The Best Nursing Bras, According to Breastfeeding Moms

Whether you need extra support in the postpartum period or quick access for 3 a.m. feedings, these nursing bras have you covered.
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mother wearing a nursing bra while breastfeeding baby in bed
Image: Anastasia Khandozhenko
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Whether you’re nursing on the go, pumping in the office or fumbling your way through a 3 a.m. feeding, the right nursing bra can be a lifesaver. And the good news is, there’s a nursing bra out there for every need, whether it’s for everyday wear, sleep or exercise—the cup runneth over with choices. To help you find the right nursing bra for you and your needs, we’ve not only put together advice from a lactation consultant and a style expert, we’ve also enlisted a team of nursing moms to help us test the best nursing bras out there. Read on for everything you need to know about nursing bras, plus our picks for the best nursing bras available today, including this year’s Best of The Bump award winner.

What Is a Nursing Bra?

At first glance, nursing bras may seem very similar to regular bras, but they serve two important purposes: They provide extra support and comfort for your breasts during the postpartum period, when swelling, soreness and heaviness is common, and they allow you to easily breastfeed your baby. A breastfeeding bra uses specially designed cups and supportive features (like extra-wide straps) to accommodate the needs of a nursing mother.

Maternity bra vs. nursing bra: What’s the difference?

While there’s some overlap in function between maternity bras and nursing bras (and many multifunction bras cover both stages!), they serve very different purposes. Maternity bras are meant to provide additional support as your breasts grow and change throughout the early stages of pregnancy, as well as flexibility for the fluctuations that occur over the course of all nine+ months.

A nursing bra is also meant to provide additional support and comfort; La Leche League notes that as your milk comes in over the early weeks of breastfeeding, your breasts can become heavy and engorged, creating a need for more support than you might normally need. However, a nursing bra is also designed so the wearer can easily breastfeed or pump without completely removing their bra, using one of several design features (described below) to allow access to the nipple.

Types of Nursing Bras

There are several different types of nursing bras to consider, and each provides a different way to enable easy feeding or pumping:

  • Clip down. A clip-down bra features a clip that typically sits just above each cup, which you can unclip to pull the cup completely down off your breast and allow baby access for feeding. A clip-down option can be found in just about every variety of bra, whether traditional bras, sports bras or racerbacks.
  • Pull down. A pull-down nursing bra is just as it sounds: A bra, likely made of a soft, stretchy fabric, that can be pulled aside to reveal the breast. It will likely offer a bit less support than a clip-down style nursing bra. They’re typically more casual in appearance and are great to wear as a nursing sleep bra.
  • Nursing/pumping combination. A combination nursing/pumping bra typically features a panel of fabric underneath the cup with a slit in it. This slit can be used to insert a breast pump flange, while the clip-down cups can be undone to reveal your nipple for breastfeeding.

How to Buy the Best Nursing Bra for You

Some of the same features you look for when shopping for a regular bra are especially crucial when you’re looking for a bra for breastfeeding. There are also some features unique to nursing that the right bra will need to have. The best nursing bras include these key components:

  • Comfort. This should be at the top of your nursing bra must-have list, especially during the first four to six weeks after having a baby, says Stephanie Nguyen, RN, MSN, WHNP-C, IBCLC, a certified lactation consultant and founder of Modern Milk. She recommends stretchy nursing bras to accommodate the breast changes moms experience during this time. “Look for nursing bras in soft fabrics,” Nguyen says. You’ll also want to pick a bra with thick back closures with four or more hooks and wide, cushioned straps, plus a band that doesn’t ride up in the back.
  • Support. Breasts filled with milk are fuller (and heavier), so you’ll want more support than you had before baby. A supportive nursing bra also prevents sagging breasts after baby graduates from breastfeeding. “The band under the bust should be snug,” says New York City stylist Samantha Brown, but make sure the straps don’t cut into your shoulders. “An ill-fitting bra can impact a woman’s posture and lead to strain and tension headaches,” she warns.
  • Coverage. The cup should fully cover your breast to provide added support as well as discrete coverage. “I personally like bras with molded cups to help disguise nursing pads and nipples that may be a bit larger than before,” Nguyen says.
  • Ease. The best nursing bras make it seamless to breastfeed. “Look for removable pads, no underwire (if it’s a sleeping bra) and clips for easy feeding,” Brown says.

