Top 18 Most Comfortable Bras In 2018-2019-strapless push up bra Reviews
Finding the right bra can be difficult. The right bra is important, because it will be the most comfortable when it fits properly. Most lingerie experts recommend that women attend a bra fitting with a bra expert, in person, at least once in their lives. The person trained to properly fit bras knows how to measure correctly and help determine what style bra List and bra cup is appropriate for each woman.
Most Comfortable Bras In 2018-2019 ,Though a personalized fitting session can provide a guideline for future purchases, changes in life circumstances can also change the size and fit of a woman’s bra. What may have worked well at one time may no longer do so after gaining or losing weight, childbirth, illness or aging. It’s nice to have some basic measuring skills to use when a new bra is needed. There are many different styles of bras and women come in a wide range of shapes and sizes. Here are the basics for measuring bras:
As a woman, having to wear a Most Comfortable Bras In 2018-2019 for long periods of time every day, for work, exercise and even for sleeping or comfort can have a big impact on the bra we choose. The look, shape, color and design is also important and just as no two women are exactly the same, so too our ideas on what looks good and what feels comfortable can differ widely. Here at Top9Rated, we have selected a few of the top most comfortable bras by reputable brands to compare based on design, function and fit, for various uses and body sizes.
Many women put greater emphasis on getting a perky shape while buying an everyday bra, while some only look for comfort. It is very common to compromise one of the either factors while making a decision. Let us explain, as what makes a women bra the most comfortable one for everyday use:
If you are looking for a girl’s bra that you wish to wear for an entire day, then Playtex Women’s Comfort Bra can be your brand. It comes in a variety of colors and can provide you comfort for an extended period of 18 hours.
Supportive shape that is also without those itchy wires, Playtex Women’s Wire free Bra can be your must-have item. It claims to have 100% cotton pads, comes in different cups sizes and can be considered best bra for small breasts because of its wire free push up effects.
For a more sporty look and tighter appearance, Calvin Klein’s Cotton Bralette can be a fantasie bra for all sporty women around. It is totally surprising to get such a designer bra at such an affordable price, so it can be a good deal.
A completely different from its kind is Hane’s Women Wirefree Bra that is pull on closure. It needs no hooks to get locked and you can simply take it off without any hassle. You can easily get a black and red bra in this brand. We recommend you to add it to your buying list as per your preferences.
If you are more conscious to get a sexier and perkier look, then Warner’s Women’s Underwire is not a full-coverage bra. You can get this soft bra at a reasonable low price.
Complete comfort, soft fabric and full coverage are some major factors defining Bali Women’s wire free Comfort Bra. This reasonably priced bra comes in four way stretchable fabric with broad supportive straps and U-shaped back. This can be your perfect bra, which gives you comfort and style both.
A perfect bra for big breasts and broad shouldered women can be Wacoal Women’s Underwire Bra. The 2-ply fabric cupped bra comes in different colors and sizes and has a concealed inner sling that provides a better shape and support.
Vanity Fair Women’s Bra comes in neutral colors that go with any kind of dress design. This underwire bra has adjustable shoulder straps with a delicate lace attached stitched in the center bust. This bra might be a perfect match for your aesthetic sense.
When a cotton comfort bra combines with an underwired alike bra, it becomes Bali’s Revolution wire free Bra. They claim this wonder bra gives a stylish and sexy appearance to your breasts by enhancing your bust line and that too with added comfort.
A sportier and less perky bra is Fruit of the Loom Cotton Sports Bra. If you are less picky with style and sexier appearance, then this bra can be your brand. It comes in neutral as well as feminine colors with lesser added styles.
