The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Perfect Nursing Sports Bra

by Bailey Bouwman

Being a postpartum mom doesn't mean you have to give up your active lifestyle. A nursing sports bra is a game-changer for breastfeeding moms who want to stay fit and active without compromising comfort and functionality. So when you're ready to get active, whether on your own or with your favourite postpartum gym, like Framework Fitness in Prince George, we have the products you need. 

In this guide, we'll cover everything you need to know to find the perfect nursing sports bra that fits your needs and lifestyle. To make your shopping experience even better, we've gathered insightful tips on choosing the perfect nursing sports bra, drawing on knowledge from REI, Nike, and our favourite nursing bra brands.

Nursing Sports Bras vs. Regular Sports Bras

Nursing sports bras are thoughtfully designed to cater to the needs of active moms. Their standout feature is the incorporation of nursing clips that allow the front panel of the cups to fold down, offering easy and discreet access for breastfeeding. This innovative design ensures that moms can feed their little ones comfortably and conveniently, making nursing sessions during workouts or activities hassle-free - a must if you're attending baby & me fitness classes.

Compared to regular sports bras, nursing sports bras offer a similar level of comfort and support. Crafted from sturdy and durable fabrics, they provide optimal support to minimize breast movement during exercises, reducing the risk of discomfort, soreness, or soft tissue damage. The wider and more comfortable straps and bands efficiently disperse the weight of the breasts, ensuring a snug and secure fit that allows moms to exercise with confidence.

Finding the Perfect Nursing Sports Bra: Support, Fit, and Features

As a nursing parent, choosing a sports bra shares many similarities with selecting one as a non-nursing parent. The key goals are to ensure minimal bounce and achieve a perfect fit that supports your active lifestyle. Nursing sports bras are thoughtfully designed to accommodate your changing body and provide the necessary support. 

When it comes to nursing sports bras, there are two main types to consider: encapsulation and compression bras.

  1. Encapsulation Bras: These bras resemble standard bras and come with molded cups for each breast. They offer individual support and limit breast movement from all directions, making them perfect for higher-impact activities. If you have a larger cup size (D+ cups), encapsulation bras provide the optimal support and comfort during intense workouts like running or high-intensity training.

  2. Compression Bras: Compression sports bras are pullover-style bras made from tight fabric intended to fit snugly. They compress the breasts, holding them close to the chest wall, which is ideal for lower-impact exercises and those with smaller cup sizes (A to C cups). If you prefer moderate impact activities like walking, yoga, or strength training, compression bras offer the right balance of support and comfort.

Encapsulation Bra Example

The Luxe Bra from Cadenshae is a good example of this, and fits cups sizes H to J. 

Higher Impact Support

Compression Bra

The Smoothie Crop Sports Bra offers a more compression fit with cups A to E.

Lower Impact Support


Understanding the impact levels of sports bras is equally important. Different activities call for different levels of support to minimize breast movement and potential discomfort. Here's a breakdown of the impact levels and their suitable activities:

  1. Low Support: Ideal for low-impact activities such as walking, yoga, and strength training. These bras offer a lightweight design with narrower straps and bands. Typically best for smaller chests. 

  2. Medium Support: Designed for moderate-impact activities like hiking, skiing, and road cycling. They offer more restriction of breast movement and come with wider bands and straps for added support.

  3. High Support: Recommended for high-impact activities like running, mountain biking, and high-intensity workouts. These bras are perfect for D cup or larger, providing the widest bands and adjustable shoulder straps for maximum support.

Finding the right impact level depends on the type of activities you engage in. Whether you're going for a leisurely walk or hitting the gym for an intense workout, choosing a nursing sports bra that matches your activity level ensures comfort and confidence during every move.

Many nursing sports bras fall into the mid impact category. Support levels are indicated for most products. 

Essential Features for the Ideal Nursing Sports Bra

Choosing the perfect nursing sports bra goes beyond just the right impact level. Consider what essential features and strap types might contribute to your overall comfort and support during workouts.

When it comes to nursing sports bras, comfort is key. Chafing and irritation can be a major hindrance during workouts, especially for active parents. Look for bras with adjustable straps and closures to customize the fit to your body shape and ensure optimal support without digging into your skin. The ability to adjust the straps can create a snug fit while preventing discomfort and distractions during exercise.

Maybe that means something that can be taken into a racer back, offers strap adjustments, and more. The Swift Bra is one style from Cadenshae with that functionality. Not all nursing sports bras are this adaptable, some perform with limited features, and that ensures maximum support



During workouts, your body temperature rises, leading to sweat and moisture. That's where moisture-wicking fabrics come to the rescue. These light, breathable materials effectively pull moisture away from your body, keeping you cool and comfortable throughout your workout. Additionally, some nursing sports bras feature netting and extra lining for liquid absorption, which can be beneficial during pregnancy, especially if you experience colostrum leakage. Opt for bras with moisture-wicking properties to stay dry and fresh during all your active pursuits.


Most nursing sports bras are designed with this in mind. One to call out in this article is the Reactivate Nursing Bra from Hot Milk with a breathable four way stretch and moisture wicking lining. 


One popular strap style in nursing sports bras is the racerback design. Racerback bras have fixed straps that join together in between the shoulder blades, creating a unique back shape. This design offers greater freedom of movement through the shoulders and provides additional support, making it an excellent choice for active parents, especially during pregnancy when there is extra weight in the front torso. By pulling the straps inward and together at the back, the weight distribution is evened out, reducing strain on the shoulders and enhancing overall comfort during exercise.


The racerback style in The Bella Nursing Sports Bra from Joyleta offers this functionality, helping spread the support through your back for maximum comfort and style. Some bras have a racerback feature built in, while others will have a hood adjuster to connect. 


