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Pregnancy and preparing for a new baby can be expensive, and you might be tempted to cut corners when it comes to finding a maternity bra. But take it from us–you’re going through enough changes. It’s time to do your research and find the best maternity bra you can.
Fortunately, we’ve made things easy for you by rounding up our best maternity bra picks. Whether you’re looking for an everyday bra or something for special occasions, you’ll find it below in our giant roundup!
A maternity bra, technically, is any bra that’s used while you’re pregnant. Most of the time, however, the term is used to describe bras that are especially soft, gentle, and supportive while also providing room to grow.
Your bra size can change significantly in the nine months before giving birth, and having a comfortable, supportive bra–or three–is very important.
You’ll likely need to purchase a new maternity bra every three months or so–and then switch to nursing bras once you give birth if you’re breastfeeding. Every woman and every pregnancy is different, so there’s no set time to make a new purchase. However, if you’re uncomfortable, there’s no reason to keep being uncomfortable!
The Buyer’s Guide to Finding the Best Maternity Bra
Comfort is subject, and it’s the bottom line: if it’s comfortable for you, it’s a great maternity bra! That said, here are some things to look for in a bra to help you identify the best maternity bra for all-day comfort or special events:
During maternity, breasts get larger and need more support, but they also get more sensitive. Plus, you might need to wear them more often because you need extra support, which only increases the need for fabrics that are soft, breathable, and won’t chafe. In other words, save the lace for special occasions and focus on cotton, which is perfect for all-day wear.
Look for wide, comfortable straps and full cup coverage (no half or demi cups!) and look for straps that have at least six clips. This will provide additional room to grow as well as extra support.
Keep in mind, also, that using nursing bras can seriously extend the life of your maternity bras by allowing you to wear them after your baby is born, and not just while you’re pregnant. This is a great strategy for helping you justify the sometimes expensive bra investment required during pregnancy.
Just like regular bras, maternity bras come in tons of different colors and types. You can get everything from sports bras to sleep bras to daily wear bras to special occasion bras. Our advice is to not worry about whether or not the bra is labeled as “maternity” but to choose what best fits your needs.
Most women need the following:
Sports bras and sleep bras can often last throughout your whole pregnancy if you get them large enough, while some women find that their regular bras work fine for the whole nine months. While some online maternity bra stores have directions for finding your correct size, most go by your current cup and band size.
Take advantage of local stores that offer free fittings regularly, so you can make sure you keep up with your growing chest.
Our goal is to help you find the best bras that help you feel comfortable and feel great about how you look. So, we’ve done our homework, scouring the internet for reviews and customer testimonials to bring you the most accurate, honest information we could find. If we think the bra won’t hold up or isn’t worth the money, it’s not on this list!
Cake Maternity is one of our favorite brands for nursing and maternity bras, and this bra is one of their best options when it comes to maternity bras. The bra is completely seamfree and made from a nylon and elastane mix that’s made to Oeko-Tex Standard 100 regulations, ensuring that the material is free from toxins and other potentially harmful substances.
Despite being underwire-free, the molded cups, engineered lock stitching, and short straps provide superior support. The best news? You can machine wash this bra, and tumble dry!
While it’s not well suited to small or average bust sizes, it’s perfect for G-L cups; if you’ve ever struggled to find great bras in larger cup sizes, you’ll love this bra.
Another favorite bra from Cake Maternity, this is one is an idea everyday maternity bra for women with smaller bust sizes. Keep in mind that while it says “nursing,” it’s completely suitable for maternity–and you may even be able to keep wearing it once the baby arrives!
Here’s what we love about the Mousse Padded Plunge bra:
Finally, we love this bra because it’s attractive. Unlike some other maternity and nursing options, this one is cute and chic, available in a range of colors.
Bravado is one of the oldest maternity and nursing bra bands, and this original nursing bra is one of our picks for the best maternity bra. It’s more affordable than some of the more expensive options available, yet because of its sturdy construction and nursing clips, you can even wear it after birth.
You will also likely appreciate its generous, supportive T-back, which spreads out the bra’s support across your back, instead of just on your shoulders.
Our only complaint about this bra is the padding – there’s not much. If this is a concern for you, you’ll need to look elsewhere.
Belabumbum is another longtime favorite of ours when it comes to maternity and nursing bras, and this one is an excellent everyday option when it comes to finding the best maternity bra. Like many others on this list, it doubles as a nursing bra, though it’s so comfortable that many people use it as their go-to bra even when they’re not breastfeeding.
Belabumbum uses something it calls “spacer foam technology” that is exceptionally soft and breathable and feels like a “second skin.” This plus the lack of wires and the pretty exterior features such as soft lace and lovely colors make this a favorite for many women! Please note, however, that it only comes in cup sizes DD-G.
If you’re looking for something practical and supportive that doesn’t scream “boring,” you’ll love the Sexy Mama Underwire Nursing Bra from Le Mystere! It’s available in black lace or ivory lace and has pull-down clips for easy nursing after the baby arrives.
Don’t want to use it as a nursing bra? No problem! It’s pretty enough and supportive enough to be your everyday bra whether you’re pregnant or not.
Reviewers point out how comfortable this bra is while also making them feel sexy again, thanks to the beautiful lace details!
