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Yay, you’re pregnant! With the joy of new life, thousands of thoughts well up about what this new person will be and the moments you will share. The future of a brand new child is fun to imagine. It’s also a time to make the mental list of things that the baby will need. Crib, toys, blankets, cozy pajamas…the list goes on and on! But once the baby registry is full of all the sundries that babies need, what about you? This little one changes so many elements of your life and daily routine. If you’re hoping to nurse, you know that the place to start is with a nursing bra. Our breasts change and grow during pregnancy to prep for nursing and your rib cage is going to expand to make room for that growing miracle in your belly. Your old bras will start to get a little tight and uncomfortable. This doesn’t end when the bun is out of the oven either. Luckily for you not only do most maternity bras function as nursing bras, there are plenty of nursing bra options for you that are comfortable, affordable, sexy, and easy to use!

Before you open Pandora’s Box aka – googling “best nursing bras” there are things to keep in mind: When to buy new bras, how to find comfortable ones, and what offers the best support for those heavy mammaries.

When to Buy

Every woman is different, so naturally pregnancy will affect you differently. Any numbers or dates below is a general average and not a certainty. You may be able to swing using your old bras for a month or two but around the beginning of your second trimester you will start to notice an increase in size. At the point you start to notice, it’s a good idea to look for some new bras. Be sure to keep in mind that what you buy may not fit later on as you grow so always buy with the ability to grow in to them. Any new bras should hook on the smallest row of hooks, so as you grow you can move up to the larger hooks. You can also invest in extenders to add extra hooks. These can be attached to your bras when they begin to stop fitting and then after breastfeeding when you’re transitioning back.
Don’t buy a lot of new bras either. It may be tempting to splurge and replace your whole bra wardrobe but again remember you may outgrow them. The size of a bra is based off the ratio of your bust measurement to your band measurement. This means that you could change cup sizes as well as band sizes throughout your pregnancy and after. Having three to four on hand is a best practice. Remember that your initial investment will roll over into nursing since maternity bras double as nursing bras and bra extenders are an inexpensive way to make your money –and your bras– stretch.
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Support

The first thing to consider when looking for nursing bras is support. If your bra fits well, it will do its job well. Even a cheap bra can feel expensive when it fits well. While normal bras help support normal breasts, maternity and nursing bras are made to support pregnant and nursing chests. Maternity bras will have wider, more comfortable straps, more support, and are all around stronger. Before you look for the cheapest, you’ll want to remember that your maternity and nursing bras will take a beating and you’ll want a bra that will last. Spending more up front means fewer trips to the store and saving money in the long run.
nursing bras yes dressGetting fitted is critical. It’s totally okay to not know your current size. Believe me, there is no shame in not knowing. Most places will want to fit you for their bras anyway because they know how their bras run. This is one area where going to a maternity store will be beneficial. They know what they are doing when it comes to changing bodies. They will be able to fit you the best and give you options that will work well. You can use that size and those pointers when you search for bras online and it will keep you from having to exchange bras because you know what you’re looking for. When you’re nursing, having a supportive bra that is up to the task of getting out of the way when you feed your baby will be one of the best gifts you give yourself.

Comfort

Comfort is very important to most women. The material the bra is made out of should be comfortable, cotton or similar soft materials; any higher end fancy space age fabrics might make your boobs look great, but will ultimately rub and chafe and will be excruciating after a few minutes of wear. Women often find that seams and wires are very uncomfortable during pregnancy and some find it lasts into nursing. Wireless nursing bras usually offer blended, elastic materials that stretch with you. However, make sure that it’s a good fit. That means you can place two fingers between the band and your skin. If you can’t fit two fingers, it’s too tight. When nursing a little stretch is okay but a too-tight bra can damage tissues and even clog your milk ducts. Ouch. A nice rule of thumb is when you take off your bra and the little marks from where the bra sits do not disappear in a few minutes it could be getting too tight and you should look in to another one or use an extender.

Now once you’re armed with your size from a professional bra fitting, you’ll be ready to look at some nursing bras!

Best Everyday Nursing Bras

These are the bras that you shouldn’t be afraid to shell out some cash for because they will be your day in and day outers. It’s a great idea to find a style that you like and just buy it in the colors you want. If you’re boring like me black, nude, and white are your standards. When it comes to nursing, find something you like and if it ain’t broke–don’t fix it.

These are soft, wireless, and are great for everyday and for sleeping. There is a reason why this style dominates every nursing bra search.You may forget to take it off. Plus, it’s a two pack!
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Some women find that a little lift in their bra makes for a lot of pressure off of their chests. If you find that your breasts are getting uncomfortably heavy while nursing, this could be a great answer!
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These bras are 95% cotton! Hello summer breastfeeding!
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If finding your size is a challenge start with this bra, it comes in so many sizes!
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This bra is at the top of the charts when it comes to everyday nursing bras. If you want something that will last and exceed your expectations, this bra is the way to go.
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Best Full Coverage Nursing Bras

For those who prefer full coverage, there are lots of available options!

