You most likely have “the best nursing bra” on your to-buy list before the baby arrives, but if you don’t, put it on there pronto. It’s one of the most important items any expectant or brand-new mum could buy for herself and the baby.
Although nursing bras are not exactly synonymous with glamour (granted, this likely is not a priority for you at this time), that doesn’t mean that you have to wear something that you’re not particularly keen on. Contrary to popular belief, nursing bras can, in fact, be pretty as well as comfy and functional.
If you’ve never had to shop for a nursing bra before, it’s understandable that you might not know where to start. What are you supposed to look for in a nursing bra? Is it the same as shopping for a regular bra? And how much do these things cost anyway? Our nursing bra buying guide will answer all of these questions for you, plus we’ve done lots of research and found some of the best nursing bras on the market for you to choose from.
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How to choose the best nursing bra for you
While the best nursing bra for you is ultimately down to personal preference, there are several styles to choose from and a few aspects to take into consideration in order to find one that suits you and your lifestyle.
Why is a good nursing bra important?
It’s commonly thought that the only difference between a normal bra and a nursing bra is the opening front flaps on the cups that provide easy access when it’s feeding or pumping time.
While that is obviously an important factor, it’s not the only thing a nursing bra is good for. These bras provide extra support for your much heavier postpartum breasts, have a lot of “give” for the daily expansion and deflation that comes with breastfeeding, and can also prevent you from leaking through your clothes.
What should I look out for in a nursing bra?
A nursing bra should, above all, be comfortable. Several factors, including the material, fit, accessibility, and how you put them on (whether they are front or back opening, or pull-on types) can contribute to this. We take a closer look at them below.
Material: A bra that is made from a breathable and soft material will eliminate any chafing. If you tend to sweat, look for a moisture-wicking and hypoallergenic material to avoid breaking out into a rash. In addition, a fabric that isn’t too stiff, and that has a bit of stretch would be better to adapt to your changing size.
Sizing: Unlike other maternity clothes, measuring yourself for a nursing bra should be done towards the end of your pregnancy so that you have a better idea of your postpartum size. Once you’ve measured, it’s then recommended to order a bra that is one bust size and one cup size larger to allow for the swelling that will inevitably happen as soon as the milk kicks in.
Fit: To ensure your comfort and ease, it’s best to go for a nursing bra that is similar to the bras you usually wear. If you are a fan of sports bras, opt for a nursing bra with a racerback, but if you prefer your good old Wonderbra, find a plunge nursing bra with padding.
Access: There are several ways in which a nursing bra can provide easy access for pumping or feeding. The most popular is the snap closure at the front that releases the cups. Some bras have a hook-type closure that hooks and unhooks the cups, and others have Velcro, or a tie that you have to knot and unknot. But not all bras have opening cups; some nursing bras are V-shaped and allow easy access simply by moving the cup out of the way. While these bras tend to be comfortable and easy to use, they may not be the best for double pumping, as you might need to continually hold the cups out of the way.
How much should I spend on a good nursing bra?
A good-fitting, comfortable, and supportive nursing bra doesn’t have to break the bank, and whether or not a nursing bra will suit you and your needs is not reflected in its price. Similarly, a more economical bra’s price might not be indicative of its quality and supportive features.
While you don’t want to go for the cheapest one around as it probably won’t last more than a few wears, the most expensive nursing bra on the market might not actually be the best one for you so there’s no need to specifically seek out those higher-end brands. Our list of the best nursing bras available to buy now are all under £40 and come in highly recommended by many happy customers.
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The best nursing bra to buy in 2021
1. Bravado Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra: The best overall nursing bra
Price: £34 | Buy now from John Lewis
This fabulous nursing bra by Bravado not only looks great, it’s extremely comfortable, and totally seamless, meaning that it won’t show under your clothes. It has removable padding to help with leaking that you can insert and remove as you please, and it comes in a selection of four colours.
Designed to mould onto your changing body, this bra does not chafe and users report that it is so comfortable, they wore it for years after their little ones were born.
This bra might not be the most supportive bra out there for bigger breasts, but when it comes to comfort and durability, this is the way to go. It fits true to size, and to keep it in optimal condition, it’s better to give it a hand wash.
Key specs – Sizes: S-XXL; Material: 88% polyester, 12% elastane; Fastening: back; Available colours: black, butterscotch, dusky pink, ivory; Bras in pack: 1
Buy now from John Lewis
2. H&M MAMA Nursing Bras: The best no-fuss nursing bra
Price: £20 | Buy now from H&M
If you don’t want to have to fiddle with snap-on and off removable cups or back clasps, this set of two nursing bras from H&M’s MAMA range is ideal. Each