Nursing Bras VS Pumping Bras – Are They the Same?

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Breastfeeding comes with significant benefits for your baby’s health. Nursing bras and pumping bras make this process much easier by incorporating your comfort and your baby’s safety in their respective designs. 

Nursing bras and pumping bras aren’t technically the same. Although some products can function as both, the former is mainly intended for direct breastfeeding. Meanwhile, the latter aids in extracting breast milk through a pump hands-free. 

There are a wide variety of options for these specialized undergarments. In the following article, you’ll know more about these and get suggestions on which products are best to buy. 

What Is a Nursing Bra?

A nursing bra is a specialized undergarment for breastfeeding women. It supports the breast while at the same time providing easy-to-open panels that allow moms to feed their babies without having to remove their bras totally. 

What Is a Pumping Bra?

A pumping bra helps women use breast pumps hands-free. This is possible through strategically located slits that support the breast pump while you’re pumping. 

You can simply insert the breast pump into the slit of the undergarment. The pumping bra will then securely clasp the pump into the breasts and allow for hassle-free pumping. 

What Is the Difference Between a Nursing Bra and a Pumping Bra?

The main difference between a nursing bra and a pumping bra is their intended purpose. Pumping bras are for pumping breast milk through a breast pump, while a nursing bra is for directly feeding your baby with breast milk. 

This variation in function results in a considerable difference in their design. You wouldn’t find the easily movable flaps in a pumping bra. They’re inherently made with slits instead. 

The slits in a pumping bra are positioned and designed strategically to keep the breast pump in place, eliminating the need to hold it. It basically gives you the freedom to do all sorts of other things while extracting breastmilk. 

On the other hand, nursing bras eliminate the need for you to remove your bra completely when breastfeeding. When it’s time to feed, simply open the nursing bra flap. 

Which Is Better for Breast Feeding?

Both have their own merits. If you prefer direct breastfeeding, then a nursing bra works best. On the other hand, if you’re always on the go and prefer preparing breast milk with the aid of a breast pump, then you’d want to get your hands on a pumping bra. 

Which Is Better for Pumping?

A pumping bra is better for pumping. The primary rationale in the product’s design is putting slits in the bra itself that would suffice as a supporting mechanism to secure the breast pump. This is a hassle-free option since you don’t have to hold the breast pump to keep it from unlatching. 

Can You Use a Pumping Bra as a Nursing Bra?

It may be possible for you to use a pumping bra as a nursing bra, though it’s not always safe, especially since it’s for a different function. If you’re looking into a multi-function bra, it’s best to choose products that specifically indicate flexibility between pumping and nursing activities. 

For instance, Rumina Nursing Wear offers the Rumina Classic Pump & Nurse Bra (available on It’s a dual-purpose bra that allows you to switch between nursing and breastfeeding modes seamlessly. 

Due to its added features, you may worry that it may look and feel more uncomfortable than regular bras. Fortunately, this isn’t something you’d have to worry about with this Rumina Nursing Wear product–it’s wireless, stretchable, and soft! 

Can You Use a Nursing Bra as a Pumping Bra

Some nursing bras can also work as pumping bras, so you may use them as such. However, since they’re not the product’s intended purpose, you may find yourself having issues with securely positioning the pump on your breasts. 

Purchasing a breastfeeding bra that specifically serves both functions would be the safest and most hassle-free choice. There are many products to choose from that’ll give you the peace of mind that it won’t fail you when you need it the most. 

The BRAVADO! DESIGNS Original Pumping & Nursing Bra (available on allows you to pump milk hands-free seamlessly. You can also use it as a nursing bra whenever you prefer direct breastfeeding without any additional steps needed.