Nursing bras are available in both underwire and non-wire styles. Some experts recommend non-wire nursing bras, especially in the early days of breastfeeding, since “they can put extra pressure on the mammary tissue and cause clogged milk ducts,” says Leigh Anne O’Connor, IBCLC, LCCE, a board-certified lactation consultant. “Clogged milk ducts can lead to mastitis and, in extreme cases, an abscess. Also, plugged milk ducts can reduce milk supply.” That said, underwire nursing bras can be a fine choice, so long as the wire is flexible enough to move with your body and doesn’t dig into or compress the breast. “It should fit appropriately, not tight,” O’Connor says.

So how can you tell if you’ve found the best nursing bra for you? Rest assured, there’s no right or wrong here. As Nguyen says, “If it fits, if it’s comfortable, if it’s easy to nurse in and you like the style,” then you’ve found your nursing bra.

How We Tested the Nursing Bras

To bring you a list of the best nursing bras out there, we enlisted the help of several nursing moms and asked them to thoroughly test the leading options on the market. They wore them while nursing or pumping in a variety of situations, from middle-of-the-night feedings to wedding celebrations and everything in between. Based on their reviews of the bras’ support, comfort, fit, quality, style and value for money, as well as our own extensive research, we’ve rounded up the best nursing bras for a variety of new-mom needs.

Image: Kristina, Danae, Mallory

The Best Nursing Bras for Every Need

For more than 10 years, The Bump has been recognizing the absolute best baby and pregnancy products on the market through our awards series. Curious to see which nursing bra was named the Best of The Bump award winner this year? Here, you’ll find our pick for the overall best nursing bra, along with other carefully vetted nursing bras that are particularly good for specific needs—whether you’re looking for a sports bra, a plus-size option or simply something you can feel sexy in (because let’s face it—who doesn’t need to feel like their pre-pregnancy self every now and then?), we’ve got the best nursing bra for you.

Overall best nursing bra

Bravado Designs Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra
Image: Bravado Designs

The wildly popular Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra by Bravado Designs blew our product tester away when it came to comfort, fit, quality and style, making it an easy choice for this year’s Best of The Bump winner. (Head here to see all of this year’s Best of The Bump winning products.) “I’m very impressed by the quality,” she raved. “Very soft and extremely comfortable; feels like I’m not wearing a bra.”

When it comes to nursing bras, this one checks every box, and for all body types too. This bra fits busts of almost any size, with band sizes from 32 to 46, and cups from B to J. Our product tester loved how this bra felt, awarding it a 5 out of 5 for both fit and comfort. “The bra is not tight, no spillage—it’s like I was wearing nothing,” she said. “It holds my breasts up very well, and I feel very secure and comfortable in it.”

Buttery soft and made with no wires, the Body Silk lives up to its name. It’s made with the brand’s trademark eco-adapt fabric, a breathable OEKO-TEX material that perfectly stretches with your changing body, and features removable foam inserts and knit-in support zones for added support around the cups. “This bra manages to support without feeling restrictive and tight. I’ve bought many nursing bras and they don’t stand up to the comfort I feel in this one,” our product tester told us.

Maybe best of all, this clip-down bra features the brand’s special “B” clips, which require only one hand to lower, and which our product tester found “easy to undo,” awarding the bra 5 out of 5 for ease of use and describing it as “very comfortable to nurse in.” The clips are tested to hold up to 25 pounds, with cups that provide the support you need but drop away completely during feeding for that vital skin-to-skin contact.

Material: 70% recycled nylon/20% virgin nylon/10% spandex | Sizes: S to XL-FC | Underwire: No | Type of closure: Hook and eye

“I’ve bought many nursing bras and they don’t stand up to the comfort I feel in this one."

