What Size Nursing Bra To Buy: A Guide for New Moms

Nursing your newborn is one of the most fulfilling experiences you will have as a mother. You and your baby will share a unique closeness as you nestle together. However, breastfeeding can be a bit uncomfortable at first. The right nursing bra makes it easy to nurse your baby and reduces any discomfort you might feel from milk-heavy, tender breasts.

clip cup nursing bra

How To Find Your Nursing Bra Size

Expect your bra size to change several times after giving birth. Your breasts will get much bigger once you start nursing and then get a little smaller as your body adjusts to your nursing routine. Most women need a smaller nursing bra after the first or second month. However, breast size can increase again, especially if you’re nursing twins or triplets.

To figure out what size nursing bra to get, start with the maternity bra size that fits you late in pregnancy. Your nursing bra should be one cup size and one band size larger. For example, if your maternity bra is a 34C, your first nursing bra should be a 36D. If that sounds too big for you, remember that you’ll still carry some of your pregnancy weight while your breasts expand.

Your second-stage nursing bra will be smaller. Nursing actually helps you lose some of your pregnancy weight, so you’ll become slimmer. As your body adjusts to nursing, your breasts may become less swollen. Make sure to take your measurements before you buy your second-stage bra.

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How To Measure Your Bra Size

clip cup nursing bra

You can find your approximate bra size by taking two measurements and doing a little arithmetic. This method works no matter what kind of bra you need. Get a tape measure and follow these easy steps:

  1. Take off whatever bra you’re wearing, and measure just below your bust, where the bra band would be. Round that measurement up to a whole number. If your measurement is an even number, add four to it. Add five if you get an odd number. The result is your band size.
  2. Now, measure around the fullest part of your bust — usually, that’s where your nipples are.
  3. To figure out your cup size, subtract your band size from your bust size. If there’s a 1-inch difference, you wear an A cup. A 2-inch difference means you wear a B cup, 3 inches mean a C cup, and so on.
  4. Your nursing bra size is your band size + cup size, for example, 32 B, 36 D, etc.

As a note: Our nursing bras come in small, medium and large sizes, so you can read the nursing bra sizing chart to understand what size bra aligns with the measurements you took. 

Nursing Bra Features To Look For

Knowing what size nursing bra you need is just the beginning. Your breasts are heavier when they’re filled with milk, and a quality nursing bra offers excellent support. Leonisa nursing bras are designed to support your breasts and help relieve back strain.

Avoid underwire nursing bras. Breast size and shape can shift slightly between nursing sessions, and a rigid underwire can’t adjust to these changes. Instead, look for a nursing bra that offers support with extra coverage and comfortable foam padding. Wide straps are another helpful feature that will help relieve back strain.

Be sure to check the clips that hold up the cup fabric. Look for clips you can open easily with one hand, so it will be easy to unlock your bra to feed and soothe the baby you're carrying in your arms.

Try to keep lace trimmings to a minimum because they can scratch your baby’s tender face. Look for bras with soft, breathable fabric to keep you comfortable during the day. Seamless styles are ideal for maintaining a smooth look under your everyday clothes. Treat yourself to a lacy new bra for women once your nursing days end.

seamless sleep bra

Check Out Leonisa Bras for Women


A great nursing bra will be the right size, offer plenty of support without wires and have easy-to-use front clips. You can find your perfect nursing bra at Leonisa!

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