Best Nursing and Pumping Bras
When it comes to the best nursing bras, the name of the game is quick access. Trust us, when baby is wailing, there is a difference between three seconds and six seconds!
After testing seven different options, our recommendation for the best nursing bra is Bravado! Designs Maternity and Nursing Bra.
Bravado! has been making excellent quality nursing bras for over 20 years. We like the soft fabric, wireless and seamless design, and easy to release clip. Yep, you can get this bra unhooked for baby in a split second! Included with their bras, Bravado! has foam inserts to calm the “headlight” effect and handle mini leaks. For bigger leaks, you might want a more substantial pad.
Bravado also makes a great bra for those with large breasts up to a size M. We liked the Essential Embrace bra’s soft cotton lining ad smooth exterior microfiber fabric. It comes with a free bra extender and Bra Conversion Kit, so you can transform it into a regular, non-nursing bra later. Some readers noted that the sizing was a bit on the small size for this bra, so consider ordering it in two sizes if you want to be cautious.
If you’re on a tight budget and looking for a less expensive option for a nursing bra, we recommend HOFISH Nursing Maternity Bralettes. Price-wise, these three packs are quite a deal. Included in the price are foam pads, three bra clips (to turn it into a sport style bra) and three bra extenders. Yes, that is a good deal, but here are the trade-offs: the quality is only average say our testers . . . and the foam cups were annoying and tend to fall apart after a few washings, according to our tests.
The HOFISH bralettes shown here include bra extenders and clips. Picture credit: Amazon
Hands-Free Pumping Bra
Hands-Free pumping means just what it says: you can literally pump breast milk without holding the bottles in your hands. Yeah, it sounds obvious, but until a few years ago, there were no hands-free pumping bras. The only option was to sit at a table while nursing and hold the pumping flange/bottles with your hands. You couldn’t hug your toddler or eat a snack. And your arms got tired or you might find yourself slumping–all bad things for expressing milk.
Our top pick for best hands free pumping is the Simple Wishes Hands Free Breastpump Bra. Designed like a bustier, this cotton/spandex bra closes with a velcro back panel that can be adjusted up to 10″. To hold in the flanges of your favorite breast pump (it works with Medela, Avent, Lansinoh and Spectra pumps), the Simple Wishes uses four overlapping layers of fabric to keep your flange/bottles attached while you pump.
While we came across the occasional complaint that the Simple Wishes was not very durable, most moms in our testing like the soft fabric and customizable fit. Bottom line: we recommend the Simple Wishes Hands Free Breastpump Bra. (Photo credit: Amazon)