Finding the best pumping bra for breastfeeding depends on a few factors and research. Pumping bras vary in what they offer, and what works for one woman may not work for you.
It may seem redundant that there are so many different pumping bras, but there’s a reason.
We aren’t all the same size; we don’t have the exact needs; some women need a supportive bra, while others look for comfort.
Some are looking for a nursing bra that they can use as a pumping bra, and others are just searching for a hands-free pumping bra because they don’t latch their child onto their breasts.
This article will dig deep to give you various options for women of all sizes and needs.
If you need a pumping bra to pump hands-free at home or work, you’ll find it here.
If you need a nursing bra to latch your baby on at home or on the go, you’ll find the best ones here.
In this article, you will find our recommended best pumping bra to suit your pumping and nursing needs.
Best maternity bras
Many maternity bras tend to cater to women whose chests will be tender, growing, and starting to fill with milk.
Many of them can double as nursing bras, and a select few can even be used as pumping bras.
Any bra can be a nursing or a pumping bra if you don’t mind shifting things around.
The following are some of the best maternity bras that can give you comfort before your baby and are pretty comfortable for wear even after a baby.
Regardless of pregnancy, you can’t beat a good, comfy bra.
Cake Maternity Lotus Maternity Bra
This is a wireless, high-impact, stretchy fabric maternity bra that is also a pumping bra.
They come in cute colors and designs and work for women’s sizes ranging from extra small to extra large.
This bra is also compatible with just about any breast pump you may have, which is a significant plus. You can pump hands-free, work out, prepare for baby, or just lounge around the house.
Like many hands-free pumping bras, the pull-down style adds convenience, and the material is stretchy nylon and spandex so that it won’t be a fight getting the panel pulled down far enough to pump.
Best pumping bra
Pumping bras are not typically meant to double as nursing bras. However, many nursing bras can be used as pumping bras.
If you aren’t sure whether you plan to nurse or also use a breast pump exclusively, it may be a good idea to get a couple of each style or a nursing bra that doubles as an excellent pumping bra.
Pump Strap Hands-Free Strapless Pumping Bra
The Pump Strap pumping bra is for the big-chested ladies. From sizes DD to J cup, this is one thick band of material that goes over your torso.
The slits are placed so you can fit the breast shields over your nipples for the best hands-free pumping possible while lending some support to large, heavier breasts.
With adjustable straps made of velcro, you can ensure that you get a snug fit that matches your sizing.
There is also an optional neck strap for added support if you need it.
It only comes in one color, thick and not exactly “pretty,” but it gets the job done, and women swear by it.
Simple wishes bra
This is a versatile bra you can wear strapless as a pump strap.
You can also use the straps as a regular pumping bra. Equipped with velcro straps rather than hooks, this can be custom-fit to your specific size, making it one of the best pumping bras if you find between bra sizes and need a snug fit.
This bra is made for everyone, sizes A to J, which beats out most pumping bras regarding inclusion.
This can also be used as a nursing bra because a zipper on the front can quickly render you ready to nurse.
It fits most breast pump flanges but is especially suited for the larger flanges of the Spectra pump.
The Dairy Fairy by Arden
This bra offers less support, but it’s gorgeous and can be worn as a regular bra even after you are done breastfeeding.
It doesn’t hold the breast shields as tightly as some heavy-duty nursing and pumping bras, but the primary allure of this bra is that it serves three purposes: hands-free pumping, nursing, and regular use.
Although you will either have to take it off or pull down the pliable cups for best results in hand-free pumping, this is not a stiff bra, so it is quickly done.
Pumpease pumping bra
This is another hands-free pumping bra that is great for bigger chests.
Many women will tell you it is among the best hands-free pumping bra due to the amount of support it offers.
This company also makes a nursing bra that can be worn underneath the pumping bra for versatility.
Adjustable so that you get a good fit, it can accommodate breasts up to size H cup, and the front hook and eye closures make it easier to put on and take off.
Made of high-performance technical fabric, you won’t have to worry about this thing falling apart on you, and it comes in four different types and styles. This is one of the best hands-free pumping bras you can buy, but it does cost more than most others on this list.
Kindred Bravely Sublime Hands-free pumping and nursing bra
This dual-purpose bra works with most breast pumps and fits most breast shields, already making it one of the better hands-free pumping bras. The fact that it is also intended for nursing is a huge bonus.
With a lot of stretch, this bra is ideal as both a good pumping bra and a regular nursing bra, even as your breast size changes.
Women love that regardless of their breastfeeding choices, this can easily be the only pumping bra they ever have to purchase because of the fantastic fit.
This bra also has clip-down cups that make it perfect for pumping and nursing sessions.
It fits almost any breast shield, so you won’t have to worry about spilled milk.
Moms who love sports bras will love this pumping bra.
With a racerback design, this fits over the head and doesn’t have clips or hooks to mess with.
This pumping and nursing bra has pull-down cups for nursing and openings, making it a breast pump bra for moms who prefer a more sporty option.
What the best pumping bras offer
If you’re confused as to what makes a perfect hands-free pumping bra, don’t worry. A lot of people go into stores looking for the best pumping bras, unsure of what they’re going to need.
It will help if you look for the following when shopping for an excellent hands-free pumping bra.
The right pumping bra will hold the breast shield tightly to the nipple, so you don’t lose suction during pumping sessions.
You don’t want a bra that doesn’t hold the flange well—an opening for the flanges that is too large means that you are risking milk spillage.
Either look for a pumping bra that fits pumping flanges of your specific pump brand (made for Spectra, Lansinoh, or Medela pumps) or will fit most major pump brands.
Try leaning, standing, sitting, and turning with it on, and look for gaps between the flange and the body. You want a good, tight seal.
Comfort and support
If you need extra support, it doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice comfort.
Look for a bra made of super soft rather than a stiff material. Something that works as everyday wear or can be quickly taken on and off as needed is a good option.
If you are looking for something you can wear every day, or use as an all-in-one bra, then look for overlapping fabric layers so that you can pull down the cups for nursing or pumping and avoid complicated straps.
It may look cute to have several crisscrossing straps in the back, but think of the nightmare getting it on and off is going to be.
A good bra should not be too tight, either. If the shoulder straps dig into your shoulders, you should look into other bras that fit better and offer more comfort.
A bra that is too tight in the torso can dig into your rib cage and cause pain in the sides and sore breasts because, chances are, it’s constricting your breasts too much.
You want the pump flanges to fit snugly but not so tight that your pump equipment is smashed into you and is painful to use.
Too much friction or pressure on your breasts or milk ducts can cause many issues, such as clogged ducts, pain, and eventual infection.
Why finding the best pumping bra for you is crucial
According to the CDC, a little less than sixty percent of babies are still breastfed at six months.
Breastfeeding is a challenging journey, and it involves dedication.
Nursing and pumping take a lot of energy, and struggling with a bra that is too tight, too loose, or ineffective add stress to the journey that can sometimes shorten the length of time a mother sticks with breastfeeding.
While there is no shame in stopping the journey on your terms, you should do it if it’s something you want to do.
And you deserve a great bra that will make the breastfeeding journey more manageable, not more complicated.
We buy kitchenware that does the best job in the kitchen. We purchase the vehicles that offer the best ride. We eat foods that are good for our health. Why wouldn’t you buy the best nursing and pumping bras to suit your needs?
Dedication, support from your partner, family, friends, and workplace, lots of skin-to-skin contact, and a good bra can lead to long-term breastfeeding.
If you intend to be successful in your breastfeeding journey, don’t let anything stand in your way.
Invest in a good bra for hands-free pumping or a comfortable one for nursing, and give yourself the best chance of success.