Did you know that lactating breasts can be an average of 35% heavier than normal? And by 9 months of pregnancy the average woman’s breasts have increased by as much as 2 pounds. Those are reasons enough for why your pre-baby sports bras might not be cutting it when it comes to supporting you through your workouts during pregnancy and postpartum.
But when you combine that added breast weight with heightened breast sensitivity, sore nipples, leaking milk and nagging upper back pain, it becomes abundantly clear that whatever bra you pick has a lot of work to do. This is true for your everyday bras during pregnancy and postpartum, but even more important for sports bras, as they’re responsible for keeping everything in place and comfortable while you’re active. And if it your sports bra isn’t giving you the support you need while working out, it could be doing damage to delicate breast tissue.
We know you have so many things to think about while expecting and in those foggy newborn months, and finding a good, supportive sports bra can take time. So we’ve done the research for you, mama. All you need to do is pick the one that’s best suited to your needs, and follow along with our customized workout plans on the Baby2Body app!
So, when it comes to picking the right sports bra for your 2nd and 3rd trimesters and your postpartum workouts, here’s what to look for:
- Wide (and if possible, adjustable) straps, to give a more solid hold that won’t dig into your shoulders.
- Medium to high support, especially if you are going to be doing anything higher impact.
- If you are breastfeeding (or planning on it) and want the convenience of easy access before or after working out, look for options with nursing clips.
- Soft, breathable fabrics are essential to help with soreness: cotton is actually a highly recommended option!
- Styles with a clasp back, as opposed to ones you pull over your head (trust us, you’ll love this).
- When it comes to cup sizing you may want to size up for extra space when your breasts are full, but it’s important to make sure it feels tight enough to support you. You can always pop in a breast pad if needed for additional support.
- Since your rib cage expands during pregnancy you may need to adjust your band size as well. If you’re able to try before you buy we definitely recommend it to find the right fit for maximum comfort and support.
Now, let’s do a little shopping shall we?
9 Sports Bras For Pregnancy & Postpartum Workouts
The Flex Sports Bra by Shefit, $69
A comfortable, stylish sports bra with the added bonus of adjustable straps. Due to patented Zip.Cinch.Lift technology, it’s also a highly flexible bra suitable for all sizes.
Athena 2.0 Nursing Sports Bra by Love and Fit, $65
Designed for mid-high impact support & coverage. Customize your fit with adjustable straps; ideal for breastfeeding with easy and functional nursing clips.
Sporty Mesh Nursing Bra by Belabumbum, $39
A breathable mesh, moisture wicking sports bra with contrast cotton lining. Wider straps disperse pressure & under bust support provides comfort. Dropdown cups with clips makes it ideal for breastfeeding.
Maternity Sports Bra by Lorna Jane, £55
A maximum support, moisture wicking and breathable bra perfect for postpartum. The feeding clips and built-in sling are very useful for breastfeeding.
Activate Sports Nursing Bra by Hotmilk, £45.99
A great option for high impact workouts & all-day comfort. Made from breathable, moisture wicking, cotton-blend fabric. Wider straps on larger sizes for added support, so it’s great for bigger breasts.
Zest Nursing Sports Bra by Cake Maternity, $89
Full coverage cups, easy-feed clips, and a flexi-wire design for support and comfort. The extendable band offers 5 hook and eye options, offering room to expand up to half a size. Nursing clips and A-frame sling allow easy access & support when breastfeeding.
Maternity & Nursing Sports Bra by Seraphine, £35
Made from high performance sweat-wicking fabric with power mesh detailing for added breathability. Easy nursing access through drop down cups and a racer back style with elasticated under band for medium impact support. Ideal for postnatal exercise particuarly yoga and gym.
Juno Sports Bra by Brooks, £59.95
While not technically a nursing bra, this style ticks all the boxes for a new mum. Front-adjustable straps, hook-and-eye back closure, full support, soft & breathable. Ideal for getting back into higher impact routine, this is a great option.
Maternity Nursing Sports Bra by ASOS, £20
Made from soft woven fabric and specifically designed for active mamas for the gym or everyday. Featuring a scoop neck, supportive wide-cut underband, adjustable straps, hoock and eye back clasp and and drop-down clips ideal for nursing.
If you want more product recommendations to help you through pregnancy and postpartum, please give this post a thumbs up!