Plus size maternity bras for pregnancy and beyond

Plus size maternity bras

by Hannah Carroll |
Updated on

Trying to find maternity bras and clothing as a plus-size woman is notoriously difficult. And although the highstreet is getting better, it can be hard to know where to find the best plus sized maternity clothes or bras. Add an ever-expanding chest and a growing bump - it can feel like mission impossible. Most stores only stock a limited selection of cup and back sizes. An ill-fitting bra will lead to discomfort - the complete opposite of how you want to feel when you're growing a human being. Having the right bra will leave you feeling confident, comfortable and well-supported. Fear not, we have found the best plus-size maternity bras that you will love.

What is a maternity bra?

When you are growing your baby, you may notice that your breasts will begin to grow as well. For some women, this happens as early as six weeks pregnant, others don't notice a change until their final trimester.

As your breasts grow, you will probably notice that your trusted favourite bra no longer fits. An ill-fitted bra can cause poor posture, back pain and neck pain. Maternity bras are designed with comfort in mind and relieve you of some of these symptoms. Usually, they have been made from a stretchy fabric, with adjustable straps and a more spacious back span.

When should you start to wear a maternity bra?

You should invest in a good maternity bra as soon as you feel uncomfortable in your pre-pregnancy lingerie. There is no set rule of when you this will happen. For each woman, it will be different but most find this happens towards the end of their first trimester.

How to tell if a maternity bra fits well

It is really important that your maternity bra fits comfortably. Here is our guide to telling if your bra fits well:

• Your entire breast should sit comfortably within your maternity bra without bulging from the sides or above

• The straps should not be digging into your shoulders or feel tight

• Choose a bra which fits on the tightest hook, this will allow room for growth

• The front and back of the bra should sit flat against your body comfortably

Are maternity bras necessary?

As your baby grows so will your body and especially your breasts. An ill-fitted bra could cause your breast to become inflamed or irritated. In pregnancy, your breasts are more sensitive and a restrictive bra will put more pressure on your chest. This is why many mums opt to wear nursing and maternity bras throughout the day and even at bedtime. The bras offer added support which can often make you more comfortable throughout the day and night.

Best plus size maternity bras 2023

Best maternity bra for large busts

This nursing bra from Elomi is available in sizes 36F to 44HH. It is designed to offer the utmost support and comfort to women with larger breasts. We love that this bra is both pretty and practical. 

Review: "This bra is really comfortable. It has great support for a nursing bra, especially for larger breasts. It looks great too. The best nursing bra I have worn."

Pros

  • Sexy design
  • Designed for full figures

Cons

  • Hand wash only

Best cheap maternity bra

This super soft seamless bra offers comfort at an affordable price. The bra has been made from a spandex-nylon blend making it both comfortable and machine washable. The best part is that this pack comes with not one but two bras.

Review: "Very comfortable to wear. They come with an inserted pad inside which you can remove. I removed mine as they look a bit odd under my t-Shirt. But otherwise, the bra sits nicely and is very comfortable throughout the day and night."

Pros

  • Machine washable
  • Price

Cons

  • Can lose their shape after washing

Best maternity bra with removal pads
BRAVADO BODY SILK SEAMLESS MATERNITY & NURSING BRAJojo Maman Bebe
Alternative retailers
Macy's$49.00View offer
Target$49.00View offer

This comfy bra moulds to the shape of your breasts whilst supporting them in place. This bra has removable padding which can become a real hindrance if you already have big breasts. 

Review: "This bra is amazing. It gives such a nice shape - I actually feel attractive wearing it! Also, it’s super comfy."

Pros

  • Removable pads
  • Seamless design
  • Double layer fabric

Cons

  • Limited sizes available

Best maternity bra without clips
NON-PADDED CAMI SLEEP BRABravissimo

If you are not planning on breastfeeding you may want a bra which doesn't have clip straps. This non-padded sleep bra has thick straps with extra padding to provide increased comfort. Although this bra is a little more restrictive than the others on this list, it is very supportive and comfortable.

