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Nursing bras are an important piece of clothing for parents that want to breastfeed their children, or that need to pump. The last thing that you want is to have to remove your bra for access when you can get special bras with removable flaps and supportive slings.
There are lots of great designs and styles now, including sports bras, lingerie-inspired models, and even some for tandem feeding and pumping. But, what should you get if you have larger breasts and need something just as comfortable and supportive?
Whether you look for nursing bras for large busts that happen to come in bigger sizes or deliberately search for plus-size nursing bras, there are various options. In this guide, I have compiled 11 of these products from a selection of popular brands. Before that, let’s talk more about finding the best nursing bras for large cup sizes. What features are available, are underwire nursing bras better, and how big should you go?
What to look for in the best nursing bras.
Let’s start with some of the considerations for nursing bras more generally. A good nursing bra needs to offer easy access for your hungry child. Often, this means releasing a clasp at the top of the cup to pull down the fabric and expose the breast within its supportive sling. But, you could also go for a pull-away option.
You also need to be sure that there is enough support and comfort for your breasts, especially if they are a little tender during the nursing period. Stretch fabrics with spandex and breathable cotton are a great place to start.
You can then decide if you want a full cup and lots of coverage or something more like a plunge bra for a little cleavage. An important part of this choice is whether or not to go for an underwire or wire-free bra.
Finally, a practical bra doesn’t have to mean a boring bra. Look out for color choices. Many brands stick with black and neutral tones, but there are some with heather effects or brighter patterns. You can also find some stylish designs with a bit of lace for femininity. This can be a great way to boost self-confidence.
Should you get an underwire or a non-wired nursing bra?
There are pros and cons to both options. There are a lot of women than find underwired bras to be the best option because they are more supportive. This may also be preferable if you are used to wires and don’t want your nursing bra to feel that different compared to a normal bra.
On the other hand, wires can be uncomfortable, especially if they start digging in at the end of the day. This could feel worse when your breasts are more tender, so a wire-free option could be more comfortable.
Which type of bra is best for a heavy bust?
Most companies recommend a fuller bra for larger busts because there is more coverage and support. There isn’t so much of a risk of spilling out or generally feeling like your breasts aren’t being kept in place. However, you have to consider the shape of the material and how much is seen underneath your clothing.
You can get bras with full cups that are more like camisole tops with lots of material at the top of the cleavage. While comfortable, they may not work so well with low-cut tops or button-up blouses. A plunge bra with supportive coverage and more cleavage may be better. It all comes down to personal needs in regard to comfort and style.
Are nursing bras bigger?
There is the belief that nursing bras tend to be bigger anyway, with more coverage than a standard bra. But, it all depends on the company and style. Lots of brands offer sports bra-style nursing bras that don’t look much different aside from pull-away material.
The same is true for some products that look like lingerie, just with the clasps and flaps. This does also mean that you have to be very careful when browsing product lines as you can get suitable and unsuitable bras for nursing mothers side-by-side where they look almost identical.
This similar size and shape are largely possible thanks to the materials used. There is often a good percentage of spandex or elastic in there so the cups stretch for a supportive fit around larger breasts.
How much you should size up for a nursing bra?
This use of stretchy material means that you don’t have to size up as much as you might expect. It will depend on if you want that tighter-fitting supportive bra or something more relaxing for feeds and sleeping.
The best way to get nursing bras for large breasts is to go a size up in both directions. That means on the band and in the cups – for example from a 36 D to a 36DD. This isn’t guaranteed to work for everyone, but it is a good starting point.
Some of the best nursing bras for large cup sizes.
Below are some of the best nursing bras for larger breasts. These are mostly split between three top brands that are currently available through Amazon.com. I have also included further information about each brand to show why they may be of interest to new mothers and what else you can get from them.
There is a mix of styles here, both in terms of the styles of bra and the way they incorporate features for nursing. This should offer a broader idea of what is available.
One thing I want to quickly mention before we start is the issue of sizing and the concept of “larger busts”. Not all brands and products have the same approach, nor the same range. Many of the products here come from European companies with a more precise band and cup measurement.
This could help you find a better fit. However, some go further through the alphabet than others so it is important to check the available options. Other brands have a more vague approach with clothing sizes, such as L to XXL. You then need to consult the company’s sizing chart to see which will be the better fit.
Kindred Bravely Nursing Bras For Large Breasts
The first company in this list is perhaps the most interesting for new parents. Kindred Bravely specialize in maternity items including various bras. They promise to support parents in more ways than one with practical nursing bras and an online community.
They also have a great attitude towards giving back to related charities, such as breast cancer support and the Human Milk Banking Association of North America. So, if you like their bras, I recommend checking them out to see their wider range.
The first choice from this company is this great seamless nursing bra. There is a good supportive structure to hold larger breasts in place and there is just enough stretch with the blend of 93% nylon and 7% spandex. All parents need to do is unclip the flaps and offer easy access.
The supportive band does all the heavy lifting. There is also the bonus of a range of colors including beige, black, grey, mocha, and twilight.
This product takes a much more relaxed approach with a different way of nursing your child. The racerback of this sportier design means no risk of hooks or rings digging in anywhere, although there is less support than in the other bra. the shape allows you to pull the material aside for easy access with no fiddly clasps.
The material is also soft and stretchy with 92% Rayon of Bamboo and 8% Spandex. This one goes up to XXL and comes in black, grey, pink, ivory, and beige.
Finally, I had to mention this option as an alternative for busy parents. This is their patented solution for tandem feeding and pumping. If that is something you are interested in doing to save time, you could find that this is the design for you. There is a similar approach for feeding with the EasyClip system for the flaps.
