How to Choose a Nursing Bra That’s Actually Supportive


Thank you to Cake Lingerie for providing a complimentary nursing bra to facilitate this post. In full disclosure, I’ve already purchased another one myself because I liked it so much!

How to Choose a Nursing Bra That's Actually Supportive

You’ve probably heard the statistic that 8 out of 10 women are wearing the wrong bra size.

It’s safe to say that statistic would be even higher if we were talking specifically about nursing bras.

Why? Because finding a quality, well-fitting nursing bra is no easy task, for a variety of reasons: your breast size changes throughout pregnancy and while you’re breastfeeding; the selection of nursing bras available from most retailers is pretty limited; and some bra styles can actually inhibit your breastfeeding efforts.

If you’re anything larger than a C cup, the challenges are even greater, since nursing bras are notorious for lacking support and shape.

When I had my first child, I eventually gave up on trying to find a supportive, well-fitting nursing bra. I was tired of wasting money on ones that didn’t fit the bill, so I just decided that a bit of sag was the price I’d pay to be able to conveniently feed my son.

With my current baby, though, I’ve learned a few lessons about breastfeeding—including that I don’t have to resign myself to flimsy, ill-fitting undergarments to make it work.

That’s right, ladies, the phrase “supportive nursing bra” is not an oxymoron; they actually exist! And finding one will allow you to attain Cake Lingerie’s inspiring goal of helping you “love the body you’re in.”

So let’s jump in and learn how to choose a nursing bra that won’t disappoint.

How to Choose a Nursing Bra

1. Choose the right SIZE.

Size is everything, ladies.

If you’re wearing a cup specific bra, you shouldn’t be spilling out of the cups, but the cups also shouldn’t be gaping.

The side straps shouldn’t be digging into your shoulders, and the back strap shouldn’t be inching up throughout the day.

Getting it just right is tough because A) you can’t trust the size you were pre-pregnancy; and B) sizing is different from brand to brand, country to country, etc. 

So if at all possible, get yourself professionally fitted for a nursing bra. It’s worth it. If you can’t, take the time to examine size charts and break out the tape measure. When you select a Cake nursing bra, you can check out their awesome Fitting Guide and Bra Size Calculator to help you determine which size will work best for you. 

2. Buy it at the right TIME.

Let me be frank: Those first few weeks after giving birth are a bit crazy, boob wise.

That’s because your body is still learning to regulate its milk supply, matching it to what your baby needs.

You have to keep that in mind when figuring out how to choose a nursing bra that works for you. What fits you at 3 weeks postpartum probably won’t fit you at 9 weeks postpartum.

So, for example, if you’re hoping to find a nursing bra that will still look great under your work clothes after your maternity leave is up, don’t go out and buy one before your supply settles out. The timing is key.

3. Choose the highest QUALITY your budget will allow.

I love me some Target, but I’m sorry, their cheap nursing bras just won’t cut it if you’re looking for something supportive, comfortable, and not lumpy.

I know you don’t want to spend a lot of money because you’re already dropping a ton of dough on diapers and wipes. I know you’re having trouble taking care of yourself in the midst of keeping a tiny human alive.

But trust me. Wearing a high quality nursing bra will make you feel like the beautiful mama you are, instead of a zombie who hasn’t showered for two days.

4. Find the perfect STYLE.

The perfect style for you is going to depend on a lot of factors: timing, chest size, your wardrobe, etc.

For those of us who need more support, an underwire style is preferable. You may have heard that you shouldn’t wear underwires when breastfeeding because they lead to plugged ducts, mastitis, and the like. The good news is that’s really only true if your underwire nursing bra stinks!

I’m currently obsessed with Cake Lingerie’s Croissant Smoothing Seamfree Flexi-Wire Nursing Bra. The wire is purposefully shaped to sit under and around the breast tissue—as opposed to directly on it, which can lead to the aforementioned issues—and it’s bendy so it’s never harsh on the skin.

And here’s the best part: It actually keeps the girls up where they’re supposed to be! It’s a breastfeeding MIRACLE!

Cake Lingerie makes nursing bras in all sorts of styles—seamless, underwire, non-wire, sports bras, plus-size, etc., so you can definitely find a style that will do its job and flatter your figure.


So, my fellow breastfeeding mamas, don’t settle for a nursing bra that makes you feel dumpy. There really are nursing bras out there that look great and feel even better.

image via vreddane/Dollar Photo Club


4 responses to “How to Choose a Nursing Bra That’s Actually Supportive”

  1. I wish I’d been able to read this when I was in the market for a nursing bra! I got so frustrated that I ended up just using a regular bra or tank top with built in support.

  2. Finding a selection is key because sometimes choices are limited. I could never find cute ones. It seems like they have more cute ones now.

  3. This is the best article I have read on purchasing a garment for breastfeeding. I know today’s young moms will be grateful for such a straightforward post!

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