When you’re pregnant, you need to support the girls. Yes, those girls. But it can be challenging to find a maternity bra that will fit throughout your pregnancy (and beyond).
Few stores carry maternity bras you can try on, and the stores that do often have limited choices. Most moms resort to shopping online, but bras can be pricey, and not all maternity bras are created equal. So how do you know which brand to trust and which maternity bras are best?
We’re here to solve that problem for you. Our team of moms tested countless hooter holders in a wide range of styles to find the best maternity bras to support your growing bosoms and prevent post-pregnancy sagging.
- One-hand access
- Adjustable shoulder straps
- Ultra soft fabric
- Hook and eye closure
- Doubles as a nursing bra
- Perfect for day & night wear
- Super comfy fabric
- Breastfeeding access
- Mom's Choice Award winner
- Molded cups
- 4-way stretch fabric
- Removable molded padding
- Designed for A-C cup sizes
- No underwire
- Luxuriously soft smooth fabric
- Removable molded cups
- Tightly knitted underband
- 100% cotton
- Wire-free bra
- Great support
- Hook and eye closure
- Breathable mesh
- Enhances bust figure
- Ultra-soft rayon
- Seamless design
- Easy-access breastfeeding
- Great elasticity
- Cotton fabric
- Easy to clean
Why Do I Need a Maternity Bra?
During pregnancy, everything in your body grows and swells, including your breasts. You’ll likely find yourself needing both a different cup size and band size throughout your pregnancy. This is due to the following(1):
- Hormonal shifts.
- Weight gain.
- Expanded rib cage.
- Milk production.
How to Choose the Best Pregnancy Bra
When buying a maternity bra, look for the following:
An underwire is a rounded support wire that runs through the bottom edge of the bra, cupping each breast. It’s best to avoid maternity bras with underwires during pregnancy as they can contribute to complications like mastitis or blocked ducts (2). Besides, underwires can be uncomfortable — especially during pregnancy.
Both your cup and band size will continue to grow throughout pregnancy. Choose a bra that’s adjustable so you don’t outgrow it quickly.
Your nipples will change during pregnancy — and they might leak colostrum toward the end. Choose a bra with good coverage and maybe even some padding to prevent any embarrassing “wardrobe malfunctions.”
Thicker straps will provide better support as your breasts grow heavier and will be more comfortable.
Your breasts are sensitive; you don’t need your bra to make them even more uncomfortable. Choose soft-lined cups that will not rub, irritate, or chafe your nipples.
A wide band will help provide support. Make sure your bra has a wide band that is secured by more than one clasp.
Please do not buy a bra simply because it doubles as a nursing bra, as many nursing bras aren’t designed with pregnancy in mind. However, if you find one that meets your maternity needs and also serves as a nursing bra, by all means, go for it.
Having an extra row of hooks makes your bra more secure and allows you to adjust it to more sizes, which means you’ll get to use it longer.
The Best Maternity Bras of 2022
Here are some great maternity bras to consider.
Best Maternity Bras for Large Breasts
1. Kindred Braverly Simply Sublime Pregnancy Bra
Soft and Roomy
The elastic in this bra is stretchy enough to accommodate your changing body but firm enough to offer adequate support. With full-coverage cups and a wide band with three clasps, you can bet your girls will be secure in this bra.
2. Curve Muse Plus Size Maternity Bra
Pretty but Practical
While we don’t usually recommend an underwire bra for use during pregnancy, your choices may be limited if you have large breasts. Elastic cups aren’t always going to hold you in. The good news is that if you choose a properly-fitting bra without the underwire digging into your breast tissue, you should be fine wearing an underwire bra.
Pair this bra with a bra extender to ensure it doesn’t fit too tightly. This bra is supportive for large-chested women, and it’s super cute. And best of all, it comes in a three-pack, so you’ll always have a comfy, clean bra to wear.
3. Bamboobies Seamless Pregnancy Bra
This bra fits sizes up to 42F, but it can be used on larger chests when combined with the included extender. It’s made of ultra-soft bamboo rayon and is supportive enough to be used during light exercise. It’s versatile and has nursing panels, so you’ll be able to continue using it after your baby arrives.
