Not all bras are created equal. It’s a lesson you’ll learn once you start looking for a maternity bra — they’re not all sized the same. It’s best to be properly fitted for one in-store and try them on in person to get the best results. The last thing you want as a new mother is to feel restricted or unsupported while trying to nurse your new baby.
I reviewed several bra models and found my favorites for overall nursing support, overnight bras, most eye-catching, and more. It can seem daunting when you start your search, but trust me: there’s a nursing or maternity bra out there to suit any need.
Best Overall Nursing Bra | Elle Macpherson Intimates Maternelle Maternity Bra 1 of 12The Maternelle was what I wore throughout the entire year I nursed my first daughter, so I was pleased to see that the same bra is still on the market. Initially, I bought a pale pink bra but by the end of the year, I had one in black and white as well. It was the best solution for me by far. The Maternelle is made from soft microfiber and features full coverage with scalloped lace trim at the neckline so it looks fine peeking through clothing. It has a six-column, three-row hook-and-eye closure that's perfect for nursing mothers and an unlined, no-wire (but fully supportive) cup. The straps release easily for nursing but even when nursing, the bra covers the top of the breast for added discretion and comfort.
Get it from Bare Necessities, $55
Most Flattering Nursing Tank for Full Bust | Glamourmom Nursing Bra Full Bust Long Top 2 of 12I wear a size 34C normally and a 34E when nursing, so having something flattering that supports a full chest is of utmost importance to me. The Glamourmom Full Bust Long Top is a great option because it not only works just like a regular nursing bra, it comes in a variety of colors and has pretty ruching down the middle of the chest. The other added bonus that you don't find in many nursing tanks is that it has an adjustable bra strap with four different closures on the inside to support a continually transitioning chest size. Because it has a longer and roomier fit in the torso, you are guaranteed to get full coverage over your belly right from the time you give birth. I have even been wearing it as a maternity tank throughout my pregnancy, since long-fitted tops are in style now. I also love that when you pull the bra down to nurse, it just exposes you over the nipple so you will have full discretion in public.
Get it from Glamourmom, $49
Best Starter Nursing Bra | Glamourmom Mbody Starter Nursing Bra 3 of 12The Mbody is shaped like a sports bra without individual cups and can probably be worn day or night for those with smaller breasts. For me, it's probably best to wear it at home, but its seamless coverage makes it super comfortable, and I love how the plain fabric on the bra looks just like you are wearing a tank top if it happens to peek out of the cleavage of your shirt. The MBody adjusts over two sizes to make room for the engorgement period, is made from a stretchy cotton/elastane blend that is breathable and absorbent, and has built-in inner slings for added support.
Get it from Glamourmom, $39
Most Versatile Nursing Tank | Melinda G Cami Sutra 4 of 12The Melinda G Cami Sutra is a basic black tank with the hidden underpinnings of a nursing bra underneath. The straps are thick and slightly padded for extra comfort, the back enclosure has four different settings for the chest area to expand and shrink with your transitioning breasts, and this piece features the same "underwire without the underwire" feeling as the company's signature nursing bras. In fact, the Cami Sutra is basically a camisole that essentially attaches Melinda G's popular Tee-Shirt Soft Cup nursing bra underneath. The camisole is spandex, so it feels supportive and flattering even around the belly while pregnant.
Get it from Breakout Bras, $38
Most Functional Nursing Bra | Melinda G Contour Tee-Shirt Soft Cup 5 of 12The best part about the Melinda G line is their underwire without the underwire feature. They use what they call "supportive channeling" to give you the support of an underwire without anything poking you in the ribs. Their bras might not be the sexiest, but they are super comfortable, have easy-to-open one-handed clips and look great under clothes. They come in both a high-front variety for more coverage and a V-neck with a flattering uplift if you want to show those engorged boobs off.
Get it at Big Girls Bras, $48
Most Comfortable Sleep Bra | Motherhood Maternity Wrap Nursing Sleep Bra 6 of 12When you are looking for nursing bras, you want to find bras for the day and bras for the night. The nighttime bras need to have just enough support to make you feel comfortable, but not too much to make you feel restricted while you sleep. The Motherhood Maternity Bella was super comfortable with light support. It was easy to pull down the fabric to feed due to the crisscross style in the front, without any uncomfortable latches that might bother you while you sleep. Plus, it has a pretty lace detailing on the front that made the bra feel functional and feminine at the same time.
