Pregnancy, Breastfeeding & Underwire Bras: What You Need To Know

Woman wearing ThirdLove wireless nursing bra, designed for pregnant women who intend to breastfeed.

The question we get asked most by expecting and nursing mothers is whether or not a certain bra style is better or worse. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about the changes you can expect, plus all the details on whether or not underwire bras are a good option. We’ll talk about fit and comfort level, which bras we recommend, and put some nursing bra myths to bed once and for all.


Your Changing Breasts & Bras

During pregnancy, your breasts undergo tons of changes to produce breast milk for your new baby. You can expect them to grow in size (at least a cup or two), to be tender, and sometimes itchy. Spoiler alert: your old bras aren’t going to fit for long. Don’t worry — we’ve created a guide on what to expect when it comes to changes in your breasts during pregnancy here. We get down to differences you’ll notice between your first trimester and after the baby’s born so you’re ready for it all. If you haven’t read through that, go ahead and start there.


Choosing the Right Bra During Pregnancy

Knowing all the changes that come with pregnancy, it is essential to prioritize comfort and flexibility when selecting a bra during this period. For the first and second trimesters of your pregnancy, your regular bra will possibly still be fine for you. As your bust size increases, assess how your bras fit and consider sizing up if your current bra feels restrictive. Also, consider getting a maternity bra; they are made with soft, breathable material that will keep you comfortable throughout your pregnancy. The key is to wear the most comfortable bra for your sensitive skin and growing size. 

Another thing to consider is the type of bra you prefer. Some women like to wear underwire bras for extra support and shape, while others prefer wireless bras for more flexibility and comfort. There is no right or wrong answer here, as long as you find a comfortable bra that suits your needs and preferences. However, we recommend avoiding underwire bras in the later stages. Underwire can put pressure on your breast tissue and milk duct, leading to blocked ducts. As the due date approaches, it's advisable to begin alternating between maternity and nursing bras. It allows you to familiarize yourself with both types before the baby arrives.


Maternity or Nursing Bra?

Maternity and nursing bras come in a range of styles (wired and wireless), materials, and colors so you have tons of options. Maternity bras are made for those quick changes in your breasts and can help you get used to the adjustment from one trimester to another during your pregnancy as your breast tissue continues to grow. Nursing bras are great for anyone who decides to breastfeed. The main difference between the two is that nursing bras have that extra drop-down flap to get you easy access to feed your baby. for If you’re wondering whether or not you should go for wireless or underwire bras, stick to your preference. If you liked wearing wireless bras before you were pregnant, keep wearing those. Find out whether or not you want to consider breastfeeding and try a nursing bra once you’re closer to delivery.

Maternity bras are something you can start with once you become pregnant, so you can get used to the ones you prefer and give yourself time to browse around. We’re all about introducing anything new into your life with a stress-free mentality. Now we’ll get into fit talk when we dive into the question of wired bras, but make sure you’re staying on top of your size changes so you get the right fit. Once you’ve found what fits as your breasts go through these changes, go for comfort. We’ve designed some maternity bras for our ThirdLovers out there because we want you to get it all. Check out our wireless Form Seamless Nursing Bra and our wired 24/7® Classic Nursing Bra to help you get started.


3 Nursing Bra Myths Debunked


1. Every nursing mother needs to wear a nursing bra.

False. Not every mother needs to wear a nursing bra. Nursing bras are made for convenience and comfort so that your process of breastfeeding is just a little bit easier. Not everyone wants to wear a nursing bra and that’s totally okay. Wear what works for you.


2. Nursing bras aren’t supposed to be pretty.

Not true. We love a super cute cut on our fave nursing bras and some of the gorgeous seasonal colors you can get them in. We’ve come a long way with bra design ladies, so feel free to go all out and find the perfect style that makes you look and feel great. Any bra, for any reason it’s made whatsoever, can be beautiful.


3. Breastfeeding is tough, regardless of a nursing bra.

False. Pumping and breastfeeding is new, sure, but it gets easier as you learn what your baby needs and what works for you. It gets easier over time and a nursing bra can help ease some of that difficulty. They’re literally designed to help you ease into the action. The key thing here is to find the right fit and which style you like to wear best to make it easier for you. You’ve got this.



Can I wear an underwire bra while nursing?

Yes. You absolutely can wear an underwire bra while you’re pregnant and nursing. It all depends on your personal preference for wearing a wired bra, but feel free to try wireless styles too. Wireless can be more comfortable if your breasts are sore, especially while they’re growing. The main reason underwire bras may not be the best for you during pregnancy or nursing is based on the fit. We always share the fact that 80% of women are likely wearing the wrong bra size which can make any bra uncomfortable whether or not it’s wired or wireless. So it’s always a good idea to get a fitting, especially throughout the first stages of your pregnancy because that’s when your breasts change most.

If your bra is too tight while you’re starting to produce milk, you may be putting too much pressure on your milk ducts. When there’s too much pressure on the milk ducts you get clotting there which can harden and be super uncomfortable. The easiest way to make sure you’re wearing the right bra is to first get a personalized bra fitting. You can get one right now with our Fitting Room Quiz here to save time.


Best Pregnancy Bras

So, what are the best bras to wear during pregnancy? We suggest opting for wireless bras that are soft, stretchy, and breathable. Wireless bras can accommodate and be comfortable in a wider range of sizes, so you don't need to keep buying new bras as your breasts change. 

And here's the best part: you don't have to sacrifice style for comfort. Our Form 360 Fit™ Wireless Bra is here for you. This bra is made from smooth, seamless fabric that stretches in all directions for the perfect fit. It is made with our proprietary precise sizing technology to ensure you get the best fit and support. It also has a hook and eye closure that allows you to adjust the fit as you grow. Plus, it's easy to put on and remove because, let's face it, pulling your wireless bra over your head in the later stages can be a challenge. Whether running errands or attending appointments, this bra will effortlessly adapt to your needs without sacrificing comfort. And it comes in gorgeous colors that'll make you feel confident and beautiful, bump and all.


Our Top Bras For Nursing Mothers

Now, let's talk about the magical breastfeeding phase. You need a bra that's not only comfortable but also makes nursing a breeze. Having the right bra is essential for your and your baby's comfort. Look for features like easy one-handed clasps, drop-down cups for quick access and supportive yet gentle fabrics. Our collection of nursing bras is thoughtfully designed to make breastfeeding easier while providing the support and comfort you deserve. 

Here are two of the best bras for breastfeeding and our mama's favorites:

Cotton Underwire Nursing Bra


Cotton Underwire Nursing Bra


24/7® Classic Nursing Bra

The 24/7® Classic Nursing Bra is a specially designed underwire nursing bra. Made from ultra-soft pima cotton that feels smooth and cozy on your skin, this bra does it all! It is supportive for everyday wear, with easy clip-down cups for convenient nursing. Whether nursing at home or on the go, this bra offers easy access and gentle support. Moreover, it has gold alloy hardware throughout for the most gorgeous look.

Form Seamless Nursing Bra



Form Seamless Nursing Bra



Form Seamless Nursing Bra

Our Form Seamless Nursing Bra is perfect for those seeking a wireless, seamless option. It features adjustable straps, hook and eye closure, clip-down cups for convenience with nursing or pumping, and a 4-way stretch, smooth and supportive fabric for support and all-day comfort.


We can’t stress how important it is to find the perfect bra fit, whether you’re breastfeeding or not. To get more insider tips on the best ThirdLove bras for your shape and lifestyle, check out our articles or follow us on social for tips and tricks. Visit us on Instagram and Facebook to send us your questions and you might see them answered right here on the blog.