How To Use a Nursing Bra

Navigating motherhood is a complex and beautiful experience marked by a range of emotions and physical transformations. Among the many adjustments a new mother undertakes, the adoption of a nursing bra can be both practical and empowering. These bras offer new moms the convenience and comfort required for the breastfeeding stage while maintaining personal style and body confidence. Here’s a guide on how to go about using nursing bras effectively.

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What Is a Nursing Bra?

A nursing bra is a specially crafted undergarment that offers support to lactating breasts and aids in breastfeeding. These bras come equipped with cups that can be unclipped or pulled aside, allowing for easy access to the nipple during feeding sessions. They also offer added comfort through features such as wider straps and extra hooks and clasps for better support. Nursing bras come in a range of sizes and styles to accommodate varying breast sizes and personal preferences.

high tech clip cup nursing bra

Choosing the Right Nursing Bra

Choosing the right bra, with the right fit, is key to ensuring efficacy. With a multitude of options in the market, pinpointing the perfect nursing bra is more than just a matter of style — it’s about knowing your body and its needs. At Leonisa, we offer pullover nursing bras and ones that hook in the back.

Your Pregnancy Stage

Initially, your pregnancy stage should be the primary factor to consider. Within the first 20 weeks of your pregnancy, your cup size will grow significantly, and your rib cage will expand, too. Consider getting fitted for a maternity bra during this time, and make sure to leave enough room for future growth. Stretchy fabrics and adjustable straps are key features to look out for.

During the third trimester, your body will be preparing for milk production. Your breasts might start feeling tender and sore, emphasizing the need for a comfortable and supportive bra. Look for smooth fabrics like cotton or bamboo, which are gentle on the skin and offer breathability.

After you give birth, your breasts will continue to change as they start producing milk. It’s a good idea to wait until your milk supply is established (usually after six weeks) before investing in multiple nursing bras. At this stage, your breasts will be fuller and heavier, so make sure to choose a bra with adjustable straps and full-coverage cups for maximum support.

Fit Guide

A good rule of thumb is to add one cup size and one band size to your usual pre-pregnancy bra size. For example, if you were a 34C before pregnancy, your nursing bra size would be a 36D. This allows for potential growth and swelling during pregnancy.

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multipurpose pullover seamless sleep bra

Time of Day and Occasion

It’s a good idea to have a variety of nursing bras to suit different activities, times of the day and even moods. For instance, during the day, a soft and breathable nursing bra with a flexible fit and great support is ideal for running errands or going to work. During the night, a comfortable sleep bra with easy access for breastfeeding will make those late-night feedings easier.

Tips for Using Nursing Bras

In order to get the most out of your nursing bras, it’s essential to understand their primary care and how to handle common breastfeeding issues. Some important tips on how to use a nursing bra include the following.

Washing Guide

Launder nursing bras by using the gentle cycle in your washing machine or hand washing them in cold water. Make sure to air dry them afterward to maintain their elasticity. Use a mild detergent formulated for delicate fabrics. Avoid using fabric softeners or dryer sheets, as these can hinder the bra’s absorbency, damaging the fabric and compromising the integrity of the nursing pad.


Store your nursing bras flat or folded neatly in a drawer to keep them in good condition. Don’t hang them; this can stretch out the fabric and cause discomfort when wearing.

Breastfeeding Concerns

If you experience engorgement or leaking while breastfeeding, consider investing in a nursing bra with additional padding or absorbent material. This added padding will help keep your clothes dry and prevent any leaks.

For sore or cracked nipples, look for nursing bras with soft cotton lining to minimize friction and irritation. Applying nipple cream before putting on your bra can also provide relief and protection.

high tech clip cup nursing bra in white

Some nursing bras come with removable pads, which can be helpful for adjusting the level of support and comfort needed throughout the day. You may also want to consider purchasing multiple bras in different styles and sizes to accommodate changes in breast size during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Improve Your Nursing Experience

By understanding and harnessing the full potential of nursing bras and postpartum shapewear, you can significantly enhance your breastfeeding experience. From choosing the right size and style to integrating them into daily life and ensuring proper maintenance, these bras are designed to support all aspects of the maternal adventure. So, don’t hesitate to invest in high-quality nursing bras and enjoy the comfort and convenience they provide.

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