How Do You Make a Nursing Bra into a Pumping Bra? – A Simple But Effective Guide

Hello fellow moms, and welcome to my blog! As a mother myself, I know how important it is to find functional and comfortable clothing during this special time. One item that is a must-have for nursing mothers is a nursing bra. But did you know that with some DIY, you can also turn it into a pumping bra? That’s right! In today’s blog post, I’ll discuss how to make a nursing bra into a pumping bra.

After analyzing the web and reading information from reputable websites such as The Bump and KellyMom, I have gathered valuable insights on this topic. I know many of you may wonder how to get the most out of your nursing bra, and I’m here to help!

Pumping can be a hassle, but having the right gear can make all the difference. And with a few simple modifications, convert your nursing bra into a pumping bra without spending extra money on a separate piece of clothing.

I have brought a guide on easily turning a nursing bra into a pumping bra. You can take the fuss out of pumping and multitask like a pro with a few modifications! After all, a pumping bra allows for hands-free pumping and the ability to multitask while pumping.

Once you read the whole guide, you will get tips on what to look out for. You can make a DIY pumping bra after reading this post. Also, I will provide helpful resources on where to find the supplies and instructions needed.

How Do You Make a Nursing Bra into a Pumping Bra?
How Do You Make a Nursing Bra into a Pumping Bra?

What is a Nursing Bra?

Many breastfeeding mothers wear this type of unique bra. It helps provide a comfortable environment for the mother and baby during nursing sessions.

Nursing bras include wireless sports bras, camisole bras, and adjustable straps. These bras feature easy-to-access tabs to open, allowing convenient access for the baby to nurse.

Nursing bras also often have extra support in softly lined cups or adjustable bands. These cups or bands provide additional comfort and support during those long feeding sessions. However, it’s vital to choose a fitting bra with enough bust support and comfort simultaneously.

The idea of converting a nursing bra into a pumping bra has recently become popular among mothers. Primarily, it is helpful for those who need to pump their milk while on the go.

This process involves making slight alterations to allow easy access while wearing the nursing bra, such as extending straps or adding additional ties. They can help make the entire process run smoother and more efficiently.

Additionally, some pumping bras are designed with an inner pocket to store your breast pump accessories safely and securely when not in use. So, you don’t need to worry, even if you are a busy mom.

What is a Pumping Bra?

A pumping bra is essential for nursing mothers who use breast pumps. It provides a convenient, secure way to support the pump flanges and bottles. Again, it allows the mother to be hands-free while breastfeeding and pumping.

The pumping bras vary in style, typically with adjustable straps for a comfortable fit that may span multiple bra sizes. You can find them in many styles, including tank tops, sports bras, and traditional cotton bras. Hence, they are designed for nursing mothers seeking extra support while breastfeeding or pumping.

Pumping bras are helpful for breastfeeding moms. Any lactating mother who uses a breast pump to express milk can use them.

While some brands make their own specially designed bras, options are also available to convert an existing nursing bra into a pumping bra. It will give you the same convenience while using the regular bra you enjoy when using a specially designed model.

Benefits of Using a Pumping Bra

Wearing a pumping bra is one of the most comfortable and convenient ways to support breastfeeding mothers while expressing milk.

Pumping bras provide additional support so that mothers can easily access their breasts. Mothers can adjust the flanges at their preferred angle and expel milk efficiently and effectively. Also, these hands-free devices give mothers time to care for their babies or work on other tasks while expressing themselves.

Additionally, pumping bras help maintain good hygiene by keeping breast pump tubing clean and out of the way.

Using a pumping bra eliminates anxiety about holding onto your breast pump while expressing. It enables multiple users to share one breast pump since you can put different flanges in each bra cup. Thus, you should avoid any possible contamination from other users.

A pumping bra enables you to be discreet if designed with discreet fabric. Others will not know that you wear it when nursing in public places or breastfeeding your baby outside your home.

Pumping bras are great for travel. They can accommodate virtually all manual or electric breast pump makes and models without carrying bulky accessories.

