The first time that I was pregnant, I was set on the idea that maternity clothes were a waste and that I would make it work with the clothes I already owned. All I needed for 40+ weeks was the BellaBand thing, right? NOT! Now, on my second round being pregnant, I was ready to bust out the maternity stuff much earlier! I feel like I’m showing way faster this time around. The body remembers folks!
First off, I’ll say that less is the way to go when it comes to maternity clothes. You are not pregnant forever, so it doesn’t make sense to spend a fortune on a new wardrobe. If you make smart practical choices that can be used multi-purpose, you’ll get more use out of each piece. I also ended up wearing mostly ALL solid maternity pieces and dressed up the outfit by accessorizing and layering. Everything that I’m about to share I wear a TON. So I feel these are the tried-and-true pieces that make up a staple maternity wardrobe.
Stick To These Points When Making Purchases:
- Can this be used for multiple outfit combinations?
- Buy non-maternity clothes one size larger than your actual size to accommodate belly growth. The blousey look is in, so by doing so, you will be able to continue to wear these pieces post pregnancy. Longer options are always going to be your best bet also, as they will continue to cover you with your expanding mid-section.
- Don’t overbuy – pregnancy doesn’t last forever
What You Really Need:
- several basic maternity tanks & camis. I wear these under basically everything. I have three or four, in black, gray, white. They are comfy and long enough to cover everything. Also, not cotton, so they don’t pill.
- at least one good pair of maternity leggings. You can get away with rolling your regular non-maternity ones down for quite awhile, but they make such nice mid or full coverage maternity ones, you are silly not to invest. I like the kind that can be worn post-pregnancy and have this pair and this pair. You will wear these leggings SO much. Weekend errand running, dress up with heels and a long top for a date, or even the gym.
- 1-2 pairs of maternity jeans. spend the extra buck and buy a pair that will hold it’s shape. Gap does a good job with their maternity jeans and so does Asos, black option here.
- fitted bodycon type solid dresses. If you are headed into the office, you can dress these up with a blazer/cardigan and boots/heels. If you are running errands or going out for a casual date, you can dress them down. I own a few in blacks, gray and navy and they are always on repeat. I prefer clothes that hug the bump vs. flowy items that make me feel frumpy. Some I own here, here and here.
- If you are pregnant in the warmer months – at least one pair of maternity shorts. A jean pair would give you the most mileage, but I wore my white pair a lot last pregnancy.
- loose cardigans/shawls. I have a handful that I wore over everything. They instantly pull a fitted tee or dress outfit together. These don’t need to be “maternity” either, and you’re probably better off buying non-maternity for use after pregnancy. Something like this, that has a cute shape and on the longer side.
- a pair or two of maternity workout capris. If you are like me and like to stay active through pregnancy, you can get away with rolling down your regular workout pants for a little while, but eventually they feel like they are on the constant creep downwards. I like the brand Old Navy carries. I teach fitness (Jazzercise!) and taught all the way until 40 weeks with my first pregnancy and these were comfortable and didn’t break the bank.
- a few basic tees. short sleeve or long sleeve depending on your pregnancy seasons. You will wear the heck out of them, trust me. Good options are here, here, and here.
- post pregnancy stomach tightening band. I used this Belly Bandit for a few weeks after having Emerson, and felt that not only did it work, but it provided extra support for my back during a time when your abs are a bit stretched. Abs and back muscles work in opposition, like biceps and triceps do. When one is struggling to keep up, the opposing set of muscles works in over-drive to compensate. I’d have this purchased before baby comes and pack it in your hospital bag.
A few other things to note:
If you are planning on doing maternity photos, go for something that makes you feel beautiful and is timeless. I prefer solid colors over patterns because patterns can camouflage the bump, which is the whole reason you are taking pics in the first place! The pics in this post are actually from last pregnancy, when we took our pictures in a gorgeous river setting. So glad that I did the river setting then, as I cannot imagine trying to accomplish this with a toddler in tow! The two dresses I have in these pics area this lace dress from Pink Blush and a non-maternity black maxi from H&M. Similar linked here.
I’m looking forward to doing our maternity photos in May. I’ve already purchased a very whimsical barely blush colored long dress and am on the hunt for another dress, potentially an off-the-shoulder dress in a lighter color? White or off white, maybe?
A non-clothing item that I did not buy first pregnancy and regretted was a good pregnancy pillow for sleeping. I now own this pillow which has really given me the extra support I wanted. I face the open side out so I can get up and go to the bathroom at night if needed. The extra little bit of a wedge has allowed me to continue to sleep on my stomach or 75% on my stomach much longer this time. Worth the $40 for some good sleep!
(photography by j&a photography)