Nursing Bras & Maternity Bras

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Recent recommendations for nursing bras??

June 2013

Anyone have a good place for nursing bras where they do good fittings? Mama's hooter holder?

My favorite nursing bra right now is the hug bra. It's very comfortable and easy to use/adjust when nursing and done nursing. You can get it at Japanese Weekend: Yvette

I recommend Fashion After Passion in Alameda. Also nursing

In Full Swing in Rockridge. They fit me with nursing great bras a few months ago. They are pricy, but they are really good quality. And it really helps to have them explain the proper size you'll need and try a bunch of styles on. I have since gone to Target to get a couple more, but would have had no idea what to purchase without getting my first set @ In Full Swing. I highly recommend the Belabumbum bamboo sleeping bra they carry - it is unbelievably comfortable. I'd skip their tanks - I think the one I got was $55, and given that you'll get Lanolin stains on them (even if you're careful, it'll happen) I don't think it's worth it. Again, got those at Target. The women are really nice. I think you need to call for an appointment though, because the woman who does the fittings is not there every day. Good luck! Another nursing mom

I went to Nordstroms in WC and they were very helpful. N

Fashion After Passion in Alameda- biggest nursing bra selection in the East Bay, and lots of great help! Laura

Where to buy small-band big-cup nursing bra

March 2012

While I've been happy over the last few years to play the lottery with ordering small band/big cup bras online ( and are my faves for reliable, friendly online vendors), I would love to find a Bay Area store that actually stocks *nursing* bras I can try on in a 32-34 band and H/I/J cup. I'll happily travel through the Caldecott, to SF or down the Peninsula for a reliable store with a good range of bras and knowledgable staff. The usual places, like Day One, tend to stock only brands like Anita that don't even *make* true-to-fit small band/large cup nursing bras. Thank you for ANY suggestions! Need a real bigger bra store

Get thee to Alameda...see Jaye at Fashion After Passion. Look them up on Yelp! Liz

Fashion after passion in alameda - open Wednesday thru Sunday. Incredibly knowledgable, huge inventory, mom owned amazing bussiness. Thousands of nursing bras - but more importantly they know how to fit the bras. Good luck

I recently went through the same thing during the pregnancy and subsequent birth of my daughter. On a referral from someone else I went to Fashion After Passion in Alameda. This is a consignment store; however, they stock both new and used nursing bras in the back of the shop(I opted for only new, though I tried on some used that I could not tell had been previously worn). They also stock nursing tanks for us bigger gals - as you can imagine those Target styles just aren't going to cut it. Because of the growth I experienced during my pregnancy I had no idea how to fit myself at 36 weeks. The owner handles fittings. Now, be warned, she needs to get a little 'hands-on' to get the job done and she's busy (that day she was the only one working while half a dozen shoppers came through). But, I was so grateful to have her there. Not only did she understand small band/large cup, but she knew her bras and had several options to choose from. And, she advised me on how to estimate my sizing for after delivery. I also overheard her working in the next fitting room with a 2nd time mom suffering from an infection and told her the size you were nursing #1 doesn't usually work for #2. I'm tucking away that bit of info. for the next time around. I also loved that they were major name brads, because I ended up ordering a second tank from after my baby was born. Best of luck! Been there

At my peak I wore a 32J nursing bra. I too mostly purchase bras online but also had luck at Natural Resources in SF and In Full Swing in Rockridge (it's a plus size store but also stocks nursing bras.) I would definitely call first to find out brands/sizes in stock though b/c they don't always have the harder-to-find sizes on the shelf. If you're interested, I have a very gently used Bravado that I believe is a 32J. It's not an underwire so it wasn't my favorite but if you're interested, email me and I'll dig it up to check the size. Also heard Fashion after passion in Alameda has a good selection but never made it over there. Anna

Try In Full Swing on College Ave. It's a plus-size clothing store, but they also do fittings for nursing bras. I got a few Bravado options that worked well. I was only a 32F, but if you call ahead I imagine they can order some options to meet your size if they don't have it in stock. The people working there are very nice. Fellow bra buyer

I have gone to Fashion After Passion in Alameda and they are the best! It is a resale store with new maternity and nursing bras. The owner will fit you and they have the best bras. It changed my life...seriously. They have every type and size you could want. anon

I saw you got a lot of replies for In Full Swing and Fashion After Passion. Neither place worked for me - I was a 32 H/I. I ended up have a great phone conversation with someone at The Pump Station in L.A. They put me on to the bravado bliss bra, which is a soft cup but very supportive. I've since gotten them on Amazon, too. I've worn them for 17 months and counting and they have adapted really well to changing boobs as they went from engorged to almost weaned. feel your pain!