Top 18 Most Comfortable Bras In 2018-2019
2. Vanity Fair Beauty Back Bra
- Solid full-coverage brassieres
- Breathable cotton (95%) fabric
- Tag and label-free designs
- Supportive pull over brassieres
- Package of two bras
- Comfortable seamless design
- Thick and non-irritant straps
- Eye-catching designs
- Comfortable full freedom design
- Fits B C and D cups
- Front-mounted hook and eye closure
- Multi-directional stretch fabric
- Wire-free design
- Sleek silhouette
- Convenient pullover design
- Thick straps and band
- Comfortable seamless cups
- Adjustable shoulder straps
- Hook and Eye closure
- Breathable stretch cotton
- Arched center panel
- Molded double-layer cups
- Tight hook and eye closure
- Durable nylon/spandex fabric
- Comfortable U design
- Good fit and flexibility
- Patterned V-neck design
- Lined polyester cups
Brassieres improve the outlook of women. They are also comfortable and have supportive designs that protect breasts from injuries as people work or play. To get a premium model that offers these benefits, consider Playtex. Ranked among the best comfortable bras in 2017, its supportive design is desirable. Whether you have small or large breasts, it will lift and shape them without irritating you. This brassiere is also wire free and offers full coverage of breasts.
Brassieres, like the best handbags for women, are must-have day-to-day accessories. This does not mean that any cheap product that you buy online will serve you well. Buy Playtex instead to get the best in this niche. Made of 100% nylon, this is a light apparel. The material is also durable and lacks irritants that might harm you over time. You will enjoy using it every day.
Playtex 18-Hour is a hand-washable lift and support brassier. If you are looking for a good day-to-day brassier, therefore, do not hesitate to buy this one. It does not stretch over time.
Comfortable fabric (100% nylon)
Thick and cushioned straps
Sturdy lift-support panels
Adjustable hook and eye closure
Every day, millions of women wear uncomfortable brassieres to school and or work. This is dangerous. Such accessories are irritant. They also compromise the structure and shape of breasts over time. Buy a comfortable brassiere such as Vanity Fair instead. Popular worldwide, this full figure brassier has a smooth and stylish design. The spandex (22%) and nylon (78%) blended fabric used to make it, on the other hand, is both durable and comfortable. Most women like it. You will do too.
Many women wear brassieres to support and shape their breasts. Because of its premium design, Vanity Fair Beauty Back Bra excels at this task. The underwire cups that you get support both small and large breasts well. This lowers the risk of injuries. It also has thick shoulder straps and a hook and eye closure that you can adjust easily.
As most of the best comfortable brassieres listed herein, this is a low-maintenance brassiere. After use, you can hand wash it easily without compromising its structure or its functionality.
Sturdy underwired cups
Comfortable nylon blend fabric
Thick and adjustable straps
Adjustable hook and eye closure
Stylish full figure design
Fussy under wires
Best known for its line of comfortable wire free brassieres, Bali is a quality brand. Most of its products are also durable and designed to satisfy the needs of most women. If you have an old brassiere that you are planning to replace, this wire free Comfort Revolution model works well. It is a durable accessory. The nylon (94%) and spandex (6%) used to make it does not rip over time. It is also comfortable and retains its shape well.
Do you have an uncomfortable brassiere that irritates you whilst in use? Buying Bali Comfort Revolution is a good decision. Its delicately patterned and wire-free design does not irritate wearers. The seamless and foam lined cups that you get are also ideal. They are comfortable. They also shape breasts naturally. Finally, this brassiere has a comfortable underband that improves both side and back support.
Buy Bali Comfort Revolution to get a durable brassiere that you can clean easily after use. You do not require a washing machine to clean it. You wash it by hand using just clean water and soap.
Adjustable hook and eye closure
Comfortable stretch fabric
Seamless foam-lined cups (wireless)
Had washable design
Bras set are popular among moist women because of their cost-effectiveness. Many brands also offer functional products that improve both the outlook and safety of their wearers. If you are an athlete, for instance, do not buy one of the poorly designed brassieres that often disappoint. Fruit of the Loom will serve you better. Each package contains three cotton pullover sports bras made of 95% cotton and 5% spandex. They are comfortable. Their pull-on designs, on the other hand, support breasts well.
This is a package of stylish sports brassieres. If you exercise outdoors often and want to look good doing so, these are among the best comfortable bras to use. They are fade-proof. They also offer full-coverage of the bust, which most women like.
These pullover sports bras work with most pads. If you have small breasts and or want to improve support, you can do so easily. Finally, their hand washable designs are easy to clean. You do not need special detergents or a washing machine to do this.
