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Pregnancy and birth are times of huge change, and as well as your sleep and your routine being disrupted, your body will be going through enormous changes.
Your breasts will likely be growing and needing extra support, while your changing shape means you may be feeling uncomfortable and sensitive in the bras you usually wear.
As to when you should start wearing a maternity bra - there’s no correct answer. Many women finding their breasts growing to be one of the first bodily changes of their pregnancy. This can be achey - the texture of your breast tissue can start to change and feel more dense. This can be a good time to start the switch to maternity wear. Not the case for your pregnancy? Leave it till the second or third trimester.
Best nursing bras at a glance
- Best for a styish selection: Pour Moi Amour Nursing Bra
- Best for thoughtful designs for all stages of motherhood: Bravado Original Nursing Bra
- Best for seamless comfort: Emma-Jane Seamfree Maternity and Nursing Bras
- Best for sleeping in a bra: Jojo Maman Bebe 2-Pack Maternity & Nursing Sleep Bras
- Best for bigger busts: Bravissimo Nova Lounge Bra
- Best for using beyond pregnancy: Boux Avenue Ribbed Seamless Lounge Bralette
Buying a great collection of maternity and nursing bras will stand you in good stead.
What to look for in a maternity bra
The best maternity bras will accommodate your growing body and provide comfort, while good nursing bras will be supportive as you breastfeed and provide easy access for baby to avoid irritating and time-wasting fiddling as you get ready for a feed.
So what kind of maternity and nursing bra should you buy? The answer will depend on you and what styles you prefer. The good news is that whatever you’re looking for, it’s out there.
Whether you want a sexy, lacy bra with cups and underwiring, or are all about comfort with a seamless look and padded cups, there are countless brands catering to the various needs of pregnant women and new mums.
We went on the hunt for the best maternity and nursing bras out there.
How we chose the bras
We included options for all stages of the maternity journey, from pregnancy to nursing, taking into account differing budgets, styles and body types. We included fashion-forward options you’ll want to wear long after you’re done with the nursing years, as well as those you’ll turn to time and time again during those bleary first few months of parenthood, such as sleep bras.
Whatever stage of pregnancy or motherhood you’re at, you’ll find the perfect maternity or nursing bra for you in our roundup.
About to become a parent?
If you’re struggling to catch sleep as a pregnant lady, you made find one of our best pregnancy pillows will help you to sleep well, alleviate pain, support your back.
For more advice on the essential kit for new parents, read our guide to the best prams 2022, or the best travel strollers UK.
We’ve also reviewed the best travel cots UK, and stylish, comfortable changing bags.
Looking for a good night sleep? Keep them cosy in a baby or toddler sleeping bag.
Maternity and nursing isn’t typically known as the most stylish time, but if you’re determined to find a brand that offers fashion-forward designs that are practical, supportive and comfortable too, we’d highly recommend UK-based brand Pour Moi.
The brand offers a wide selection of stylish maternity bras in all colours, styles and shapes, so whether you’re after an ivory padded lacy nursing bra or a lightweight non-wired option with foam cups, you’ll find it here.
We loved trying out the Amour nursing bra, available in black and pink or ivory and champagne, and in a huge range of sizes, which was a whole lot more stylish than our well-worn collection of nursing bras, without compromising on comfort or practicality.
As mums who have spent years navigating the various stages of pregnancy and nursing, we were blown away by the huge range of products available from maternity lingerie brand Bravado Designs.
The brand has nearly 30 years of specialist experience to offer a stylish, comfortable and supportive selection of pregnancy, nursing, pumping and post-nursing bras.
We loved the fashion-forward, practical selection and felt they had been really thoughtfully designed with the various stages of motherhood in mind, and all the challenges they present for a woman’s body and comfort.
We loved the sporty look of the Original Nursing Bra in particular, and found it gave us a great shape as well as being supportive and comfy.
You’ll likely notice your breasts changing early on in pregnancy, and the changes just keep coming once you start nursing.
That’s why having a supportive bra that takes you from pregnancy to nursing is so important.
We loved how comfortable yet supportive this Emma-Jane Seamfree Maternity and Nursing Bra was: it’s so soft and cosy to wear, while its clip-shut straps are super easy to use when breastfeeding.
The lack of seams and underwiring is very welcome during a time when everything else seems to be uncomfortable, the straps are easily adaptable as your body changes, and we thought the shape it provided looked lovely under clothes too.
Sleeping with a bra on may not sound like your idea of comfort, but thanks to all the changes that will happen to your breasts as you advance in pregnancy, and begin nursing your baby, you’ll soon see a sleep bra as an essential part of your wardrobe.
This supremely comfortable pack of two sleep bras from Jojo Maman Bebe are highly recommended: they provide the support you need at night during both pregnancy and nursing while offering comfort thanks to its stretchy cotton and easy pull-on style.
The crossover front offers really easy feeding access for those bleary nighttime feeds, and the bras even have a lace trim to help you feel a little bit more stylish at a time when you’ll typically be feeling anything but fashionable. Considering they come in a pack of two, they’re affordable, too.
Women with bigger busts will know the challenges of finding a supportive yet comfortable bra even when you’re not pregnant or nursing. However, the wide selection of supportive nursing and maternity bras from Bravissimo will have you more than covered.
We loved the stylish selection the brand offers, with a range of fashion-forward options that will look great and expand with your body from pregnancy through to nursing, whether you’re into cosy, seamless designs or prefer a traditional cup with underwiring.
If you’re after a comfy and supportive bra you can use well beyond pregnancy and nursing, this ribbed seamless lounge bralette from lingerie brand Boux Avenue is a popular choice.
Available in black, grey, coral or lilac, the non-wired bralette will soon become a wardrobe favourite while pregnant, nursing and afterwards.
It offers a stretchy, ribbed, seamless, non-wired fabric that will keep you comfy and supported while staying invisible under clothing, and its scooped back and neckline are on trend too.
Removable padding makes it adaptable for your growing body, and best of all, it’s made from part-recycled fibres for extra eco-friendly points.