Where to stock up on nursing bras?

Oct 2011

I am pregnant with my second, and nursed my first for a few years, so all my nursing bras are worn out. Can anyone recommend a good place to stock up on nursing bras if you're going to buy 4 or 5 of them? It can be local or online. Or are there any annual sales that are worth waiting for? I liked the medela bras last time around (they held my girls UP!) But they seem not to have lasted all that long, so I'm not wedded to that brand. All suggestions appreciated. Hate paying $40 for a bra

If you want a decent bra that isn't too expensive (not fancy either), and you want to get several, I suggest Target. That's where I bought mine and they are all around 20ish dollars if I remember correctly. They are simple, lightly padded where the straps snap at the shoulder so you can pull it down. You can try them in the store and see. It's worth a shot. Hope that helps.

I think that Fashion After Passion in Alameda has the biggest variety of nursing bras at reasonable prices in the Bay Area. The owner is incredibly patient, experienced and personable and will help you find exactly the bras you're looking for. Visiting her store is always a pleasure. The address is 1205 Lincoln Avenue. Best wishes getting the support you desire! Lisa

I highly recommend Birth and Baby ( I had better luck with them than with local retailers such as Fashion after Passion (they were very friendly but didn't have any bras that fit me well), perhaps because I am an unusual size. The service was personal and friendly, with helpful advice via email and special orders. Prices were competitive as well, and the return process, should you need it, is simple. Really great service. If/when I need more nursing bras, this is where I will turn. Check them out! -big boob mama

Bao Bei Maternity is a local, San Francisco based company that makes a great nursing sport bra. It really carries over to your casual wear because it is so comfy and supportive. New Momma of 3

Nursing Bra Fitting

March 2010

Does anyone know a good place to get a fitting for a nursing bra, either in Oakland/Berkeley or Walnut Creek? Caludette from Cotton & Co. in Berkeley used to be the best (she knew my size when I just walked in her store, with my clothes on!!!). Now that Cotton & Co. is closed, I heard a store next to it (In Full Swing) does the nursing bra fittings, but wonder if someone actually went there for that. thank you for your help!

Go to ''Fashion after Passion'' in Alameda. It has the largest selection of nursing bras in northern California. J is very kiind, very experienced and she really knows what she's doing. FAP also carries a lot of new and gently-used second-hand maternity clothes, baby clothes, parenting books, and gear of all types for ages 0 to at least 4.

Note: I am not an employee or close friend, and my offspring is now 11, but I'm a very enthusiastic former customer! ... best of luck!

I had the best bra fitting of my entire life by the owner at ''Fashion After Passion'' in Alameda. It is worth the drive, esp if you are even considering Walnut Creek!!

The best part about it ~ other than my super wonderful bras ~ is that she buys back baby gear/accessories, clothes, and maternity wear. I went during her buying hours (call for details) and she took some things, giving me credit towards half the purchase price of a NEW BRA. She is not uber uber picky like some of the stores in Berkeley. It was awesome to 1) have a bra that fits 2) get rid of stuff I don't/can't use 3) get a discount on my new bra b/c of my old stuff!!

She even had the info about my bra purchase written down in a book (from over two years ago!) that she was able to refer to and get me back in the same bra asap. The owner is a little quirky (asking me if I was having another baby ~ ''I think you are, if you're considering that black lace bra!'' ?!!??!) but who cares when my girls are SO HAPPY?! happy with my puchase!

I went to In Full Swing, and I thought they were great. The women who work there are so welcoming and patient for nursing bra fittings. You can call ahead and make an appointment, or probably just drop in. I still go there to buy sleep bras as shower gifts because I loved one of their brands so much. They've even been willing to ship a second sleep bra to a friend of mine who lives out of town. DJ

I highly recommend you make an appointment with Luz at Baby World on Telegraph Ave. in Oakland. ( She helped me find the perfect bra (im on the larger size and its very hard to find bras that fit well!). She special ordered them for me and they arrived within a week and a half. I was also having problems nursing (sore nipples etc..) and she knew exactly what i needed. 510-547-7040 friend

Try Beauty and Attitude on Vine at Shattuck. The women who work there are very good at fittings, and they have a selection of nursing bras that are attractive as well as very functional, a refreshing change from the standard selection of nursing bras that I have encountered. anon

I absolutely loved going to Fashion after Passion in Alameda. They do trades for baby and maternity stuff too, so I got a great deal off of my maternity bras for bringing in some unneeded items. I got great help and advice and some excellent bras! ashley

Fashion After Passion, located in Alameda, has a great selection of nursing bras. You can find reviews on Yelp. The owner, Jaye, is very helpful. It's also a consignment shop for maternity clothes, baby clothes and gear/furniture.