Solid full-coverage brassieres
Breathable cotton (95%) fabric
Tag and label-free designs
Supportive pull over brassieres
Seamless brassieres are comfortable day-to-day accessories that appeal to most women. They are also stylish and come in a plethora of sizes that fit most women. This comfort model from Coobie, for instance, is a pack of two black and nude brassieres that offer value for money. Made of a nylon/spandex fabric, they are durable. Because of their flexibility, these brassieres also fit most women without issues. Whether you have small or well-endowed breasts, you will enjoy wearing them to work or school.
The hallmark of the best comfortable bras is their superior designs. Because of their seamless designs, for instance, you do not have to worry about these brassieres irritating you over time. They lack clasps, hooks, and wires. They also have thick elastic closures and wide/non-irritant straps.
In the past, only women with deep pockets afforded comfortable bras. This is no longer the case. Coobie, for instance, is an affordable brand. You get quality bras without spending a fortune.
Package of two bras
Comfortable seamless design
Thick and non-irritant straps
Do you have a brassiere that limits your flexibility as you work or play? Do you have a demanding job that involves a lot of movement? You will enjoy using this full freedom comfort bra from Carole Martin. Made using a multi-directional stretch fabric (nylon and spandex), it cradles the body well without impairing motion. It also has a comfortable fit and silky smooth surface that does not irritate wearers over time.
Some brands of brassieres have thin straps that dig into the skin whilst in use. If you have one, replace it with this one. It is comfortable. It also has thick and extra wide straps that distribute the weight evenly. This prevents back/shoulder strain.
Even though designed to offer light to medium support, you can easily customize this brassiere. If you have B, C, or D cups that you use occasionally, for instance, they work well in this bra. Its adjustable hook and eye closure also enables you to customize both its fit and level of support. You will like this product.
Comfortable full freedom design
Fits B, C and D cups
Front-mounted hook and eye closure
Multi-directional stretch fabric
Attainable in light beige, Hanes Cozy is a stylish brassiere with a legion of fans all over the world. If you are looking for the best comfort bra for work or exercising, it is also one of the best. The nylon/spandex blend fabric used to make it cradles breast well. This lowers the risk of injuries. The material is also durable and has a smooth interior that does not chaff nor irritates wearers. This is unlike some low-grade bras.
You will like this brassiere’s unique pullover design. It is easy to wear and remove. You do not have to struggle with zippers or hook and eye closures to do this. It also has wide straps and an elasticized band that prevents it from rolling whilst in use.
Whenever you are shopping for a new comfortable brassiere, look for a brand that you can clean easily. A model that stretches or loses its luster after several washes will let you down over time. Hanes Cozy Seamless Wire-Free Bra is different. It is comfortable. It is also hand-washable. This is convenient.
Comfortable nylon/spandex fabric
Convenient pullover design
Thick straps and band
Not very supportive
As women move around, their breasts move with them. If not secured well, thus, they cause back pain. The risk of soft cartilage ripping under pressure is also high. To prevent such issues, use this brassiere from Bali. Its cup, frame, and straps are comfortable. Recommended for day-to-day use, the quality fabric used to make it is also supportive. With one, therefore, you will go about your day-to-day activities without sacrificing health or comfort. This is admirable.
This soft taupe-themed brassiere is a stylish accessory. The stretch cotton fabric used to make it also stands out in many ways. It is breathable. Even during hot months, you will stay cool and comfortable. It is also soft and has ladder-stitched inserts that improve both its stability and longevity.
Unlike some brassieres that shrink or expand over time, Bali Double-Support Cotton Wire-Free Bra lasts long. It does not rip easily. Its straps are also durable. You can wash it many times (by hand) without it shrinking or stretching.
- Comfortable seamless cups
- Adjustable shoulder straps
- Hook and Eye closure
- Breathable stretch cotton
- Supportive design
- Rough elastic
If you are shopping for the best comfortable bra, you can never go wrong with the Bali brand. Home to numerous best sellers, its reputation globally is desirable. It also has many versatile products with this underwire bra ranked among the best. Buy yours to get a durable nylon/spandex bra that fits most women. It is also hand-washable and has a tight hook and eye closure for customizing its fit. Most women like its quality.
