Many new mothers would love to go back to their pre-pregnancy wardrobe, but the reality is that most clothing is no longer practical or comfortable, especially when you’re breastfeeding. Even though breastfeeding in public has become much more widespread, the insecurities that accompany a post-baby body are only natural, therefore, you need nursing clothes that are more accommodating for nursing and will allow you to do it in comfort and with confidence.
For this reason, nursing tanks are a go-to solution for many new mothers. They are affordable, versatile, great for layering and perfect for breastfeeding with ease at home or in public. They allow you to easily gain access during feeding time and since it’s common for you to outgrow your normal bra during the first few weeks of nursing, they provide ample room for these changes.
Our Top Picks
Bravado! Designs Women’s Dream Nursing Tank
This nursing tank by Bravado is ideal for bustier ladies; it has ample support in the breast region, helping to support growing breasts and prevent the common uni-boob issue, which can often make many postpartum outfits look a little unappealing.
It features clips on each cup for easy access during nursing; many mothers prefer this option as it’s discreet and means you maintain a lot of coverage throughout each feed. The cups themselves are incredibly supportive and designed to mould to the breast, while the ruching and under-breast seams help to disguise nursing pad lines.
The Bravado doesn’t provide any abdomen control, as seen in more corset-style nursing gear, but it does certainly provide ample coverage of the stomach area and for this reason is perfect as a maternity top during pregnancy too.
Leading Lady Women’s Empire Waist Nursing Cami
If you have a small to moderate cup size, then this stylish looking nursing cami featuring floral embellishment and subtle neck line is a good choice. It doesn’t have the typical hallmarks of a traditional nursing tank top and is available in multiple colors, which is why it’s a popular choice for many moms.
The material is slightly elastic, providing a good amount of support and helping to streamline your curves in all the right areas. For this reason, it’s also a versatile piece that can be used for nursing and maternity.
Regarding breast support, it does feature a very subtle shelf-bra, which will provide adequate support for most moms. Yet women with extra-large breasts find things style of bra doesn’t meet their requirements, but you can easily pair it with a nursing bra if you really want to.
It is a nursing bra with well constructed clips, so of course it allows easy access, yet the major benefit of this bra is the quick drop down cups, providing maximum coverage during feeding time.
iLoveSIA 2Pack Seamless Nursing Tank Top
This double pack is available in two colors, black and flesh tone for maximum versatility with outfits. Made from a spandex and nylon, the material will hug your body in all the right places for a fantastic streamlined silhouette. However in all honesty it is probably more appropriate for postpartum needs and not maternity wear since it’s a relatively tight fitting.
Breast support includes a seamless and elastic contour for optimum breast support, removable molded foam cups to disguise nursing pads and maintain maximum discretion, as well as nursing sling and ribbing. There are straps on either side that can be unclipped easily with a single hand.
All in all, this nursing tank would suit the needs of many mothers; it’s stylish, practical and can be machine washed. Bear in mind that even though larger sizes may seem more expensive, you are getting two tanks.
Caramel Cantina 3 Pack Women’s Nursing Cami
The Caramel Cantina range provides adequate support to the entire body during pregnancy and nursing, including tummy, waist and the breast area. Available in a variety of nice colors and made from a combination of spandex and nylon, it provides a tight fit that cinches your body in all the right areas, while providing much needed moisture control as many mothers will attest – overheating and perspiration are part and parcel of pregnancy.
When you begin to nurse, your breasts can change significantly and seeing a size increase is common, so good preparation is key to comfort and a good fit. The Cantina will provide a lot of support since it contains a built-in shelf bra, and since the fabric used is elastic, it will provide adequate give and continue to support your breasts as they grow in size.
Like many designs, the Cantina features clips on both straps for quick and easy access during nursing. The straps can also be worn on the back in criss-cross configuration and the long length means they are perfect for layering with other pieces. Overall, a great set of nursing tanks, offering good value for money, style and comfort.
Intimate Portal Gaia Nursing Cami Tank
If you don’t like the idea of clips, then you can always opt for a non-clip nursing tank like this one from Intimate Portal. When you need to start feeding your little one, you simply need to pull one of the cups to the side and your done. This means you don’t have to worry about clips potentially breaking, leaving you exposed.
Their design is more fitted than some of the other tanks we reviewed and so may reveal a little more baby-weight, but they are great for layering and revealing a little more cleavage than some of the other high cut tanks. They contain thin inserts in the cups that don’t offer as much support as some of the more structured tanks, but you can easily compensate for this by pairing it with a nursing bra below.
These tanks come in a variety of styles and colors and since their design isn’t solely catering for the breastfeeding phase, they can be worn well into the future.
How to Choose a Good Nursing Tank
There are a number of things to consider when looking for a nursing tank, not only will you want to select one that suits your personal attests in terms of style. But you will also want to consider your breast size and the time of support you require, so how can you choose one that not only look great, but feel good and offer a practical solution?
The Material of the Tank
The material you opt for should reflect how you want to look. If you want a tank that will cinch you in at all the right areas, you’ll want to consider materials that are somewhat elastic. These will also provide stretch for changing bodies and includes materials, such as spandex, cotton and polyester, typically, a combination of these are used in the most popular brands.
Overheating and increased perspiration are common complaints when carrying a little postpartum weight and having close skin-to-skin contact with your baby. Therefore, it’s best to choose absorbent materials that are highly breathable; cotton is a good option, so try to select a tank with a high percentage of cotton.
Finally consider whether you want a loose fit around your belly, which can help to provide coverage for post-pregnant bellies. Or, do you want a tank that will cinch your belly in, instead of simply covering it? Either way, ensure you check what your nursing cami is offering before making a decision.
Nursing tanks come in a variety of shapes and sizes and so offer different types of breast support, ranging from built-in shelf bras, to the more structured cups, containing padding and nursing slings. The one that is most appropriate will largely depend on your breast size, but remember to give a little extra room for breast growth, which is common during the breastfeeding stage. If you happen to have large busts, then you may find you need extra support with any tank, which you can easily achieve with a nursing bra worn underneath.
Clip vs. Non-Clip Nursing Tanks
Whether you want a tank with a clip or one without is largely down to personal preference, but there are a few practicalities to consider too. Clip designs offer you the ability to discreetly nurse your child easily and often offer more support than the non-clip variety. On the other hand, non-clip designs means there’s no risks of any clips breaking, leading to any embarrassing accidents. It also means they have more longevity since you can continue wearing them well past the breastfeeding phase.
Designs with Ruching
Many nursing tanks feature ruching – an area of scrunched up fabric that adds to the design, providing a special touch to the design and making things such as breast pads more difficult to spot. However, this can create an undesired texture underneath shirts and blouses, so is better worn with cardigans or other pieces that won’t lie on top of it. Ruching certainly serves a purpose for many women, but it’s a limitation that you should be aware of.
Avoid any Accidents
If you intend on being active after your pregnancy, then make sure to select a tank that will keep in place no matter how much you move or jump about. If you want to attend a gym class, or go running, it is a good idea to ensure you choose a more sport-styled tank, with elastic fabric materials that will keep snug to your body. Not all clip designs are made equally, so also ensure you choose a tank with a very secure clasp that has a good reputation for staying secure and in place.