Do I Really Need a Nursing Bra?


I bought two nursing bras this weekend...and I am still a little skeptical. Did I really need them? Couldn't I just wear a sports bra and pull it over to the side?

Will I even be wearing a bra at all?

First you must know I have small breasts. They haven't grown that much during my pregnancy -- I'm barely a 34C now (normally a small B) and I'm 33 weeks pregnant with twins.

I've heard more growth is coming...especially once my breasts start to produce more milk, so I bought two nursing bras to have just in case I deliver early and just in case I won't be able to make it to the store to get some before the babies arrive.

I read that if you are buying early, buy one size up and one cup size up.

The lady at the store told me I really need two -- for when one gets dirty. OK, makes sense.

Then she asked if I wanted underwire or no underwire. Um? I normally love underwires, but she said some women are bothered by them when engorged.

My mom was with me and she said, "Get the lacy underwire one in case you go out and want to feel pretty." (Smart!)

I bought one underwire, one without underwire -- the one in the photo.

Then she asked if I wanted a nursing sleep bra.

OK...I felt like she would have kept on selling me more things. I put a stop to the sleep bra. I could wear my sports bra if I felt it was absolutely necessary. Plus, I gave myself a budget of $30 in case I didn't like them.

Have you bought a nursing bra yet? How did you decide on size? Underwire or no underwire? Did you get a sleep bra? So many questions!!

Related posts:

Nursing Bras: How to Find One That Fits

Where to Find Nursing Bras and Nursing Pads

Breastfeeding Essential Nursing Tank Tops

baby prep, maternity clothes, motherhood


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sstepph sstepph

I bought a sleep bra when I was pregnant because it was more compfy and then it worked wonders when my milk came in because my breasts got huge and I mean breast implant huge, lol. But then once they were less engorged and I slept on my side I felt like they fell out and I didnt like that. I still wear my nursing bras because I am still nursing.. and I wear it through the night as well. Only because when I dont wear a bra they leak everywhere. Size.. I just guessed haha. My MIL bought me size D which did work but Im starting to get back to somewhat normal.

Keep the reciepts and if they dont fit .. return them :)

Freela Freela

I did need my nursing bras and even slept in the sleep one for ages... and I'm a size B, tops.  When you have your baby and get engorged you will need the support- trust me!  My boobs were rock hard, hot to touch, and needed all the support you can get.  Wearing something binding like a sports bra (besides being bad for your milk supply) would have been EXTREMELY uncomfortable!  As for the sleep bras, I did need them for one specific reason: in the early days especially, when you have letdown on one side, you also leak from the other side.  Did I say leak?  Because I meant flood!  The first night I tried to sleep with no bra on, we had to change the sheets in the middle of the night because I was soaked, the sheets were soaked... not fun!  So the purpose of the nighttime bra in the early weeks is just to hold the little nursing pad in place so you don't end up soaked.  Honestly, I can remember grumbling about the nursing bras when I was pg with my first because it seemed like an unnecessary expense... not so!  There were other things I bought that never were worth the expense, but the nursing bras were definitely not them! 

mommy... mommytobobby

imo, you do need nursing bras. they are easy for nursing but you need the support. for me, if i didn't wear a bra, it made me leak, esp at night. and also for me, wearing a underwire bra while i was engorged hurt me so bad.

i work at motherhood maternity, and i usually tell women to come back in between 34 wks and having baby that way you get as close to an accurate measurement as possible w/o having to come back in after you have baby. i really explain all the benefits of the bras and tell them how they should fit. i don't know how far along you are, but if you're in your 3rd trimester, you should have the bra hooked on the loosest hook, that way after you have the baby you can tighten it as your ribcage goes down. and for most women, they do go up another cup size when their milk comes in. the reason the sleep bras are good is bc they're easy for nursing but light enough to not bother you at night. and if gives you something to put nursing pads in so you don't leak all over your shirt and sheets. and if you bought bras from motherhood, they're non-returnable. so always make sure you try it on in the store. and if you have questions about how it's fitting, ask whoever is working their to look at it and see what's wrong or if it will work when your milk comes in.

mupt02 mupt02

I never had a problem with engorgement, but I still would highly recommend nursing bras.  For me, it was never comfortable to pull a sports bra up and have it sitting there while nursing or pumping.  Plus, the way my first one liked to lay, the sports bra I tried kept sliding back down and hitting her.  It was much easier for me to just lower the flap.

The other thing that I used a lot, especially while hanging out at home were nursing tanks.  They are tanks with a nursing bra built in.  You can wear them in public and most people just think they are regular tank tops.  I used these to sleep in as well.  They were just more comfortable than a bra for me to sleep in.

MoM.i.aM MoM.i.aM

Good thing you got one without wire. Wire bras can actually cause clogged milk ducts which can lead to infection. Its OK to wear one with wire when you want to feel sexy, but don't wear one as your primary bra. I need some good nursing bras (mine are starting to fall apart after 15 months. I got them at Wal Mart) so once I have the money I am going to hit up Victoria's Secret. I am also getting a none nursing bra for when I am not with baby.

RanaA... RanaAurora

Yes, you really need a nursing bra.  Part of the issue with just pulling your boob out the side of a sports bra is that your breasts will be fuller and sometimes uncomfortable, and pressure on them (unless you can get the WHOLE thing out with no uncomfortable pressure against them) is going to either be irritating, or flat-out painful.  Compression on the breast while nursing can force your breast to squirt, or even block milk ducts and cause mastitus.

Everyone's body is different and so are your boobs... but after nursing Rowan for 28 months and Aurora for 4 so far, I'll tell you I RELY on nursing bras.  My advice?  Find CUTE ones that you LIKE.  Try to unsnap and resnap them with ONE hand.  If you can't do it one-handed, quickly and easily, you don't want it.

As far as size, you don't WANT bras that are extremely stiff in the cup.  The best nursing bras can deal with a 3 cup difference - your totally empty and totally full sizes, especially considering your boobs will be ENORMOUS when your milk first comes in.

Only time I dont' wear a nursing bra is when I wear a tank top with a built in "shelf" bra (essentially elastic under the boobs).  Not only is it comfy at home, but when I go out, I wear that under another shirt, then I pull up the top shirt, take a boob out of the tank top (with my nursing cover on) and it's super-easy, but I'm still totally covered.  No yucky tummy skin and stretch marks hanging out.

RanaA... RanaAurora

I figured I'd show you my favorite nursing bras, some of which lasted for YEARS:

They changed this one a little, but it's still very, very good - look at the rave reviews!:


Nursing tank:


Yes, they're all from Wal-Mart.  I can't afford (and don't feel I need) more expensive ones, haha.

Cafe... Cafe MicheleZ

Wow! You are all so great for all these words of wisdom! Thank you all and thanks for the links Rana!

PinkS... PinkSodaPop

I swear by my open in the front sports bras while nursing.

They were easy to maneuver and they were the most comfortable.

<------Mine were like this one!   angel mini

fmaziarz fmaziarz

That was something I wondered too.  I looked forever and ever online for a nursing bra that would even fit me.... and NO ONE MAKES ONE!!!  I have a size 54 band size, no one that makes bras- makes a nursing bra anywhere close to my band size!  So I gave up on them right away.


I don't think you necessarily need a nursing bra, but some kind of bra would be helpful with leaking, support, and if you have any pain or soreness.  I just bought a bunch of sports bras.  They feel a heck of a lot better than most other bras anyways and do the job!  Most sports bras will let you grow out in cup size too, so that was a plus for me as well.

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