Do you have large breasts that require a lot of support? This brassiere is one of the best to use. The molded double-layer cups that it has, for instance, are comfortable. They also durable and have under wires that do not irritate people. You will enjoy superior support without irritation and or injuries.
Bali is a globally recognized brand. Fortunately, it is also affordable. Buy this brassiere, for instance, to get a cheap underwire apparel that works like a charm.
- Arched center panel
- Molded double-layer cups
- Tight hook and eye closure
- Durable nylon/spandex fabric
- Reputable brand
- Oversized shoulder straps
Picking the best bathrobes is a challenge for most women. The diversity of the products in stores often confuses many. This is the case with the best comfortable bras. If you are struggling to find one, we have identified a good model for you. Bali Comfort Revolution is a comfortable convertible brassiere with a durable nylon (95%) body. It also has a smooth center belt (100% nylon) and non-irritant polyester cups (lined).
Do you have a brassiere that scratches and or irritates you when worn for long? Bali Comfort Revolution will serve you better. Its quality fabric, for instance, is comfortable all year round. It also has a soft and comfortable band and a patterned V-neck design that improves the outlook of women. You will like it.
Are you tired of washing your brassieres manually by hand? You will like this model. It is comfortable. It is also durable and has a machine-washable design that users like.
- Machine washable design
- Comfortable U design
- Good fit and flexibility
- Patterned V-neck design
- Lined polyester cups
- Poor support
1. Playtex Original 18 Hour Comfort Strap Bra
Model 4693 has pretty, netting details which add a bit of luxury to this bra, while the padded cushion straps keep shoulders comfortable. The attractive floral fabric is also a design plus. Most women wear this bra to get the added support and comfort it advertises. It is a seamed bra made from polyester, nylon and spandex, which work together to make a sturdy bra. Buy now from Amazon
2. Playtex Ultimate Lift and Support Bra
Another model from the popular 18 Hour line, this Playtex design features lift-support panels instead of uncomfortable underwires. There is no cup padding, but it does have some in the straps so they stay comfortable. The wider straps have an “o” ring which connects the band of the bra to the straps. They are also graduated in width, so they are wider at the top and less wide nearer the band. Buy now from Amazon
3. Hanes Cozy Seamless Bra for Women
It’s easy to pull on this wire-free bra. It has wider straps than most other bras for extra comfort and support. Many women have worn this bra as they recover from surgery. Others wear this bra to bed for extra sleeping comfort. The bra is available in many different colors, which is a plus for women who like to have many. Buy now from Amazon
4. Playtex Sensational Sleek Bra for Women
This 18 Hour bra is wire-free, which provides an enormous amount of comfort. It offers higher sides for better coverage of the underarm area, the strap design is wider so they don’t dig into sensitive shoulders, the cups are rounder to provide more support to the bust, and the back panels are stronger for greater stability. The goal of the extra design features is to allow for wearing a smooth bra which doesn’t show underneath sleek clothing. Buy now from Amazon
5. Warner’s No Side Effects Contour Bra for Women
With a different design for side panels, problems with underarm bulge are removed. Without using elastic, the innovative cup placement allows this bra to use extra fabric to provide support in the difficult underarm area. The new panel design smooths and lifts, while the foam cups are flexible to accommodate different body configurations. Many women have varied issues with extra breast tissue escaping from the sides of their bras, and this can be anywhere along the side. This bra offers a good solution for this problem. Buy now from Amazon
6. Hanes Comfort Evolution Women’s Bra
Its sweetheart neckline gives this comfortable bra a feminine, attractive style. Made from polyester and spandex, the soft and wire-free construction helps this bra to move with the body. The fabric is stretchy, matching body movements to provide a high level of comfortable wear. There are no seams in the cup area; only very slight ones at the shoulder tops. The wider sides and back give nice support and coverage for smooth clothing. Buy now from Amazon
7. Bali Wireless Comfort Revolution Bra for Women, in Smart Sizes
This seamless bra is construction of supportive stretch fabric made from nylon and spandex. The fabric stretches four ways, and there are zones on the bra which are specially knitted to provide additional support in the areas which women typically need it most. This is a wonderful bra for women who dislike padding, underwires, itchy seams or straps which never adjust properly. It has the comfort of a sports bra, but with a pretty, natural shape. Buy now from Amazon
