As a new milk makin’ mamma there are a ton of changes happening to both your body and your wardrobe. All those cute tops and dresses you were so excited to wear after you exited your maternity clothes may still be off-limits. The good news is that style for the breastfeeding mamma is a step up from maternity gear. The bad news is that your boobs, and your lingerie drawer, may need a whole new wardrobe of their own by the time you’re through. Since finding the right nursing bra is so critical for a good breastfeeding experience, I rounded up some of the best nursing bras of 2020 across the internet. As a fellow breastfeeding mom, I’m reviewing them live and providing input for you below.
This post probably contains affiliate links. That means if you buy something using one of my links I may receive a small commission – at no additional cost to you! How cool is that? It’s kind of boring, but feel free to read my full disclosure if you want more info
A note on finding the best nursing bra for YOU
Your breasts will change size a LOT over the first year. I went from wearing a size large in the stretchy I LOVE SIA bras when I was at the end of my pregnancy and nursing down to a size small in the motherhood maternity bras (made of the same material) somewhere around 6-8 months postpartum.
Although I wasn’t wearing traditional underwire bras, I know my breasts went up and down at least three cup sizes throughout that time as well. I was measured for a wedding while nursing and my pregnancy C cup was measuring a DDD. I thought the woman was crazy. My advice is to buy a few bras at a time. While you might want to go out and buy 10 nursing bras immediately after delivering, waiting until your milk regulates a bit will save you money.
I was already wearing a stretchy nursing bra by the end of pregnancy, so I waited to purchase more until I’d lost a little weight and my milk had regulated. If you buy all your bras the week your milk comes in, they likely won’t fit a month later.
That said – postpartum sweating is a REAL thing. You will need more than two nursing bras. At first, I was sweating through a bra a day. The good news is that we did a load of laundry a day for the baby anyway, so I didn’t have any issues. However, if you’re really freaking out about laundry – get the cheaper bras for the first month or so. Wait to invest in the nicer ones until your body regulates.
I did receive some of these bras for free to try so I could include them in this post. That said, all the opinions are my own, and I’d never recommend something I wouldn’t buy myself. This post contains affiliate links. That means if you buy something using one of my links I may receive a small commission – at no additional cost to you! How cool is that? It’s kind of boring, but feel free to read my full disclosure if you want more info.
Feel free to drop a comment if you have any questions on a particular bra!
Now – down to the nitty-gritty. In no particular order, I’ve shared full details and rounded up the best nursing bras of 2020 below. Use the links below to jump to a particular section if you’re looking for something specific.
Clip-down Nursing Bras
This bra is a soft cup (unlined) bra that pulls aside for nursing. There are no tags, clips or anything else that would be uncomfortable or dig into your skin.
This bra is billed is both a maternity and nursing bra and I will say that the bottom band is pretty tight during late pregnancy. I may have just gone up a band size, but even with my bra extender, it looked like I was going to stretch it out a bit after lots of wear.
If you’re planning to wear this one during pregnancy or immediately postpartum, be sure you measure correctly and go up a size if you’re unsure. Both the band and cups are pretty small for this time period.
This bra is comfortable and I love the pull aside cups, but I think I’d love it even more if it were lined a bit. I use breast pads most of the time I’m nursing, but for the end of maternity and when my milk no longer leaks it would be nice to have some coverage. Although it’s not see-through it left some nipple coverage to be desired.
The lack of thick band on the bottom, as well as the material, make this bra a little more breathable than some of the others. However, this wasn’t my favorite for the immediate postpartum period. For me, this was a bra to purchase after your milk is regulated.
Pros: Comfortable, breathable, easy nursing access, no extra clasps, tags, or clips.
Cons: Thin band and unlined bra provide little/no support for heavier breasts, small cups if you plan to wear at the end of pregnancy or early nursing.
Fabric and care: 90% Modal 10% Spandex. Machine or hand wash in cold with like colors. Lay flat to dry. Made in China.
The Mamma’s List (TML) Verdict: Comfortable for pregnancy if you size up, and nursing once your milk regulates. Don’t buy for the period when your milk is coming in or if you need a lot of support. Their full cup bra (below) has a bit more support.
This version of Storq’s maternity and nursing bra is made for the fuller chested ladies. I’d venture to guess that if you’re shopping for when your milk comes in, this is their bra that will fit you best.
