How Nursing Bras Support Your Breasts while Feeding

From the outside all nursing bras look very similar but the internal construction is very different.  The main difference is how your breast is supported while you are feeding.  Manufacturers have adopted three different ways to achieve this.

There is no clear “winner” in terms of which is the best as it depends on much on personal choice as it does on technical construction.  This is supported by the fact that many of the brands actually make all three types of bra.

The “sling” is the term used to describe the stucture of how you breast is supported when the actual full cup of the bra has been unclipped and you are feeding.

There are three main types of construction for the sling.


 A-Frame                         Side Sling                          No Sling


1.  The A-frame sling


Nursing Bras with an A-Framea-frame-3

This construction is designed to provide maximum support to the breast.  The A-frame sling is essentially a second internal cup with a section removed around the nipple to allow feeding.  The actual thickness of the frame varies from brand to brand and even bra to bra.

The advantage of this design is that it provides good coverage of the breast – for a bit more modesty, and provides excellent support.  It is suitable for all breast sizes, but because of the great support is perfect for larger busts.


  • Great Support while feeding
  • Good coverage of the breast for modesty
  • Ideal for larger breast when you want that bit more support


  • Reduces skin on skin contact

Take a look at my Nursing Bras with an internal A-Frame 


2.  The Side Sling


Nursing Bras with a Side Sling



The side sling is essentially a continuation of your bra strap down around the side of your breast ending in a sling which cradles the bust from the side.   This exposes much of the breast which allows for more skin on skin contact when feeding.  As the supporting frame is smaller it can be used for 3/4 style nursing bras.


  • Good support
  • Can be used in 3/4 style bras
  • Good skin on skin contact


  • Breast is fully exposed

 Take a look at my  Nursing Bras with an internal side sling


3.  The Sling-less Nursing Bra

 Nursing Bras with No Sling


There are also the some bras (most notably from Royce) that have no built in sling at all.  In this construction the bra strap continues down the side of the breast and attaches to the bra band – but this is not designed to provide any support.  The advantage of this style that there it is absolutely no constriction or pressure on the breast with maximun skin on skin contact.  Conversely there is also absolutely no support or coverage.


  • Very natural position
  • No constriction of the breast or restriction of milk flow
  • Maximum skin on skin contact


  • Absolutely no support for the breast
  • Breast is fully exposed

 Take a look at my Nursing Bras with no internal sling


So which is the best type of nursing bra sling for me ?


Well I am afraid there is no clear answer to that question – it depends very much on your personal preferences.  Many of my customers actually end up buying at least one of each as they find each one has its uses in different situations.

The questions you need to consider are:

– how large are my boobs, and much support do I want while nursing ?

– How much skin on skin contact do I want while feeding ?

– how much of my breast do I want exposed while feeding ?

– Do I prefer 3/4 style or full cup nursing bras ?


I hope that helps explain a little about the types of sling and helps you choose the right one for you.  You can see my full range of nursing bras by clicking here.

Geraldine x


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