Get it at Motherhood Maternity, $16.98
Sexiest Seamless | Nummies Style Bra 7 of 12Nummies Style Bras are simple and fashionable with a seamless look that hides all of the heavy lifting of a nursing bra. They are meant to be worn under your favorite t-shirts, and are low-cut so you can show off your "gorgeous mama curves." The thick material covers the nipples without feeling overly padded. There is no underwire for added comfort which is great for smaller-chested mothers, but might be an issue for large-breasted women like myself. The Style Bra comes in basic colors like black and nude but also in a wonderfully bright hot pink.
Get it from Mom's Milk Boutique, $49.95
Best Day-to-night Bra | A Pea in the Pod Ultimate Seamless Bra 8 of 12The ultimate seamless bra from A Pea in the Pod has a smooth silhouette, a sports bra-like shape and no underwire for added comfort. The cups are made of a thick material without being padded, which makes pulling the cup down to feed a much easier process. The built-in soft cups provide decent coverage and medium support, making this bra one that can be worn through the day but still very comfortable for nighttime.
Get it from A Pea in the Pod, $45
Best Padded Nursing Bra | Cake Lingerie Dark Toffee Convertible Nursing Bra 9 of 12I'm not usually a fan of padded bras while pregnant, nursing, or otherwise — but if I were to chose one, it would be the Dark Toffee Convertible Nursing bra from Cake Lingerie. For those of you who like a little extra padding, you might find that most padded nursing bras make it difficult to pull down the cup for feeding. Cake's variety offered the best option with the most flexibility, in my opinion. Plus, it looks beautifully voluptuous on while still working nicely under clothing. The surprise floral lining on the inside is a nice added touch, too!
Get it from Cake Lingerie, $64.90
Most Feminine Nursing Bra | Cake Lingerie Vanilla Creme Maternity Bra 10 of 12The entire Cake Lingerie line features beautifully constructed, feminine nursing and maternity bras that are perfect for women who are more interested about looking good than wearing something functional. Not to say the bras aren't fully functional — they are. You would just never know it. Cake's matching bra and panty sets look like your best lingerie whether you are nursing or not. The vintage style of the Vanilla Creme maternity bra is one of my favorites. It features a full lace front with a cotton cup lining and velvet straps that are backed with cotton. It has a flexible underwire for added support, easy drop-down cups for nursing, and six different sized closures in the back. For a sexier look with similar features, try the Licorice Twist maternity bra in black.
Get it from Cake Lingerie, $64.90
Most Stylish Nursing Bra | Elle Macpherson Momamia Wirefree Nursing Bra 11 of 12Elle Macpherson Intimates combines European styling with incredible support for nursing moms and women with fuller chests. The Momamia bra was my favorite in terms of style. Its black and off-white pinstripe with lacey black details is fun and classic at once. It's unpadded and without push-up so it gives you an overall girlish effect, which is a very different look from the functional fit or over-the-top curvaceous fits of all the over maternity bras I've tried on. It features the same benefits as their signature bra so it has detachable straps for drop-cup feeding, six different hook sizes in the back for a ton of leeway in your changing breast size, a seamless cup that will look great under clothes and an internal A- frame in the cups that gives lots of support when feeding. It also features finer straps than most nursing bras, which look less matronly if they stick out from under your clothes.
Get it from Bare Necessities, $58
Funkiest Nursing Bras | You! Lingerie 12 of 12You! Lingerie's maternity and nursing bras are not for the demure among us. They feature orange lace over purple lining (like the Amber Plum) and animal prints with hot pink lace trim (like the Berry Monroe). They come fully padded and are ready to show your bodacious new breasts off! You! Lingerie believes in giving new mothers the opportunity to be playful and sensual with affordable luxury. They might not win any awards in support or nursing features, although they are all accounted for, but your husband will love them — and they might make you forget that you're a mom for a moment.
Get it from You! Lingerie, $34.99
Did we miss your favorite brand? Tell us which model you love in the comments!