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25 Best Maternity Bras of 2021

Best maternity Bras of 2021

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As you get older, you come to realize that bra shopping is no joke. Gone are the days when you could roll up into Walmart and buy a bra that you thought was cute and not give it a second thought. These days, support is crucial. And when you get pregnant? Well, shopping for the best maternity bras gets even more complicated because, well, your boobs HURT. 

Why? Well, as your hormones shift during pregnancy, you’re likely to go up a cup size or two. Along with this growth, you’ll also probably experience tenderness, pain, and itchiness as your breasts get ready for baby. 

Suffice it to say that you’re going to WANT a good bra that will support you as your breasts change. We’ve been there, and we’ve compiled a list of the best maternity bras out there. 

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Tips for Choosing the Best Maternity Bras

If you’re stumped about when to buy a maternity bra (do you buy one when you see the two pink lines? Or when your boobs start to hurt?), we’ve got some tips for you.

When to Buy A Maternity Bra

Many women experience enlarged breasts in the first trimester of pregnancy, so if your current cup size is uncomfortable, you can go ahead and buy a new bra, but don’t assume that you’ll stay this size.

We recommend only buying one or two in the first trimester, as you’ll continue to grow as your pregnancy progresses. If you experience breast tenderness during the first trimester, we also recommend getting one sleep bra for your current size (more on sleep bras in a bit). 

During the second and third trimesters, your breasts will get fuller and heavier. This is when we recommend investing in great maternity bras that will lead you into the postpartum period and breastfeeding, if that’s the route that’s best for you and baby. 

Choosing a Size

One of our absolute favorite brands for new mamas, Kindred Bravely, has a great graphic for measuring yourself for a nursing and maternity bra. 

If at any point you need a little more breathing room, you can always buy a simple bra extender to help! These work with bras that have a back clasp and will keep you from having to buy an entirely new bra just because you need a little extra width. 

When buying a maternity bra online, always refer to size charts. It’s annoying, we know, but they’re there for a reason and can make a huge difference in getting a bra that fits properly. 

Best maternity bras shopping
Are you tired of shopping for maternity underthings and not knowing what to buy? Read on!

Choosing a Style

Style is largely up to you, mama. 

If you’re one of those women who likes to wear frilly, lacy bras that match your underwear, we salute you. 

If you’re anything like me, comfort is QUEEN. Don’t get me wrong, I like a good lacy bra for a fancy occasion, but during pregnancy and postpartum, I’m not interested in anything that might be itchy or even vaguely uncomfortable, so my style reflects that. 

The good news is that you don’t really have to sacrifice comfort for style these days. Brands like Kindred Bravely have tons of cute options, like this Something Sweet Nursing Bundle that will cover all of your style, functionality, AND comfort needs. 

Back Clasp Style

When choosing a maternity bra, think about the ease of putting it on as your belly grows and after baby comes, at least imagining the possibility of a c-section scar. 

It’s for this reason that many mamas say the best maternity bras don’t have back clasps; they’re just too hard to put on

Many of maternity bras that pull over your head also have a clasp you can adjust for support and comfort, so those offer a good alternative. 

But if you’re super busty, it may benefit you to have 1 or 2 bras that clasp in the back simply because they often provide better support. Read reviews (and what we have to say below) to make the best decision for you. 

Personally, I’m a 36E when I’m not pregnant. I had one back-clasp pregnancy bra and wore it the least because of the difficulty of getting it on as my belly grew, but it was nice to have with work clothes. Otherwise, I like bras that pulled over my head. 

Stretch

Pay attention to stretch based on your preferences for comfort and support. 

You want stretch in the cups of maternity bras so that the bra can grow with you, but too much stretch often means a lack of support. 

The larger your chest, the more finding this happy balance matters. We’ve tried to recommend bras that give support and also have stretch in the cups, but pay attention to our descriptions to make sure you’re choosing the best bras for your needs. 