8. Vanity Fair Full Figure Beauty Back Bra
The 76380 model for full figures is designed to be comfortable and beautiful. The back features a contour smoother which minimizes bulges in the back. The design feature includes wings which wrap around the body and provide a sleek look for those problematic back and underarm areas which can slipover. It has a pretty lace fabric detail in the center front of the bra. Though the bra is padded, it is light padding, which offers more comfort and flexibility. Buy now from Amazon
9. Warner’s Women’s Full-Coverage Bra with Underwire
Though this bra does have underwires in the cups, they are encased in a lovely satin fabric which keep them comfortable throughout the day. This bra is perfect for wearing with t-shirts and other soft blouses, as the smooth construction gives each woman a pretty shape while concealing nipples and controlling spillover very well. The fabric is extremely soft and comfortable, which makes this a bra which is easy to wear. It is available in many colors and fabrics, and this is a plus for the woman who appreciates having many choices. Buy now from Amazon
10. Just My Size Wireless Satin Stretch Bra
This pretty bra has angled seams which provide the right amount of lift for an elegant appearance. The side panels are wide, which gives extra support in the underarm area. The back of the bra features a series of three rows of four hooks to provide strength and even closure for larger cup sizes. Its wire free construction makes it comfortable and it is strong enough to provide support even without the underwires. The wider straps do not stretch, but this keeps the bra secure. The cups are a hybrid of cone and rounded shape, which is currently popular with women who enjoy vintage clothing in 1950s style. Buy now from Amazon
For women seeking style and comfort, it’s wonderful to know that there are bra fitting resources and many wonderful selections. Keep in mind that the style of bra and its size are the two factors which affect the way it fits. Knowing the size is the first step; knowing the style is the second. Start out with those two, and stick to them for easier future bra purchases. Be aware of the bra’s construction. Look for the center area and make sure it matches the shape between the breasts for the best fit. Each woman has a different dimension in the center. Some are close together, others far apart, and some have no space at all. It’s probably one of the most overlooked spots on a bra. Matching the bra to that center space is one key to a comfortable and proper fit. Buying the best bras with the most comfortable fit is part science and part art. Solve the fit, and enjoy a lifetime of beautiful bras.
The Best Comfortable Bras Buying Guide
What are the features of the best brassieres? If you are having a hard time choosing the best, look out for these three attributes:
Material: Whenever you are shopping for a new brassiere, you will get products made of different fabrics. Cotton is popular because of its durability. It is also breathable comfortable. Nylon and polyester are also common. They are durable and supportive than nylon. Choose the one that will serve you the best.
Design: Do you want an underwire or a wire-free comfortable bra? Once you have settled on the fabric you want, pay attention to the design of the brassiere on offer. Underwire brassieres are the best for support. If you have big breasts, a quality brand will serve you well. Wireless brassieres, on the other hand, maximize the flexibility and comfort of users. However, because you are sacrificing support, women with large breasts struggle with them.
Fit: Before spending money on a new brassiere, make sure that it fits you well. Its size should be accurate. If possible, look for a product with adjustable straps or an adjustable hook and eye closure. Using an ill-fitting brassiere is as bad as using a low-grade one. It will irritate you. It might also harm you over time.
Just like regular bras, you’ll find a wide range of styles and prices for nursing bras. Whether you want an underwire design, a sports bra style, or a bra built into a camisole top, you can find it in a nursing bra. One innovation is the breast-pumping bra, which lets you pump milk hands-free. We haven’t tested these or any other nursing bras.
Closure locations vary depending on the bra, and include flaps that attach at the top near the shoulder strap, flaps that open and close between the two cups, and no flaps at all, where the cups just pull down for quick access. Latches vary, too. Squeeze or push-type latches are usually easy to operate with one hand compared with snaps or hooks. Here are some nursing bra types you may find available:
Sleep Nursing Bras
Most manufacturers have several nursing-bra lines, including models that are comfortable for sleeping or lounging in.
Soft-Cup Nursing Bras
You’ll also see traditional, seamless “soft cup” bras, that let you lower the cups from the hook closure near the shoulder strap.
