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When do people start wearing maternity clothes
Maternity clothes | Pregnancy Birth and Baby
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As your baby bump grows, you may find yourself unable to fit into all your normal clothes. But there’s no need to buy a whole new wardrobe of maternity wear. These tips will help you look and feel good without blowing your budget.
When to start wearing maternity clothes
Most women can wear their normal clothes for most of the first trimester (3 months).
But you might need to consider a larger bra or looser fitting clothes for comfort during this time.
When you are around 4 or 5 months pregnant, you may have to start wearing larger clothes. Most women switch to maternity wear when they are about 6 months pregnant.
What you need
There are plenty of fashionable maternity clothes available. But it is not essential to invest large sums on money in a full wardrobe.
It is best to buy a few key items of clothing that you can mix and match. Consider the weather and changing seasons during your pregnancy. Remember that you will still be wearing some of your maternity clothes for a while after the birth.
Key items of clothing you may want to consider include:
comfortable cotton underwear
two pairs of well-cut maternity trousers, such as maternity leggings or jeans
a plain skirt or dress, such as a stretch jersey wrap dress
a maxi dress
two maternity tops (empire line tops are more flattering)
one smart outfit
comfortable, flat shoes
It is possible to adapt some of your normal clothes through your pregnancy, such as longer tops, sweaters and cardigans. You can also buy a pregnancy belt to extend your regular jeans and pants.
Where to buy maternity clothes
Many large stores in Australia carry a maternity range. There are also plenty of specialist maternity shops. Shopping online or hiring clothes for a special occasion can help you save money.
How to choose a maternity bra
You do not have to wear a maternity bra during pregnancy. But for some women, especially those with larger breasts, a maternity bra can be more comfortable.
Breasts prepare for lactation (making breast milk) quite early in pregnancy and most changes to the breasts have finished by about 16 weeks. This is a good time to invest in a maternity bra, if you want to.
It is a good idea to be professionally fitted. A correctly fitted bra will support your breasts and make you more comfortable.
Underwire bras are not recommended during pregnancy or when you are breastfeeding. Your breasts will change in size and shape and the underwire may put pressure on your breasts. This can lead to an increased risk of a blocked milk ducts or mastitis. However, some maternity bras do have flexible low-gauge wire support that is less likely to cause problems. Some women find a sports bra is all they need.
Tips to save money
Buy large, cheap, stretchy t-shirts and vest tops.
Buy maternity clothes during the sales — think ahead to what the weather will be like when you need them.
Vary a basic outfit by accessorising with bags, jewellery, scarves and shoes.
Adapt your existing clothes by moving buttons, replacing elastic with a drawstring, or using a pregnancy belt.
Borrow clothes from your partner or from friends who have been pregnant.
Hold a clothes-swapping party.
Australian Breastfeeding Association (Choosing a maternity bra), Babycenter Australia (Buying maternity clothes on a budget), What to Expect (The basics of maternity wear), Raising Children Network (19 weeks pregnant)
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Last reviewed: August 2020
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When to Buy Maternity Clothes and What to Look For
As soon as you notice the first hint of a baby bump, you may start wondering when to buy maternity clothes. You’ve probably scrolled past and admired that Instagram fashion blogger with the perfectly shaped pregnancy belly who makes dressing her bump look effortless and fun. Now for the reality check: Figuring out which maternity clothes actually fit and flatter can be a daily challenge for many moms-to-be. But with the right maternity clothing, you’ll look—and feel—your best as you count down each trimester to your delivery day (promise!). Here’s a rundown of when to start wearing maternity clothes, which basics should be in every woman’s maternity wardrobe and where to find the best items out there.
In this article: When to buy maternity clothes How to buy maternity clothes Where to buy maternity clothes Where to rent maternity clothes
When to Buy Maternity Clothes
No two bodies experience pregnancy the same way. So if you’re wondering when to start wearing maternity clothes, the answer is that it totally depends on your preferences. If you ask around, you’ll find that expectant mothers start wearing maternity clothing at all different times during their pregnancies. That said, here are some clues that you may be ready to purchase maternity clothes:
Unbuttoning the top button of your pants is no longer reserved for after meals
Spandex is your preferred clothing material
You feel bloated all day, every day
Your bump starts to peek out of your shirt to say hello
Your button-down shirts don’t actually button all the way down
These telltale signs coincide with what’s happening with baby’s growth in utero. “At 20 weeks, the uterus is typically at the level of the navel,” says Trina Pagano, MD, an ob-gyn at the Cleveland Clinic. “So many women begin to show at this point, but there is variability depending on the mother’s height and body type, weight gain, number of babies in utero and if it’s a first pregnancy. For first pregnancies, the bump typically ‘pops’ a little later than in subsequent pregnancies.”