What We Love
  • Thick straps for added support
  • Zones of extra support around the cups
  • Available in tons of pretty colors
Things To Consider
  • No racerback option
  • Some reviewers say to order a size up for the best fit

Best nursing sports bra

Love & Fit Athena 3.0 Nursing Sports Bra
Image: Love & Fit

Whether you’re looking for a nursing bra to wear during a good postpartum workout or simply prefer a more comfortable, casual style for your nursing bra, this nursing sports bra is the way to go. Reviewers rave about this popular pick, and our product tester agrees, telling us, “The support is amazing! I’ve had other nursing sports bras before that weren't as supportive as I'd hoped they'd be, but this one is actually supportive! I've been using this nursing sports bra for cardio and lifting and it has great support.”

A stretchy polyester/spandex blend pairs with thick straps that can be worn two different ways to ensure your breasts feel secure and supported at all times. You can choose a traditional fit or cross the straps for added support across the back, and easily adjust the length of the straps to account for the constant size fluctuation that’s so typical of the postpartum period. To say the design impressed our product tester would be an understatement; she awarded the bra 5 out of 5 for comfort, fit, style and quality, telling us, “Love, love, love that you can interchange the straps to make it a criss cross or a vertical strap. The clips that change it from criss cross to vertical is genius! Love that it won't easily unhook.”

When it’s time to switch from a sweat sesh to a nursing sesh, the clips easily unhook with just one hand, providing quick and easy access for your hungry baby. “Super easy to feed my baby after a workout,” our product tester said. “The clip is easy to unclip for a fast access to the breast… really convenient when baby is extra fussy.” And if you’re using any one of today’s popular wearable pumps, the Athena 3.0 can easily accommodate, with a generous opening to keep the pump in place and a secure clip that prevents it from slipping.

Material: 77% polyester/23% spandex | Sizes: S to 3XL | Underwire: No | Type of closure: Hook and eye

“The material is soft so I love how it feels on my skin. The band isn't tight so I can keep it on all day, unlike other sports bras.”

What We Love
  • Super supportive band and thick straps are both adjustable
  • Available in three colors
Things To Consider
  • Back strap has only three rows
  • Some reviewers feel the XL cup sizes are a bit on the small side

Best nursing sleep bra

Cake Maternity Cotton Candy Seamless Nursing Bra
Image: Angel Maternity

Whether it’s heavier-than-usual breasts needing more support, or leaking milk demanding a nursing pad, a good sleep bra can be a nursing mom’s best friend. The best nursing sleep bra has two main features: superior comfort that makes you almost forget you’re wearing a bra at all, and the ability to clasp and unclasp easily, even when fumbling around for a night feeding in the dark. The Cake Maternity Cotton Candy bra checks both boxes. Our product tester loved the bra, and was particularly taken with how easy it is to unclip for those inevitable middle-of-the-night feedings, giving the bra 5 out of 5 for ease of use. “I was able to nurse my baby very easily with this bra. I was able to clamp and unclamp the strap one-handed, [so] it was very convenient.”

Made largely of nylon that provides a gentle stretch, the Cotton Candy bra includes removable foam pads and molded cups for just a hint of added definition. The soft, lightweight material is seamless, making it perfect for that second-skin feel while sleeping. According to our reviewer, who awarded the Cotton Candy 5 out of 5 for comfort, “I couldn't even tell I was wearing a bra when I slept in this! It's lightweight, comfortable and the material is soft.”

Material: 90% nylon/10% spandex | Sizes: S to XL | Underwire: No | Type of closure: Hook and eye

“The quality is great, and you can tell it will last a long time. I have worn this bra multiple times, during the day and night, and washed it multiple times—and the material is still good as new.”

