What to Look for in a Breastfeeding Bra

As your body changes throughout pregnancy, you’re likely going to need a new bra. In addition to needing a different size to adjust to growth, you may consider a breastfeeding bra that is easily expandable with access to cup removal for nursing. Pumps for Mom is here to help with all your feeding and pumping needs, including selecting the best bra for you. In this article, we discuss what to look for in a breastfeeding bra. 


When it comes to the fit of your maternity bra, add one cup and one band size to your usual bra size, and remember that a nursing bra should fit comfortably even on the tightest setting. Your size will likely grow and fluctuate, so having an adjustable bra that feels secure at every setting is key. 

When you’re closer to nursing, add one cup size and subtract one band size from your maternity bra. This bra should feel comfortable in its loosest setting, so the sizing adjusts as your body returns to normal.


Choosing a comfortable material is essential when shopping for a breastfeeding bra. Bras are typically made from three main materials: cotton, spandex, and microfiber (cotton spandex blend). A breakdown of each type is below. 


Cotton bras are often recommended for their light weight, durability, and airflow that keeps breasts dry. However, cotton is not as elastic as the other materials, making it less expandable, and it lacks their absorbent properties, requiring additional nursing pads. 


Spandex is great for its expansion capabilities, but it’s not as breathable as cotton. Spandex is also often less comfortable than cotton and blended materials.


Microfiber blends offer the best of both worlds as a material that has a lot of stretch to it but also offers breathability. If you’re uncertain which material to select, we recommend going with microfiber. 

Types of Nursing Bras

On top of different materials and sizing qualities to consider, there are also several different types of nursing bras. Below, we go over the most common types of breastfeeding bras to help you choose based on your needs. 

Sleep Nursing Bras

True to their name, sleep nursing bras are made specifically to be extra comfortable for sleeping or lounging at home. 

Soft-Cup Nursing Bras

Soft cup bras are seamless and allow you to lower the cups with an adjustable hook near the shoulder strap. 

Underwire Nursing Bras

Underwire breastfeeding bras have clips to open the cups easily and provide a bit more support, though they tend to be less comfortable. 

Sports Nursing Bras

Sports nursing bras are shaped like a typical sports bra—they’re usually wireless and often made from spandex. 

Tank-Top Bras

Some tank tops feature built-in nursing bras with discreet nursing clips that offer quick access. 

Breast-Pumping Bras

Pumping bras can either replace a nursing bra or be worn over one. They’re great because they empower you to pump hands-free with most electric breast pumps. 


No matter which breastfeeding bra you choose, make sure that you find something that is comfortable and fits correctly. Don’t be afraid to ask for help getting measured at the store to get the perfect bra. And remember that as your pregnancy and breastfeeding body changes, you may need a new bra, and that is okay! If you have any questions regarding breastfeeding bras or the nursing process, don’t hesitate to reach out to the team at Pumps for Mom. Plus, we can help if you’re interested in getting a free breast pump through insurance