A well-fitting nursing sports bra with key features like adjustable straps, moisture-wicking fabrics, and strap styles that support your active lifestyle is a game-changer.  Whether you're taking a leisurely walk, enjoying yoga, or engaging in high-impact workouts, the right nursing sports bra ensures comfort, support, and confidence during every fitness adventure, and easy access to nursing baby.

Finding the Right Size Nursing Sports Bra

Choosing the right size nursing sports bra is crucial for ensuring maximum comfort, support, and functionality during your active pursuits. Most nursing sports bras are designed to be multifit, accommodating a range of cup sizes, for example, B to E or H to I. To find the perfect fit, you'll need to know your cup size and band size before shopping.  

Measuring Your Band Size: Wrap a measuring tape snugly around your rib cage, just beneath your breasts. The tape should be parallel to the ground and not too tight or too loose. Take note of the measurement in inches and round it to the nearest whole number. This is your band size. 

Measuring Your Cup Size: To determine your cup size, measure around the fullest part of your breasts, making sure the tape is straight and level across your back. Subtract your band size from this measurement. Each inch difference corresponds to a cup size. 

Once you know your breast size, consider the following features to find the perfect fit:

  1. Adjustable Features for a Custom Fit: Many nursing sports bras, like those from Cadenshae and Hot Milk, come with extra hooks on the band to extend the bra band, providing a customized fit for your changing body during pregnancy and postpartum. If you prefer nursing sports bras from Joyleta, you can request additional hooks or purchase them separately to achieve the same custom fit.

  2. Support for Larger Busts: If you have a larger bust, it's best to opt for nursing sports bras in an encapsulation style rather than crop-style bras that compress the breasts. Encapsulation bras with molded cups offer individual support and limit breast movement, providing maximum support during high-impact activities.


Many nursing sports bras feature hooks and loop closures to give you comfort in your changing body. If you are in need of extra’s, they can be purchased or ask via email as we might have some left over from previous fits.


Once you have determined your size, you can visit Nest & Sprout in Pine Centre Mall, Prince George, BC, to try on nursing sports bras. During the fitting, pay attention to the following aspects:

  • Strap and Band Fit: After putting on the nursing sports bra, you should be able to fit only two fingers between the straps and your shoulders, ensuring a snug but not too tight fit. Similarly, you should also be able to fit two fingers underneath the band, ensuring it stays in place without digging into your skin.

  • Minimal Breast Movement: When the bra is on, your breasts should only move minimally during physical activities. This indicates that the bra is providing the right level of support to minimize bounce and discomfort, allowing you to move with confidence.

  • Cup Coverage: Check that the cups of the nursing sports bra fully cover your breasts. There should be no spillage or gaps, and the cups should comfortably hold your breasts in place, providing adequate support and coverage.

By considering these features and taking the time to try on different nursing sports bras, you can confidently find the perfect fit that offers optimal support and comfort, making your active lifestyle as a nursing parent enjoyable and stress-free.

Embrace Your Active Motherhood with the Best Nursing Sports Bras: Brands and Products for Comfort and Support

Our collection of nursing sports bra at Nest & Sprout is small and mighty. We currently feature one Nursing Sport Bra with a few odds and ends from other brands and styles. As a small shop in Prince George, BC we are always looking for recommendations and asks. 

We can order in other styles of Hot Milk Sports Bras for you - just send us a message with your size and we’ll see if it’s available for our next order. Our collection is a reflection of products that have been successful for local families and what’s easily accessible. 

Joyleta Bella Nursing Sports Bra: Joyleta's Bella Nursing Sports Bra is a best-selling choice at Nest & Sprout.

This sports bra is designed to provide ultimate functionality and style for active Canadian moms. It features ultra-soft fabric for maximum comfort, convenient drop-down nursing clips for easy breastfeeding access, and a wide underbust band for optimal support without the need for underwires. The Bella Nursing Sports Bra allows you to move effortlessly during workouts or outdoor activities, providing confidence and comfort for your active lifestyle. With this bra, you no longer have to compromise between fashion and functionality, making your motherhood journey more enjoyable.

Cadenshae Nursing Sports Bras: Cadenshae offers a diverse range of nursing sports bras with expanded cup and sizing options, making it a great choice for moms looking for various styles and fits. While some sizes may be limited in stock at Nest & Sprout, Cadenshae is known for its commitment to providing comfortable and supportive nursing sports bras for active moms.
Cake Maternity and Belly Bandit are frequently recommended brands known for their nursing sports bras. We encourage you to explore other sports bra retailers and maternity boutiques for additional choices that suit your specific needs and preferences.

For more reviews and insights on other nursing sports bra products, you can visit Rookie Moms, a valuable resource that provides helpful information for nursing moms seeking the best sports bras for their active lifestyles: Rookie Moms - Sports Bras for Nursing Moms

Embrace Active Motherhood with Confidence

From the innovative nursing clips to the moisture-wicking fabrics, nursing sports bras cater to your unique needs, providing easy breastfeeding access while keeping you cool and comfortable during workouts. With brands like Joyleta, Cadenshae, and more, you can explore a range of options that offer various features and styles for your convenience.

Remember to consider the right size, support level, and essential features like adjustable straps and band fit to ensure a snug and custom fit. Choosing the right nursing sports bra can make all the difference, reducing discomfort, minimizing breast movement, and letting you focus on what truly matters: enjoying precious moments with your little one while staying active and confident.

Ready to find your perfect nursing sports bra and embrace active motherhood with confidence?

Visit Nest & Sprout in Pine Centre Mall, Prince George, BC, to explore our wide selection of nursing sports bras, including the best-selling Bella Nursing Sports Bra by Joyleta and the limited options from Cadenshae. For more customized fitting experience, reach out to let us know of your arrival.


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