What We Love
  • Stands up well to repeated washing
  • Contains side support panels
  • Available in lots of different colors
Things To Consider
  • Not the most stylish bra

Best plus-size nursing bra

Simple Wishes Undercover Maternity, Nursing & Beyond T-Shirt Bra
Image: Simple Wishes
Buying Options
Simple Wishes|$29.00

If you had large breasts even before pregnancy and breastfeeding, finding a nursing bra that can comfortably accommodate your bust may feel daunting. Fear not. The Simple Wishes Undercover bra is our pick for the best plus-size nursing bra, offering sizes up to 40H. Featuring a cozy nylon/spandex blend that makes this bra as soft as a T-shirt, this non-wire bra is all comfort, all the time. Our product tester raves, “This bra was extremely comfortable. I wore it a lot at night for sleep with nursing pads to help with leakage,” earning it 5 out of 5 scores for comfort and quality.

You don’t have to worry about a lack of support either. A wide, adjustable band provides support underneath your breasts, while fixed padded cups offer the same. “As a woman with large breasts, it’s hard to find a supportive nursing bra in my size,” our product tester told us. “This one was supportive even without any structure.”

Material: 80% nylon/20% spandex | Sizes: Band sizes 30 to 40, cup sizes A to H | Underwire: No | Type of closure: Hook and eye

“I would recommend this bra to other nursing moms, especially those like me with larger breasts. It’s hard to find nursing bras that fit me correctly and comfortably!”

What We Love
  • Buttery soft material still offers plenty of support
  • Wide range of sizes
  • Available in several great colors
Things To Consider
  • Cup extender for wearable pump compatibility is sold separately

Best supportive nursing bra

MomCozy Seamless Nursing Bra
Image: Mom Cozy

While it’s not the only thing a good nursing bra needs, support is critical. The MomCozy not only provides great support—receiving a 5 out of 5 score from our product tester—but it’s soft, seamless and easy to unclasp too. “This bra is very supportive!” she told us. “The quality of this MomCozy bra is superior to any other bra I have worn! The material is seriously so soft, it's now my go-to nursing bra.”

When it comes to providing excellent support, a proper fit is key, and this nursing bra’s extended back closure and front-adjustable straps earned it a 5 out of 5 from our product tester for fit. Molded cups add support and also enhance the look of your bust under clothing. “The fit of this bra was perfect in comparison to what I am used to,” our product tester says. “The extra adjustable hooks help make the bra fit more appropriately as well if needed.”

Material: 58.4% nylon/41.6% spandex | Sizes: S to 3XL | Underwire: No | Type of closure: Hook and eye

“This bra is so comfy! It's my absolute favorite. The material is so soft and buttery smooth.”

What We Love
  • Adjustable features for a perfect fit
  • Seamless design
  • Bra is attractive and wears well under clothing
Things To Consider
  • Available only in neutral colors and black
  • Need two hands to clasp it after nursing

Best underwire nursing bra

ThirdLove 24/7 Classic Nursing Bra
Image: Third Love
Buying Options
Third Love|$72.00

Let’s face it: An underwire bra can often provide an additional level of support that wireless bras can’t, and that’s especially important while you’re nursing. Unfortunately, few underwire bras are designed with the needs of nursing moms in mind. But if you’re on the hunt for an underwire bra that will work for breastfeeding, look no further than the wildly popular Classic Nursing Bra from ThirdLove, which features a flexible wire that will move with your body. Designed for both comfort and functionality, the brand’s classic nursing bra is made of super soft pima cotton that has just a touch of stretchiness. It’s no wonder our product tester gave it 5 out of 5 for comfort and ease of use. “This bra is extremely comfortable. The material of the cups and bands is so soft. I’ve even fallen asleep in it and it didn’t leave any impressions or aggravate me… it’s so easy to nurse in.”

Pleated straps, gold accents and well-defined cups ensure you feel beautiful while wearing this maternity bra, and the hook-and-eye closure gives a secure fit. Fans rave about the quality and durability of this machine-washable nursing bra, including our reviewer, who says, “I think this bra will definitely last a year or more. It’s well made and has held up after a wash.”