Bras That Will Work for Nursing

If you plan to breastfeed or are even considering the possibility, we recommend buying nursing bras so you can wear them during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. Double duty!

Best Bras for Pregnancy

When choosing a pregnancy bra, a common question that comes up is underwire vs. no underwire. 

No underwire is definitely the most common, especially because many mamas continue to wear maternity bras after baby is born, and nursing bras typically don’t have an underwire because they can lead to clogged milk ducts

But if you need more support or just want it during pregnancy, an underwire bra can be a great choice.

We’ve divided our recommendations by whether or not they have an underwire, just to make this simple for you. 

No Underwire 

This is the most common option and was my personal favorite. Even as a busty mama who really needs the support of an underwire, I just couldn’t stand the discomfort during pregnancy, so wireless worked best for me. 

1. Kindred Bravely Simply Sublime

I lived in this bra when I was pregnant. Not exaggerating. There’s a reason it’s won SO many awards. 

It’s won the following: “Parent Tested Parent Approved (PTPA) Award Winner, Mom’s Choice Awards Gold Winner, What to Expect Must Have Nursing Bra Finalist, Experienced Mommy Best Product,” according to the Kindred Bravely website

pregnant woman in white nursing bra and black support leggings holding her belly with her hands
This pregnant mama wears the super comfortable, adjustable Kindred Bravely Simply Sublime bra, plus their supportive Louisa Leggings

We love the nylon/spandex blend for comfort, ease of use, and flexibility (as your body will  change SO MUCH during pregnancy). 

It’s great for women of all sizes, but if you’re super busty, know that the support will be moderate. For more support, we recommend the Kindred Bravely Sublime bra

2. Storq Everyday

Perfect for women with small to average-sized chests, mamas everywhere rave about this bra. I personally haven’t used it because I’m too busty, but it’s such a reader-recommended favorite that it was clear it needed to be at the top of the list. 

Everyday Bra

Mamas go on and on about the soft, comfortable flexibility of this bra, and how easy it is to nurse in without dealing with clasps. It has adjustable straps and provides light support. 

Larger chested? No worries. Check out the full-cup version

3. Bandita Nursing Bra

This bra from Belly Bandit is super soft and breathable and gets excellent reviews for support. We love ALL Belly Bandit products, and this bra is no exception. 

When they say seamless, they mean it, and it’s obvious from the name that it has clasps on the straps for easy nursing access.   

Bandita Nursing Bra

Pro tip: when they say hand wash, they mean it. Reviews say that it looks worn if you machine wash it, even on delicate. 

4. Bravado Seamless

A fan favorite that you can find at Target (always worth bonus points, in our book!), this is probably one of the most popular maternity bras out there. And it’s popular for a reason. 

Moms can’t get enough of the the soft comfort, the fact that it’s available in a variety of sizes, and that it gives moderate support. It doesn’t squeeze you too tightly, but it does hold you up. 

Best of all, it’s available in all the sizes you could possibly want!

5. Cake Maternity Cotton Candy

When I wasn’t hanging out in my Kindred Bravely Simply Sublime bra, it’s because I was wearing this bra

It’s incredibly comfy, as supportive as I could hope for as an E-cup (more supportive is available, but not without squeezing me uncomfortably), and versatile enough to work with different tops.

I also loved that it supported me through breastfeeding. In reviews, moms note the comfort of this bra, and how it supports their ever-changing pregnant and postpartum bodies. 

6. Motherhood Maternity Seamless Clip-Down

A fan favorite with stellar reviews, this bra is fantastic for mamas who want an affordable option that will get them through both pregnancy and postpartum. 

It’s a machine washable nylon/spandex blend, which also means it’s stretchy enough to grow with you. 

It clips down for easy breastfeeding access, and it’s ideal for average-sized chests. For larger chests, check out the “full busted” version

Underwire

If you want the support of an underwire, your options are fewer, but still very good. Here are our very favorite underwire maternity bras! 

