How to Shop for Nursing Bras at Different Stages of Pregnancy & Nursing

I am pregnant and shopping for a nursing bra.  Will my size change by the time I deliver and start breastfeeding?  What are the best nursing bras to buy while I am pregnant?

By the end of the first trimester many women find that their pre-pregnancy bras are starting to feel snug.  This is a good time to put aside your underwire bras and structured bras and change to a bra with a more flexible fit.  Nursing bras are designed with size fluctuation in mind so they work well to accommodate the breast size changes you will experience during pregnancy as well. 

Out top picks for maternity are alpha-sized (S, M, L, XL rather than 34B, 36C, etc.) seamless stretch bras.  These bras mould do your body and keep you comfortable through a wide range of sizes.  

Recommended bras: 

Coobie Bra Scoopneck Bra / Coobie V-neck Bra:  These seamless stretch bras are so seriously comfortable you might not want to return to your old bras once you’ve tried them.  While they  are not specifically nursing bras, the material is so stretchy that you can simply stretch the cup up or down to for breastfeeding access later on.

Bravado Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra:  This is everyone’s favorite nursing bra and definitely the first nursing bra pregnant moms shop for because of its buttery soft stretch fit.


Determining the best size to purchase now for breastfeeding

While you are certain to see changes in your breast size during pregnancy and breastfeeding, the changes vary for each person.  The suggestions below are based on what we’ve observed women generally experience:

1st Trimester

If you are purchasing a nursing bra in early pregnancy, your nursing bra should fit you with room to grow in the cup and band.   

2nd Trimester

This is an easy time to shop for nursing bras because most women find that after delivery their rib cage returns back to about their 2nd trimester size.  Your nursing bra should fit you comfortably in the band and have room to grow in the cup.

3rd Trimester

During your third trimester your rib cage expands rapidly to accommodate your growing baby.  You can expect your band size to peak towards the end of the 3rd trimester.  After you deliver your band size will decrease.  Expect your cup size to increase after your milk comes in.  As long as your bra was not tight in the cups to begin with, most nursing bras have enough stretch in the cup to accommodate this increase.

Early Days of Breastfeeding

Expect a lot of fluctuation in breast fullness during the early days of breastfeeding.  Seamless stretch nursing bras are still the best way to go at this stage.  It is important to have good support without constriction to prevent engorgement from developing into more serious complications. 

After the early weeks of breastfeeding, your size fluctuations will finally settle down.  This is the best time to shop for more structured nursing bras (the kinds that are traditionally sized eg, 34B, 36D, etc).