This underwire nursing bra fits bodies from petite to plus-size, offering great support and an expansive line of sizes from 32A to 44H. “This is the first nursing bra I’ve worn with a wire. As a breastfeeding mom with large breasts, it’s important to have full support. I recently wore this bra to a wedding and it was so supportive, I could barely tell I had on a nursing bra,” our product tester gushed.

Material: Pima cotton/spandex | Sizes: Band sizes 32 to 44; cup sizes A to H | Underwire: Yes | Type of closure: Hook and eye

“This bra fit perfectly. I love the wide band to help support my large breasts, and the thick strap made it comfortable to wear all day.”

What We Love
  • Comfortable fit with flexible wire
  • Available in a wide variety of sizes
  • Company offers matching underwear
Things To Consider
  • Only available in one color
  • Pricey

Best combo nursing and pumping bra

Kindred Bravely Sublime Hands-Free Nursing & Pumping Bra
Image: Kindred Bravely

If you’re looking for a bra that works well for both feedings and pumping, the Kindred Bravely Sublime is the perfect choice. Thousands of five-star reviews indicate this bra should be the first and last one you buy, even if you’re an exclusive pumper. The Sublime Nursing and Pumping Bra features an innovative all-in-one design, with a top layer that easily clips down to reveal slits that hold flanges in place while pumping. That layer can then also clip down for full nursing access, making this bra a true combo piece that fits all your feeding needs. According to our product tester, “This was really easy to clip and unclip even while holding baby.”

Comfortable enough to wear as a sleeping bra but also great for daytime use, Kindred Bravely’s nursing/pumping combo bra is supportive as well. Our product tester raves, “This really is a comfortable bra—the fit is spot-on for the sizing chart, and while it’s not a sleeping bra, it was comfortable enough to sleep in, which is great for middle-of-the-night pumping.” Small wonder she gave it a 5 out of 5 for both comfort and fit!

When you start nursing, your breasts will grow quite a bit, so you’ll need a nursing bra that stays supportive without becoming restrictive. This bra is made of a stretchy nylon/polyester blend and features adjustable straps and a wide, supportive chest band that gently expands as your changing body needs it to.

Material (outer): 94% nylon/6% spandex | Material (inner): 84% nylon/16% spandex | Sizes: B to K | Underwire: No | Type of closure: Hook and eye

“It has a great fit, is smooth under clothing and is supportive without being too bulky.”

What We Love
  • Comes with a band extender
  • Fits most pump flanges
  • Wide range of sizes available
Things To Consider
  • Many reviewers say the material feels bulky
  • Sizing between the cups and the band can be tricky

Best sexy nursing bra

Cake Maternity Chantilly Maternity & Nursing Bralette
Image: Cake Maternity
Buying Options
Cake Maternity|$54.90

This beautiful lacy number from Cake Maternity proves you don’t have to sacrifice style just because you’re nursing. Our product tester loved the way she looked in this bra, saying, “Such a sexy look for a nursing bra!”

No detail was spared when it comes to this pretty all-lace bra, available in blush, pale blue and black. The French-inspired pattern is sheer and incredibly lightweight for that added touch of sexiness, while a wide underband provides crucial support even when your breasts are full and uncomfortable.

It should come as no surprise that our product tester gave this bra a 5 out of 5 for style, but it earned equally high marks for comfort and even support. While this bra is sheer, it has a mesh microfiber lining for added comfort and to reduce the possibility of showing through clothing. What’s lacking? Wires! There are no uncomfortable wires on this bra, another feature that enhances its all-day wearability. Available in cup sizes B through G, this versatile bra offers support for women of all sizes. “This bra has great support and isn’t too constricting!” gushed our reviewer. “I love how comfortable the fabric is.”

Material: 81% nylon/16% spandex/3% viscose | Sizes: S to XL, cup sizes B to G | Underwire: No | Type of closure: Hook and eye

“This is one of the best nursing bras I’ve used and has a great style!”

