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how many nursing bras do I need

When it comes to comfort during the breastfeeding phase, nursing bras can make a big difference. Not only do they make the process more convenient anytime and anywhere, but they provide ample support, making the experience more pleasant for you overall.

So it goes without saying that you’ll be shopping for some nursing bras to add to your collection — the only question is: How many nursing bras do you need? This guide should help you decide.

Basic guidelines

As a general rule, it’s safe to say that you’ll need at least three nursing bras — and that is definitely the bare minimum. That way, when one is in the wash you’ll still have one to wear and one to spare as a backup.

A word to the wise: as with your regular bras, it’s important to stick to a policy of quality over quantity. It’s better to opt for fewer high-quality nursing bras than to have more cheap ones in your rotation. Nursing bras are doing more heavy lifting than your pre-pregnancy bras, and moreover, you may find yourself wearing them more often (perhaps even to bed). If you invest in bras that are well constructed, you can be sure you remain consistently comfortable throughout the breastfeeding process, and you also don’t have to keep shelling out for new nursing bras as low-quality undergarments tend to wear out much quicker.

Related: When To Buy Nursing Bras

Key considerations

All of that said, there are certain factors that will affect just how many nursing bras you need. If you’re breastfeeding in the summer, for example, you’ll likely be sweating more, which means you’ll need to wash them more often (and therefore will need a couple extra styles in your collection). Also, if you find you’re dealing with frequent leaking, you’ll probably want additional nursing bras in your arsenal just in case. On top of that, you should take into account how frequently you do laundry. If you’re doing loads on the daily, then you’ll probably find three to four nursing bras are sufficient, but you’ll certainly need more in your collection if you only do laundry a couple times a week or less.

Some new moms feel more comfortable wearing a sleep bra at night. A sleep bra typically has less suspension in the straps and somewhat softer elastic bands, as well as a criss-cross style that makes night feedings a lot easier. So in addition to your everyday nursing bras, you may want to include one of these ultra-comfy styles, which are also a great option for lounging around the house. Or, if you’re looking for a layering piece, a nursing tank can be a nice alternative to have — many of them offer ample support as well as discreet nursing.


The bottom line? Somewhere between three to six nursing bras should suffice — but the exact number in that range depends on multiple factors. Regardless of how many you buy, keep in mind that machine washing and drying your bras will drastically shorten their lifespan, so it’s best to hand wash them. It’s important to note that having more nursing bras in your collection will help them last longer. Wearing the same bra two days in a row can wreak havoc on the elasticity of the fabric (thus compromising the fit), so if you have more styles in your rotation, you can give them a rest between uses and allow them some time to recover.

Related: Where To Buy Maternity Bras

We Highly Recommend

Whether you’re shopping for new everyday bras or lingerie for a special occasion, it’s always a good idea to seek out a second opinion. We know how hard it is to find bras that fit well and feel good, especially when you’re doing it on your own. If you’ve ever felt unsure about your bra size or you just don’t know where to go to find good bras, it’s time to let a bra fitter help.

Many specialty lingerie boutiques offer bra fittings. Their expert bra fitters will take the pain and frustration out of bra shopping and do all the work for you. Even better, their product knowledge can save you time and money. Plus, they know where all of the best bras are hiding.

If you’ve struggled with finding bras in the right size, it’s time to make a change. Visit our specialty store locator to find a store near you and schedule an appointment.

Happy bra shopping!

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Published by

Rebecca Strong

Rebecca is a Boston-based freelance writer who focuses on style, fitness, food, and travel. She has contributed to such publications as HuffPost, Elite Daily and U.S. News & World Report. When she's not writing, she can be found at home or in the studio working on the songs for her upcoming album. Her favorite bra is a black demi-cup style with all-over-lace — timeless and feminine.

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