2007 - 2009 Recommendations

Nursing bras that conceal the nipples

Dec 2009

I am about to embark on having baby 2. One of the things that bothered me the most the first time around is that u could always see my nipples through my nursing bras even if I wore nursing pads. I know cotton bras are better for nursing but was hoping to buy at least 1 more nursing bra that was seamless and thick enough where persistant and hard nursing nipples would no peek through! Thanks BS

Try Lilypadz - they're a silicone nursing pad substitute. I'm done with nursing, but still find them useful for cold days, under tanktops, etc. as they do a great job concealing the 'headlights'.

While I don't have a specific bra to recommend, I do know of a good place to get a bra fitting/consultation. The store has a horrible name: 'Fashion After Passion' (honestly!), but the woman who runs it is very knowledgeable and has a really good selection of bras. Sometimes having a seam in the right place really helps. good luck

I am nursing now, and one of the best nursing bras I've found is made by Motherhood Maternity. I bought mine in the store, but I'm pretty sure it's this one: No seams in the front, it's padded enough so that you can't see a nursing pad or nipple through it, and it has the additional benefit of being cut so that you can wear low-cut tops with it (many other nursing bras come up way too high in the front for my taste). It is not underwire, though it has a hard piece of plastic on the side of both cups - I just made a small cut in the inside seam and removed those, and it is very comfortable and still perfectly supportive (I'm a 38DD right now). Anon

Current source for nursing bras in Berkeley/Oakland

Feb 2009

I'm looking for a good source for a nursing bra in the Oakland/Berkeley area. Friends had recommended Cotton & Co., but when I tried to call them I found that they have gone out of business. Looks like most of the recommendations on the nursing bra advice page are at least a little out of date. I am a 44D but could probably use a good fitting as well. Does anyone have any suggestions where to start? Susan

Fashion After Passion in Alameda - make sure you get their new address - they moved about a year ago or so. They had a lot of sizes and there were bargains to be had on some good bras. Or the Nurture Center in Lafayette - they had a good selection of european bras that were supportive and comfy - important if you're a bigger size. Susan

try natural resources in SF, they have an online store and carry a huge selesction of Bras. Greta place only carry products that are sustainable, organic and all the toys have been tested for led etc...Cara is the owner but all the girls are real helpfull. 415-550-2384, 1361 Valencia, Mathew Carson mathewcarson [at]

Although Cotton and Company has closed, they are still doing nursing bra fittings and sales through ''In Full Swing'' - a plus-size clothing store up the street. Give them a call and schedule a fitting. 654-5144. Hoping to be helpful

I believe that In Full Swing on College Avenue in Oakland has just started a fitting service for nursing bras. They began offering it after Cotton Kids closed. Laura Ward

I had a good experience at Fashion After Passion in Alameda. Becky

Try Mimi Maternity in Emeryville (expensive, but they will probably be helpful in fitting).

2004 - 2006 Recommendations

Nursing bra for picky, BIG-breasted woman

May 2006

I'm expecting my second child in July, and I'm at a bit of a loss for a good nursing bra... I was hoping some of the other voluptuous women on this board could help :-).

Last time the biggest I got was a 40F... but my favorite nursing bras by far were the Medela softcup seamless bra, either in 38 or 40 DD. They fit well, they were very comfortable, they didn't make my breasts pointy, and they were easy to unhook and rehook.

Alas... I'm 7 months pregnant and already wearing a 38 G. I am kind of afraid of how big my breasts are going to get when my milk comes in, but I am right now going on the assumption that I will need a 38 H. The wonderful, comfy Medela bras don't come in cup sizes higher than DD.

By the way, yes, I have visited Cotton and Company in Rockridge, twice, been helped twice by the expert there, and both times I have ended up leaving the store with a bra or two that kind of fit well in the store but was really so annoying or uncomfortable in actual practice that I never wanted to wear them. In my experience, they don't have enough brands or enough large-sized bras.

Soooo... here's what I'm looking for - please, if you have a bra that fits all these criteria, let me know! I don't have the money to buy a bunch of $40 bras that probably won't work, and I ONLY had luck with the Medela before.
--No underwire.
--Not pointy.
--When you unhook it, there is still fabric around the whole breast, not just on the outside - i.e., you open up the flap and there's a hole for breastfeeding, not just a side strap. Also - the hole has to NOT make the breast into a weird torpedo shape.
--Looks good under a t-shirt - not too much lace, no unfortunate seams right at the nipple, you can't really see the hook/snap part at the top.
--Very very supportive.
--If possible, doesn't give you a uniboob.

