn, but it can also be hard on your body. We have created a guide to the best nipple creams to soothe your skin, many of which can even be used for the baby too. Whenever you decide that you would like to start bottle feeding, we also have a list of the best baby bottles to help you out.
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