Real mom review: “I bought this bra because I had a number of cute maternity dresses that needed a strapless bra, and at 25 weeks I cannot bear to wear underwire anymore, but there is no way I can go braless. This bra is so comfortable, offers great coverage, and has decent enough lift where I don't feel like I look sloppy. I bought two, and I may buy more after the baby as well because I just love it that much.” —Sarah via Motherhood Maternity
Pregnancy clothes don't have to consist of your hubby's oversized T-shirts and baggy sweatpants. From supportive halter neck tankini swimsuits to super-cute polka-dotted wrap tops, you can find stylish maternity clothes online that are cut to fit throughout pregnancy and nursing, making them a long-lasting, value-conscious choice. Stay trendy yet comfy in the office with a floral printed tunic and supportive leggings, or wow your partner during date night in a sleek wrap dress.
• Support. Breasts filled with milk are fuller (and heavier), so you’ll want more support than you had before baby. A supportive nursing bra also prevents sagging breasts after baby graduates from breastfeeding. “The band under the bust should be snug,” says New York City stylist Samantha Brown, but make sure the straps don’t cut into your shoulders. “An ill-fitting bra can impact a woman’s posture, and lead to strain and tension headaches,” Brown says.
During weeks 1 to 17 of your pregnancy, it’s important you choose a non-wired bra to leave room for your growing milk ducts. We have many supportive styles to choose from, including multipacks to keep you well-stocked. By weeks 18 to 28, you might find that a sleeping bra is necessary to keep you comfy at night – you are now snoozing for two, after all.
• Comfort. This should be at the top of your nursing bra must list during the first four to six weeks after having baby, says Stephanie Nguyen, founder of Modern Milk and a certified lactation consultant. She recommends stretchy nursing bras to accommodate the breast changes mom experiences during this time. “Look for nursing bras in soft fabrics,” Nguyen says. You'll also want to pick a maternity bra with thick back closures that have four or more hooks; wide, cushioned straps and a band that doesn't ride up in the back.
Wearing a pregnancy bra is all about taking the weight off your shoulders – quite literally. Maternity bras have adjustable four-hook fastenings, giving you more support than a regular bra. The straps are thicker and include padding to help support your growing bust and prevent rubbing. They’re also made from breathable fabrics like cotton to help keep you comfortable while your body temperature rises. If you find yourself feeling a little warmer than usual (carrying a little one can have that effect), we also have bra liners to help wick away any under-band moisture. We have even more helpful information about buying maternity bras in our online guide.