Maternity and Nursing Sports Bras You Will Love

Would you show up to the New York Marathon without any training? We didn’t think so. The same rules apply to childbirth, and parenting in general. The fitter you are, the easier your labour will be and the better you’ll be able to keep up with your toddler’s demands. If you’re just starting out on an exercise regime, it’s best to take it easy and try to do something gentle each day such as walking, swimming or simply moving around.

We’re living in crazy times and stress levels are through the roof. Being fit doesn’t just mean cardio workouts and mung beans. It’s about blood, endorphins and oxygen flow in your body as a result of regular exercise. More and more studies are showing that these levels affect the way we react, choices we make and our sense of overall well being. So grab your trainers and head out for some fresh air, your neighbours will thank you for it.

Credit Unsplash Luis Quintero

When exercising, it’s important to be wearing the right gear. The right shoes for the impact of the sport, the right hat, the right pants, the right leggings for squats or lunges and most importantly — the right bra. So depending on the level of impact you’re about to endure, choose your bra accordingly. Sports bras are usually graded with different impact systems that indicate whether they are made for high, medium or low impact sports depending on their bounce control.

For high impact exercises, such as horse riding, spinning, running, zumba, netball and HIIT we recommend you wear a high impact sports bra. These are usually quite hefty and have a lot going on to ensure that bounce is severely reduced, e.g. Zest.

Zest has the following qualities which make it perfect for high impact activity: 

  • The back band is wider and stronger
  • The back straps have additional anchors going into the back band
  • The front straps are reinforced and also padded so they don’t dig in
  • For additional support and ease of movement, there is a j-hook for your convenience
  • The side support panel restricts the breast from outward movement
  • The top cup support restricts upward bounce
  • The drop down sling also acts as a breast support for upwards bounce
  • The wires and moulding projects the bust into the cup without any squashing
  • The spacer fabric is perfectly moulded to inhibit downward bounce too

For medium impact or for less intense gym workouts such as swimming, hiking, all the bells and whistles are not required as much.

If you’re jumping in the pool, look for the following:

  • Back panels that have unrestricted movement for your arms
  • Soft and secure leg elastic
  • Ample stretch in fabric which gathers for growing belly
  • Double lined
  • Top cup stretch to allow for fluctuations
  • Comfortable straps
  • Cute design because you’ll most likely be in public

For low impact sports such as weights, yoga, pilates and tai chi we recommend styles with less bounce support that allow more ease of movement. Opt for a bra that has the following:

  • Racerback or cross over back straps — this will ensure they don’t fall off your shoulders
  • No wires — when you’re doing crazy poses, these can be too restrictive
  • Soft and comfortable yarns
  • Breathable
  • Moulded cups to prevent your breasts from being squashed

When you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, wearing a regular sports bra is not recommended for the following reasons:

  • The wires on regular sports bras are extremely hard and stiff, which can wreak havoc on breasts that are fluctuating.
  • They usually achieve their bounce control through breast compression rather than panel systems that inhibit upwards and downward bounce.
  • Maternity and nursing sports bras should be supporting and separating the breast, rather than compressing it.

There’s no doubt about it that being healthy and active is the best thing for you and we’re here to support you, literally, on your journey. Whether you are just starting out, maintaining a healthy lifestyle or going for your world record, there’re bras out there for you.

About the Author


Katie is the proud mum of two beautiful girls and has been responsible for all the designs, style and fit at Cake Maternity for over a decade now. Katie is a nursing bra specialist and a fit, pattern and grading technician. She is passionate about breastfeeding and the many benefits it offers to both mum, bub and the environment.

She is determined to make the breastfeeding journey a comfortable, supportive and beautiful one for all mums, understanding that it doesn’t always come easy to everyone. That’s why she has made it her mission to empower women as they mindfully navigate the world of motherhood and help make breastfeeding easier, through experience-driven innovation


The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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