You’re Pregnant. Now what are you going to wear?
You’re pregnant, and you have nothing to wear!
Congratulations! You’re pregnant. Three months to be exact. Your jeans are starting to not buckle up and all of your T-shirts are suddenly too short and too tight. Once you start to grow out of your clothes you are not likely ready for maternity clothes yet. But you do need to start to build a maternity wardrobe that will take you through your 40 weeks and into your postpartum period comfortably. Our bodies go through ‘tremendous’ changes during pregnancy and the one thing to keep in mind is that every pregnancy is different and affects each and every woman’s body differently. The time when you notice that your clothes are too tight is usually around the 20 week mark (for me it was 16 weeks for both of my pregnancies).
The toughest part about creating your maternity wardrobe is finding a balance between work and casual clothing. Try to buy pieces that can transition from day to night to weekend. This way you get more bang for your buck.
No matter what people tell you, YES, you do need to buy maternity clothes. Plus sizes are not maternity wear and will not fit you properly. Clothes that are too big can make you look and feel frumpy. Fitted maternity clothes will show off your new shape and make you look and feel great! None of this “wear your husband’s pants and shirts”. You may want to raid his closet for comfy clothes to wear at home and to bed, but for everyday, you want to feel as good as possible throughout your pregnancy. Let’s face it looking good plays a huge part in feeling good. Be happy – how many times in your life will you be perfectly OK with showing off a big belly? You don’t need to spend a lot of money on a maternity wardrobe – although you can if you want to. There used to be a time when maternity clothes where very expensive and not very fashionable (floral moo moo anyone?). But this is no longer the case. There is so much choice now, and there is a store to fit every budget. You should create a maternity wardrobe to fit your needs and your budget. Just think of it as an investment, if you plan on having more than one child you can wear the clothes again and again, or you can sell them once you are done.
One thing to remember when you shop for your growing belly is to stay true to your fashion sense. I never wore big, loud prints prepregnancy, why would I want to wear them now?
Let’s start with the core basics:
You may not need to buy any maternity underwear. The key to this part of your wardrobe is comfort. If you wear bikini or hipster panties, chances are that they will fit you throughout your pregnancy, as they sit under your belly. If you find that you need support, there are over-the-belly panties available, or if you are not a fan of the VPL (visible panty lines) you can even purchase maternity thongs. Sometimes you may just want to wear “granny” panties in an XL, and that’s OK – comfort is key!
Like everything else in pregnancy, everyone’s breasts are affected differently. You will likely need to change your bra size once or twice during your pregnancy. Be prepared to go up a cup size or two, or maybe all you need is to buy a couple of extenders, as your cup size may not change but you may find that you are a little wider. Underwire bras are not recommended, a soft cup will allow for growth and be less restrictive. Near the end of your pregnancy start shopping for a couple of nursing bras. You’ll want to bring one to the hospital with you and once baby arrives I’m sure that shopping for one will be that last thing on your mind.
Feel free to splurge on your lingerie. Sexy underwear will go a long way by making you feel good. Try a Bella Band™ (or similar product). This will be beneficial to you for your whole pregnancy and postpartum period. It is a godsend when you are not quite ready for maternity pants yet, by allowing you to wear your regular pants without doing up the zipper and button. It holds up your pants while covering up the fact that they are unbuttoned. You can use it throughout your pregnancy to support your belly, after your baby to hold up your maternity pants, and even during nursing to cover your belly when you need to lift up your top. The beauty of this product is that it just looks like you are wearing a camisole underneath as it peeks out of the bottom of your top.
If you know other mommies and mommies to be, host a “clothing swap party”. Invite as many mommies as you can, provide coffee, tea or juice and snacks and start swapping! If someone is on her second pregnancy she may not want to wear the same maternity clothes she did the first time around. If someone just had a baby she may want to swap some of her maternity clothes for someone else’s “normal” clothes – size permitting. Or someone may want to sell her maternity clothes for next to nothing. Ask around at local mom groups, you’ll be surprised to see how many women are up for it. It’s like shopping, only cheaper!
Think about what season you are in and buy your maternity clothes accordingly. If you’ll be in your last trimester in the dead of winter invest in a maternity winter coat – you will not regret it when you are toasty warm and not housebound because of the cold. Buy now for later You’ll likely stay your size. What I mean by this is that if you are a medium pre pregnancy – you will be a medium for the duration of your pregnancy- in maternity clothes of course. This was true for me, and I gained 60 lbs my first pregnancy! Keeping size and season in mind feel free to shop the sales – if you don’t fit into it now, chances are you will! What to look for in your new wardrobe:
- Stretch fabrics
- Rouching on the sides will help clothing grow with your belly
- Low waisted stretch pants and skirts will go a long way if you can wear them comfortably under your belly
- Length – tunics and long tops are handy to wear over those low waisted bottoms.
- Comfortable dresses that can be worn casually and dressy
- Fabrics for all seasons (e.g. A jersey knit skirt can be worn with tights in fall/winter and with flip flops in spring/summer).
- Ponchos and shrugs can be carried into your maternity wardrobe by layering over basic pieces.
- Start with black and brown. These colours are easy to mix and match, and pretty much go with anything.
- Look for versatility and comfort. Start with basics, you can always add on with special pieces, lots of colour and fabulous accessories.
- Buy a maternity bathing suit! You may want to take a trip down south before baby or you may want to feel feather light for a while in a pool. Swimming is the best and safest exercise while pregnant; so no matter what season you’re in, get swimming!
Remember: No matter how much weight you put on and how much your belly grows you will always have shoes, bags and jewelry! OK, maybe not always shoes, but you get my point.
- 1 pair of jeans
- 1 pair of black pants
- 1 pair of leggings (super comfy and super fashionable right now)
- 1 pair of khakis/casual pants
- 1 comfy pair of track pants
- 1 comfy sweatshirt – hooded or not
- 1 sweater set
- 2 T-shirts
- 1 white blouse (collared) Work Add-ons
- 1 pair of neutral coloured pants
- 1 grey or navy dress pant
- 1 skirt
- 1 black dress – can be worn with pre pregnancy blazers and cardigans left open.
- 2 collared shirts/blouses
- 2 maternity panty hose/tights (black and neutral)
- 1 cardigan Summer Add-ons
- 1 pair of shorts
- 1 pair of capris
- 2 tank tops (are great for layering any season)
- 2 sundresses
- 1 light jacket
- 2 sweaters
- 2 long sleeved shirts
- 1 warm coat Key points:
- Always dress in layers. Hormones can make you hot and/or cold from one minute to the next.
- Buy clothes that you can wear in any season, by adding or removing layers.
- Dress for comfort
- Always wear comfortable shoes. To some this could mean UGG boots or to others, a kitten heel.
Say goodbye to zippers and buttons and hello to panels and stretch cotton! (Even if it’s just for the next nine months – OK we’ll let you “stretch” it out to a year if you want to!) Shop wisely and have fun!