What We Love
  • Beautiful lace detailing in pretty colors
  • Feminine scoop-neck design
Things To Consider
  • Reviewers say it’s best to size up
  • Some feel the lacey material isn’t as soft as other nursing bras
  • Company doesn’t offer matching panties

Best padded nursing bra

Cake Maternity Tutti Frutti Maternity & Nursing Bra
Image: Cake Maternity
Buying Options
Cake Maternity|$55.00

The Tutti Frutti nursing bra by Cake Maternity offers a slim, barely there foam pad that expertly smoothes and hides bulky breast pads under clothing. Luxuriously soft and stylish, with delicate lace detailing, this beautiful bra received high marks from our product tester, who said, “This bra has a beautiful print. It looks like a stylish high-end bra, while still maintaining its mommy comfortability.”

What’s more, the Tutti Frutti manages to offer plenty of support too, even for the largest chest sizes, earning 5 out of 5 from our product tester for support and fit. You can find cup sizing up to H, and the bra comes in regular and busty sizes from small to extra large. Our tester, who has a large bust, said, “This bra was able to support my breasts really well. The cup fully held my breast, and the straps fit just right.” This excellent support comes from the bamboo viscose fabric, which offers just a touch of comfortable stretch, and is stitched in panels for strength and shape of a wired bra without the restrictive underwire.

This padded nursing bra is sure to make you feel like your best self when wearing it, thanks to the lace detailing and a shape just like a non-nursing bra add a touch of femininity—priceless during those postpartum months of adjustment and change!

Material: 43% viscose from bamboo/27% cotton/25% nylon/5% spandex | Sizes: S to XL, cup size B to G | Underwire: No | Type of closure: Hook and eye

“This bra is so supportive and comfortable! It makes breastfeeding so much easier. It’s beautiful too! I’m in love."

What We Love
  • Slim foam padding
  • Lace detailing adds a touch of feminine flair
  • Super soft bamboo viscose material
Things To Consider
  • Only available in three neutral colors
  • Pricey

Best racerback nursing bra

Kindred Bravely Sublime Nursing Sports Bra
Image: Kindred Bravely

Made from a stretchy nylon/polyester performance fabric that can grow with your changing body, the Sublime Nursing Sports Bra’s racerback style offers added support over traditional straps, combined with a comfortable pullover style. This blend of support and comfort didn’t go unnoticed by our product tester, who told us, “It fits really well and can be adjusted in the places that I needed to adjust,” giving the Sublime 5 out of 5 for comfort, fit and style. “It looks good under a shirt. Didn’t do too much of the uniboob thing that some sports bras do.”

Perfect for any type of low-impact exercise, the Kindred Bravely sports bra also works well for everyday use and even for sleeping and nursing overnight. The lightweight material feels divine; combined with the racerback design, it creates a bra that’s breathable and will help keep you dry and comfortable. Even better, it boasts high performance while still feeling soft against your skin, instead of slick like lots of workout wear often does. As our product tester describes it, “It’s a great nursing sports bra, but also just a really comfortable sports bra overall.”

Material: 92% nylon/8% spandex | Sizes: S to XXXL, regular and busty fits | Underwire: No | Type of closure: Pull-over

“Super-duper comfortable! No complaints.”

What We Love
  • Comes with a band extender
  • Attractive colors
  • Wide range of sizes available
Things To Consider
  • Not much in the way of material between the breasts
  • Sizing between the cups and the band can be tricky

Best budget-friendly nursing bra

Gratlin Women's Comfort Support Maternity Wirefree Seamless Nursing Bra
Image: Amazon
Buying Options

If you’re looking for something basic that gets the job done but still feels comfortable and has lots of the same great features as much more expensive nursing bras, check out the Gratlin brand. Comfortable, lightweight fabric ensures you feel supported but not restricted, making this a great nursing bra for both day and night wear. Our reviewer gave it 5 out of 5 for both comfort and fit, saying, “the material on this is very soft and lightweight, and the fact that there are more than three clips to adjust the back makes it super comfortable.”