I’m not a big-chested woman but when your breasts grow three cup sizes as milk comes in and regulates, it’s pretty hard to stay in the ABCD range (the range for the Storq everyday bra) if you had anything there before. This bra is also unlined and I would have preferred a little more coverage for the end of my pregnancy.
However, since I was using it mainly after my milk had come in it was comfortable combined with breast pads.
The Storq bra bands felt tighter than some of the other bras I tried. The thicker band on the full cup bra provides a lot more support than the Everyday bra. While both are wireless and acceptable for nursing, I’d go with the Everyday bra for much later in your nursing journey, and the Full Cup for early nursing.
Pros: Comfortable and very soft, with more support than the Everyday bra
Cons: Band feels tight if you plan to wear at the end of pregnancy or early nursing. Size up.
Fabric and care: 90% Modal 10% Spandex. Machine or hand wash in cold with like colors. Lay flat to dry. Made in China.
TML Verdict: Good for early nursing as long as you size up and get the correct band size.
This bra is billed as a maternity and nursing bra, but you need to size up during late pregnancy. Even with my bra extender it looked like I was going to stretch it out a bit after lots of wear.
This bra is one of the prettiest nursing bras I’ve seen, and is super breathable and comfortable. It’s wire-free with a thin band underneath, so it doesn’t have the most support, but even unlined does a better job than most with nipple coverage.
The fabric and mesh make it very comfortable and breathable, even with a nursing baby on top of you. Definitely size up during late pregnancy and early nursing. Cup and coverage are small for early nursing but are much better once milk regulates.
The best news – the folks at LIVELY heard the plea for bustier and bigger bras for pregnancy and nursing, and created the Busty Maternity Bralette. This is a much better option for anyone in the early days of nursing or later in pregnancy. I reviewed the original version, but definitely check out the sizing and order what is most appropriate.
Fabric and care: Nylon and Spandex
TML Verdict: Worth it for the price. Not as comfortable as the “super stretch” bras from Motherhood Maternity, but make up for it in style. Still comfortable enough to wear all day, and a fantastic option for a bra if you don’t want to scream nursing mom.
While not the sexiest bras on the planet, these were the most comfortable bras I had during the final stages of pregnancy. The stretchy band is made to accommodate an expanding rib cage, and the removable cups were great for coverage during pregnancy. I ended up taking them out and using nursing pads while nursing, but they were perfect for my needs during pregnancy.
The cups fully drop down, putting less fabric between you and your baby, which is so important during the early breastfeeding days. The stretch is great and comfort is king with these bras.
The main downside is the style. They truly look like nursing bras and there’s no hiding it. The fabric can also look a little strange when pulled over a disposable nursing pad. I never had any real issues with this showing through my shirts, but it definitely wasn’t a smooth or seamless look. Once I started wearing the motherhood maternity bras that already had liners (and was no longer wearing the disposable pads) my shirts looked a lot smoother.
The padded cups that come with these bras are also thick and slightly inflexible. This is fine during maternity but infeasible to flip down for nursing. It was more formed than I was expecting based on other bras lined with pads.
**WARNING: Wash the black one immediately in cold water, multiple times. I forgot to wash it at first and dyed a pillowcase and my maternity pillow just from sitting up against them without a shirt on. These bras are so cheap I can overlook an issue like that since the dye eventually washed out, but definitely don’t want the same thing to happen to anyone else.
Fabric and care: Material: 92% Nylon + 8%Spandex
Cost: $25-$30 for a 3-pack on Amazon
TML Verdict: Definitely a must-buy for the price. I wore these during the end of pregnancy and through nursing until they no longer fit.
This bra is wireless, seamless, and stretchy awesomeness. I slept in these occasionally, wore them at the end of pregnancy, and used them as my “main” bras once my milk regulated and I continued to nurse for another year.
They have removable pads so I always felt covered, the panel pulled down all the way, and the pads weren’t so thick that I was unable to easily move it out of the way for nursing.
There really aren’t a lot of bad things I can say about these bras, other than that they might not be the sexiest things around. However, in my nursing season, I prioritized function over fashion and these absolutely fit the bill. The price was also right. While I wanted something comfortable, I didn’t want to pay $75 for bras that I’d only wear for a short time.
These are on my list to replace (if needed) with our second and are definitely some of the best nursing bras that I own.