Best Maternity Bras for Small Breasts
4. Mothers en Vogue Seamless Maternity Bralette
This bra was designed specifically for small-breasted mamas, with cup sizes from A to C. It has a lower profile, so you can wear it under outfits without it peeking out of your shirt. Made of nylon, spandex, and cotton, this super-stretchy bra will adjust as your body and breasts change and can also double as a nursing bra after delivery.
5. Gratlin Racerback Seamless Pregnacy Bra
This bra will fit breasts as small as 32A. It has a densely knitted underband to prevent sagging even though there is no underwire, and the hook-and-eye closures allow for a custom fit even though the design resembles a sports bra. Finally, because it’s not padded, it will conform to your unique shape rather than trying to fit your uniquely sized breasts into a pre-molded form.
Best Plus Size Maternity Bras
6. Motherhood Maternity Sports Wireless Maternity Bra
Sweet and Sporty
This bra is available from sizes 1x-3x and has elastic construction to allow for potential changes in breast size. It also has thick, supportive straps to keep your breasts from weighing you down. Top it off with a thick band and a cute design, and this is a great and versatile option for any higher-weight woman who’s expecting.
7. Gratlin Plus-Size Wire-Free Pregnancy Bra
Best for Sexy Support
Following traditional bra sizing, you can order your exact band and cup size for a perfect fit. The cotton design can help you feel sexy, and the wireless support will keep your girls exactly where they belong. It also has six full rows of hook-and-eye closures, ensuring that as your rib cage expands, you can adjust your bra without needing to buy a new one.
Best Maternity Bras for Sleeping
8. Kindred Braverly Terry Scoopback Sleep Bra
The ultra-soft french terry fabric will be soft against your skin while sleeping, and the stretch of the fabric was designed to accommodate your growing (or shrinking) size. The Kindred Braverly Sleep Bra has no wires, clasps, or hooks, making it both comfy and easy to use for night nursing. This bra is available in a range of colors and sizes, so there is one to fit every woman’s body and preferences.
9. EMY Pregnancy Sleep Bra
This 4-pack is perfect for the economically minded mama. Not only do you get a great price, but you’ll be able to use the bras after your baby arrives for night nursing. Plus, they’re super cute. The cotton-spandex construction is soft and supportive, and it has spots to insert nursing pads if you find you’re leaking colostrum as your due date approaches.
10. Gratlin Comfort Support Nursing Bra
Completely Natural Feel
All moms need a lot of rest, and we love that this nursing bra focuses on both mom and baby. Made of luxuriously soft and smooth fabric, it hugs your curves for a natural and comfortable fit. It’s great for sleeping as it doesn’t have any wires or stiff seams to keep you up.
We also love that this bra can support a good night’s rest when you’re pregnant too. Because it molds to your specific shape, a single bra can see you through all of your body changes.
Best Supportive Maternity Bras
11. Hofish 3-Pack Maternity Bras
Sexy and Sleek
Extra support doesn’t have to mean extra, bulky fabric. With a deeper V-neck design and unique push-up padding, this bra will help you feel more confident and sexy while still enjoying breathable support.
A wider underband keeps your breasts in place, and the non-slip shoulder straps keep the bra from shifting. With a single hand, you can unclasp the strap and drop-cup for easy feeding.
12. Carriwell GelWire Maternity Nursing Bra
Fit with Flexibility
Underwire is generally frowned upon during pregnancy and nursing, but this innovative “gel wire” bra provides support without discomfort and damage. The included gel molds around breasts to help prevent tissue damage, but it’s still pliable enough to move around as your body changes. Combine that with thick straps and a wide band, and you’ve got adequate support in a bra that doesn’t look like it’s meant for sports.
Best Nursing Maternity Bras
13. Bravado! Seamless Nursing and Maternity Bra
Skin-to-skin contact is an essential aspect of bonding between mom and baby, and this nursing bra makes it easy. The full drop-away cup allows your baby to comfortably connect to your bare skin during feedings. Because there aren’t any wires or seams, nothing will get in the way of this special time with your baby.
The four-way stretch fabric hugs your body no matter how it changes, and the removable foam inserts provide both shape and discretion while nursing. With a wide size range, this nursing bra can support any breastfeeding woman.
14. Playtex Seamless Nursing Pregnancy Bra
Smooth, Simple Cup
This bra’s seamless design eliminates chafing, and the elastic construction allows it to conform to your body. It has a wide band with hook-and-eye loops for maximum support and an X-Temp feature that enables you to stay cool. Plus, it’s got easy-click strap clips, so you’ll be able to wear it throughout the pregnancy and postpartum periods.
