How do I find a great maternity & nursing bra?

    Question:I just got measured and was told that I am a 36DD. I would like to find a great bra that will last me throughout my pregnancy and for nursing. I am looking for a nursing bra that has a liner (not push-up, but something to keep me warm), with underwire, FULL or wide straps (at the sholder–I dont like the thin, Lacey/fancy straps–something with some cushion on them would be good too), in a neutral color and either plain or fancy. Whatever fits the other descriptors is good for me. (I would also prefer NOT to buy in a “S, M, L” size–I really want this bra to be fit for me and my specific size.)
    From Stephanie C., St. Louis, MO

Answer from A Mother’s Boutique Mommy News:
Hi Stephanie,

Thanks for your note. I know you stated that you do not want to purchase a bra sized S, M, L because you want it to fit, but let me give you one reason why you may want to consider this type of bra. A bra with specific cup sizes is great once you know what your size is going to be. But since you are pregnant, there is no way to predict how your body might change after your baby arrives. Many women go up at least one cup size when their milk comes in. Also, during the first few months of nursing, your breasts often change size based on time of day (more milk in AM, less milk in PM, etc). And after 3-6 months, your breasts may actually go down a cup size as well. So you want something that is going to fit you now, when your baby comes and at least through your first 6 months. For this reason, I generally recommend bras that give some flexibility in sizing. This doesn’t mean that the bra won’t fit you well – it still will and you will LOVE the support that you get from this type of bra. I have listed below a number of bras that I generally recommend for breastfeeding. Let me know if you would like to try any of them.
Body Silk Seamless Nursing BraBody Silk Seamless Bra: This bra is my best selling bra. It doesn’t have underwire or specific cup sizes, but moms who always wear underwire LOVE this bra. It has a thick band that goes under the bust. This ribbing also goes up on the side of the bust giving the same type of support and “lift” that you would get with an underwire. It is also one of those bras sized S, M, L so it is designed to grow with you and fit your breasts over multiple cup sizes. It also has removable padding, so you can take it out if you don’t like it or replace it with a nursing pad if needed. With a 36DD, you will most likely wear the size L in this bra. It comes in 4 fabulous colors – black, butterscotch, ivory and cherry. The black and butterscotch colors have matching undergarments. I have had many moms tell me that these are their favorite underwear! They can be worn both during and after your pregnancy and they fit under the belly – so you don’t need to buy specific maternity panties. I have had many moms who ordered this bra and then came back to buy it in the other colors because they liked it so much.

For the rest of the bras, I have tried to match your requests as closely as possible – it is difficult in some cases because a lot of the underwire bras don’t have padding in them, but I will highlight my favorites and then let you see if they are close enough it to what you are looking for.

Melinda G Tee-Shirt Underwire Nursing BraTee-Shirt Underwire Bra: This bra is my personal favorite (I wear it and so does my mother! – and she isn’t nursing!). It is the most comfortable underwire bra that I have ever worn. It has a padded underwire, so it is super comfy. It also has 3 nursing clips on the straps which mean you can adjust the size of the cup. So when you milk comes in, if you breasts get larger, you can actually go up a full cup size just by adjusting where you connect the nursing opening – making this bra another great choice for new moms. It only comes in nude and the only downside to this bra is that the cups have absolutely no padding what-so-ever. This is another one of those bras that moms try and come back for more because it is so comfy. NOTE: This bra runs large in the band, so you will likely wear a 34E in this bra, not a 36.

La Leche League Padded Nursing BraLightly Padded Contour Bra: This bra is made by La Leche League. It is beautiful and sexy and has molded padded cups. It is very comfortable and comes in 3 wonderful colors – black, nude and leopard print. It does run slightly small in the band, but since you are closer to a 34 than a 36, this bra will likely fit you in the 36E size. The only downside to this bra is that is has very thin straps and you mentioned that you wanted thicker straps. One thing you can do is to purchase our bra strap pads to help make the straps more comfortable.

LLL Snap Front BraFront Snap Cotton & Lace Bra: This bra is also made by LLL. It has front snap nursing access, which is a little different than the clips that are on the straps. It is very comfy, but does not have any padding in the cups and the shoulder straps are pretty thin on this bra as well. Lots of moms love it, but I personally find the front snap nursing access difficult when you have large breasts. It is easy to get it undone, but harder to redo the snaps without using 2 hands.