Fabric and care: Nylon/Spandex, Hand Wash
TML Verdict: Buy. At least one or two to have immediately, then you can add more once you change sizes. Try it out in your nursing rotation and then determine if you need more of the same style.
Nursing & Hands-Free Pumping Bras
Rose is an unlined hands-free nursing and pumping bra.
It’s wire-free and has a thin band underneath, along with adorable detailing along the edges. What I love about this bra (besides the fact that it’s beautiful and comfortable) is that it does it all. When I was breastfeeding my first daughter I was constantly swapping between my nursing bra and hands-free pumping bra throughout the day.
Having one bra with the ability to accomplish both tasks is amazing. The opening for nursing is big enough to feel like a regular nursing bra, while the pumping section is tight enough to allow for hands-free pumping. Combining the functionality of both options while also being pretty and comfortable enough to wear all day makes this an easy choice.
My favorite thing about this bra is that it allows you to both nurse and pump, with only one set of clips and fabric. There isn’t any confusion about whether you grabbed the correct clip, or any extra fabric to hold in the pump. The pump slips through the outside of the bra and fits securely with only one set of clips.
Another awesome feature is the 4” of hook and eye closures that make your changing size a breeze. Many of the other bras I reviewed need an extender if you buy when you’re larger, or you risk shrinking out of them when your rib cage and breasts deflate. The Dairy Fairy accommodates for your fluctuating size and rib cage with additional hooks as you change sizes. Genius.
One of my only complaints about this bra is that it’s unlined, making it necessary for breast pads unless you’re no longer leaking at all.
For $35 it’s a no brainer. Combining the functionality of nursing and pumping without a ton of extra clips and fabric, with great style, is awesome.
Pros: Functionality & Style. Hands-free pumping, nursing, extra inches, AND it’s the prettiest nursing bra I tried.
Cons: None. I’d prefer a lined bra, but this is one I can wear all day and still be comfortable!
- Lightweight materials and support are like a load off your shoulders
- Double handsfree pumping with accessible openings and nursing clip for easy boobie access
- Detachable shoulder straps to crisscross for extra racerback support
- Compatible with all popular breast pump makes and models
TML Verdict: A must buy. This bra wins the most versatile of the group and is one of my overall favorites.
BeliBea Nourish Nursing Bras and Camis have two drop-down features, one for pumping and one for nursing. I got both of these at the end of my pregnancy and was closest to the Large band size. As of writing this post, about three months postpartum, I’m definitely a smaller size. Most people will go down a size after their milk regulates and rib cage deflates, so keep that in mind if you’re buying bras with a lot of stretch before you’re due.
The bra is soft structured and stretchy, which is great for maternity and postpartum bellies that haven’t quite shrunk back to a normal band size. There are two drop-down clips, one for pumping and one for nursing.
This bra and cami were one of the most comfortable options I tried, but unfortunately having two sections got a little cumbersome at times. I was never sure if I’d grabbed the correct clip when I was going to nurse. The good news is, Melissa shares some great tips on the Belibea home page for how to use both layers, and how to insert your pump parts. She definitely wants to ensure all mammas have the best experience possible.
This is definitely a bra to get if you’ll be pumping more frequently versus nursing most often. The cups are soft and are great for coverage if you’re at work and want to pump without changing bras. If you’re only nursing a couple of times a day I could see this bra being a good option.
I would also advise against getting this bra or cami before your milk has regulated, or you’ll need to get a separate size if you shrink. Three months postpartum I am no longer a size large, and the bra is too loose to hold the pump securely if I’m using it hands-free. I also tried the Medium and it worked much better for pumping since the fit was tighter. It’s definitely important to get the correct size for hands-free pumping or your pump won’t work properly.
Pros: Super comfortable and stretchy. Dual nursing and pumping functionality. Definitely items you can wear all day.
Cons: Two sections can become cumbersome if you’re nursing a lot and try to keep the pads in the bra for coverage. If you change sizes the hands-free pumping no longer works, which makes the bra not worth the hassle for nursing only.
Fabric and care:
Bra: Body & Nursing Lining: 92% Nylon, 8% Spandex, Foam Cup: 100% Polyester. Machine Wash Gentle Cycle. Line Dry
Cami: Body & Nursing Lining: 92% Nylon, 8% Spandex, Foam Cup: 100% Polyester. Machine Wash Gentle Cycle. Line Dry
Cost: Bra: $39.95, Cami: $42.95
TML Verdict: Comfortable, but I’d choose another nursing/pumping combination without two sets of clips.
