If becoming a momma wasn’t confusing enough, there’s endless options to choose from when investing in a maternity bra.
And just to make it more confusing, we’ve got a ton of nursing and pumping bras to consider as well…
For the sake of simplicity, I'm only gonna tell you about the different kinds of maternity bras and how to pick what’s best for you.
But before we get into that, let me quickly tell you the differences between maternity bras, nursing bras and pumping bras.
- A maternity bra is meant keep you comfy and supported during pregnancy while also ‘growing’ with you to keep a comfy fit and save you from having to buy a new bra each week! They also have (for the most part) more support than a nursing bra
- A nursing bra will do everything a maternity bra does, with the addition of a clip that allows you to drop the cups for feeding. Some companies offer a 2-in-1 maternity & nursing bra which is ideal as you really don’t need separate bras for each
- A pumping bra is usually much thinner than a nursing bra and has only a tiny opening for your pump. If you choose to pump and feed, a nursing bra would be best for you
Pretty simple right? Great! Now let’s move on to:
The 5 Different Types Of Maternity Bras
Seamless / T-Shirt Maternity Bras
Much like seamless fashion bras, seamless maternity bras create a smooth finish under clothing without any visible lines.
They’re normally made with light padding or a couple layers of fabric, making them very comfy and adaptive. Unfortunately, they don’t provide much support for larger busts.
Not to worry though, there’s many seamed maternity bras out there that are just as “hidden” as a seamless/t shirt one.
Underwire / Flexi-Wire Maternity Bras
A regular underwire is way too stiff for your growing breasts and would cause lots of discomfort and possibly even damage your breast tissue.
So whenever you see an “underwire” maternity bra, it most likely has a much softer and malleable underwire.
The softer underwire will give more support and shape, but can still be a bit uncomfortable for some mommas. Few companies have a very interesting work around that I’ll cover later.
Wireless Maternity Bras
These are the most popular kind of maternity bras because of how comfy they are!
A good one will hug your body like your favorite blanket and keep you comfier than you’ve ever been, while still giving you all the support and shape you could ever want.
In fact, depending on how they’re made, a wireless maternity bra can actually be just as supportive as a wired bra without sacrificing shape.
Sports Maternity Bras
Similar to a regular sports bra, these will give you the support and function needed for exercise, with some added goodies.
Most will be absorbent and maybe even leakproof, underwire free and seamless. However - just like a regular sports bra - they’ll have a tighter/firmer feel so they aren’t the best option for daily wear.
Sleep Maternity Bras
Sleep bras are normally made with bamboo or cotton to keep you comfy and cool throughout the night. They’ll give you a nice bit of support and can help keep nursing pads in place (if they’re not already sewn in).
With that being said, if you get a well-made wireless maternity bra you’ll have no problems falling asleep in them. Some momma’s do however prefer a sleep bra for the night.
So.. What Kind Of Maternity Bra Should I Get?
I hate to say this, but.. It depends - every momma is different and has her own needs.
Gosh! I’m sure you’ve heard that everywhere. Let me give you some advice that you can actually use to find the ‘perfect’ maternity bra..
While it’s true every momma is different, there’s a few features to look for in a maternity bra that’ll make it as close to ‘perfect’ as possible:
- Wireless - but with a twist. At the edges of the cup where an underwire (or flexiwire) would normally be, is a sewn in line of thicker cloth. It’ll give as much support and shape as a flexiwire, without any of the discomfort that comes with it (you won’t even notice it’s there).
- Built-in nursing clips. These are the 2-in-1 maternity and nursing bras I was talking about earlier . They’re the best of both worlds because they’ve got a maternity bra’s extra support alongside the fold-down cups.
- Made of super soft natural fabrics. Any maternity bra made with 90% or more cotton will feel heavenly! They’re soo soft, smooth and breathable which is awesome, plus most natural fabrics are anti-odor and absorbent.
- Sewn-in pads. These make life so much easier! Some bras will have built-in pads that aren’t sewn in and they’ll scrunch up in the wash, but if they’re sewn-in they’ll stay put. And don’t even get me started on how much better these are than having to put pads in separately..
- Soft & comfy band with 4 hooks. If your maternity bra doesn’t have a soft, wide and stretchy band, you’re really missing out. They make a world of a difference both comfort and support wise.
- Adjustable straps. These will really come in handy as you’re ‘growing’. Whenever you need extra space, all you’ve gotta do is loosen them!
Once you do find a maternity bra that’s got all these “life-saving features” as many mommas call ‘em, you’ve gotta make sure of two things: they fit you perfectly and the deal is good.
Easier said than done!
Finding a maternity bra with everything you need is hard enough, throw in finding a good deal and the proper size and it almost seems impossible.
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