The Best Nursing Bra—Getting the Support You Need
Once you have had your little bundle of joy, and have started nursing him, you will need to start wearing a nursing bra. Yes, it is true that you could continue wearing a regular bra, however a nursing bra is far more convenient and comfortable in most cases. It is a good idea to start shopping for one or two before you give birth to allow time to find the best nursing bra for you.
If you are anything like me, you despise bra shopping period. It is no fun trying to squeeze into pretty, lacy bras that you wish would just fit and be comfortable all at the same time. It seems it must be one or the other. The other discouraging part is trying to figure out exactly what size to buy. Each brand seems to fit differently and how can you really tell if the bra is properly fitted and supporting you?
How to Choose a Great Nursing Bra?
Once you head out on your quest to find the best nursing bra for you, if you follow some simple shopping tips, you will find one or two which will be a pleasure to wear and may even look nice! You should be aware of a few key factors when bra shopping in general, however, shopping for a nursing bra means you need to look for a couple extra features.
Probably the single most important factor when selecting ANY bra is the size. No, this doesn’t mean the actual number on the tag. The size refers to how the bra fits your body and breasts simultaneously. It is a good idea to have a professional bra fitting done at a reputable retail store by someone trained to do fittings.
When choosing a nursing bra size, you should get fitted around your 36th week of pregnancy since that will reflect what size you will need better than earlier on in your pregnancy. Generally, most professional maternity wear retailers recommend going up one cup size to your normal bra size.
You should try on any nursing bra you are considering, or at the very least take your measurements and match them to that specific brand if you are shopping online. Not only is cup size important but the fit of the band is too. This will mean the difference between feeling comfortable in your bra all day (and all night!) long versus pulling and tugging at the back of the band or having it dig into your sides.
You should look for multiple settings on the band to adjust for days you may be retaining water or bloated and to fit more snugly as time goes on and the bra stretches out. A thicker band will usually offer more support as well, which is helpful if you are a naturally large breasted woman.
Underwire Vs. Soft Cup
The choice is generally up to you; however, most lactation experts recommend avoiding underwire bras since they can restrict the flow and create pressure on the breast, which can affect milk production. However, many women prefer the support and uplift they get from an underwire. There are nursing bras available with flexible underwire, which could be a great compromise.
Again, a personal preference, but the type of material used in the nursing bra is a factor to consider. Cotton bras allow more breathability and flexibility in most cases, whereas a polyester bra will fit more firmly and not stretch out as much over time. There are many different types of materials you can choose from. Consider what will be most comfortable and supportive for you, since you will likely be wearing your nursing bra 24 hours a day for the months to come.
The entire point of a nursing bra is to have better, more convenient access to your breasts for feeding your baby. When choosing the best nursing bra for your needs, be sure to check the accessibility features of the bra you are considering. Some nursing bras have Velcro closure cups, while others come with a clip on each cup to be unhooked at each feeding. Decide how best it is for you to access your breast for Baby and find the best nursing bra with that accessibility feature.
This may not be as important as other features, but definitely nice to have. If the nursing bra you decide on has some stretch to it, you will be more comfortable on those days where you are engorged or producing more milk but cannot feed or pump right now. They will also allow for you to double up on nursing pads by stretching out a bit. If you are athletic, having stretchability in your nursing bra will allow you better movement during your activity as well.
The Best Nursing Bra for You
**Below, you'll see more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices and read customer's reviews on Amazon
1. HOFISH 3PACK Full Bust Seamless Nursing Maternity Bras
This 3-pack is a great way to get all the colors you might need in a nursing bra for everyday use. Each bra is made of a nylon and spandex mix to allow for lots of stretchability and comfort. Included in the pack are bra extenders to clip on the band and allow for even more adjustability as needed. The straps clip together at the back to make a racer back shape, ideal for tank tops and better lift. There are no wires in these bras, allowing for more freedom of movement and no added pressure to the breasts. They are available in sizes small to extra-large instead of standard cup sizes. The cups have their own hook clasps which are easily used with just one hand.
2. Kindred Bravely French Terry Racerback Nursing Sleep Bra
The Kindred Bravely nursing bra is great for not only daytime use, but also for sleeping, since it is made of super soft and comfortable French terry. The racer back design fits perfectly under most tops and the wide shoulder straps stay in place well. There are no clasps or hooks on this bra at all. The criss-cross front allows for easy pull-back access when it is time to nurse your baby. It is very easy to move in this nursing bra, which means sleeping is comfortable too.
3. Bravado! Designs Women's Maternity Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra
Bravado! is a popular, well-trusted brand when it comes to nursing bras. This seamless bra will be well disguised under any of your garments and feel comfortable against your skin. The four-way stretching material promises to hug your shape, even as your size may change with time. Each cup features a clasp closure which can easily be maneuvered with one hand. The cups drop away completely so that you can get maximum skin-to-skin time with your little one. Inside each cup are removable foam pads for added shape and discretion.
4. Kindred Bravely Extra Soft Organic Cotton Wireless Nursing & Maternity Sleep Bra
This Kindred Bravely is made with organic cotton for moms who are conscious of the materials they purchase. The pull aside cups make it easy to access your breasts for nursing times, with tugging or pulling. There are no hooks or clasps used on this bra at all. The full back design provides support from behind. The lightweight material is comfortable enough for daily use as well as sleeping. The straps are thick and comfortable and won’t leave indents in your shoulders.
5. Curve Muse Plus Size Cotton Maternity Nursing wire free bra with Lace trim-2Pack
Not only is this nursing bra affordable and convenient, but also very feminine and pretty with lacy trim. Each cup has a clasp closure which is operational with one hand. There are cut outs to allow nursing access for your little one. This nursing bra is geared towards women requiring more support for larger, heavier breasts. It is available in sizes 34-48 C, D and DD in regular and plus sizes. It is wire free and has adjustable straps for a custom fit for each woman. They come in a package of two for extra value, in either black and white or pink and white with black dots.
The Winner of the Best Nursing Bra
When it comes to choosing the winner, in my opinion, the Kindred Bravely French Terrycloth Racer Back Nursing Bra. Not only is the fabric unbelievably soft, there are no hooks or clasps used which can dig into your skin while you sleep.
You never have to worry about the cup clasp breaking, rendering the bra useless since it has a pull aside center for easy nursing access. The racer back fits with all garments perfectly and there is no elastic used in the chest band to pinch or squeeze you excessively.
The included cup pads are great to smooth out your overall look. You will also get the most bang for your buck since this bra is easily usable even after you are finished breastfeeding.
Finding a great nursing bra can help make you breastfeeding experience more comfortable and even successful in some ways. Shopping for that great nursing bra may not be so fun though. You may find yourself overwhelmed by the selection and options available. Don’t worry—just follow this helpful guide with the included key features and you will be sure to find the best nursing bra for your needs.