I know, I know, I'm being really picky. But I plan to nurse for a long time (nursed for 3 years last time) and I am just DONE with uncomfortable bras that don't work well for me. Please tell me you know the perfect bra!

Thanks, Jen

go to Fashion After Passion, Webster Street, Alameda on a day the owner, J, is working. She is amazing. I promise you will NOT leave the store unitl you find the perfect fit. I think she has over 6,000 bras in stock. Seriously. Big, small whatever. Me, I am ''low breasted'' and have big shoulders - we found not one, but three nursing bras that I love. Cannot say enough good things about her. Pretty sure she is there most weekdays. good luck

I am normally a DD. Nursing I was a G, depending on the fitting method used. I think with my last kid I was using the goddess bras which can be purchased through I didn't buy through them though because, as you would probably understand, I refuse to buy bra's mail order unless it is my regular brand and style. I started out by going to a place called Under It All. (Last time I checked they were listed in the Oakland phonebook even though they are located in Pittsburg.) It may seem far to go, but it is TOTALLY worth the drive. 1st: they have all sizes, well past G and H. 2nd: your personal fitter comes in to the dressing room and measures you, hears your preferences and brings out choices to you. They were very patient and knowledgeable. 3rd: They sell many brands and styles. In fact post babies, they are the only place I will go for specialty bras (like that strappless contraption required when one is a bride's maid) because I know they will carry my size and fit me properly.
sometimes bigger doesn't seem better

Boy do I feel your pain! I was at least a G with my first and probably bigger with my second (I'm a DD right now 2years post birth). I tried a bunch and had the same set of criteria you have with little success. I liked the Bravado the best for comfort, but they lost fabric strength (stretch) rather quickly. With my second I tried Target since I was sick of paying $40 and up for each bra. For something like $20 they have tank-top style nursing bras. They are very easy to unclasp and the whole tank top is still on with only the flap lowering. They are smooth stretchy cotton and never seemed to lose their stretch. The do give a bit of the una-boob look, but I was SOOOO happy to sacrifice individuality for comfort, cost, longevity and ease of use! I also recommended these to my PT and she LOVES them - I am now her patient ''who recommended her nursing bra''. If nothing else, just take a look at them. They might be the comfort bra you need for casual settings and you can save the expensive, shapely one for special events. F

For comfort and support, I cannot recommend highly enough Choose a nursing bra or not, the regular bras lift up or down very easily. Choose the most supportive fabric for your first purchase. They are wonderful about helping you size yourself, and adjust your bra for free the first time. The only other place I have gotten bras that fit (and these are not nursing bras, my three year old only nurses at wakeup and bedtime so I just switch to a Decent Exposure bra then) is Nordstrom. They have great fitters there on staff and are very helpful about suiting YOUR needs, not theirs. Good luck!
32 G who has been nursing 6.5 years

my wife really liked the glamourmom ( nursing bra tops -- they max out at g but/and are super stretchy and, she thought, more comfortable than a nursing bra -- fits most of your mentioned requirements. only the nursing bra top comes in larger sizes. the nursing bra tank isn't as supportive leanne

Might try Nurture Center in Lafayette. They had a pretty good selection & were helpful for me

I will be interested to read the suggestions you get because I have some of the same needs. I also love the Medela seamless bras but only use them at night since they do give the ''uniboob'' look. I've been somewhat happy with 2 Anita bras I purchased at the Nurture Center although, like you, really want something that has much more fabric to support my breast when it is unclasped during nursing. I came across the ''all-round'' model a few minutes ago and am considering it for my next purchase. I know Anita has a website of their own, too, but I'm nursing as I type this and can't to the other room where I have their web address!
Also am picky and hate badly made bras

Nursing bra for cup size J+

Sept 2005

My sister-in-law is expecting in October and is currently wearing a size J cup bra. Does anyone know where she might be able to find nursing bras in cup size J and higher (since her size will likely increase once her milk comes in)? It seems that no one makes nursing bras in these larger sizes - does anyone have other ideas/alternatives to a nursing bra? Going braless isn't really an option. Thanks. - wanting to provide support...

