Jessica sent a question about nursing bras — where can she get one that fits without spending tons of money?

old_bras My nursing bras are making me miserable. My 32F bra is too loose in the band and too tight in the cups. I have found a few online that I think would be the correct size but are very expensive — we’re talking upwards of $70. Do I really have to suck it up and order the $70 bras without even trying them on?

Where are the bras for women who now have a huge rack due to pregnancy/breastfeeding? Or better yet — is there a creative DIY way to convert a regular bra into a nursing bra?

Comments on Help! My nursing bra sucks

  1. Hot Milk is cute (I don’t know if they work well or not – I don’t have babies yet)
    figleaves.com is the only place I buy bras now because they are usually 50% cheaper than anywhere else

  2. I’ll second Nordstrom’s customer service. I returned a bra they fitted me with after I’d already worn it – it might have helped that I was pregnant and almost in tears. But, they told me up front that they only carry one nursing bra in my size and customers aren’t all that happy with it.

    Jessi: It looks like Break Out Bras that was recommended by a couple of people carries small bands and larger cups. And they do free shipping! They also have what looks like a really useful sizing page. Now I can’t wait to get out of this stupid minimizer (that was the only other one Nordstroms had in my size) but Break Out says to wait until three weeks after the baby gets here…

    • I do like Nordstrom. They have such a variety of sizes. I got my first nursing bras there, but I was still pregnant. I know it’s usually not recommended, but I was bursting out of the bras I was wearing, and I thought I would need something for right away after the birth. So, maybe my ribcage was bigger when I was pregnant, but they never really fit quite right. I might just go back there and get re-sized. I think I bought my sleep bras from Break Out… I love those!

  3. I went from a 36DD to a 40E by the time I was 4 months pregnant. I tried to stay in my regular bras for the longest time, because I love underwire and the support is wonderful.

    However, the time came when I had to cave and admit that I needed a new bra for the time being. Surprisingly, it was easier than shopping for a new regular bra.

    Since I am going to need a nursing bra once the baby is born, I got them now. Found them at Motherhood Maternity, particularly the Pea in a Pod brand with no underwire, and a one cup size larger because apparently these puppies will grow a bit more once my milk comes in. So 40F… at about $40 a piece (which is the same I would normally pay for a regular bra). I tried the underwire ones but the cups all were ridiculously smaller than what they said they were sized at. I am almost 7 months along now, and they have been wonderful. Not exactly the sexiest thing I’ve worn, but they sure are comfortable and do the job.

    Though I love those nursing cami’s that Ariel mentioned above. Those things are God-sends. <3

  4. Bravado makes the best stuff for the small waisted large chested bunch which can be hard to shop for. I was only a 34C before pregnancy and got up to a 34DD quickly while pregnant. Now that I am nursing I am a 34F/G. Very hard to find this size. I think for early breastfeeding days before you get close to being one size, the bravado body silk and original nursing bra have been awesome. They have good sizing and allow you to customize 🙂 I also love my bravado nursing tank. It actually supports my tata’s! Anything else just looks like a joke on my giant boobs. I think the price of these at about $40 ea isn’t bad at all. I have also heard that you aren’t supposed to wear underwires for the first couple of weeks of breastfeeding because it impedes milk/blood/lymph flow.

    Good luck ladies! I love my bravado bras!

  5. I second the Bravado bra! I am a j/k now with nursing with about a 36band size and their bras are super comfy! also try ample mama .com too- they have lots!

  6. I appreciate this post SO much! I was a 44 G pre-pregnancy and can fill out an H cup since pregnancy and am slightly terrified at what size I’ll be once my milk comes in. I have checked out many of the sites listed here…hotmilk etc as well as a few others I’ve found and haven’t found my size combo yet. I did find a nursing bra that fitat my local motherhood maternity store, but find it isn’t very supportive. Good luck on your search and I’ll keep looking too.

  7. I am your girl!! I have been converting regular bras to nursing bras locally (Phoenix, AZ) for awhile now, and just (barely) opened an etsy shop. Email me for more info, but for just a few dollars, I can convert you favorite bra into a fully functional and comfortable nursing bra. I recommend going into a lingerie store for a fitting, but even buying an expensive bra and converting it to a nursing bra is cheaper and fits much better than a good nursing bra.

  8. I went for spending the money. I rationalized it by thinking this isn’t going to be my only baby and I may be nursing for the next eight years.
    I went to intimacy in Atlanta. I bought regular highly structured bras and they altered them by adding clips where the strap meets the cup. The girl told me that cups that are lace on the upper half are great for containing the fluctuations in milk throughout the day. I love them. I spent money buying cheap bras that didn’t do the job and I’m glad I finally bought nice ones. I’m a 34J and love my underwires!

