How Many Nursing Bras Do I Really Need?

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As an expectant mom, you’ve more than likely heard about a ton of products that you “absolutely need” for your new child, and the pressure can be very overwhelming for a new/soon-to-be parent. I’m here to tell you that you are not alone if you feel a little lost in the shuffle. However, not all these ads are wrong; there are some products that new moms really do need.

New moms will benefit from having at least two nursing bras, though three bras are ideal. Whether nursing or formula feeding, many women find nursing bras to be more comfortable, convenient, and practical than traditional bras while they’re lactating. 

Though you may not have thought of a nursing bra as a high priority, I’m here to tell you why it should be.

What Are Nursing Bras?

Nursing bras are bras designed for new mothers who are lactating. Additionally, the cups of nursing bras open to the front, allowing mothers to breastfeed while still giving support.


Because of the unique design, there are many pros to wearing a nursing bra:

  • Breast support. During lactation, breasts become enlarged with milk and need extra support. Nursing bras provide more support than typical bras.
  • Holds leaks. Any mother will tell you that leaks happen. You can place nursing pads inside of nursing bras to protect your clothes from milk leaks.
  • Easy access. Nursing mothers find these bras beneficial because they do not need to remove them while breastfeeding.
  • Sizing changes. While lactating, your breasts will likely fluctuate in size. Nursing bras have adjustable bands and flexible material, allowing you to stay comfortable even if your size changes.
  • Prevents mastitis. Mastitis is a soreness of the breast that can be due to blocked milk ducts. Wearing tight- or ill-fitting bras may increase your chances of blocked milk ducts. Nursing bras that fit correctly can lead to a reduced risk of mastitis.


  • Cost. It’s no secret that bras are expensive, and nursing bras are no exception. Buying a new nursing bra can be costly, especially if you usually go braless. Some new moms may opt to not have the extra expense.
  • Hand wash only. Experts recommend that you wash nursing bras by hand and hang them to dry. If you enjoy the convenience of machine washing your clothes, this may be a negative for you. 
  • Used briefly. Women usually wear nursing bras while they are expressing milk. Moms who are not planning to breastfeed may choose not to buy a nursing bra. You may also feel this way if you are only planning on having one child.

Do I Need Nursing Bras?

You will need a nursing bra if you are breastfeeding, require more support, or if you are lactating. You do not need a nursing bra if you are formula feeding and no longer producing milk.

Nursing bras are very convenient, and there are many benefits to having one. Even women who bottle-feed find nursing bras more comfortable and convenient compared to typical bras while they are lactating. However, those who aren’t nursing and are no longer producing milk may feel that they don’t need a nursing bra.

Will I Need Nursing Bras if I Am Formula Feeding?

Even when formula feeding, many women choose to wear nursing bras while they are lactating for extra leak protection. They may also choose to wear them for extra comfort and support. 

It may take several weeks for milk to dry up once you begin formula feeding. Even then, it is common for women to continue leaking for months after they stop expressing milk. Many mothers prefer to wear nursing bras while formula feeding for extra leak protection.

Additionally, many moms who are formula feeding will experience engorged breasts. Some women find the support of nursing bras comfortable even if they are not nursing.

Will I Need Nursing Bras if I Am Expressing Milk?

You will absolutely need a nursing bra if you are expressing milk. Nursing bras provide more comfort and support than regular bras. Additionally, they provide easy access while breastfeeding.

Nursing bras also come in all kinds of styles for every occasion. If you are nursing, you may want to stock up, so you always have the support you need.

How Many Nursing Bras Do I Need?

It’s recommended that you have at least two, if not three, nursing bras, even if you are formula feeding. Having two nursing bras allows you to have one clean bra while you are washing the other one. Having at least three guarantees that you have a spare if needed.

Some women choose to go without a nursing bra, but the benefits of having one beat the alternative. 

Many women who use nursing bras find that they are very convenient, comfortable, and practical.