Bra Guide

What to Look Out for When Buying a Nursing Bra

The best nursing bras all have these
What to Look Out for When Buying a Nursing Bra

A poorly-fitting nursing bra isn't merely uncomfortable, it can also cause back and neck pain, as poor posture ("mommy posture", anyone?) 

To help you find the right nursing bra, here are some key features to look out for when finding one:

1. Balance of support and flexibility

Your breasts (which are basically milk jugs) need support now more than ever. But a supportive bra can feel restrictive, especially when your cup size increase during the day. That's why a good nursing bra is typically made of a stretchy fabric that grows with your breasts. On the other hand, if the fabric is too stretchy, the bra will lack support. 

The 'Goldilocks' of nursing bras will be made of a fabric that is stretchy enough to accommodate a cup in flux, but strong enough to hold up and support your breasts through the day.

Also, the shoulder straps should not carry the weight of the breasts. They should sit on your shoulders without slipping or digging in. 

2. Easy breastfeeding access

While having breastfeeding access is an obvious point, we're talking more specifically the ease at which you can expose your boobs. The question is simple: Can you unclip or pull it down with one hand? Because you have to assume you only have one free hand since you will be holding a wiggling baby in the other. And some nursing clips can be fiddly or difficult to unclip with just one hand. 

3. Coverage

The entire breast should fit comfortably inside the bra cup, with no breast tissue bulging above or at the sides.

4. Natural fabrics

Choose a nursing bra that is made of a soft, natural and breathable fabric.

Breathability is extra important because pregnant and breastfeeding mothers have a higher body temperature (hello, nightsweats).

Always opt for natural fabrics for more breathability, such as cotton or modal. Synthetic fabrics such as polyester and nylon are less breathable, traps moisture and bacteria and retains odour. Sadly, many nursing bras are made of synthetic fabrics as they are cheaper to use compared to natural ones. 

At Embrace, we use exclusively US Supima® Cotton and Austrian Micromodal in our collection.

Supima® Cotton: Supima is a rare, luxury cotton grown only in the USA, representing less than 1% of the world's cotton. What makes Supima superior is its extra-long staple fibre - regular cotton fibers measures 1 inch, while Supima cotton fibers are a whooping 1.5 inch. That half inch difference results in an indulgently soft fabric that is stronger, more resistant to pilling and will last for years to come. 

Lenzing™ Micromodal: Micromodal is a high-end fabric made in Austria. It is incredibly soft, we mean like 3x-softer-than-cotton soft. It is sustainably produced, static-resistant and ultra cozy. Since it is a natural material it is extremely breathable with a 50% higher absorbency rate compared to normal cotton, making it perfect for warm weather and heated workouts.

5. Nursing Bras for sleeping in

We recommend choosing a nursing bra with a smooth back panel for sleeping in - so there's no hooks at the back that could dig in / poke you when you are lying on your back.

For nighttime use, nothing beats our Soft-Cup Nursing Bra for night time comfort. They’re ultra-soft, with no clips or hooks that could dig in & keep you up at night. The cups simply pull aside for breastfeeding, which many find easier compared to unclipping.


About the author: Claire is a nursing bra specialist and founder of maternity brand Embrace. She is a mother of two and has spent four years breastfeeding her babies. Understanding firsthand the unique needs (and woes) of breastfeeding mothers, Claire has made it her life's mission to help make mothers' breastfeeding journey a little more comfortable.