To all the breastfeeding mamas out there: Hi. We see you. You’re doing amazing. We support you on this journey.
And you know what else will support you in all the right ways? A really good nursing bra.
We all know that breastfeeding can be a beautiful and empowering experience—cue the cuddly bonding sessions, your baby’s little milk-drunk face, the primal satisfaction of nourishing your offspring. It’s also really freaking hard. It’s hard on your body, your mind, your emotions, your time. Take a quick peek at any nursing person’s recent Google searches, and you’ll see a list a lot like this: Sore nipples. Clogged ducts. Engorgement. Low milk supply. Too much milk supply. Failure to latch. How to nurse in public. Baby thrashing while feeding. Baby falling asleep while feeding. Breastfeeding at work. Breastfeeding in the bathroom. (Don’t get us started on that last one.)
But there’s one thing about breastfeeding that doesn’t need to be difficult: giving the babe easy access to your boobs.
The right nursing bra will give you the comfort and confidence required to feed your baby wherever you are — whether it’s on your couch or in your car or sitting in the middle of a crowded café (a la Ashley Graham). When you go to grab the girls, you shouldn’t have to struggle with straps or fight against a bunch of awkward padding that’s preventing the L.O. from latching. The best nursing bras are comfy, convenient and (yep!) even cute, which means you’ll have one less thing to worry about when it comes to feeding that hungry little hippo.
When curating your collection of the best maternity bras, aim for a wide variety of styles — because many have totally different functions. The ultimate starter kit might include a comfy sleep bra, a versatile t-shirt bra and a super-supportive sports bra — but you can build your own personal all-star team from our list of top picks right here.
Best Nursing Bralette
This bralette is aptly named “the everyday bra” because you will want to wear it every. damn. day. Made with a blend of spandex and the softest beech tree fiber, it’s incredibly comfy and stretchy — yet still offers the touch of support you need. Simply pull it aside for instant, easy nursing access. “Honestly I’m glad I had a baby just so I discovered this bra,” says new mama Annie. “I’ll wear it forever, even when I’m not nursing.”
Size range: 1 through 5 (30A through 44D)
Best Nursing Sports Bra
Momming definitely qualifies as an extreme sport (call us, X-Games!). Whether you get your exercise by chasing your kid around the backyard or chasing the leaderboard in spin class, there are plenty of occasions when you’ll need a supportive sports bra. “Currently nursing a little one and this is just perfect for feeding her when I get back from a run—the velcro straps are so easy to open,” says Stef on Amazon. “It fits amazingly and is so comfortable, probably the best sports bra I’ve used even before baby.” The full-coverage padded cups can easily be pulled down when the strap is released, while the racerback cut improves support and the mesh material keeps you cool. Score.
Size range: 32B through 42E
Best Do-It-All Nursing Bra
This precious lace nursing bra might appear to be all frills—but don’t be fooled. In addition to packing serious style, it’s an overachiever that also offers support, super soft fabric and a flexible fit. It’s the kind of bra you can wear beneath a blouse to the office, with a tee on the weekend or under a silk cami for date night—all while offering convenient boob access to babe, of course. Fun fact: It’s also part of a matching set, so be sure to scoop the matching briefs.
Size range: 32B through 38E
Best Shaping Nursing Bra
For all the chic AF mamas who live by the “breastfeeding, but make it fashion” mantra: The beloved lingerie brand Lively recently expanded their maternity collection with the release of a functional, supportive nursing bra that offers extra lift *without* wire. (FYI, some experts say underwire can lead to clogged ducts and other breastfeeding probs, so it’s something to consider avoiding.) Available in jet black or toasted almond, this beauty boasts drop-down cups with light padding and a precious mesh trim for subtle style points.
Size range: 32A through 38DD
Best Lacey Nursing Bra
If you ever mistakenly assumed that maternity meant marmish, Hotmilk is here to help nursing mamas embrace their <<fire emoji>> vibes with a seriously sexy lace nursing bra. Now here’s the best part: It’s made entirely of super soft fabric without any wire, but the special panelling provides plenty of support. When the L.O. is ready for a snack sesh, just pull aside for full access.
Size range: 32D through 38D
Best Nursing Sleep Bra
Do not sleep on the opportunity to snag a great sleep bra. They’re soft and comfy (think: PJs for your boobs!), they can hold a nursing pad to absorb any overnight leakage, and they offer easy access for all-hours snack sessions. This one has the perfect amount of support (you want to feel secure, but not constricted) and a simple snap hook to let down before you, well, let down. “I have been struggling so long to find a comfortable nursing bra that can be worn at night and for every day use,” says Ashley on Amazon. “I’m currently about 34DDD and this one supports me nicely.” Sweet dreams, mama.
Size range: S through XL
Best Nursing T-Shirt Bra
Do you hate it when you wear the wrong bra with the wrong shirt and then realize your chest looks awkward? Because same. Prevent any pointy, lumpy problems with a smooth and seamless nursing bra. This beauty has wireless cups to provide some comfortable shaping, and the thin padding folds down easily when unclipped.
Size range: 32B through 38D
Best Nursing Bra For Curves
If you’re looking for a bra that can accommodate fuller figures without sacrificing the cute factor, we’re pleased to introduce you to the best nursing bra for large breasts. “This bra fits beautifully!” writes Tikvah on Amazon. “The cups open well for breastfeeding. They also easily re-hook one-handed, a must-have for breastfeeding mamas. The cups also come up high enough to reduce the ‘four-boob’ effect.” And if it can reduce the four-boob effect while looking this good? We’re here for it!
Size range: 32D through 44I
Best Pumping Bra
There are very few things comfortable about pumping: not sticking your nips in the flanges, not hand-washing all the little valves afterward, and definitely not struggling with a bulky pumping bra. But the Larken X, dear reader, is not like most pumping bras: It’s made from buttery soft moisture-wicking fabric that stretches to adapt to your ever-changing breast size. There is *zero* hardware to fumble with—no underwire, no clips, no zippers or snaps or straps. You simply pull both layers up and down (alternating on each side) and bam—a completely secure system that’s as light as air to wear. It comes highly recommended by Amazon reviewers—and me, the person who is currently wearing it and pumping at 3 a.m. while writing this round-up. You’re welcome.
Size range: XS through XL
Best Nursing Bodysuit
You guys! Listen. Bodysuits are not just for 19-year-olds at music festivals—they are also for stylish, breastfeeding mamas who want a one-step solution for their underthings. This onesie makes it a cinch to get dressed: Throw it on under a dress as your bra/panty combo; wear it as a cami with jeans and a blazer. It features drop-down cups for nursing, and inseam snap closures when you need to hit the ladies room—meaning no need to attempt acrobatics or get naked in the bathroom stall.
Size range: XS through XL
Best Nursing Tank Top
We stand by a nursing tank—they’re great to layer under a sweater or tee so you stay covered when the shirt comes up for nursing. But not all nursing tanks are created equally: There are standard nursing tanks (which often resemble outdated undergarments from ye olden days)…and then there is *this* nursing tank top. It’s shockingly soft and tag-free for maximum comfort; it features a built-in shelf bra for light support. But the dreaminess here is in the details—including the most unobtrusive drop-down clips and a zig-zag trim stitching, which elevate a piece you’d normally hide into something you’d actually wear solo.
Size range: XS through XL
You found a bra that makes you feel amazing—now shop more cute fashion essentials to wear on top of it!