  9. have you been fitted for a bra? or you could do what i did… and try on a different size. seriously! i used to wear a 36 or a 38 D. 36 fit in the band but the cups were too small. 38 fit in the cup but the band was too small. so after years of this. i finally tied on a 36 DD, and now i finally have a bra that FITS!!!! 😀

  10. When I was 6 months along I switched to nursing bras because my old ones wouldn`t fit. Although I´m much smaller built (like, dd after the milk came in) I completely relied on h&m nursing bras, they have much bigger sizes in stock where I live. Main argument for me was that they´re really inexpensive compared to other brands.

  11. It’s so nice to read all these comments and see that I’m not the only one having a hard time with this.
    Right now I’m wearing a 36/38 G/H depending on manufacturer. I got an Elomi nursing bra that fits OK, but not as well as I would like, plus the clips are almost impossible to work one handed.
    I’ve ended up basically living in the Bravado nursing tanks, they actually provide some good support without driving me crazy (I’ve always been the type to whip off anything constricting the second I got in the door at the end of the day).
    I’ve actually been pretty sad about my boobs being such a PROBLEM, instead of just getting to enjoy their magical transformation like some of my smaller breasted friends. (They are MAKING FOOD! That is so COOL! And here I am putting all this stress and money into trying to figure out how to clothe them.)

  12. I went up to a 36G with breastfeeding and the only bra I’ve found which is really supportive, comfortable and looks good is by Hot Milk. I also have some comfy but less supportive Bravado sports-top style bras which are great. As far as nursing tanks go, the only ones I found that are supportive enough to wear on their own without looking obscene are by Bravado as well. These are all, unfortunately, quite expensive but I think at this size there simply aren’t cheap options that are going to work properly. I’ve ordered all mine online (in Australia) and just return the ones that don’t fit for a refund.

  13. Reading everyone’s facts & figures made me remember that I went from 32B to 34EE last time. Argh.

  14. I wear a 36H, and I have GREAT luck with Bravado Bodysilk in XL. It comes in black, white, tan, and pinks. It’s a comfy, wirefree bra, with one hand snap. Love it! If it’s okay to say, I order mine from momsmilkboutique.com because they always have cool coupons through their facebook. Last time they sent a free amber necklace. If you order the bra through bravado check out retailmenot.com sometimes they have %25 off discount codes you can enter at checkout. So, $40 or free stuff. Kinda cool.

  15. I am a 30 G and do my bra shopping at figleaves.com. They usually have sale going on and have a great selection of nursing and non-nursing bras. They even have cup sized maternity swim suits!

    their own brand is usually $20-$40 for a bra and goes up to a G cup. the cheapest unwired maternity bra they have now is $33 and goes from 32B-40G.

  16. I have 42Fs and I wore nursing tanks most of the time. Luckily, I am pretty perky, so it wasn’t a big deal for me to just wear tanks, but I found some pretty supportive ones at our local Walmart, bestform brand.

  17. My issues with finding a good nursing bra are: (1) I can’t do underwire because I tend to get plugged ducts (ouch!), and (2) my boobs vary size so much over the course of the day that most formed bras are too big one hour and too small the next. What I’ve found to be best–and not especially expensive–are the Basics by Bravado Stella bras that are sold at Target for $23. They aren’t super supportive like a formed underwire, because they are microfiber and wireless, but they are incredibly comfortable and they fit no matter how big or small my boobs grow during the day (I vary between a 34D and 34E and I bought the medium). They don’t make bras over DDD size but they are good for those in the D range.

    http://www.basicsbybravado.com/products/stella-nursing-bra

  18. I am a small band/very large cup size, like many others here. I wasn’t able to find a nursing bra that fit and I couldn’t afford to keep trying. Instead, I made sure I was properly fitted and invested in a few bras with easy-access. Then, I just wore tanks under my shirts so that I could nurse without everyone seeing my belly or boobs. It worked out well!

  19. I didn’t see it already mentioned, so I HAVE TO speak up for Decent Exposures.
    I tried every one of the bras mentioned here. I’m a 36F when nursing. I agree that you should go to a fitting. Decent Exposures bras are handmade to your specifications and fabric choices. You can customize any part, and send it back for free adjustments (I think for the first month?). I had crazy customizations–shorter straps, elastic stitched inside out. I was VERY wary of anything with an underwire because I didn’t want to get plugged ducts. But I tried everything, and every bra was extremely uncomfortable–just not designed to handle and distribute the weight for large, milk-heavy breasts!
    Best of luck.

  20. I have the opposite endowment issue, but I’ve found that front closure bras are super simple to use for nursing.

  21. I’m also a 32F, and I sucked it up and bought the expensive Nordstrom bras, thinking I’d just return them if they sucked. I’ve been thrifty in every other area of baby shopping so I think this was reasonable. Actually I bought one bra off eBay too but it wound up being too small when my milk came in.

  22. Go here:

    http://www.wizardofbras.com/nursing.aspx

    I am an everyday 30G. Who knows what I will be when I am nursing, but they have great bras in large and hard to fit sizes. They have some in the $35 range. It is a great store and for $7 they will even alter your bras when they no longer fit.

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