Just remember to avoid them postpartum, as mastitis is no one’s friend, and underwire has been linked to clogged milk ducts (hence the mastitis), according to the La Leche League

1. Playtex Play Outgoer

Full-coverage, super supportive, and available for a great price, it’s no wonder women looooveeee this bra. 

Unlike most of my favorite maternity bras, it’s handwash only, but with an underwire and cup padding, I think that’s an understandable, not-so-difficult request. 

It’s also a fanatic option for women who don’t plan to breastfeed because it’s not made to be a nursing bra. So it can carry you into postpartum without dealing with clips that might come down, even though you aren’t nursing!

2. Cake Maternity Croissant Contour

Let me just be really upfront with you here: Cake Maternity makes amazing bras for pregnancy and postpartum. I loved them. 

This is the only underwire bra I could tolerate during pregnancy, and the wire is so soft that it’s supposedly also breastfeeding-safe, though I admittedly didn’t try it once I was nursing. 

Moms can’t stop talking about the comfort and support provided by this bra that is both comfortable and, get this–pretty! It’s also available in every size you can imagine, which is a huge win. 

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The Best Maternity Bras for Plus Sizes

If you’re a full figured beauty or have especially large breasts, you know the bra struggle all too well. 

Finding the right bra is basically a massive celebration, especially if you can find it without having to sell your car to pay for it. 

And with that struggle already being oh-so-real, we all know it only gets crazier when we start searching for maternity bras to support our heavy busts. The good news is, I’m in that busty category, so I can speak to this problem from experience and tell you what I loved. 

1. Kindred Bravely Sublime

While most Kindred Bravely products come in sizes that are designed to accommodate plus-size bodies (yay for inclusivity!), this is my favorite of their bras for large chests because it has better support than you often find in a bra that doesn’t have an underwire. 

black woman in comfortable pink sleeping bra looking away from camera and smiling

This bra is incredibly comfortable, and it has adjustable straps. I love that it pulls over your head so you aren’t stretching your pregnant shoulders to clasp the back. This bra is an award winner for a reason!

2. Storq Full Cup

Storq makes amazing products, and this bra is no exception. 

The wide band provides extra support; the fabric is very giving so the bra can grow with you. AND it clips down to provide breastfeeding access after baby is born.  

Full Cup Bra

I love that the strap adjustment is on the front, so it’s easy to keep this bra fitting perfectly without breaking your shoulders. Mamas rave about the soft comfort of this bra, and how well it keeps up. 

3. Cake Maternity Croissant Contour

This is the only bra I wore while pregnant that clasped in the back, and I really liked having that more traditional fit and support for work clothes or nights out.

You can only wear what seems like a sports bra for so many occasions, you know? 

If it fits correctly, this bra is supportive, but I see many women buy too large a cup size anticipating breast growth, only to complain about the lack of support. 

So please, I beg of you, pay attention to the size chart. 

Mamas love the extra thick band and the fact that the wires are nestled in them, so you barely feel the underwire. This is a super comfortable, high quality bra. 

4. Bravado Full Cup

Okay, mama, I’m going to be honest on this one. We’ve included this bra on our list because it has some MAJOR pros that make it amazing. 

It’s incredibly comfortable, designed for G to J cups (WHAT?), and is an easy pullover design. Mamas love it. They rave about it. They say it’s amazing. 

But there is one bigtime con: it’s dry clean only. And while we don’t need to wash our bras that often, I struggle to imagine sending a maternity bra to the dry cleaner. 

So here’s my tip. If you love this bra, get 2 so you don’t miss it while you’re dry cleaning the other one!

5. Motherhood Maternity Plus-Size Seamless

An affordable, comfortable, and beloved bra, this is the big sister of the ever-popular seamless clip down. The difference? Bust size and support. 

The photo doesn’t show it, but this bra is made to support large-chested mamas throughout their pregnancies and postpartum. It clips down for easy breastfeeding access and receives thousands of amazing reviews.  

