buying guides

The best and most comfortable nursing and maternity bras

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A decent bra is one of the most important maternity products you’ll buy.

Tender and expanding boobs are often one of the first signs of pregnancy and good support right from the early stages will help to ease any discomfort.

As your pregnancy progresses , your breasts will continue to change shape and size, and may also begin to leak a little.

Making sure you’re wearing a well-fitted bra throughout will keep you comfortable and will keep you well-supported.

Many maternity bras can also be used after your baby is born for nursing.

A nursing bra is one of the most important piece of breastfeeding kit you'll need.

It has two main purposes: to give your bust the support it needs for breastfeeding, and to make it physically easier and more discreet to feed your baby.

One more thing to note is that many maternity bras do double duty as nursing bras.

The key feature to look for here is drop cups: that is, where the front unclips and drops down to allow your baby easy access.

If you’re bra shopping in the late stages of pregnancy, this is a useful feature as you’ll be able to carry on wearing the same bras after the birth.

Need to know

Because your bra size tends to change so often in pregnancy – and because maternity bras fit rather differently from what you’re used to – it’s a good idea to get professionally measured.

You can get this done in department stores, baby shops and lingerie stores, or by an NCT bra fitter.

Ideally, you should be re-measured every couple of months throughout pregnancy, but at the very least in the first trimester and then again a few weeks before your due date.

In early pregnancy, choose a bra that fastens on its tightest setting at the back.

This will give you growing room.

In the later stages, pick one that you can do up on one of the last rows of hooks: although your breasts will initially get bigger when your milk comes in, your ribcage will shrink post-pregnancy, so you’ll need to be able to do your bra up tighter.

You may also need to get re-measured once breastfeeding is well established – usually between six and 12 weeks after the birth – to check that your bras are still a good fit.



  • Maternity bras should be non-wired with wide shoulder straps and a deep band under your breasts for good support.
  • Aim to get professionally measured in the first trimester, and again a few weeks before the birth.
  • A drop-cup bra will see you through from pregnancy to breastfeeding, so your money stretches further

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