There are so many options out there for nursing bras and maternity, but how do you know what is a good one and better still, at what stage do you need what? Why should you even bother to get one in the first place?

Here are some key points to look for in a good nursing bra and why you might consider actually getting one (or 5):

Soft and Breathable

The fabric or the yarn to have a suitable knit that allows for greater airflow when you are at your most hot. This does not necessarily always mean cotton. Think breathable basket baller’s clothes. That’s right.

Many compositions on the market these days are breathable. As long as they are not made from plastic and directly against your breast (which should be avoided), you can choose something that is made from microfiber, rayon, bamboo, cotton or nylon to also keep you cool and comfortable.

Crazy mum fact:
When you are pregnant and breastfeeding, the mum’s average temperature is 2% higher overall than when she is not. This is because you have a greater supply of blood being pumped through your body for your baby and for your milk production.

prenatal yoga

Too hot to handle:
Try and feel the fabric first to see if you will like it or not. This is always difficult with online shopping so read some reviews instead.

Support in the lower cup

When you are pregnant and even more so when you are breastfeeding, there is a lot more weight in your breast.

This is not just because your breasts are larger, this is because the density of them is also different and therefore heavier. This is when you need the most support.

Crazy mum fact:
When you compare 2 breasts of the same size as a breastfeeding mum and a non-breastfeeding woman. The breastfeeding breast can be around 33% greater in weight.

Supporting others success won’t dampen yours:
Look for a bra that has lower cup support, this could be via a foam cup, extra knitted panels, moulded support, flexible wires or added seams.

woman holding-cup

Room in the upper cup

A good nursing bra will have plenty of stretch in the upper cup. This is for the sole purpose of when your milk comes in, and out, and in, and back out again.

You want a bra that is going to fit you at all times throughout the day and night.

Crazy mum fact:
A nursing mum can change 1-4 cup sizes on average a day when nursing in the first 6 weeks of breastfeeding. This settles down to 1-2 cup sizes up to 6 months of breastfeeding.

Remember to take care of yourself, as you cannot pour from an empty cup:
Find something that will stretch with you at your most full and also compliment you when you’re feeling ‘let down’ – that was a bad mum pun by the way. If you cannot decide on a cup-sized bra then opt for a seamless bra that will accommodate you at all stages.

pillow fight

Get a sleeping bra

There is no doubt about it, please go and buy yourself a sleeping bra no matter how big or small you are.

Have you heard the following? All of which are good arguments when you are not pregnant or breastfeeding.

“But, I’m lying down” – Yes, but the added weight means that your body is not used to when your breasts may fall when you are asleep so it’s best to keep them supported.

“I’m sleeping, der” – this may be true when you are pregnant, but not so much when you are nursing. You will be up and out of bed, sometimes jumping out to feed your baby, so it’s best to be supported.

“I’m supporting my ligaments” – When you are nursing the amount of rapid growth requires 24-hour constant support because your ligaments were great when you were 14, but not so much now. They will benefit greatly from the added 24-hour support.

Crazy mum fact:
New mums can survive (and thrive) on 1.5 hours sleep blocks for up to 8 months.

Always remember to fall asleep with a dream and wake up with a purpose:
Choose a sleep bra that doesn’t’ have adjustable straps, is stretchy so you can pull the cups aside and has space inside for those handy breast pads.

One handed drop down nursing cups:

Let’s face it; you are going to have your hands full with a baby on the way and your latte.

If you buy a nursing bra, make sure you can open and close the latch. Practice makes perfect and you’ve got 9 months to do so.

Crazy mum fact:
No matter how stressed or busy you are, when you breastfeed, your body produces a hormone called prolactin and this is the hormone also produces when your body naturally reduces stress when exercising or meditating.

Don’t be busy, be productive:
Buy some clothes that you are comfortable nursing in and have easy access to feeding (also one-handed) for those days when you are out and about.

Extendable bandwidth

It’s funny that you don’t actually realize until it’s happening to you, how much room your baby takes up.

All of your organs are pushed up inside your rib cage. You become fuller quicker because your stomach is smaller.

You become shorter of breath because your lungs are squashed and your ribcage, amazingly, unlocks and expands to accommodate all of these changes.

This is where your bra is supposed to sit snuggly for a proper fit and to be comfortable.

Crazy Mum fact:
The lungs will sit on average 4cm higher when you are pregnant in the 3rd trimester and will have 20% less capacity.

Small steps, every day:
Luckily, there are brands that have thought about this so choose a bra that has either a super stretchy underband to accommodate the extra width or choose one that has a longer extension of hooks and eyes for this reason. You can then wear it on the last hook in your later days of being pregnant and it will last for your nursing journey when your ribcage goes back to normal too.


Choose a bra that you know you will be comfortable to live in.

If you are comfortable in a t-shirt bra then opt for one of them.

If you’re more of a lacey girl, then get a lacey bra.

If you are not used to wearing a bra or are not sure of your size, go for a seamless bra.

Choose what works best for you and stay comfortable.


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