Try calling Claudette (owner) of Cotton & Company on College Ave in Rockridge. She's very knowledgeable. Good luck. elizabeth

I haven't tried them myself, but a friend who's a championship shopper swears by Decent Exposures bras ( They go up to size 54L and can be ordered with or without nursing flaps. She said they were very comfortable both when she was pregnant and when she was nursing. Pam

From an internet search, these companies sell bras that large: 6106909-5591256?v=glance
Here's a British company. They may ship to the US or perhaps you can find the same brands here in the US: Hope this helps. Good luck! Anon

I haven't tried them, but I've heard Fashion after Passion in Alameda has a good selection of plus size nursing bras. I have ordered from, and they carry the Goddess line of nursing bras, which do run up to a J cup and seem to run big overall, so that might work. They do returns or exchanges and shipping is free.

Bras for Body and Soul in Fremont saved my J-cup dilemma. Newborn Connections at CPMC on California in San Francisco also has a pretty good selection. Good luck! Well supported

It's hard to find. I was there and that size and it's very, very hard. That said, I did have some luck at ''Fashion After Passion'' and actually Nordstroms did give great service and help. This was 3 years ago. I hope it's better out there and it's sweet of you to think of her and help! glad I'm not a J anymore!

Try the Fancee Free Nursing Bra at: _bras.shtml These are the ones that I purchased when looking for nursing bras and I needed a J cup as well.

Try Cotton and Company. There is another store that was across the st from them. I cannot remember the name; and they moved. Cotton and Co should have what she will need, will fit her and all. erika

Have you tried Fashion After Passion on Webster in Alameda? Jay is real good at helping you and has lots of bras in stock or would know where to order if she doesn't have the correct size. Laura has nursing bras up to J size, and has free shipping. I would recommend that she order several different brands, as I found they all fit fairly differently. I ended up with the Emma Jane, as it seemed to be the largest of the J cups. Also, when my milk first came in, and before I lost the pregnancy weight, I couldn't find a bra that fit, so one good thing to know is that for each band size (eg 34 to 36) you go up, the cup size goes down one size--thus a 36J would the same cup size as a 34K--so she can buy a larger band size in a J and have a tailor alter the band to fit. Good luck to her! Been there!

Go see J at Fashion after Passion on Webster street in alameda. she stocks over 6,000 new nursing bras and will know what to do -- even if she does not carry it. she is not great at answering her phone but is usually there. She is amazing. love my bras! They go even beyond J!

Nursing bra with SHAPE!

June 2005

I'm still nursing my 15 month old, and my Bravado nursing bras make me look like a sack of potatoes. I want to keep the ''easy- access'' feature of nursing bras but find something that won't make me look so dowdy. I think underwires are out, but are there any other brands/styles that give some shape back to nursing mommas? Thanks anon

I've tried lots of nursing bras. Ultimately, I like the Anita bras that I get from Cotton and Company in Oakland on College. They carry a $36 microfiber bra that has more shape (and keeps it) than most non-underwire nursing bras. If you want to get fitted at Cotton and Co. you need to make an appointment, but if you know your size you can go without an appointment. Catherine

Try they not only have an amazing selection of nursing bras, but they have wonderful advice on which ones are right for your size AND shape breasts. I have HUGE boobs so I really need an underwire and I like the Leading Lady bras they carry. They give you lots of support, great shape and easy access. I do find that they wear out rather quickly but I don't think that's too unusual considering the weight they are carrying and how much I wear them. If you buy from there and remember, please use my name as your referal because I get a little off my next purchase for people I refer there. Thanks! Lynn

2003 & Earlier

Looking for good, supportive nursing bra

June 2003

I'm looking for good, supportive nursing bras. Does anyone have a favorite? I checked the website and found everythig to be from 2000. There have been a lot of new maternity lines since then, so I was hoping for some more recent info. Thanks!

While nursing two babies for one year each I bought nursing bras everywhere from specialty shops to Target. My favorites - by far - were the ones from Target. They have a great selection,they have good supportive styles, the bras lasted a long time and they're pretty inexpensive. 38D

I was fitted at Cotton & Company right before delivering and ended up with Leading Lady bras for my large chest. Nothing flashy, but comfortable enough that I'm still wearing them, even though we've weaned! *In need of new bras, too*

My favorite is the soft cup satin & lace available at Motherwear ( which also has a pretty wide selection of different styles, with support-level ratings. Holly

Instead of buying too many pricey nursing bras, I converted some of my comfortable, 100% cotton bras into flip-downs. Just snip strap above the cup, add a snap, and sew on a length of elastic from the strap to just below cup (so you don't lose the strap when cup is flipped-down). Or, you could go to Cotton & Company on College (near Rockridge BART) and spend $25 on a Japanese Weekend bra. Very comfy, all cotton. The Bravado felt even better, it's $34. Be sure to avoid underwires, as they can lead to plugged ducts/mastisis. anon

The only nursing bra that I've found remotely comfortable, supportive and easy to use (you can open and close it w/ one hand) was by Olga. I got it at Mimi Maternity and, last time I checked, they no longer sell the Olga one, but sell the exact same bra under their own label. It is the ''cotton softcup nursing bra''.

