Maternity Bras

Gabrielle Applebury
maternity bra

Maternity bras are a great investment that can save your back and breasts from discomfort as your body changes throughout pregnancy and into parenthood. They are typically made with wider straps on the shoulders and in the back, softer material, and they have snaps in front to allow for easy breastfeeding access.

Maternity Bra Types

Maternity bras provide extra support as your breasts continue to grow and swell throughout pregnancy. Although there has been some anecdotal evidence underwire bras may cause milk duct blockage, no research to substantiate that. So if your favorite pre-pregnancy bra has an underwire, there is no need to shy away. There are many other options available, as well, depending on your personal style and needs.

Seamless

These bras are great for growing breasts as one size can grow with you. Whether you are nearing the end of your pregnancy or have begun nursing, these bras are comfortable and flexible.

  • They typically offer light to full support and are usually made out of stretchy nylon, spandex, and cotton blends.
  • These bras work for pregnant and nursing women.
  • Price range is typically between 20 and 60 dollars.
  • Sizes usually range from extra small to extra-extra large, and some offer a range of cup sizes. Keep in mind one size usually fits multiple cup sizes.
  • Cake Lingerie offers a great seamless option that comes in pink, black, and nude. It costs around 60 dollars and comes in cup sizes G through L.
  • Mirity also offers a seamless option you can purchase at Amazon. Price ranges between $10 and $25 depending on the size you order. Sizes range from small to extra large, which covers cup sizes 30B to 44C.

Contour

Unlike some seamless bras, contour bras hold their shape even when you're not wearing them. Cups are usually molded or slightly padded with material that helps the bra hold its shape and conform to your body. Think memory foam mattresses for your breasts. This style works well for anyone looking for more structure and support.

  • These bras typically offer mid to full support and coverage.
  • Some come with underwires, while others do not.
  • Prices range between 45 and 100 dollars depending on brand.
  • Sizes offered are usually standard cup sizes.
  • Cake Maternity makes a contour bra in sizes 32B to 38G that costs around $65. The bra has a flexible wire and clasps to make breastfeeding easy, and it is available in black or nude.
  • Natori offers a no wire contour bra that costs around $68. Ranging in size from 32B to 38DD, it includes light cup padding and cup clasps for breastfeeding.

Sleep Bras

These bras are great for those who have sore, tender breasts, or who are breastfeeding and worried about leaking. These bras are usually made of soft cotton, nylon, and spandex and are not meant to provide breast shaping or support. Instead, they make sleeping more comfortable while providing easy access for breastfeeding.

  • They offer light to medium support.
  • They come in mid to full coverage styles and are sized extra small (XS) to extra, extra large (XXL).
  • Many styles offer front openings you can pull to the side instead of pull-down clasps so you do not have to sleep on any hard plastic or metal clasps.
  • Prices range from $15 to $40.
  • Gilligan and O'Malley sells a set of two sleep bras for $22. They are available in sizes small (S) through extra large (XL) and are both racerbacks. The bras crisscross in the front to make breastfeeding access easy.
  • Cake makes a pullover sleep bra that ranges from $8 to $26 depending on size. Sizes range from S to XL, which covers sizes 34B to 40D.

Sports Bras

Maternity sports bras offer a bit more coverage than the average sports bra. They may have extra padding to prevent leaks. They may also have thicker straps or a racerback to provide maximum support. These bras are great for working out or running errands.

  • They range in price from $20 to $60.
  • They usually have moisture wicking fabric to keep you dry.
  • They may have molded or soft fabric cups.
  • Maternity sports bras offer mid to full coverage to keep sore or engorged breasts from moving around too much.
  • Old Navy makes a great full support maternity sports bra that costs around $20 to $30 depending on size. Sizes range from 32C to 40DD.
  • They also make a medium support sports bra that fits cup sizes A through C for those with smaller breasts. Cost ranges from $20 to $26, and the bra comes in a variety of colors.

Pumping Bras

Pumping bras allow the convenience of hands-free pumping. With these bras, you get the option to nurse on one side while pumping on the other. Many can be worn as normal nursing bras, as well. Most work with popular breast pump brands.

  • They typically range from $15 to $60 depending brand.
  • They come in typical cup sizes and have small openings in the front to make breastfeeding or pumping easier.
  • Many have an inner lining to absorb leakage.
  • They usually offer mid to full coverage and support.
  • Bravada makes a pumping bra that also features clasps to clip down for breastfeeding or pumping. You can also use the small open holes to access your breast while keeping your bra completely on. This bra costs around $30 and sizes range from S to large (L). Sizing covers cups 32B to 46D.
  • Simple Wishes makes an all in one bra that works well for pumping, breast feeding, and general maternity use. This bra costs around $50 and cup sizes range from A through DD. It also has six back band closures that offer two inches of wiggle room as your breast grow and change throughout pregnancy and nursing.

Finding the Right Fit

Coming across a perfect fitting bra can feel like a challenge. If you want to measure yourself, use a soft measuring tape and measure around the fullest part of your bust and then right below your bust. From here, you can figure out the right size for you, or you can relay the measurements to a professional who works at a lingerie store or the bra department at your local mall. When trying on bras, keep the following in mind.

  • The bra should feel comfortable while you are sitting, standing, and moving around.
  • Your breasts should not spill out over the top, on the sides, or under the bottom.
  • The shoulder straps should not dig and should stay put throughout the day without slipping.
  • The back of the bra should not ride up as you move. It should stay level and in place.
  • You should not feel any pinching, and your back and neck should not get sore after wearing it.
  • If you can, get measured at a lingerie store or in the bra department at a mall to ensure you are wearing the right size.
  • Bras may come in a range of sizes from XS to XXL. You may also find cup sizes while searching for maternity bras. Cup sizes range from AA to N cup, with band sizes ranging from 28 to 46.
  • A correctly fitting bra feels comfortable, stays in place, and holds your breasts comfortably in place.

Prioritizing Your Comfort

There are many maternity bra options, so keep in mind what is best for you instead of what worked best for your friends or family members. Take your time finding a few great fitting bras that can keep you comfortable during this exciting time.

Maternity Bras