Sassybax Underwire BraletteUnderwire Bralette: This bra is designed to get rid of “back rolls” that you get from many bras. It doesn’t have nursing clips per say, but is designed to just be pulled aside for nursing access. It is wonderfully comfortable. You would likely wear a L or XL in this bra as it does run quite small. It goes on over your head and has nice thick support straps, but does not have any padding in the cups.

Zero-2-Nine Floral Jacquard Nursing BraAnd last, but certainly not least – The Floral Jacquard Underwire Nursing Bra: This bra is comfy and affordable! You can get 3-5 of this bra for the same price as one of many of the other types of nursing bras. It is made from a very delicate floral jacquard fabric that is stretchy and super comfortable. Once again, the only downside is that it doesn’t have any padding in the cups.

I hope these recommendations help you decide which bra to purchase.

Please let me know if there are any other questions that I can answer for you.


10 comments to How do I find a great maternity & nursing bra?

  • Ruth Neidlinger

    Is it possible to get that last bra in a 34DD? My bra size has finally leveled out (6mo pp), and I want something that fits, but all my size 34DD’s are regular underwires, not nursing bras, so it’s difficult to be discreet and comfortable. I don’t have much to spend…

  • Mommy News

    Hi Ruth,
    All of the bras described in this post will fit a 34DD except for the last one. It only goes up to a D cup, but it is a pretty stretchy cup, so it may fit you even if you are a DD. Another one that is inexpensive that you might want to try is the Nunderwire Bra. It is also only $14 and has a removable underwire, so you can wear it with or without the underwire. Here is a link for you:
    — Judy

  • Ruth Neidlinger


  • Katelyn

    this post has been helpful to me- I am currently on the lookout for a nursing bra

  • Katelyn

    this post has been very helpful to me- i’m currently looking for a nursing bra. thanks

  • Mommy News

    Hi Katelyn,
    Thanks for your post! I offer personalized assistance in picking out nursing bras, so if you need help deciding on the perfect bra or size for yourself, feel free to email me off line and I would be happy to help you find one that will work for you. — Judy (

  • Kristin

    I will be passing this link onto a 2nd time mommy to be that is looking for new nursing bras after a bad experince nursing the first time around many thanks for all the wonderful information!!! Again I am so glad I found this site.

  • Wow, THANK YOU for this! I’ve been nursing for eight months and have been having SO much trouble trying to find a bra that feels comfortable and fits. I don’t know what my problem is but I do think I change size a lot. I’d finally resigned myself to wearing one bra that isn’t exactly comfortable and doesn’t quite fit right but is the best one I’ve got. I’ve wasted money on a few already and it’s discouraging. I really want to try one of these! I wasn’t sure about sizing – I’ve never been sized before. Should I have done that? And where would you do that? I tried online calculators and seemed to get different sizes every time so gave up. Think I”ll try one of these (the top one looks comfy) although I’m pretty sure I’ll be weaning soon… my daughter is biting me a lot. Any advice on that – teething while nursing – would be welcome, too!

  • Mommy News

    Hi Lindsey,
    Thanks for all of your comments. For the nursing bra sizing, I will email you a method for measuring yourself. You can also go to any location that sells bras (doesn’t have to be nursing bras) and get measured. Keep in mind that different bras fit differently and look at the comments with each type for sizing advice. If your size changes a lot, then I highly recommend the Body Silk Seamless bra shown in this post. It is great for moms when their breasts are changing size a lot. It is also a very comfortable and supportive bra. For the biting, the best thing to do is to take your daughter off the breast when she bites. Hold her so you are looking into her eyes and say “that hurts mommy” then wait 1 or 2 minutes and let her nurse again. If she bites again, repeat. Even if she doesn’t understand your words, she will quickly learn that everytime she bites, she doesn’t get to nurse and she will stop. It may take a few times, so be consistent and you should see improvement in a few days. — Judy

  • einjel

    It’s really hard to find a good maternity/nursing bra for me. I’m petite and my built is quite small. I thought that since I got pregnant, my size would change and get bigger but eventually, nursing bras get bigger as well so I can’t find a good size that will hold. The nursing bras for me are either too big on the cups or too tight on the bands. But I still wear them at home just so I’ll get used to wearing them. I was thinking of getting the “Skinies” cami top.. maybe it could help because there aren’t any cups and it says to adjust to my body. Then I saw your contest and thought.. “maybe.. just maybe” :) I’m not expecting though it would be really really great if I find a nursing bra or top that would fit my size and wouldn’t cost me an arm and a leg. :)

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