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This bra is a light support, unlined (padding free) sleep bra with double layered cups. It’s incredibly stretchy with pull aside cups for nursing – perfect for sleep or just lounging around. This bra is SUPER comfortable, but as with other unlined sleep bras, you’ll need to add nursing pads if you don’t want to wake up soaked as your milk regulates.
This bra is definitely one of the most comfortable bras I own, and perfect for sleep. I’ve been wearing it almost every night. The back is full coverage and high, so unless you’re wearing it with a large t-shirt, it’s probably not for daily wear.
If you’re looking for a great sleep bra with easy pull-aside nursing access, look no further.
Pros: Comfort, ease of nursing, no tags or clips
Cons: Unlined so you need additional pads for overnight, low cut for nursing ease but pads can fall out a bit at night when you move around.
Fabric & Care: 92% Rayon of Bamboo, 8% Spandex. Machine wash cold, gentle cycle. Tumble dry low. To avoid staining, wear breast pads when using ointments or lanolin products.
TML Verdict: Absolutely worth it for comfortable sleep. I wouldn’t wear it during the day with most of my clothing.
Nursing/Pumping Sports Bra
The Sweat & Milk nursing and pumping sports bras all look awesome. I was able to review the Capucine 2, which is patent pending. It’s a high impact nursing and hands-free pumping sports bra, and there’s a lot to like with tons of functionality.
The ability to both nurse and pump hands free in a high impact bra is rare, so this was a great find. If you’re running or going to interval classes, this may be a bra for you.
I wear it to chase a preschooler around and it works great. The first time we tried to play tag in one of my stretchy nursing bras, I could only run about three feet before feeling like my breasts were going to smack me in the face. I knew I needed something more sturdy if I was ever going to be able to get back into working out again. This bra definitely fits the high impact bill.
I found the Sweat & Milk bras online and was really excited to see if they worked well. Overall, Capucine 2 does what it’s supposed to do. It’s a high impact bra that allows you to nurse and/or hands-free pump. It also has a cool open back design that helps for sweaty workouts. I liked the bra better for its ability to function for high impact, and less for its nursing and pumping functionality.
The biggest issue I had was around the additional zip access for nursing. I’m guessing that may be resolved if you chose another bra from the Sweat & Milk line without the zip front. I didn’t love that once you unzipped the bra, you had to tuck it totally behind your breast so it wasn’t smashing into your baby’s face. Additionally, the nursing hook kind of hangs off the shoulder piece of the bra, so you have to search for it to reclasp.
Pumping access is in the mesh inside of the bra. This part of the bra really wasn’t tight enough to be super effective for pumping because the mesh fabric keeps you cool for workouts. I did get the pump on and it did function, but I wouldn’t be excited to use this bra for pumping frequently.
If you’re not sure or are in between sizes, size up. I thought I’d fit into the small, but I was unable to zip it when I hadn’t nursed in a while. Even though it fit over my head. I tried the medium and it fits great.
Pros: The feel of the fabric is amazing, and it’s actually a high impact bra that works. Even with milk makers that are about two sizes larger than normal! I was pleasantly surprised at how well it kept the girls in place. You also have both nursing and hands-free pumping functionality. Since you’ll pay a lot for a high impact bra that works, you may as well have one with nursing access if you’re breastfeeding.
Cons: It’s pricey, and the zip front does kind of get in the way when you’re trying to nurse as I mentioned above. I didn’t love the pumping functionality.
Fabric and care: Lux tech fabric. 87% polyamide, 13% spandex. Breathable, four-way stretch, anti-bacteria. Care instructions: Wash with colored clothes, avoid with towels, bedding, or items with zippers. Machine wash cold, lay flat to dry.
TML Verdict: Well made high impact sports bra with nursing access. If you need a nursing sports bra it definitely fits the bill. I’d probably try a style that doesn’t have the zippered front for easier access.
I hope this post was helpful and that you were able to find a nursing bra that fits your needs and style post-baby. Although we might have to change up our wardrobe a bit, there’s no reason you can’t still be a sexy milk makin’ mamma throughout your nursing journey!