The nude color and seamless fabric provide a nearly invisible look under clothing, and molded cups provide just the right amount of definition. But the major feature that makes this nursing bra stand out is its excellent clips. Like just about all nursing bras, this one has clip-down nursing access, but our product reviewer gushed that they’re heads and shoulders above the competition. “It’s the best clip design I've ever tried! This clip on this one is so easy to undo, even with one hand. Definitely the best clip design, and the material is easy to stretch and fold over too.” All at an excellent price point that our product tester gave a 5 out of 5 rating for value? Sign us up.

Material: 94% polyamide/6% spandex | Sizes: S to XL | Underwire: No | Type of closure: Hook and eye

“I would definitely recommend this bra to new moms; it’s good quality for the price and is very comfortable and functional.”

What We Love
  • Great price point
  • Lightweight, comfortable fabric still offers support
  • Highly adjustable sizing in straps and back
Things To Consider
  • A basic bra that isn’t super stylish

How We Chose the Best Nursing Bras

To help you find the best nursing bras, The Bump editors scoured the market to find the most popular and highest-rated options available. We combed through user reviews to see what real moms thought of these products, leveraged our familiarity with leading brands and relied on our own experiences as new parents. From there, we enlisted the help of nursing moms who tested the bras for several days. They wore them and washed them and nursed their babies in them, and carefully evaluated each for support, comfort, fit, ease of use, quality, style and value for money.

We stacked this rigorous testing against our own research and expertise to bestow the prestigious Best of The Bump award to the overall best nursing bra. And then we went one step further, using the testing results to identify other standout options that are particularly good for your specific needs. All this to ensure that you find a quality product with plenty of bang for your buck that’ll prove a good fit for you and your lifestyle.

Interested in learning more about our editorial process? Read about how our team develops and reviews all articles here.

How Many Nursing Bras Do I Need?

Pick up at least two nursing bras for daily wear, Brown suggests, so you’ll always have one on hand when the other is in the wash. After all, leaking is common, and even with the use of breast pads, your nursing bra is likely to get leaked on or spit up on, so it’s always a good idea to have a spare one on hand.

Do I need a separate pumping bra?

The purpose of a pumping bra is to provide a hands-free way to express milk. Rather than exposing the full breast for feeding, a pumping bra has a smaller opening over the nipple, where a breast pump flange can be inserted and held securely during pumping.

Whether you need a separate pumping bra is, as always, up to you. Some women appreciate the stability that a dedicated pumping bra provides, while others enjoy the convenience of a combination nursing/pumping bra. Some mothers may even circumvent the need for a pumping bra entirely by using a wearable breast pump that fits directly into their bra cup, keeping their hands free during pumping.

About the writer:

Christin Perry is a freelance writer and editor who specializes in pregnancy, parenting and health and wellness topics. As a mother of four (ages 5, 10, 12 and 14), she’s gone through the paces and has used what seems like every product under the sun—and she’s used that experience to write dozens of product roundups for The Bump. Christin considers herself lucky to have worked for a long list of other large clients, including Forbes Advisor, VeryWell Family, Parents, Parade, The Knot, Apartment Therapy and Dwell, to name a few.

Interested in becoming a product tester for The Bump? Head here to apply.

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.


Stephanie Nguyen, RN, IBCLC, is a board-certified lactation consultant and founder of Modern Milk, a breastfeeding clinic and prenatal-postnatal education center in Scottsdale, Arizona. Previously she has also worked as a postpartum, labor and delivery nurse. She received her master of science degree in nursing from the University of Cincinnati.

Samantha Brown is a professional and celebrity stylist based in New York City.

Leigh Anne O’Connor, IBCLC, LCCE, is a New York-based lactation consultant with more than 20 years of experience working with breastfeeding families. She is a past president of the New York Lactation Consultant Association (NYLCA) and a member of the International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA) and United States Lactation Consultant Association (USLCA). Additionally, she has been an accredited La Leche League Leader since 1997.

La Leche League, Bras, January 2018

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