The Best Maternity Bras for Sports Bra Lovers

If you’re like me, you hate it when you leave the house and have to put on an actual bra. I live in sports bras, and I did when I was pregnant, too. Here are my favorites…

1. Kindred Bravely Sublime

We love this bra so much, we listed it twice; both as a good plus-size maternity bra AND as a maternity sports bra. 

Beautiful full-chested black woman with long wavy hair stands in front of a mirror in a supportive nursing bra while smiling at the camera

It’s amazingly comfortable and offers the perfect support for light activities like prenatal yoga. If you’re looking for full support, read on!

2. Cake Maternity Zest

This was my go-to sports bra for medium-impact sports during pregnancy. I wouldn’t call it a high impact bra, but it’s definitely supportive and comfortable, despite the underwire. 

I’m told it works for high impact for women who are under a C-cup, but as a bustier mama, it was definitely medium-impact for me!

Be careful to follow the size chart because sports bras need to fit correctly to be appropriately supportive. If your bra is too loose, obviously size down.  

3. Love & Fit Athena

This amazing bra is designed specifically for active moms and comes in sizes ranging from the smallest to 3XL (that’s up to an H cup!). We love its support, adjustable straps, and convertible back. 

This bra is perfect for medium to high impact sports, and it’s fully adjustable, both at the bands and the straps. It also clips down for easy nursing access. As a large-chested mama, this is one of my favorites!

4. Syrokan Racerback High Impact 

Finally, a high-impact bra. And also, once I found it (I didn’t discover this until later when I was breastfeeding), it became my favorite. And here’s why. FRONT ADJUSTABLE STRAPS WITH VELCRO!

That’s right. You can loosen or tighten this bra while wearing it, from the front, using its velcro system. It lets you achieve the perfect fit for the impact you need AND nurse easily if you choose to breastfeed. 

5. Bravado Body Silk Seamless Rhythm

What I love most about this bra is that it’s so soft, you’ll barely know you’re wearing it. It’s also moisture wicking, a technology that many maternity and nursing sports bras are lacking. 

It only goes up to XL in size, and it’s irritating that the primary model clearly isn’t pregnant or postpartum. Still, mamas LOVE this maternity sports bra for its comfort and longevity. It’s best for low-medium impact. 

6. Love & Fit Strappy Back

Maternity bras are rarely described as pretty, but the unique design of this strappy back bra definitely makes you feel cute! That’s part of the beauty of it. It’s great for petite to plus sizes, and comes with adjustable straps, removable cups, and an adjustable band. 

Although cute and available for a variety of sizes, the strappy back keeps it from being as supportive as the Athena. This one is great for low-to-medium-impact activities.

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Sleeping Bras for Pregnancy

What is a sleeping bra? Perhaps the biggest miracle of pregnancy, in my opinion. (I jest, but only somewhat.) 

When I was pregnant with Jack, I was complaining to a friend about my sore boobs. “It’s so hard to sleep at night,” I said early in the first trimester, “because I move a lot, and every time I do, my boobs hurt.” 

Aghast that I didn’t know about this amazing invention, she pointed me exactly where I needed to go — to a local maternity store to buy a sleep bra!

1. Kindred Bravely Organic Cotton

Available in every size you can imagine, we absolutely love this soft, comfy cotton sleeping bra from Kindred Bravely

I lived in their bras throughout my entire pregnancy and postpartum period. Each was comfortable, supportive, and worked well for nursing once I needed that. 

Blonde woman in gray sleeping bra smiling at camera

This soft, lightweight bra is padding-free and breathable–everything you could want in a sleep bra. It’s great for pregnancy AND nursing.

2. Kindred Bravely French Terry Racerback 

Similar to the cotton version, but made of completely different fabric that provides a different kind of softness, this rayon of bamboo/spandex blend is the ultimate in luxurious feeling. 

That’s probably why this bra is the Mom’s Choice Awards Gold Winner, Verywell Family Best Nursing Sleep Bra, Experienced Mommy Best Product, AND What to Expect Sleep Award Winner.