Underwire Nursing Bras
Some women prefer an underwire style, that has clips to open the cups quickly.
Sports Nursing Bras
There are different kinds of sports nursing bras, usually wireless and made of spandex and nylon.
Nursing bras that are built into tank tops offer discreet nursing clips for quick breast-feeding access. “Some of my moms have had really cute cami-type tops that are made for nursing, and, especially in the summer, you don’t even notice that they are nursing tops,” says Jan Barger, a lactation consultant near Chicago.
Pumping bras can replace a nursing bra or in some cases be worn over one. They allow you to pump “hands free” with almost any brand of electric breast pump, either double or single. You can also try a pumping bustier.
In the world of nursing bras, support is queen. “This is when you are at your fullest,” says Rebecca Aughton, who owns a boutique near Detroit that offers a special “nursing salon.” Aughton says if you’re concerned about maintaining your figure after pregnancy and nursing, the best thing you can do is look for a really supportive nursing bra, whether or not it looks pretty or fashionable.
The best nursing bras fasten in the back but have flaps in the front for access. They also have strong side and under-cup support, and sometimes an extra-wide back for a fit that doesn’t feel tight and helps distribute the weight. Straps should be nonstretch but adjustable. Soft-cup styles usually feature a “no roll” band, which is a plus.
If your breasts are extra-ample, you might be a candidate for bras with extra-wide, padded shoulder straps and fuller cups. But be sure to try them on before you buy to see if they’re comfortable.
How you open and close the flaps on your nursing bra is important. The front flap on many nursing bras fastens at the top, near the shoulder strap. Other nursing-bra flaps open and close between the cups. Some don’t have a flap at all; the cups just pull down for quick access. Go with whichever type is easier for you to use with one hand without having to put your baby down. Squeeze or push-type latches are easy to operate with one hand compared with snaps, which usually take two hands to close. Practice in the dressing room at the store.
Near the end of your pregnancy and in the early weeks of nursing, your breasts may enlarge, sometimes significantly, and then return to a smaller size once breast-feeding is established. For greatest comfort, you’ll want a nursing bra with adjustable straps and multiple hook positions on the band so you can adjust it for comfort. Don’t be discouraged if the first bra you buy ends up not fitting; you may have to get fitted again once you start nursing, but the experts say it’s worth it.
Color and Style
While white is still common in nursing bras you can find pretty much any color you want now, including hot pink and prints. Some bras will look simple and utilitarian, while others might be lacy and fall more into the lingerie category.
Bebe au Lait
This Los Gatos, Calif.,-based brand develops products that pair “beautiful prints with luxurious fabrics to meet the needs of modern, active parents.” Established in 2004, Bebe au Lait has since grown into three brands: Hooter Hiders, Bebe au Lait, and most recently, Lille. Its products include burp cloths, hooded towels, luxury blankets, and nursing-cover sets, and are available through its website, specialty retailers, and national retail chains such as Babies “R” Us and Nordstrom.
Based in Toronto, this company started out with a leopard-print bra and two breast-feeding moms, about 20 years ago. Today, the company’s products include nursing bras and nursing tanks. Available at specialty shops and the company’s website.
For more than 15 years, this Seattle-based company has been fitting women of virtually every size and shape, from 30AAA to 60J, and every size in between. Its expanded product line includes nursing bras, front closure bras, clothing, and baby accessories, and even men’s undergarments.
Begun by its parent company, Eveden, this European company produces lingerie, including nursing bras, for the fuller-figured woman.
All of the company’s designing, sample sewing, and shipping take place in its headquarters in San Francisco, and nearly all of its garments are manufactured in San Francisco and Oakland, Calif. The company has patented several innovative and fashionable designs, which include the Ok support waistband, and Hug line.
La Leche League
Q-T Intimates is the newest licensee to be aligned with La Leche League International. It has created innovative nursing bras, including one that adjusts to a woman’s ever-changing body size. Its easy-to-open cups are mindful of the busy mom on the go. A portion of all LLLI licensed products goes to La Leche League International to support its many programs and services worldwide.
Built on the premise that the fit of a bra “can truly change the life of a woman,” Le Mystère incorporates its “all about fit” approach to its designs. Products include smooth, T-shirt styles, lacy date-night styles, support-seamed options, nursing bras, and specialty/convertible bras.
