Are you aware of the differences between a standard bra and a maternity or nursing bra? While the differences are subtle, they are also very important. We’ll help you get caught up to speed by offering some distinct differences that these similar pieces of apparel share.


The primary area of difference found between a normal bra and a nursing bra is the comfort level. Standard bras are intended to support normal breasts. When breasts swell and enlarge from milk, they can ache, have sensitive nipples and sweat more. A maternity bra is designed to be breathable and more comfortable by using special fabrics that offer enhanced comfort.

Support Factor

Your breasts will require additional support and this support must also accommodate for the expanding rib cage. Standard bras are not designed to provide this extra support or to accommodate for an expanding rib cage. With a maternity bra, its special design will cater to your changing body type.

Access Options

The front open clasp or flaps (detachable cups) will make it easier to feed your child whenever they get hungry. Most are designed to be accessed using one hand. This means that you won’t have to set a hungry baby down and then fumble with your bra to get it unhooked.


Certain maternity and nursing bras are designed to enhance your comfort levels. They do this by using thicker materials that can cover wide areas, like flaps, to provide comfort and privacy while nursing. It often means that you can feed your baby somewhere more public when feeding time arrives.