When it comes to shopping for maternity clothing, practicality, comfort and affordability are essential for looking (and feeling) good. You don’t want to spend a lot of money on something you are only going to wear for a few months and then never see again. Even if you are only planning on buying a few items, this guide can help you find the right style and support for your changing body.
It’s true; women want to hold on to their pre-pregnancy style by wearing wardrobe staples, such as jeans, tops and work wear. But it is important to also be comfortable and adapt to your body’s changes. Look for styles that accommodate your changing body, such as stretchy and gathering fabrics in dresses and jersey panels in trousers.
Maternity to Motherhood
Don’t waste money on maternity clothing that you can only wear when you are pregnant. You’re likely to have a little ‘postnatal tum’ after the baby is born so it’s often not possible to jump straight back into your pre-pregnancy wardrobe. You’ll also have bigger breasts (especially if breastfeeding), which makes a lot of your tops feel too short. Find clothes that will stretch to accommodate your expanding figure and then shrink back as you lose the postnatal weight.
Pregnancy may make your body temperature higher and your skin more sensitive than usual. Avoid fabrics which could irritate the skin such as man-made fibres, (polyester and acrylic). Choose soft natural fibres (cotton), as they are breathable and cool, and viscose, which is made from tree bark and is also cool and comfortable.
The Expanding Tummy
As your pregnancy progresses, your stomach will need some support, so it is wise to invest in a maternity support band that you can strap around your tummy. They are designed to take the tension from your lower back and increase your comfort. A wrap top is also ideal during your pregnancy and post-birth too as it can double as a bra and a tummy wrap.
Most women find they don’t need to buy maternity clothing until around their second trimester. One of the first signs of pregnancy is swollen and sore breasts, so it is important to get a good fitted bra that is comfortable and makes you feel good. Making sure you’re measured is essential to feeling comfortable as your breast size can change many times throughout your pregnancy.
Dos & Don’ts of Maternity Clothes
- Do invest in a few quality items that will wash, wear and last, and buy a few pieces every few weeks to ensure clothes fit you all the way through your pregnancy, rather than all-at-once.
- Do borrow clothing from friends and family that are a similar size to your pregnancy stage.
- Don’t wear underwear that cuts into skin, such as bras with underwire, as they can interfere with developing milk ducts.
- Don’t buy clothing such as leggings and jeans that are not designed for pregnant women, you’ll need support around the waist, and cheaper fabrics will bag and gape
Most importantly, enjoy being pregnant – experiment with a whole new world of fashion! From maternity dresses, to specialised nightwear and lingerie, you will find plenty of affordable, good quality maternity clothing options so don’t stress and enjoy yourself.