What we love most is that you can dry it without it shrinking, so it will continue to fit you throughout your pregnancy and postpartum journey.  Buy it as a maternity bra and continue it through the fourth trimester. It’s also perfect for nighttime nursing. 

3. Motherhood Maternity Women’s Wrap Front

I love this wrap front sleeping bra in part because it comes in cute stripes, and we deserve more cute, yet still comfy clothing options during pregnancy. 

But what most women love is the pull on closure (hence calling it a wrap-front) so you can have super easy nursing access. 

Mamas can’t stop talking about the quality for the price, and about the plus size options that are available. 

Definitely refer to the size chart, though; if it’s too big, your boobs will fall out, which totally defeats the purpose. (This is kind of true of any sleep bra, but I’ve heard it even more about this one).

4. Bravado Ballet Nursing Bra

There’s a good reason mamas can’t shut up about this bra. It has a gorgeous silhouette, super soft fabric, and modal-line molded cups for added comfort. It’s an incredibly comfortable bra for sleeping and works well for nursing. 

As always, refer to the size chart to make sure you get a good fit, or you won’t love it. If you’re relatively small chested, it may work as a daytime bra, too. For me, it was only supportive enough for night.

Sexy Maternity Bras

If I’m being honest, I did not feel at all sexy when I was pregnant, and as I said earlier, I’m the queen of comfort, so a sexy maternity bra was not on my radar. 

But I hear so many women say that having a sexy maternity bra that they feel good in really lifts their spirits and improves body confidence. And we are ALL about empowering women.

In case you’re one of those amazing mamas, here are our favorite gorgeous choices for you. 

1. MOMANDA wire-free nursing bra 

While I’m super irritated that the model is so clearly NOT visibly pregnant (and visibly pregnant bodies are sexy and deserve to be shown that way), that doesn’t change the fact that this is a beautiful bra that will work as a maternity bra and a nursing bra. 

There are 4 clasps on the hook-and-eye closure for added support, and the bra unclasps in the front for nursing access. There’s no underwire, which makes it more comfortable for pregnant and nursing mamas, but the cups have padding to help with shape. 

It also goes up to an E-cup, which is impressive for a bralette!

2. Natori Women’s Feathers Contour Plunge

This beautiful plunge bra can make any mama feel gorgeous no matter her breast size. It has thin straps, so make sure your clasp is tight enough for good support. The bra clips down for nursing access, and mamas say the bra is very comfortable while unclasped for breastfeeding or pumping. 

The plunge neckline, sheer outer layer, and lace trim make this bra absolutely gorgeous! Cup sizes go up to DDD. 

Why You Need the Best Pregnancy Bra

I get that it may seem like an unnecessary added expense, but honestly, you really do want the best maternity bras. 

They’re made for the comfort of your changing body and will support you through pregnancy. When your boobs are supported and comfortable, you’ll be able to to concentrate on more important things like figuring out your baby registry must haves!

Start with bra extenders while you can get away with it because you likely will change bra size during pregnancy, but once you need a larger cup, move into a maternity bra that will support you through postpartum, as well. 

If you plan to breastfeed, this means being aware that you will want easy access for nursing in a good maternity bra. Also read reviews about comfort, and consider how easy it will be to get a bra on or off when you’re enormously pregnant or recovering with possible belly scars. 

What was your favorite pregnancy bra? Tell us in the comments!

When I first told my mom the title of this blog, she looked at me incredulously and said, “Why undefining? Why not redefining?”

“Because motherhood is a role that’s been defined for far too many centuries,” I say. “And often not even by mothers themselves. It’s been prescribed and defined and changed and redefined so much that I don’t understand how anyone can feel authentic in their experience of it anymore. Not to co-opt another movement that’s happening right now, but time’s up. It’s time to learn to do this authentically, not according to prescription. For years, I’ve studied the history and theory of how motherhood has been defined, prescribed, turned into an institution with a set of rules. And I’m sick of it. It’s time to put that knowledge into action.”

“It’s perfect,” she replied.

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