The Best Nursing Bra: 5 Tips to Help You Find It
By Dana Sullivan for Baby + You
Properly fitted, well-made nursing bras are worth the expense: Anything you can do to make breastfeeding baby easier and more comfortable will help make it a positive experience.
Some helpful guidelines to help you find the best nursing bra:
- Get fitted. To guarantee that you purchase nursing bras that suit you best, make an appointment at a maternity or specialty lingerie store during your eighth month of pregnancy (when your breasts are about the size they’ll be during breastfeeding) and have a professional fitting.
- Leave room to grow (or shrink!). If you can’t be professionally fitted, choose a nursing bra size that allows for an increase or decrease in your breast size as you continue to breastfeed your baby. In other words, the bra shouldn't fit “just right” with the cups on either the largest or smallest adjustment, or with the hooks at the loosest or tightest fitting.
- Think soft for sleep. Be sure to purchase at least one soft-cup nursing bra to wear during the first few weeks after your baby’s birth and when you sleep, since some lactation consultants believe that wires can pinch and contribute to blocked milk ducts.
- Leave some breathing room. According to the breastfeeding organization La Leche League International (LLLI), “A bra that is too tight or clothing that applies pressure to the breasts can restrict the flow of milk.” If you’re experiencing signs of mastitis, or plugged milk ducts, LLLI advises, “check carefully along seam lines and edges to identify areas of the breast where the bra might apply pressure and possibly restrict milk flow.”
- Get multiples. Choose at least two different styles and wear them both several times to find the one that works best for you. Eventually, plan to have at least three nursing bras: one to wear, one to have in the wash and one to have in your drawer (you’ll probably need to wash your bras after each wearing).
Here are two recommendations on the best mom-tested nursing bras you can find online:
- Japanese Weekend’s silky soft Hug bra, $38. This nursing bra is comfortable enough to sleep in — which is what you may want to do during the first few days after your milk comes in — and helps support your tender and full breasts.
- Motherhood Maternity’s seamless nursing bra, $19, is made of cotton/Lycra and has underwire cups that unsnap easily. When you’re ready to wear close-fitting t-shirts or sweaters again, this nursing bra is best.
For more on breastfeeding baby, visit Baby + You
Dana Sullivan is a Nevada-based freelance
writer who contributes frequently to Fit Pregnancy and
Parenting. She’s mom to Liam and Julia.