These bras are the best of the breast in honor of National Breastfeeding Month.
Balancing the arrival of a new baby is hard enough without the additional stress of finding the best nursing bra. Between researching the different myths about breastfeeding and trying to find the best breast pump, looking for a bra that keeps you supported and comfortable while breastfeeding can feel like a daunting task.
But fear no more. In honor of National Breastfeeding Month this month, we tapped experienced lactation consultants, along with reviews from new moms who have tried many nursing bras themselves, to find out what exactly makes a great nursing bra—and how to find the right one for you.
The first thing to keep in mind is that everyone needs something slightly different from their nursing bra. While some new parents might prefer loose, less-structured designs, others might want firm cups and underwire. Most lactation consultants emphasized the importance of choosing a bra that’s most comfortable for you.
Leigh Anne O’Connor, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) with over two decades of experience, recommends finding a fabric that’s both breathable and washable. “The bras should be easily washed—they will get covered in milk and possibly creams and spit up,” O’Connor told Health. She also urges new parents to look for bras with easy access to your breasts—ideally options where clasps can be undone with one hand, so you don’t have to worry about undoing complicated hooks while you’re holding your infant.
But that doesn’t mean you should start purchasing multiple bras too soon before your due date. According to Freda Rosenfeld, a lactation consultant based in Brooklyn, N.Y., the size of your breasts will likely change throughout your pregnancy, so it's a good idea to wait until you're about 37 weeks along before purchasing a nursing bra.
"Only buy one [nursing] bra to start," she recommends. "After day eight postpartum, your breast size will be about the same size as it will be throughout breastfeeding."
While both lactation consultants agreed that new mothers should try to avoid underwire bras, which can clog milk ducts, they also stressed that finding the perfect bra is such an intimate, individual process, and comfort is the most important factor.
With that said, finding the right bra is like finding the right breast pump: a personal choice linked to your lifestyle, comfort levels, and budget.
To help make your decision easier, we’ve outlined the 10 best nursing bras based on advice from these lactation experts and customer reviews from passionate moms. Read on to discover our top picks—and what makes them special.
- Best for T-Shirts: Bravado Designs Buttercup Bra
- Best for Pumping: Simple Wishes SuperMom Nursing & Pumping Bra
- Best for Larger Cup Sizes: Blue Canoe Plus Size Organic Cotton Bra
- Best Budget-Friendly: HOFISH Seamless Maternity V Neck Bra
- Best for Sleeping: Kindred Bravely Racerback Sleep Bra
- Best Nursing Camisole: SUIEK Nursing Tank Top (3-Pack)
- Best for Hands-Free Pumping: Simple Wishes D* Lite Bra
- Best with Underwire: Wacoal Underwire Contour Nursing Bra
- Best Front-Closure: Third Love 24/7 Front-Closure Bra
- Best for Working Out: Syrokan Control Maximum Support Bra