Another bonus of this bra is the no-seams at the nipples. I was shocked when first shopping for bras that seamless bras are very hard to find. Good luck. I spent way too much money buying horribly uncomfortable bras before finding this one. Molly G

There are many different brands of nursing bras available. It is probably best to go to a store such as The Nurture Center or Cotton & Co. to check them out. Medela makes a good, seamless bra, available in softcup and underwire, that is quite supportive. Other supportive bras are the Olga underwire, and then the larger cup size bras (DD and up) by Fancee Free and Gabrialla. Sherry

The best, most supportive nursing bra I found was Fancee Free style #94305D Extra Support Softcup Nursing Bra. I bought one at Fashion after Pasion in Alameda, liked it so much I ordred 2 more from I'm up to a G-cup(!!!) and it's the only one I'll wear now - I wear it on long walks and it keeps everything in place. Laction Connection's description of the bra is: ''This Fancee Free nursing bra has foam under support for lift without the discomfort of a wire. Padded shoulder straps, 100% cotton three-step cups, four-wide back closure make this the bra of choice for larger busted mothers. White only.'' anon

I just got a nursing bra from Title 9 in Berkeley that I LOVE. I wasnt' thrilled with the Bravado, as it seemed to stretch out too fast. And I've tried a few others that have not offerred adequate support. I don't know the name of the brand, but they only have two (Title 9 is on 10th off Gilman, right near Smith and Hawken) and this is the one with the lace in the middle (which is great because it looks like a lace camisole under a shirt if you want it to). The other one that they carry seemed very supportive as well but they didn't make it big enough for mamas like me. Hilary

With my first son I purchased some Goddess bras toward the end of nursing that I really liked, but they were expensive; around $50 each. With my second son I found a sale at for about $30. I continued to use both brands and still prefer the Goddess bra because the cup closure is easier to close with one hand. (It is a plastic clasp instead of a hook and eye closure.) I also have found that the Goddess bra held up better in the laundry. They are in better shape that the ones from Motherwear even though they have been around longer. Depending on your size you may have more options than I did. Rose

Fashion After Passion on Webster St in Alameda has the biggest selection of maternity/nursing bras in the Bay Area. The owner, Jaye, is extremely nice and helpful and the prices are quite reasonable - especially for hard to find larger sizes (which is what I was). Tell her I sent you! Jessica

I don't know if you need large size nursing bras, or just supportive ones. I have found to be a wonderful site for nursing bras. I particularly like Goddess brand, model 5011. A good site for fitting tips is The fit makes all the difference. Many people increase band size when they actually need a smaller band and a bigger cup. Melissa

I would second the recommendation for Goddess (511) bras--you can get them at Lady Grace online for about $34 (until mid july)--I have been using mine for the last 2 years of nursing and am very happy with the support, the durability, the ease of unsnapping one-handed, etc. They are white cotton, soft, no underwire, no lace next to the skin, although they do have seams (which don't bother me). I tried Bravado but found it too stretchy, the Leading Lady was not enough support and not as comfy and would unhook itself periodically, the Walmart one I tried had little support, the Medela one I tried didn't stay as supportive and the hooks were more difficult. As you can see, I was very happy once I found Goddess! Good luck. 36C-40D depending on the moment!

Where to buy nursing and maternity bras

Jan. 2000

What brand of maternity bras did you find most comfortable and supportive? Where did you get them? How about nursing bras? Again, I'm interested in comfort, support and ease of use. Where did you get those? Thank you for your information. Alicia

I was able to wear 'normal' bras during maternity, although a much bigger size. As a result I did purchase several Olga's as they were very supportive at Macy's. About two weeks before my due date, I visited A Pea in a Pod in Walnut Creek next to Nordstrom's for nursing bras. I highly suggest going to a maternity store for purchasing of nursing bras. The sales people at Pea were very helpful and patient. I tried on about 10 bras, different styles/sizes.

