From seamless to stylish, these brands will support you
A maternity bra, sometimes referred to as a pregnancy bra, is a key item in every mum-to-be’s wardrobe. While the world of feeding itself can be a minefield – from breastfeeding to expressing, nipple shields to nipple balms – finding a comfortable maternity bra will make life a whole lot easier.
Your maternity bra checklist should include soft material, good support, nursing clips you can undo with one hand and ideally something that still gives you confidence under your clothes.
Before you look for the style you like you’ll want to be fitted by an expert. Every woman is different but as a general rule of thumb you'll probably want to start wearing a maternity bra towards the end of the first trimester. ‘A woman’s breasts change a lot throughout pregnancy and maternity bras are tailored to help with this. We recommend getting fitted every trimester so you always have the right fit,’ says Tanya Patel, founder of specialist maternity and nursing brand Lily and Ribbon.
Rather than just sizing up your usual bra, invest in a ‘maternity’ or ‘nursing’ bra designed to be worn when pregnant or breastfeeding. Maternity bras use stretchy breathable material, they are usually big enough to fit breast pads in to soak up excess milk, and they come with clips securing the cups to the straps to give your baby easy access to your breasts.
When it comes to a good fit, Tanya says, ‘You’re looking for a comfortable fit, with no bulges and straps that aren’t too tight. Look for a bra with more back adjusters than a normal bra so it can grow with your changing shape.’
The majority of maternity bras are non-wired because it’s thought underwire can put pressure on your milk glands, however according to breastfeeding specialists La Leche League there is no concrete evidence for this. Bras with underwire can be just as safe, especially for women with a larger bust who need the support for their back, but they are perhaps not as comfortable for your expanding ribcage.
Keep scrolling for the maternity bras with big promises and the styles WH staffers wear on repeat.