Leading Lady is a nursing and full-figure intimate apparel company. For more than 70 years, Leading Lady has
manufactured nursing and full-figure bras for various brands and retailers across North America. Now, Leading Lady’s comprehensive line of nursing and full-figure intimates can be purchased directly online.
Founded in 1961 in Zug, Switzerland, by Olle Larsson, the company continues under the ownership of the Larsson family. Medela serves its customers through 15 subsidiaries distributing to more than 90 countries worldwide. Medela’s U.S. subsidiary, Medela Inc., has been serving the American market for nearly 30 years. Products include breast pumps and accessories, breast-feeding devices, intimate apparel, and cleaning and mom-care products. Its website includes information for the expectant and nursing mother, a discussion board, and an “Ask the LC (Lactation Consultant)” section.
When you’re a nursing, a properly fitting bra is more important than ever. You’ll want comfortable ones that provide the right support, ones that don’t bind, pinch, hike up in the back or front, or irritate breast tissue. As we’ve said, most women experience changes in breast size during pregnancy and lactation. That’s why Rebecca Aughton, who has 17 years experience in the industry, recommends that women shop for a nursing bra two weeks before their due date.
Certified Bra Fitting
At Aughton’s Bra-vo Intimates shop, which opened 10 years ago in Royal Oak, Michigan, there’s a special “nursing salon” staffed with certified maternity and nursing-bra fitters. Pregnant or not, most women don’t wear the right size bra, Aughton says, but it’s even more important to get fitted when you are pregnant and nursing since that’s when the bust is fullest and needs more support.
Aughton recommends getting fitted for a maternity bra during pregnancy when your regular bras no longer fit. Then, when her clients come in two weeks before their due date, Aughton and her staff fit them for a supportive nursing bra as well as a sleep bra for those early, postdelivery days. Customers often come back and get fitted once again after they’ve established a nursing routine.
“When your milk comes in you just feel huge, and then after week four or five, you settle into the nursing, and you may come down a little bit in size,” Aughton says, “so it is nice to come back in and get fitted again.”
In addition to boutiques, you can also find nursing bras at maternity shops and some department stores, both of which should have staff on hand that can help you. Macy’s, for example, carries the Le Mystere line, while Nordstrom carries Elomi nursing bras (from the United Kingdom company Eveden, which has all sizes but also specializes in D+ sized intimate apparel). The Elomi Soft Cup Nursing Bra (about $56) is made from a “moisture-wicking” microfiber and features a quick-release clasp.
And of course, once you know your correct size, you can hunt for nursing bras in catalogs or online.
You’ll want some “give” or stretchiness in the bra cup to accommodate not only changes in your breast size, but also normal changes during the course of the day once you begin to nurse (breasts will become firm with milk and softer after nursing). The band on your bra should be comfortable, but that part of the bra also needs to be firm for proper support. Buy a bra with multiple hook positions so you can adjust it if needed. Shoulder straps should also be firm–not stretchy–for additional support and stability.
“The band should be firm,” Aughton says. “The band should be a really strong fabric. You want it to feel firm, bordering on tight,” she continues. “Ninety percent of your support comes from that band; 10 from the strap.”
Shop at a maternity store or boutique and ask if there’s a certified bra fitter on staff. This service is usually free. Aughton says you should try on bras and practice opening and closing the clips with one hand.
If you don’t know of a certified bra fitter or lactation consultant, perhaps someone affiliated with the hospital where you plan to deliver can offer advice and a referral to a certified fitter. Or go to the International Lactation Consultant Association. Many hospitals and birthing centers have lactation consultants on staff, and you should take advantage of their expertise if you can.
Support is the most important thing, so don’t get hung up on having a seamless bra if it doesn’t give you the best fit. “Don’t sacrifice support for fashion,” Aughton says.