I ended up with two varieties: for day use - Olga with snap front but support when open, for night use -a jog style (slips over the head). I had originally bought a different night bra but prior to use changed my mind - they exchanged it no problem. They will also allow you to exchange after the baby and milk have arrived. I thought I would have to exchange after the fact but with their knowledge I purchased the right size the first time. Good Luck! Teri

Hi - Two things about nursing bras I would consider. First, if you are going to pump a lot and have a Medela pump, I would certainly look into a Medela nursing bra, since they already have all the loops and so forth for using the hands-free pumping equipment (totally great - indeed, revolutionary -- for frequent pumping at work), and you will not have to retro-fit all your bras for this purpose. (If you will only pump once in a while, however, this is not a big consideration, nor is the retro-fitting all that difficult, anyway.) That having been said, I bought my (non-Medela and retro-fitted) nursing bras at Room for One More on Main Street in Walnut Creek, and was very satisfied from the point of view of comfort, fit and price. The woman who owns the place is great at sizing up one's needs. I have also heard that Cotton & Company on College Ave. is good, but I have no personal experience with them for bras (they are good for kids' shoes!). Wendy

Best nursing bra I found was Bravado, sort of a sports type nursing bra...very comfortable and easy to use. Cotton & Co. on College Ave. has them. They have a web site too. Plus they have others and are quite good at fitting you to a bra. Hilary

I really loved the Bravado nursing bras. Snap closure is easier than hook-&-eye (one-handed operation); stretchy cotton was very comfortable; fabrics were pretty. You can get them thru the mail or at Birth & Bondage on Solano. Letitia

Regardless of the brand you choose (it will depend on your size) you must go to Cotton and Company on College Ave and get fit by the woman my mom's group nick-named the bra goddess. I don't know her real name, but she is white, has shortish hair and is middle-aged. She's extremely nice and knows her bras!! She will take one look at you and set you up with the right one. I haven't nursed for over a year but I wish I could take her with me to get my regular bras! Good luck!

I used the Bravada (Canadian-made), which can be obtained in a wide range of great prints from the Bay Area Lactation Center at 2999 Regent Street across from Alta Bates hospital. It's around $30, and is built like a comfortable sports bra but with a sturdy snap holding the top of the cup to the strap, for quick and complete access during nursing. I got a rather plain Bravada for a discount rate (20-something) at another maternity store (can't recall, but they are spreading in availability). In combination with the Bravada, which I wore sleeping as well as awake (they are that comfortable, but to keep them clean you need at least two), I used the Curity nursing pads (the only ones which really didn't leak for me), and to overcome initial nipple soreness, an occasional application of Lansinoh purified lanolin (endorsed by La Leche League), available at Longs for $8 (more at Rite Aid). The Lansinoh was a good purchase -- it also works on small cuts, diaper irritations, and on the occasional cracked dry spots that I get on the skin at the edges of my fingernails in winter Heather

I bought my nursing bras from Macy's. The brand name is Olga. They are very comfortable and ease of use. I used them as maternity and nursing bras. Good luck!

Recommendation for maternity and nursing bras: I recommend Melinda G bras, which are widely available (at Cotton on College and also at the Bay Area Lactation Center next to Alta Bates). They come in white and black. Very very comfortable and easy to use. Miriam

Not a specific bra recommendation, but if you are anywhere on the larger side, I'd suggest getting one cheap nursing bra and then waiting about two weeks to go to someplace where you can be fitted by someone with experience (I, too, went to Cotton & Co.). The reason is that the first couple of weeks after the birth, you'll be somewhat larger and possibly engorged a bit until your milk supply settles down - I stretched out a really good nursing bra, which made it much less useful later on. Lysa

Another recommendation for bra extenders, which can greatly extend the lifespan of maternity bras. They're just a 2 piece of elastic with hooks and eyes that you attach to your bra. They're only $1 or $2 apiece (way cheaper than a new bra!), and you can find them at any fabric store. I got mine at Stonemountain and Daughter on Shattuck.


Halfway thru pregnancy, can't find a bra that fits

Sept. 1998

I am about half way through my pregnancy and cannot find a bra that fits anywhere! The mall maternity shops don't carry anything that is big enough. I have heard that Fashion After Passion in Alameda has a large stock of bras in all sizes, but everytime I try to go there they are closed. I cant even find their listing in the phone book to call ahead for their hours. I know that I cannot be the only woman who did not begin pregnancy as a 32A, but you would never guess that from what the stores sell. Even JC Penny's only goes up to a size F. I am getting very frustrated and uncomfortable! Can anyone recommend a shop that has maternity or nursing bras larger than a size G in stock? I dont' want to buy something without trying it on first! Thanks for any advice.