Best Wireless Maternity Bras
15. Gepai Wire-free Front Button Maternity Bra
Bras don’t have to be boring, but unfortunately, many of them are. These cute, floral bras enhance your sexy shape with the front-button feature. They still have the supportive straps you crave, along with four hook-and-eye loops in the back — all without the pain of an underwire.
16. Aibrou Wirefree Padded Pregnancy Bra
This bra comes with a bra extender to help you get the most wear possible despite your growing, changing body. It also has built-in, removable padding that you can wash easily. The elastic construction extends its wearable life, and since it has nursing panels, you’ll even be able to use it after your baby arrives.
Best Maternity Sports Bras
17. Fittin Racerback Pregnancy Sports Bra
Fit and Foxy
If you’re doing some serious workouts during pregnancy, then you’re going to want to skip the nursing and maternity bras and go straight for a regular sports bra. This one doesn’t sit too low on the torso (you know, where it might run into your belly), wicks sweat away from your skin during your workout, and helps to keep you cool. All those things are way more critical when you’re working out while pregnant than whether it says “maternity” on the label.
18. AKAMC Removable Padded Maternity Sports Bras
Hard Working Bra
These bras are made of breathable, moisture-wicking fabric, and they also have removable cups. The cups offer support and help maintain the integrity of your breast tissue, but you can remove them if you need a little more space as you start to outgrow your bra. The racerback design supports a full range of motion, and when you’ve finished your workout, you can just toss this in the wash as it’s machine washable.
Best Cheap Maternity Bras
19. Hofish Full Bust Matenity Bralette
This bra should carry you through the many stages of pregnancy and nursing for just one low price. The elastic construction is forgiving and will allow you to wear it at multiple bra sizes. It comes with bra extenders, so you can keep wearing it no matter how big your rib cage gets. It also has nursing panels, so you can use if after your baby arrives.
20. Caramel Cantina Pregnancy Bras
Value for Money Option
With this set, you get three bras for less than what you’d expect to pay for one. And not only that — you get to choose between traditional colors or a bolder-colored set. Caramel Catina bras are machine washable and come with nursing clips, so this one set can take you through many months of pregnancy and nursing.
21. ILoveSia 3-Pack Maternity Bras
3 for the Price of 1
Enjoy three seamless maternity bras for the price of one. Each bra features buttery soft fabric, adjustable straps, and removable, molded foam cups. A knitted underband also provides comfortable support without any wires digging into your skin.
Moms can never be too prepared. If you’re prone to leaking or your baby has very messy feedings and you want to keep several maternity bras available, this set is reasonably priced without skimping on features.
Is a Maternity Bra the Same as a Nursing Bra?
Maternity bras are not nursing bras, but some nursing bras can be used as maternity bras.
The point of a maternity bra is to give you support for your larger, heavier breasts. Similarly, nursing bras are designed to hold larger, milk-filled breasts while offering an easy way to expose the nipple without removing the bra to facilitate nursing. Most nursing bras have some sort of clasp, clip, or panel to expose the breast.
Immediately after delivery, your breasts may engorge, and when your milk comes in, they’ll be a different size altogether. In fact, you can measure two different cup sizes throughout the course of a single day. Around the time your baby is four months old, your milk supply will settle down, and you’ll probably find yourself needing yet another bra.
The best maternity bra should meet your need for support and comfort when you’re buying it, not because you think it’ll meet a future need. If your pregnancy bra happens to have nursing panels, great — it may fit you again at some point, but there’s no guarantee.
How Many Maternity Bras Do I Need?
You’ll likely need several maternity bras throughout your pregnancy, but we don’t recommend buying an entire wardrobe’s worth in one shopping spree. The reason is that your body will continue to change — so what fits today may feel snug next month.
Instead, buy two to three maternity bras, and rotate them between wash and wear until you feel like you need a better fit. Then, buy two to three more.
The Bottom Line
You probably knew you’d need to buy maternity pants and shirts when you got pregnant, but don’t forget to pay close attention to your bra, too. If you wear one that doesn’t fit right, it can not only cause breast pain and posture problems but nursing problems as well.
Here’s to keeping our girls happy!