Women who plan to breast feed may be interested in the nursing sleep bra with clips.

This is the best sleep bra I've ever worn. It is soft, comfortable and supportive - and looks great too!

Review: "This is the best sleep bra I've ever worn. It is soft, comfortable and supportive - and looks great too!"

Pros

  • Supportive
  • Clipless straps

Cons

  • Can be restrictive

Best maternity bra with underwire

The Hotmilk Lunar Eclipse Plunge Flexi Wired Nursing Bra is perfect for mums who still want to feel sexy. The plunge-wired design is perfect to wear with a low-cut top. This bra has been created with a flexible wire which is more comfortable than traditional bra wires. Hotmilk bras have six rows of hook and eye fastenings to allow for changes in your diaphragm as the baby grows. Lastly, it has magnetic clips making breastfeeding much easier. 

Review: "Was a bit sceptical to start with as this bra has a magnet instead of hooks, thought this would not hold (cup size GG), however after trying this out I would not change it for the world! This is so comfortable, so easy to undo and feed the baby, as well as "buckle up" it can be done with one hand."

Pros

  • Padded
  • Magnetic straps

Cons

  •  Not suitable to use for mothers with pacemakers or defibrillators

Best maternity bra for heavy breasts
Original Extended Cup Nursing BraBravado Designs

This bra has been created and tested for heavier breasts. Bravado uses its own 'B' nursing clips to make breastfeeding easier. The Original Extended Cup Nursing Bra has been tested on 25lb breasts with no spillage. This bra is made from sustainable cotton, so it is gentle on the skin. 

Reviews: "I discovered bravado four months into motherhood and the bras have been life-changing. I am a 36HH and really struggled to find a bra that was comfortable, supportive and breastfeeding friendly...Enter bravado! Amazing support and shape, comfortable to wear, impressive fabric quality and easy to breastfeed from. Don’t feel put off by the different sizing guide, it is accurate. The bras have a slight stretch to them so adapt to changing boob size when breastfeeding!
I did actually cry with happiness after a day of wearing this bra because I finally felt comfortable in my own skin after four months of constant uncomfortableness. Highly, highly recommend!"

Pros

  • Suitable for large breasts
  • Wide bottom band for added comfort

Cons

  • Limited styles

Best maternity bra with back support

If you are looking for a bra with a little bit more back support this is a fantastic option. The straps are set in towards the centre which helps to evenly spread the weight of your breasts. For larger cup sizes this bra also has a three-hook fastening for extra support and comfort.

Review:  " The best bra I have ever worn. Extremely comfortable, and super supportive and the straps don’t slide off my shoulders. Highly recommended."

Pros

  • Non wire bra
  • Non padded

Cons

  • Only one colour option

FAQs

Do I need a maternity bra if I'm not breastfeeding?

Maternity bras are not just for women who plan to breastfeed. However, they do make it easier if you do. This is because most maternity bras have small clips on the straps which makes it easier for you to breastfeed.

Can you wear a maternity bra when you aren't pregnant?

Oh, one hundred per cent. Maternity bras are the comfiest bras ever made - which seems like an oxymoron. As long as your maternity bra still fits comfortably there is no reason to not wear it after pregnancy or in our case when your children are toddlers. They may not be the sexiest lingerie and for some outfits, you may want to opt for a different style of bra.

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How we write our articles and reviews
Mother & Baby is dedicated to ensuring our information is always valuable and trustworthy, which is why we only use reputable resources such as the NHS, reviewed medical papers, or the advice of a credible doctor, GP, midwife, psychotherapist, gynaecologist or other medical professionals. Where possible, our articles are medically reviewed or contain expert advice. Our writers are all kept up to date on the latest safety advice for all the products we recommend and follow strict reporting guidelines to ensure our content comes from credible sources. Remember to always consult a medical professional if you have any worries. Our articles are not intended to replace professional advice from your GP or midwife.