Try Lullaby Lane in San Bruno. I don't know if they have size G but they have a lot of bras. You should probably call ahead about the bras but you should check Lullaby Lane out anyway because they have an amazing amount of baby stuff. Loretta

My wife received excellent help from the folks at Cotton and Company on College Avenue. Bob

I recently bought a Bravada maternity/nursing bra and I love it! I am still pregnant, so when the baby is born, I will buy a few more to accommodate my added size. It is kind of expensive, though--$32--so be aware. After using my old sports bra for the past four weeks, I feel great! Laurel

I would check out Cotton and Company on College Avenue in Rockridge. I do not know what their largest size is, but I do know that they have an extensive selection that spans larger cup sizes. I would talk to Claudette, the owner, who is an excellent fitter. If she does not have what you need, I think that she can special order something, or have bras specially made. It is a great place. Good luck, Gail Gail

I'm not quite as large breasted as the writer, but I did find exceptional service and a very good selection of nursing/maternity bras at Cotton & Co. on College Ave. in Rockridge. There is an elder woman there (the owner?) who spends a lot of time with you and fetches loads of bras for you to try on (a lot of stock is in the back, so you may mistakenly think the selection is not overwhelming.) 3 out of the 4 nursing bras that I love and have used for over a year were purchased there. I definitely recommend calling and finding out the hours of this extremely helpful saleswoman before you visit the store (of course, you may want to inquire about the availability of your size as well.) Diana

To bra searcher: I know Cotton and Company (On College Ave) also sells and fits maternity bras. Trust me I was a D before pregnancy and off the charts during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

I bought my nursing bras, with which I am very pleased, from Room For One More in Walnut Creek. Although I did not get super-buxom, and so have not had the difficulties you have experienced, Room for One More specializes in fitting nursing bras, and you might call them to see what they can do for you. They do keep regular business hours, are extremely pleasant, and might even do a special order. They also have reasonably priced casual maternity clothes. Good luck!

You might also try the stores that specialize in clothing for larger women. Two that spring to mind are Says Who? on Piedmont Ave. in Oakland (and its consignment cousin, Seams to Fit, on Telegraph, I think), and In Full Swing on College Avenue in Elmwood/Rockridge. It'd be worth a phone call, anyway. Wendy

Have you tried Cotton and Company, on College in Oakland? The owner is very knowledgable about fitting bras, and they are open better hours than Fashion After Passion. The only catch is that I do not know the range of bras they keep in stock. I had no problem, but I wear a much more typical size. Good luck! Dawn

I have a 4-month-old and found that Medela (producer of many breast-feeding products) makes incredibly comfortable all-cotton nursing bras in a wide variety of sizes and levels of support. The bras even come with directions on how to fit a nursing bra correctly (not an easy task!) I found them at Babies-to-Kids on Paseo Padre in Fremont (where I live). You might find a retailer closer to your home by calling Medela at 1-800-435-8316 or on their web site Carol

Try calling Mimi Maternity in San Francisco, they are located at the same shopping mall as Nordstrom. There is another great maternity store right next to Nordstrom in Walnut Creek, I don't remember the name but they are somehow affiliated with Mimi Maternity, so you can get both numbers by calling M M. Tatiana

Try calling Nordstrom. A few years ago they carried a nursing bra by Olga which was quite comfortable. Natasha

Rather than getting a maternity bra, I was advised to go to Nordstrom's and get fitted for a Wacoal brand bra. They come in large sizes and are *very* comfortable (although not cheap). The style I bought was called Body Suede, and I highly recommend it. If you go, tell them you are pregnant, and they can also sell you some extenders for the back hooks, so that you do not have to keep buying new bras as your ribcage expands. (If you go to Walnut Creek, ask for Chrystal Newton, the Asst. Manager in Lingerie -- she was wonderful.) I have also heard that Cotton & Company on College Ave. is a good place to go for nursing bras, but I am not ready for those yet, so I haven't personally experienced it!

To the woman who needs a large size maternity bra: There is a store in Walnut Creek that sells maternity clothes and is said to be the best place to get large size maternity and nursing bras. I had a friend whose cup size went up to H during nursing and she found she had a good selection there. Unfortunately I can't remember the name of the store, but if you look in the yellow pages and call around you'll find it. Its NOT one of those chains connected to Pea in the Pod. Its not located in the mall but on one of the main shopping streets. Sorry I can't be more specific but I hope this helps. Jenny

I want to second (third? fourth? :)) the recommendation of Cotton & Company on College Ave. for nursing/maternity bras. I also blew up like a balloon and Claudette saved my life! Also, I'd like to nominate Cotton & Company as the first recipient of our Good Feedback from this list. Apparently lots of people have had good experiences there--let's let them know! Lea

There is a relatively new shop run by two pediatric nurses at 2999 Regent Street across from Alta Bates hospital that will special order maternity bras for you. They have a small selection of bras in-stock too. The women were extremely nice and helpful. Unfortunately I cannot remember the name of the store but perhaps if you call up the Long's next door to it, they might be able to tell you. Denise