These seamless, wireless bras are popular for several reasons. First, they come in an extremely affordable pack of three. Second, they’re available on Amazon. And third, they come with bra extenders and T-back clips so that you can customize your feet and support levels even as you grow.
These bras come with removable foam cups and with clip down fronts so that you can easily use them for nursing later (the removable cups mean you’ll be able to easily utilize nursing pads).
Customers rave about these bras. One thing to note about these bras, however, is that while they are very comfortable, they can’t be expected to last a long time. The quality and construction simply aren’t up to the standards of the some of the other bras we’ve listed.
However, if you’re looking for something inexpensive to get you through the last six or nine months of your pregnancy, these might be perfect for you!
The Jessica Simpson line at Motherhood Maternity is known for being supportive and perfect for all stages of pregnancy. This bra has soft, molded cups, five hooks (with three layers), and a t-back for increased support.
One of our favorite things about this bra is how it looks. The things we don’t like about this bra are that it’s hand wash only and doesn’t come with removable cups.
This maternity bra from Natori is lovely and perfect if you need an attractive, lightly lined bra but don’t need heavy support. It’s made from a nylon and spandex blend and is hand wash only. However, its clip down capabilities gives it the flexibility to be worn after your baby is born (even then, this won’t be your go-to bra for nursing until your milk production has settled down).
Pregnant breasts can be tender and extremely sensitive to impact, making a sports bra especially vital as you try to continue your active lifestyle. The Sporty Mesh Nursing Bra from Belabumbum is a high-quality medium impact sports bra that’s perfect for women with small cup sizes who are extremely active or women with large cup sizes who are relatively active.
Cotton construction means the bra will breathe well, no matter how hot it gets. And, the fact that the bra uses a clasp closure instead of a pull-over design means that if your breasts are especially tender, you won’t hurt yourself pulling your bra on over your head.
The bra itself uses a j-hook ring, adjustable straps, and foam covered mesh to provide stability and support while the drop-down nursing cups mean you’ll be able to nurse in this bra after the baby arrives. Plus, it’s an attractively designed maternity bra, meaning you won’t be embarrassed to show it off during your workout.
Like Cake Maternity and Belabumbum, Boob Design is another well-respected, high-quality company known for the best maternity bra options on the market today. The Fast Food Nursing Sports Bra, with its tongue in cheek name, is another fantastic option for high impact sports.
Extremely thick straps and a racer back design are both chic and smart from an engineering perspective–they help spread the weight across your entire shoulders and back, instead of focusing on thin straps on your shoulders. This helps to minimize impact and bounce back.
Even though the Fast Food bra is an investment, you’ll be able to use it well after the baby is born.
A maternity sports bra needs to be ultra-supportive which is why we love this option from Belabumbum. Here are a few of its best features:
Reviewers also appreciate how this bra is constructed with lots of mesh to encourage ventilation. Plus, it has adjustable straps and a clasp closure for maximum comfort and ease of wear.
While the other three maternity sports bras we’ve already listed are great for medium-to-high-impact activities, the Sporty Mesh Nursing Bra from Belabumbum is only good for light or medium impact sports. While this means it’s not much different from other sports bras (except that you can use it when you’re nursing), we still include it on this list because of its comfort and construction.
Cotton and breathable mesh make this bra lightweight and comfortable, and three layers of clasps in the back make it delightfully easy and comfortable to get on and off. It’s washable and comes with microfiber cups for strength and maximum ventilation. If you want a sports bra that can do double duty as an everyday bra, this is a wonderful option.
The straps are supportive, adjustable, and can be converted into a t-back for extra comfort.
Whether you’ve always worn a bra to bed or you find yourself sleeping in one all night to mitigate soreness and offer support, a sleep bra is often a must-have during pregnancy. This ultra-soft bra has a fold away design that allows you to use it strictly as a maternity bra–and also as a nursing bra. There’s plenty of room for nursing pads to catch leaks, but the bra still offers medium support.
Boob Design currently produces all its bras with 97% sustainable fabrics and makes everything to Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX regulations, meaning that your bra is entirely free of anything toxic or harmful.
If you’re tired of frumpy, practical maternity bras, you’ll love this one! It comes in vibrant, beautiful colors and is covered in beautiful lace for a modern, chic take on the standard-issues maternity sleep bra.
It’s also a racer-back, and if you’re small busted, it can double as a bralette under an oversized t-shirt or sweater.
You might think your strapless bra days are over once you become pregnant, but that doesn’t have to be the case! This seamless, strapless maternity bra option from Motherhood Maternity is both ultra-comfortable and super practical, especially for those summer months when you want as few straps and extra pieces of clothing as possible!
We should note, however, that this nylon/spandex blend is hand wash only, and it likely won’t be supportive enough if you feel sore or need anything other than light support. However, it will carry over into your nursing days by allowing you to use nursing pads even in a strapless dress.
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Ultimately, finding the best maternity bra comes down to finding the bra that’s most comfortable for you–and often, that means wide straps, soft materials, adjustable straps and closures, and crafting that goes the distance. It’s also important to find and use a range of different bras while you’re pregnant–sports bras, everyday bras, and more.
Hopefully, we’ve provided enough information in our recommendations to help you find bras that meet every need you’ll encounter during your nine months before baby arrives–and maybe even afterward. Happy shopping!