Materials Needed for How to Convert a Nursing Bra into a Pumping Bra

You must gather a few materials before converting your nursing bra into a pumping bra. The materials required for this project are:

  1. Nursing Bra: A nursing bra is the most important material you need. Ensure that the nursing bra fits you well and provides support, as it will be the base for your pumping bra.
  2. Scissors: You will need a pair of sharp scissors to cut the fabric of the nursing bra and create openings for the breast pump flanges.
  3. Needle and Thread or Sewing Machine: You will need a needle and thread to sew the openings and secure the fabric edges. If you have a sewing machine, it can make the process quicker and easier.
  4. Bra Hooks and Eyes (optional): Bra hooks and eyes can be added to the back of the bra to allow for easy on-and-off access. This step is optional but can make it easier to use the pumping bra.
  5. Breast Pump Flanges: You will need breast pump flanges that fit your breasts to attach to the openings in the nursing bra. Ensure that the flanges fit properly and provide a comfortable suction.

Gathering all these materials will allow you to convert your nursing bra into a pumping bra.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Converting a Nursing Bra into a Pumping Bra

Have you gathered the necessary materials and chosen the right nursing bra for the conversion? If so, it’s time to begin the conversion process. Here are the step-by-step instructions for converting a nursing bra into a pumping bra:

  1. Put on the nursing bra and mark the areas where you want to create the openings for the pump flanges. Typically, these openings should be in the center of the bra cups, just above the nipple.
  2. Please take off the bra. Then, use a pair of scissors to cut the fabric where you have marked it carefully. Start with minor cuts, and slowly increase the opening size until the flange fits comfortably.
  3. Once you have cut the openings, use a needle and thread or sewing machine to sew around the edges of the opening to prevent the fabric from fraying. Ensure that the fabric around the opening is smooth and not bunched up, which can cause discomfort during pumping.
  4. If desired, you can add bra hooks and eyes to the back of the bra for easy on-and-off access. Sew them onto the bra at the appropriate location, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  5. Once the openings and additional features are in place, put on the converted nursing bra and attach the pump flanges. Ensure that the flanges align with the openings and provide a comfortable suction. Adjust the bra and flanges as necessary for a secure and comfortable fit.

You should take sufficient time to be precise with your cuts and sewing. It ensures the pumping bra is comfortable and practical during your pumping sessions.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Converting a Nursing Bra into a Pumping Bra
Step-by-Step Instructions for Converting a Nursing Bra into a Pumping Bra

Alternative Ways to Convert a Nursing Bra into a Pumping Bra

Method -1

If you already have a nursing bra that fits securely, you can convert it into a hands-free pumping bra with a few simple steps.

  1. Purchase a set of pumping bra adapters or extenders. These allow you to attach your breast pump flanges directly to your nursing bras for hands-free expression.
  2. Attach the adapters or extenders according to the instructions of the manufacturer. Ensure they’re affixed securely before proceeding with any pumping dispensement.
  3. Slide the flanges over each nipple and adjust until they’re securely attached, creating an airtight seal around each breast.
  4. Turn on the pump and proceed with regular expression per your lactation consultant’s instructions or the pump manufacturer’s guidelines.
  5. When you’re finished, detach all components from the nursing bra and store everything in an appropriate bag until your next session, as recommended by your lactation consultant or pump provider’s manual for best hygiene practices between uses.
How to use Nursing Bra To Pump (Video Credit: Mommy Shark)

Method -2

I often hear, “how do I make a nursing bra into a pumping bra?”. It can seem not very easy. But with just a few extra supplies, turning your favorite nursing bra into a hands-free pumping bra is quite simple.

You will need the following:

  • A firm (preferably wide) elastic band to fit around the rib cage
  • A couple of small fabric ties or strips of Velcro
  • Headbands or fabric strips (like cotton flannel) cut to fit around each breast shield


  • Wrap the elastic band around your rib cage, snug enough that it won’t slip and loose enough that you can still comfortably breathe. Keep at least two inches from your nipple line when measuring for tightness — you don’t want to risk damaging sensitive breast tissue!
  • Attach one end of the elastic securely to one side of your nursing bra using either the strips of Velcro or two small ties. Do the same for the other side, ensuring both ends are securely fastened and will not move when tension is applied.
  • Secure each breast shield onto either side with either headbands or fabric strips tied together in an “X” shape at the top, looped around each breast shield, and tied securely at the base of each cup on your nursing bra.

If you are having trouble attaching directly to your flange size may be an issue — ensure that the circumference at its widest point fits beneath both cups comfortably before attempting this step!


Once everything is secure, you should have a hands-free pumping bra ready for use! Ensure that all parts are secure and comfortable before beginning a pumping session. Any issues may result in an uncomfortable experience!

