Best Pregnancy Bra 2018

M&S Louisa Lace Bralet review

M&S has stolen the show with this bralet. The M&S Collection Louisa Lace is nursing-friendly, pretty and affordable. Of all the bras we tested, this was the best for expecting mums.

£9.50 from Marks & Spencer

Pros

  • Extremely affordable at £9.50
  • Pretty and available in multiple colours with matching briefs
  • Very soft, stretchy material
  • Supportive but not tight in any areas
  • Low cut V-neck shape, suitable for low-cut tops

Cons

  • Chest band is not adjustable
  • No breastfeeding clips
  • Not leak-absorbent
  • Only goes up to cup size E (although Mumsnetters up to size G recommend this bra)
  • Need to go in-store to try on

Key Features of M&S Louisa Lace Bralet

  • Non-wired
  • Non-padded
  • Elasticated lace material is extremely soft
  • Adjustable shoulder straps of a normal width
  • Low cut V-neck shape, sits low under the arm
  • Thick lace chest band for support and style
  • Mesh inner lining soft on delicate areas
  • Can be purchased as a set with matching briefs

RRP £9.50
Sizes: 8-18 (dress size)

M&S Louisa Lace Bralet in blue and black

While this bralet is not technically sold as a maternity bra, when it came to our testing the Louisa Lace was a clear winner for pregnancy.

M&S Collection’s Louisa Bralet is gloriously comfortable. From the moment our tester put this bralet on, she said her shoulders relaxed and posture improved.

The thick chest band stops any pinching at the sides and across your chest. The straps are an ordinary width and adjustable, so they don’t feel heavy on your shoulders, and the neckline is much lower than the standard bra so it sits nicely under a lower-cut top.

How does it make you look and feel?

Wonderful, said our tester. It’s nice to have a bra that is elegant and attractive as well as actually being comfortable. The thick lace chest band accentuates the area under the bust, which is a nice reminder of once having a waistline…

During pregnancy your skin is increasingly sensitive. M&S might not have created this bralet with pregnancy in mind but it’s extremely soft and the mesh lining on the inside of the cup is gentle on your sensitive areas. But it was the combination of the soft, thin material and the lack of adjustable chest band that made this bra so ultra comfy in pregnancy.

Is it the Marks & Spencer bralet affordable?

The Louisa Lace is unbelievably well priced at only £9.50, which is well below any leading maternity and nursing bra on the market.

The only downfall is the bralet only goes up to a dress size 18. According to M&S, when it comes to bralets, this translates to a 38E. Do not be discouraged though, if that’s not you There are plenty of other brands out there that cater for a wider range of sizes; we recommend Hot Milk in particular for fuller busts.

Does the Marks & Spencer bralet support your bust?

While the Louisa Bralet isn’t as supportive as a full nursing bra with all its trap doors and extra fabric, it is supportive enough for daytime use (even with a fuller bust). The gentle lift is flattering and the inward ‘gathering’ creates a nice silhouette.

Annoyingly, this bralet comes in clothes sizes rather than bra sizes which means a fitting is definitely required to get the right size and right support, but it’s always advisable to get a bra properly fitted anyway.

Would it be easy to feed in?

Feeding was easy in the Louisa Bralet because the neckline is so low it allows you to pull the bra down so that it sits under your breast on the side you are feeding. It is elasticated as well, which means that it doesn’t feel tight when the cup is pulled down to feed.

Because the Louisa Bralet does not have feeding clips it is slightly less discreet for larger busts – more of an unfolding approach is required.

The bralet isn’t leak-absorbent, so you would need to wear pads if you are prone to leakages.

Is it the Marks & Spencer bralet comfortable?

Very. It’s made from breathable material, which prevents that common 'bra furnace' feeling you can often get in pregnancy. Many maternity and nursing bras are double-layered with thick elasticated material. By contrast, the Louisa Lace bralet is soft and light, so if you are feeling hormonal and tender you barely notice you’re wearing it.

Would the Marks & Spencer bralet hold breast pads in place easily?

Because the Louisa Bralet isn’t designed for nursing, the breast pad situation is a bit tricky. Our tester found the best approach was to pull the bra back into place and then slip the breast pad back in rather than trying to place the pad and lift over the top simultaneously, as you would with a nursing bra.

How do you wash the Louisa Lace?

Easily. Our tester washed the Louisa Lace bralet in a 30C and 40C wash and it didn’t lose its shape or colour. The label instructions are to wash it at 40C. While the Louisa Lace can be tumble-dried, we found it dried within a few hours just hung on an airer.

Is the Louisa Lace good value for money?

Yes. You can’t go wrong for less than a tenner, really. Our tester absolutely fell in love with it and immediately bought it in every colour.

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Awards

  • Best Pregnancy Bra 2018

How we test

We've put hundreds of products through our exhaustive testing process to produce reviews that are accurate, honest and trustworthy. Here's what we did to test maternity and nursing bras to find the best of the best.

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