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How Many Nursing Bras Do You Need? Explained In Detail

As a soon-to-be mother, in the midst of shopping for a baby, you can’t forget about your own needs. A new mother also has things to purchase for herself.

Let’s start with clothes, you’ll need bigger clothes the closer you come to giving birth, also you need comfortable shoes, baby bags, and nursing bras.

During my pregnancy, there was always one question on my mind and that was how many nursing brad do I need?

Main Points

  • Nursing bras provide support and comfort for new mothers.
  • You can wear a nursing bra even during your pregnancy.
  • The optimal number of nursing bras will depend on a few factors.
  • Be careful about how you wash your nursing bras.
  • Always buy a nursing bra in a size up.

How Many Nursing Bras Do I Need?

It is recommended that you have 3 nursing bras. Most people would call it a luxury, although as a mother-to-be, you should always stay prepared.

The idea behind having three nursing bras backs up the idea of always having something to wear if the other is washing, or the other bra is ruined in some sort of way or form.

What is a nursing bra?

If you’re like me and haven’t been around pregnant women before your own pregnancy you probably heard of the concept of a nursing bra but don’t know exactly what is it.

Let me make things easier for you.  A nursing bra is a specialized supportive garment used by women who are lactating.

Some women need to wear a nursing bra even during pregnancy especially during the last weeks before the baby comes.

Unlike regular bras, nursing bras have detachable patches or straps that can be removed when it’s time to breastfeed your baby.

They are different types of nursing bras, even sports bras that allow a new mom to get back into her workout routine.

When to wear?

If you’re asking when should you start to wear a nursing bra, you might get different answers depending on whom you ask.

Some women will tell you that you should start wearing a nursing bra when your breast start to change which is usually after the first trimester.

This can be a good option if you don’t usually wear bras and you want to get used to them. Keep in mind that your breast will continue to change during your pregnancy so maybe don’t buy a nursing bra too early so it won’t be too small by the time you actually need it.

Others will say that a nursing bra is meant to be worn after you give birth and start breastfeeding.  I’d like to think that you should start wearing a nursing bra as soon as you feel like you need the extra support and comfort that they provide.

How many nursing bras should I buy?

The question of how many nursing bras do I need was constantly on my mind as my breast were starting to change.

To be honest I thought of only getting one at first. I’m not going to need it if I don’t have another baby so what is the point of getting more than one nursing bra right?

Well, things didn’t end up working out like that. I actually started wearing a nursing bra one month before my baby was born.

I was swollen and felt huge, so I found comfort in wearing a nursing bra. It is designed to adapt to the changes in your breast go tough so you don’t have to worry about the size too much.

I decided that the optimal number of nursing bras Is 3, or 4 if you want to get back to working out.

I found 3 to be the optimal number because in this case, I can have one in the wash, one on me, and still one spare just in case something happens.

This is the model I went for and I am very happy with them.

The 4th bra was a nursing sports bra that I wore during my postpartum yoga sessions. Looking back, I should have probably purchased an extra fancy nursing bra, but I work from home so I didn’t really need it.

If you are someone that goes out frequently, you might want to look into a fancier nursing bra for a special occasion.


So now let’s talk about how to take care of your nursing bras. I made the mistake of just throwing my nursing bras in the washer and dryer.

I washed them regularly because of leakage, so they lost their shape very fast, also I notices the supportive wire peeking through.

In order to make sure your nursing bra lasts, you need to hand wash it, or if you insist on washing it in the mashing machine, make sure to use a lingerie bag or something that will protect it. 

Some mothers wash their bras after only two wears. I however suggest that you wear it for up to a week if you don’t have any leaking going on of course.


A general rule is that you should get one cup and one back size bigger than your usual. However, this may vary deepening on how much your breast grow.

When trying on your nursing bra it should be comfortable on the tightest setting.

As your breast gets more swollen you can adjust the back to be looser and thus making yourself more comfortable.

Should I wear a nursing bra while sleeping?

Comfort should be your primary concern when it comes to nursing bras. Some women with larger breasts might seek the comfort a nursing bra provides and even sleep in one.

However other women find that they don’t need the extra support and sleep braless.

Leeks are also something you should consider, if you struggle with regular leaking you should consider wearing a nursing bra in order to keep your bed sheets clean.


Bra or no bra is debated very often among women or even men in some cases. When you are pregnant your body will go through changes, it will swell up and you might start to feel uncomfortable.

A way to make things easier on yourself is to get a nursing bra. This will provide you with the right amount of support and comfort and will not make you feel like you’re wearing a tight corset-like some bras do.

If the question of how many nursing bras do I need is still lingering on your mind, I would recommend 3 regular ones and one for any activity you want to do like, yoga, hiking, or even going on simple walks in the park.

Your comfort and convenience are very important, so make sure you do everything you can to give yourself the best parenthood experience.

All content and media on RaisingSmallSouls is created and published online for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice. The information on this website is not meant to take the place of expert medical assistance, advice, or consultations. You should speak with a medical expert if you have any worries or inquiries while pregnant.