Getting the Right Fit
When you’re being fitted, you’ll be measured under your arms. The tape measure will also be wrapped around your torso at the fullest point of the bust. The difference between the two measurements is your cup size. Once you get your official size, you can find a style you like and feel comfortable in. Don’t be put off by the size the fitter recommends, which could be much different from what you normally wear. Keep an open mind and try bras on before you decide whether they’re right for you. Once you realize the difference in support, comfort, and appearance (a properly fitting bra will make you look much better!), you won’t be hung up on letters of the alphabet. You may not end up with the bra size you thought you’d wear, but the bra probably will fit well.
If you decide to buy a nursing bra online or from a catalog, double-check the retailer’s instructions for measuring, since brands might be sized differently. And make sure you can return it in case it doesn’t fit.
If you have a large chest, you might have to search longer for a bra that fits well. One problem, says Pat Marcus, owner of the Decent Exposures lingerie boutique, is that some women with large breasts might need a big cup but still have a small back. Many traditional nursing bras that you’ll find in stores, she says, only go as far as DD or DDD cups, but you can find a wider variety of styles at specialty retailers. Aughton, of Bra-vo Intimates, says her best-selling nursing bra is a G cup, and she also sells bras up to cup size L.
What to Buy
Buy two or more bras; Aughton recommends having three on hand at all times—one to wear, one in the laundry, and a clean one in their drawer.
Plan to buy a sleep/loungewear bra for the early days of nursing when you’ll want to wear your nursing bra and pads 24/7 for leakage control. “Not everybody leaks,” says Pat Marcus, but you’ll want to have nursing pads on hand in case.
Cracked or sore nipples can lead to mastitis, a breast infection caused by bacteria. Aughton recommends changing your nursing pads frequently. You can find disposable ones as well as re-useable ones you throw in the wash. According to La Leche League, sore nipples are usually the result of improperly positioning the baby, so if you run into latching problems, reach out to a lactation consultant or the organization.
It’s fine to wear an underwire nursing bra if that is what you like, but make sure it fits properly. “The underwire should sit against the body; it should be flat,” Aughton says. “If you can fit your finger in the front, between your breasts, it’s the wrong size.”
In addition to nursing bras, you’ll need disposable or washable cotton pads that you can tuck inside to absorb any leakage. The disposable types are usually made of super-absorbent material that wicks moisture away from the skin. They’re higher-tech than cotton nursing pads, but both types cost about the same. Both kinds prevent clothing stains and skin irritation, and are invisible to the outside world, so it’s just a matter of personal preference. You may also need special bra shells that can protect sore nipples from irritation or help draw out inverted nipples. You can find nursing pads and bra shells at drugstores, specialty maternity shops, and stores that sell baby products.
For instant privacy, many women use a baby blanket to cover their baby when nursing in public. But a nursing cover-up can be more secure because it won’t slip off as easily. Cover-ups have a strap that’s worn around the neck, which prevents them from shifting or allowing a baby to yank it off.
Whatever you choose, make sure there’s sufficient airflow for your baby once you’re covered up.
You can buy special nursing shirts, dresses, and sleep garments that have strategically placed slits and flaps for quick access. While they make breast-feeding convenient, they’re not essential. Many moms make do with large shirts, button-down blouses, and tank tops they can easily lift or lower.
Jan Barger, a lactation consultant, says the one piece of nursing clothing that might really come in handy is a nursing nightgown or pajamas. “It’s something nice to have, so it’s easier for you,” she says.
Some nursing shirts can advertise that you’re nursing because of their front flaps, which consist of two extra pieces of fabric. If you plan to nurse for a while and want to be able to do it in public, a nursing top can make it easier and more comfortable.
With more manufacturers in the nursing-wear marketplace, you can find plenty of chic garments.
The newest generation of nursing wear—clingy tank tops and other shirts—have a built-in nursing bra (usually a shelf-type bra as opposed to one with individual cups) so you don’t have to wear one underneath. They’re something to consider for a change of pace, but make sure they provide the support you’ll need. And keep in mind that, like other “nursing” shirts, they might be more expensive than conventional clothes.
Some clothes are designed to help you move from maternity into nursing, which means you can get more wear out of them. Because maternity and nursing clothes are flexible and accommodating, they can be very comfortable in the first weeks or months of your child’s life. But if you plan to breast-feed for a while, you might eventually reintroduce your pre-pregnancy clothes into the mix and end up breast-feeding in whatever you wear that day.