Nursing bras and I have a love/hate relationship.
After breastfeeding two kids for a nearly combined 4 years of my life and, of course, adding a third baby soon to my boob journey, I’ve tried just about everything. There was the phase with my first when I stubbornly refused to buy nursing bras, because ew and because I was 20 and barely had time to discover normal lingerie before being thrust into a world of ultra supportive, ultra covering, ultra “mom-ish” undergarments. There was the phase with my second where just I gave up and bought cheap nursing bras at Target that wore out from literal days and days (and nights and nights) of wear at a time.
I’m not sure what “phase” I’ll go through with baby #3 yet, but I’m hoping it’s the “finds a few really high quality, ethically made nursing bras that also work post-nursing and never looks back” phase.
If you’ve breastfed a baby before, you’ll know that breastfeeding in typical underwire bras just doesn’t work (sorry, 20-year-old me). And most bralettes and sports bras are, simply put, unprepared for the amount of leaking, spraying, spiting up, and mess making that takes place in their vicinity. So, buying at least a few nursing bras will really, really, really make your life a lot easier.
Finding ethically made ones is like finding a mythical creature that most people assume doesn’t exist.
I’m hoping this post will convince you otherwise.
What to look for:
A few notes before we dive into the bras I’ve found thus far about nursing bras in general:
In my opinion, maternity bras that are incompatible with breastfeeding (if you plan to breastfeed, of course) are pointless. When you shop, look for ones that will fit you during pregnancy (much easier to swing) that are also breastfeeding friendly.
You’re going to spend A LOT of time in these bras, so don’t be afraid to shop around, spend a little more, and keep looking/exchanging till you find the perfect fit.
I recommend getting mostly “comfy bras” and maybe 1 or 2 “big girl bras” with underwire for when you want to feel more like a human and less like a farm animal. I love breastfeeding, but I never said it was glamorous.
The Ethics of Lingerie:
Like with all ethical shopping, there are certain things people will prioritize when shopping. Aside from fit and compatibility with breastfeeding, the qualifications I’m hoping to meet for my nursing bras are:
Made from a sustainable (ideally organic) material
Made in responsible, traceable, ethical conditions
Fits a wide ranges of body types (so I can more honestly recommend them to you all!)
Is a practical bra that transitions well from pregnancy to postpartum and beyond.
My picks, this time around:
First up: Aside from the obvious conclusion that it’s really hard for me to take a photo without touching my hair, my next conclusion is about this sexy (yes, take heart, 20 year old me, I finally found a sexy nursing bra) bra from Azura Bay.
Azura Bay is a Canada-based lingerie shop collecting the best of sustainable and ethically made bras and undies from around the world in one convenient place. I’m wearing their Nikki Black Lace Nursing Bralette from Mayana Geneviere. The bra is great for pregnancy (soft, elastic waistband) but is actually designed for breastfeeding with pull-away nursing access.
The shop also has another beautiful and similar nursing bra, the Alexander Black Lace Nursing Bralette, that’s essentially the same bra without the longer lace trim.
I haven’t gotten any other nursing bras yet, but the following list are a few on my radar that I’m planning to add to my repertoire in the coming months:
24/7 Bra by Boob Design: ($55)
This bra is made to be worn all day and night and has medium support, which is ideal for comfort. Really, I can’t recommend Boob more highly - I’ll be sharing more about them in the coming months, but if you’re pregnant or nursing, it’s a great resource.
Padded Daily Bra by Majamas ($39)
I’ve worked with Majamas before and, although they don’t have many bra styles to choose from, their mission is admirable and they’re empowering moms all over the world through their products.
None So Pretty Lace Nursing Bra by Mothers En Vogue ($36)
This is a Singapore-based brand that I learned about via Eco Warrior Princess. They’re transparent about their production and strive to use natural fibers but what most excited me was that their bras look like NORMAL bras.
Marvella Classic Nursing Bra by Kindred Bravely ($49.99)
Although not marketed as an ethical brand, I did some digging and spoke to their Customer Care team who informed me that KB only works with supplier and factories who meet strict ethical requirements (they visit their factories often and even told me their largest factories comet to visit their team headquarters as well). There is obviously room for improvement, but I would prefer to shop from a brand who knows where their clothes are made instead of a bigger “box store”. They utilize organic cotton in several of their products as well.
Jane’s Bra Top by Blue Canoe ($49)
Similar to the 24/7 Bra from Boob, this bra is meant to be comfortable and is made with organic cotton.
Have you found any other places selling sustainably made nursing bra? Let me know and I’ll add them to this little list!
*This post was sponsored by Azura Bay as part of a long term partnership - all opinions and photos are my own, as always. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this world a better place*