This bra is uniquely configured and doesn’t have snaps. Not only will it keep you covered, but it is perfect for sleeping too! There are no hard plastic parts to rup or poke you while you catch some precious zzz’s.
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This full coverage bra offers a LOT of support! Be careful when you order because the sizes are UK. But, for those with larger cup sizes, you’ll be pleased to see the variety. The 34 band size goes all the way up to 34H!
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You will feel sexy in this full coverage bra from La Leche League! It also comes in a wide variety of sizes, so getting the perfect fit is just a matter of being armed with your proper size!
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Best Plus Size Nursing Bras

Finding bras as a plus sized person can be difficult then add being a nursing mom on top of it and the headache just grows. So let us take some of the guesswork out of it!

This Cake nursing bra looks like it feels like a cloud!
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This bra will be amazing for everyday or sleep and it fits up to 3XL!
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These wireless nursing bras from Leading Lady not only have great reviews, but also come in a variety of plus sizes!
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This sports bra from Leading Lady shows again that they are listening to plus sized women and are here for plus sized nursing moms.
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Best Sexy Nursing Bras

Women are arguably the most beautiful when they are pregnant and nursing. The glow of motherhood hanging about them is enchanting. Remind yourself that just because you might not feel it, you are totally sexy.

If you’re like me, then a little lace goes a long way to make you feel like a vixen. [easyazon_image align=”center” height=”160″ identifier=”B0761YTJGZ” locale=”US” src=”https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51k8nxdi4jL._SL160_.jpg” tag=”mmt05-20″ width=”160″]

This bra isn’t padded, but it will make you check your reflection twice! The plunge is top notch.
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This sexy nursing bra doesn’t have the traditional clasps and is tres chic. You will find yourself wearing it even after you’re finished breastfeeding.
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At first glance, you may think this nursing bra is out of your league. But read a few reviews and you’ll find that those Amazon stars aren’t just for looks! This bra is comfortable and sexy AND functional. Treat yo’ self!
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Best Nursing Sports Bras

There are plenty of nursing sports bras built for the mom on the move. Whether that’s working out, taking other kids to activities, or because sports bras are just comfortable.

Honestly, I’ll include other bras here, but this nursing sports bra is perfect. Just look at it. And could it have a better name?
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This La Leche League sports nursing bra is a great low impact option. It runs small, but it goes up to size 3XL, so you can go up a size so that it will fit.
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Having a racerback can alleviate pressure off your shoulders which is a great feature when you’re nursing. Plus, this bra is super affordable and it looks super comfortable too.
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Best Hotmilk Nursing Bras

Hotmilk is a company that designs functional and sexy bras and lingerie just for pregnant and nursing women. You shouldn’t feel forced to have to buy anything that you feel is ugly or unfashionable just because you are pregnant or nursing. Hotmilk makes bras especially for you and no one else because you are special and deserve nice things. Here are some of their top ranked bras.

The Show Off bra is aptly named. You’ll want to show it off!
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This bra is recommended for lighter exercise, so maybe don’t try your Crossfit WOD in this one. But it gets rave reviews!
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This Hotmilk bra is so darling with gorgeous details. The color is called champagne and plenty of people want to toast to this bra!
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Best Hands-free Nursing Bras

Women are on the move today so much more than generations past. Nursing can be a big deal and very time consuming. You shouldn’t feel guilty when you can’t be on call 24/7. If you’re working, have to leave your baby with a sitter, or just need your partner to answer a three AM wake up call for room service, you’ll need to make sure that your little one can eat when you’re not around. Hands free pumping bras and pumps allow you to collect some milk for later to give you freedom to be away from your little one and may be even *gasp* have a minute to yourself.

This hands-free bra comes in 20 different sizes!
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This hands-free nursing bra from Simple Wishes has great reviews from lots of happy moms. It’s design means that you won’t have to be very exposed while you pump.
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One customer thought the pictures looked ridiculous but saw all her worries squashed once she tried this hands free nursing bra:
 “Turns out, all my misgivings were for nothing. This product is absolutely wonderful. Not only has it saved my back from constant pain, but it’s turned breast pumping from a chore to a pleasant break from daily life! I can read, I can knit, I can write in my baby journal, I can get caught up on all kinds of things that are difficult to keep up with when there’s a newborn baby who needs your attention. And since my breast pump can double-pump, my breast-pumping time is reduced dramatically each session!”

Add a thorough sizing chart, and this bra from Snugabell might work for you too!
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Best Nursing Tops with Built in Bras

Not looking for a bra exactly? Plenty of bra alternatives exist with built in support for nursing!

This three pack of nursing tank tops is not just top rated, but also a great deal.
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Leading Lady has this cute nursing top that has a sweet lace back detail as well as a built in nursing bra.
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This three pack has an athletic vibe and a fabric to match!
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Nursing Accessories

Here’s a few top rated nursing accessories that you may need for your breastfeeding journey!

Reusable nursing pads that come with their own wash bag!
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Ice wraps for sore nipples, tired eyes, teething babies, whatever you need really!
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This kit looks like a great starter set and would make an amazing gift!
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This looks like an incredible breast pump and has reviews to match!
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Do you have any favorite products that you’ve used during breastfeeding? Let us know in the comments!

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