Tips and Tricks to Make the Conversion Easier

A few tips to make the transition as easy as possible are:

  1. Get the right size: Make sure you start with a nursing bra that fits perfectly and provides plenty of coverage when worn alone or under clothing. The size should be determined based on your pre-pregnancy band size (usually two inches larger than your actual band size).
  2. Adjust the straps: Adjustable straps allow for more coverage while providing flexibility throughout the day. Keep all hooks hooked together. So there’s no gap between them when adjusting straps.
  3. Add additional support: Wider bands across the wings helps provide extra support since larger breast sizes require more support than smaller ones for comfort during pumping sessions. Plus, it helps keep everything securely in place!
  4. Make use of specialized products: Specialized products like bralettes are designed to accommodate breast pumps which can help make nursing more comfortable after birth since it allows for gentle support without compromising comfort or appearance (for example, a maternity bralette). Plus, these specialized bras are adjustable to suit any shape or size!
  5. Consider soft strapping: Soft-strapping or fabric covers over traditional underwire bras can help soften any areas susceptible to discomfort during pumping sessions. They can reduce chafing over time due to constant contact with fabric on your skin and breastfeeding/pumping multiple times a day.

Additional Tips for Pumping with a Converted Nursing Bra

There are a few additional tips to remember after conversion to ensure a smooth and successful pumping experience:

  1. Wear a Hands-Free Pumping Bra: A hands-free pumping bra is an excellent addition to a converted nursing bra as it allows you to multitask while pumping. A hands-free bra will hold the pump flanges in place, freeing up your hands for reading, working on your laptop, or even caring for your baby.
  2. Adjust the Bra Straps: Adjust the bra straps to provide adequate support for your breasts during pumping. Adjusting the straps will also ensure the pump flanges align appropriately with your nipples.
  3. Use Nursing Pads: Leaking during pumping can be expected. So using nursing pads can help to absorb any excess milk and prevent it from getting onto your clothes or the bra.
  4. Maintain the Integrity of the Bra: To ensure the longevity of your converted nursing bra, avoid machine washing it. Instead, hand wash the bra and hang it to dry. It will prevent any damage to the openings or the overall structure of the bra.
  5. Replace the bra Regularly: As with any bra, a nursing bra can lose its shape and support over time. It’s essential to replace the nursing bra and convert the pumping bra regularly, especially if you are using it frequently for pumping sessions.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What materials do I need to convert a nursing bra into a pumping bra?
  • To convert a nursing bra into a pumping bra, you’ll need a nursing bra, a pair of scissors, a seam ripper or a small blade, and some nursing clips. You can purchase nursing clips online or at a fabric or craft store.
  • How do I attach nursing clips to a nursing bra?
  • First, locate the spots where you want to attach the nursing clips on your bra. Then, use a seam ripper or a small blade to carefully cut the thread holding the strap to the bra cup. Next, slide the bottom part of the nursing clip through the hole in the bra cup and attach the top part of the clip. Repeat the process on the other side of the bra.
  • How can I ensure a fit after converting my nursing bra into a pumping one?
  • It’s important to ensure your pumping bra fits well to prevent discomfort or leakage while pumping. After attaching the nursing clips, try on the bra to check the fit. Adjust the straps and band as needed to ensure a snug and comfortable fit.
  • Can I use any nursing bra to make a pumping bra?
  • Most nursing bras can be converted into pumping bras, but some may be easier to modify than others. Look for a bra with adjustable straps and a band that fits snugly around your chest. Bras made with stretchy and breathable fabrics are also good choices.
  • Can I still use the bra for nursing after converting it into a pumping bra?
  • You can still use the bra for nursing after converting it into a pumping bra. Simply unclip the nursing clips when you’re ready to nurse and reattach them after pumping. However, remember that the clips may wear out over time, so you may need to replace them eventually.


Converting a nursing bra into a pumping bra is a cost-effective and practical solution for breastfeeding mothers who want to pump milk hands-free. Following the steps outlined above and choosing the right nursing bra, you can easily customize a pumping bra to fit your specific needs.

Overall, it is a simple and effective solution to make pumping sessions more comfortable and efficient. By taking the time to properly cut and sew the openings, adjust the straps, and add any additional features, you can create a custom pumping bra that works for you.

Remember to follow the additional tips for pumping with a converted nursing bra to ensure a smooth and successful pumping experience.

I hope you have learned how to make a nursing bra into a pumping bra well. Now you can make your own pumping bra.

Thanks for reading this blog.

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