But, there is also a way of holding the flange for a breast pump for hand’s free operation. It is 84% Nylon and 16% Spandex, goes up to size XXL, and comes in beige, black, pink, and heather.
Elomi Nursing Bras For Large Busts.
While Kindred Bravely nursing bras for large breasts come from a dedicated company, Elomi is a little different. This UK-based company makes great lingerie that is now available to order through US sellers.
This includes some attractive nursing bras that aren’t too different from their standard line. Elomi is relatively new to the industry, having started in 2008, but has lots of happy customers. This is largely down to their determination to cater to plus-sized women.
Therefore, this means some larger cup sizes in many of their popular products. You may find a nursing bra you love and then a standard version to wear later on.
First up, we have the very stretchy and lacy Molly. There is a nice blend of 63% Polyester, 21% Polyamide-Nylon, 10% Elastane, and 6% Cotton. The supportive shape of the cups offers peace of mind while the lace adds some style not seen in other bras so far.
There are also lots of sizes with bands from 36-44 and cups from F-KK. It is comfortable and easy to use with clasps and foam sling. It is just a shame it is only in black.
Next, I want to show you a similar option with added support. This underwire bra isn’t much different – you just get that extra wire to hold you in place a little better. You still get great coverage with a comfortable material, easy-access flaps, and a full-circle sling.
It is 91% Polyester , 6% Nylon and 3% Elastane. There aren’t as many size options in these Elomi bras compared to other plus-size brands. But, you may still find a suitable option in either the black or nude version.
Finally, we have this soft cup option for added comfort and support without the wires. The softness comes from a nice blend of fibers in the fabric. There is 77% Nylon, 9% Cotton, 9% Modal and 5% Elastane. It may not be as stretchy but it feels nice.
The cotton is found in the seams to make them less likely to cause irritation. There are also soft microfiber cups that should be moisture-wicking to keep the skin dry. However, this wicking process could lead to moisture seeping through to clothing without additional nursing pads.
The full coverage and large sizes are also great for larger breasts and you get an easy-to-use squeeze-release clasp.
Playtex Nursing Bras For Heavy Busts.
The next brand under the spotlight is Playtex. This is someone on the opposite end of the scale to Elomi nursing bras for a couple of reasons. First of all, this is an established company with ranges dating back to 1947. Second, they are more affordable depending on your size. They are a great company to turn to for bulk buying underwear rather than special pieces of lingerie.
This first option is one that seems to tick all the right boxes for comfort and practical features. This is a 4- way TruSupport bra with stretch material for a supportive fit.
That means 92% Polyester and 8% Spandex. You then get foam cups in the wire-free design with a strong sling for support while feeding. Access comes from the QuickStrap clips on the flaps. Added benefits are the XXXL size option and the choice of colors – black, heather, denim, and gray.
There isn’t much to say about this underwire model because it is so similar to the one above. There is the same comfortable fit and the same practical features for nursing. You get 92% Polyester and 8% Spandex for that stretch fit but just have that flexible wire beneath for added support.
The obvious downside here is the lack of size options. I had to include this as the obvious alternative to the unwired bra, but for some reason, this only goes up to a large. This means 42D/DD, which may not be large enough.
Finally, I wanted to mention a different sort of product. So far, all of the top nursing bras in this guide are single items. But, a pack of bras can be a practical solution.
This 2-pack offers two sleep bras with the same relaxed fit and pull-away material as the Kindred Bravely bra before. You can pull it on offer your head, get comfortable in the soft 56% Cotton, 38% Polyester, and 6% Spandex fabric, and offer access with ease.
It goes up to XXL and has some fun colors and patterns in the sets. It is just a shame some parents don’t feel as well supported.
Additional Nursing Bras For Large Cup Sizes
Finally, I want to talk about a couple of alternative products from other brands that may be of interest. The first caught my eye because of the unusual practical design while the latter comes from a brand with a great message. They show that while some companies have a well-deserved place at the top of the tree, there are some hidden gems around if you search for them.
Cake Maternity is all about providing items for “the mindful mama”. There is an emphasis on natural materials and sustainability in this Australian-design company.
There is a lot going on with this model as it is both a relaxed sports nursing bra and a hands-free solution. You can pull it on and get great support from the 4-way cotton-based stretch fabric and then make use of the openings in the inside layer for hands-free pumping as needed.
The bra comes in a range of fun designs, including bright trims, and goes up to size XL. The pull-on style isn’t for everyone and there are some that feel it is too relaxed.
Which nursing bra for larger breasts should you get?
I often end these guides by recommending one product over another because of its features or practicality. However, bra shopping is so subjective that I can’t focus on one option. Just because I like the idea of a stretchier seamless sports bra doesn’t mean that everyone else will. If you know that an underwire bra is best for your shape and you want something that feels more like a normal bra, go for it.
There is always going to be a gamble when you get a nursing bra for larger breasts. The confusion of sizes can make it difficult to know which to get, even if you stick with the rule of one size up from normal. You may find that one company’s XL is roomier than another’s XXL. That is why you should try them on with the tags on first so it is easier to make an exchange.
You might not get the right option the first time here but there are at least plenty of styles and shapes out there. If you struggle with the pull-down clasps then look at an option that opens from the front or a pull-away material.
Also, remember that you don’t have to have a massive sports bra that covers the whole chest when so many lingerie brands have nursing bras too. Find the shape that works for you, in a color you love and a size that is supportive and comfortable.