During pregnancy and nursing, the best nursing sports bra will help to prevent any sagging, in addition to stopping your super-sensitive chest from hurting during exercise, so you can get fit whilst preventing damage to your breasts.
If you’ve decided to get back on the workout wagon or up the ante now that you’re able to, a reliable sports bra that doubles up as a nursing bra becomes extra essential during these months and is perfect for holding everything in place. Especially as breasts during this time seem to take on a life of their own!
•Best for intensity: Syrokan High Impact Front Adjustable Sports Bra
•Best for comfort: Natal Active Artemis Maternity and Nursing Sports Bra
•Best for breathability: Nike Alate Lightly Lined Nursing Sports Bra
•Best for versatility: Bravissimo HOTMILK REACTIVE NURSING SPORTS BRA
Some varieties are similar to breast pump bras and have removable cups, which are perfect for when you want more support but also need to get the baby to latch on quickly if they're hungry, so you don't have to get changed before feeding them. Others also have an elasticated band and adjustable straps that will comfortably adapt to your body as your chest grows and changes.
With so many options on the market, it can be overwhelming to try and find the right sports bra for nursing fit for you, so we've compiled a list of some of our favourite brands which have both petite and plus sizes for you to peruse.
Best nursing sports bras 2023
Best for style
With a super trendy design, this H&M sports bra is available in multiple colours and can be used
- Affordable price
- Cute cropped design
- More suited to walk or low intensity, rather than high impact
Best for reliability
With its moisture-wicking, fast-drying fabric, this nursing sports bra from top sports apparel
- Padding is easy to remove
- Non-wired comfort
- Don't wash with fabric softener
Best for intensity
If you find bra clips fiddly, the clever hook and eye Velcro tying straps of this moulded-cup bra
- Secure keyhole closure
- Wide straps help to distribute weight evenly
- Some users mention that it's not the quickest to put on
Best for comfort
Natal Active are a brand focused on making maternity activewear comfortable. Not only will this
- Machine washable
- Bright colour
- Doesn't include a cup size
Best for transitioning
For more low-impact sports like walking, yoga, Pilates, or mat-work and stretching, this
- Non-restrictive elasticated band
- Simple pull-on style
- Some report that it runs small
Best for breathability
Keep it simple with this high-quality sports bra made for use during pregnancy and nursing. The
- Super soft brushed fabric
- Special mesh inner panel
- Not ideal for high intensity workouts
Best for keeping cool
Good old trusty H&M has this awesome and stylish nursing sports bra with many great features, such
- Cooling racerbrack
- Can be ironed
- Not suitable for dry cleaning
Best for easy access
A simple nursing bra with high performance, breathable fabric that will see you throughout your
- Great for yoga or the gym
- Breathable mesh
- No varying colour options
Best for versatility
Don’t let the underwire in this Hotmilk nursing sports bra worry you; it’s super flexible and all
- Adjustable straps
- Flexi-wires are very thin
- Straps may loosen over time
Best for longevity
Brand Lorna Jane has a tonne of maternity activewear, from maternity bike shorts to feeding tops,
- Straps are nice and thin
- Wide coverage
- Perhaps not the most the most stylish of choices
Why choose a supportive nursing sports bra?
Breasts are composed of fatty tissue supported by skin and fragile ligaments, which can become stretched during repetitive or high impact sport.
This happens even more so when the breasts are bigger or swollen during those body-changing pregnancy and post-partum months, so just like you need to buy a maternity bra, you also need one specifically for exercise too.
The best nursing sports bras will help reduce movement, giving you a comfier, more supported workout while also protecting the chest.
How to choose the best sports bra
Victoria Shelton, a garment technologist from Figleaves.com, tells us, “Your sports bra should be a snug fit. Once you’ve got the bra on, stand in front of the mirror and move your arms around,” she advises.
“Your bra shouldn’t move or lift. Next, try jogging and jumping on the spot. Your breasts should be fully encased with no movement. If they are spilling out the neckline or underarm, try a bigger cup size.
Sports bras are designed to fit snugly and to provide firm support so will feel tighter than a normal bra, but they shouldn’t feel restrictive or rub.”
Kat De Naoum is a freelance writer based in the UK and Greece. She has written for many publications, and, as an advocate for female empowerment, loves to write about women’s issues, and helping fellow mothers feel supported and less alone.