For first-time moms, it’s easy to get excited about being pregnant and showing off your bump, even during the early stages of pregnancy. But you may want to resist the urge to start putting together a maternity wardrobe in those first 12 weeks. “In the first trimester, you’re still sorting through the changes in your body,” says Jenny Greenstein, a New York City-based personal stylist for pregnancy and motherhood and founder of YourSoulStyle.com. “In the beginning of your second trimester, when your belly starts to take shape, you want to start collecting your items.” That said, if you see a maternity must-have on sale that you absolutely love, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t scoop it up.
How to Buy Maternity Clothes
So all signs point to the fact that you need maternity clothes. But where to start? Read on for tips on the basics you’ll want in your maternity wardrobe, what to look for in quality maternity clothes and how to figure out the right size.
What size maternity clothes to buy
If this is your first pregnancy, it’s nearly impossible to figure out how your body will change as your pregnancy progresses. This means it’s even trickier to estimate what size maternity clothes you’ll need to buy. “Typically, if you’re a size six pre-pregnancy, then you’ll probably be a maternity six. But everyone is different, so you might be a maternity eight or you might be a maternity four, depending on how you carry your pregnancy,” New York City-based stylist Samantha Brown says. “It’s important to buy what’s comfortable—same as when you’re not pregnant. It has a lot to do with the proportions of someone’s body.” And keep in mind, not every part of your body is growing at the same rate. “Some women go up many bra cup sizes before their belly even pops out, so I’d say just ignore the maternity clothing sizing and buy what fits and feels right.”
How much maternity clothing to invest in
A lot depends on the season you’re due and exactly how your body changes, but choosing a few maternity wardrobe staples is a good place to start. A pair or two of quality maternity jeans (in a wash that goes with everything) will take you far, as will at least one pair of basic black leggings—trust us, you’ll live in these postpartum too. If you don’t already own a few longer tops that could stretch over your bump (don’t forget to shop your own closet!), consider buying a minimum of three to five maternity T-shirts or tanks in colors that pair well with your existing wardrobe. They’re great to throw on under your favorite blazer, jacket or a stylish cardigan. It’s also a good idea to invest in two to three versatile dresses that can be dressed up or down, whether for work or play. Depending on what you’ve got planned for the later weeks of your pregnancy, you also might want a fancier dress suitable for a wedding, maternity photoshoot or your baby shower. Beyond that, what you need might be purely seasonal (think: a winter coat that can actually zip over your belly, or a maternity swimsuit.
Maternity capsule wardrobe essentials
Two buzzwords you’ll hear on repeat when it comes to maternity clothing are “basics” and “essentials.” While some items will sound like familiar favorites in your pre-pregnancy closet, others are maternity wardrobe staples unique to accommodate and flatter your bump.
• All the T-shirts. Buy a few stretchy maternity T-shirts in white, gray and black. Nothing tops off a pair of (maternity) jeans better than this most basic of basics.
• Mom jeans, please. With so many changes happening to your body, you’ll feel comforted that you can still throw on a pair of jeans. And once you try super-comfy maternity jeans, you may never want to go back to your old ones.
• Leggings for days. It’s a good idea to have a few pairs of leggings in rotation. They mold to your body and are hands-down the best option for comfort.
• Don’t underestimate your underwear. Invest in comfortable but pretty underwear and a few stylish, supportive bras. (Many maternity bras double as nursing bras, which gives you more bang for your buck.) Being intentional about this most intimate layer of clothing sets the tone for everything else you put on.
• Maxi to the rescue. A form-fitting version of this popular dress style may help to make you feel less frumpy as your body and silhouette change.
• LBDs are your MVPs. You’ll need a little black dress or two that you feel confident in and can wear to a wedding, a baby shower or an after-work event.
• Suit yourself in blazers. An oversized blazer is a great second layer. It’ll keep you looking chic and will fit even as you grow throughout your pregnancy.
Tips for what to look for in maternity clothes
As you shop around for maternity clothing, remember these basic tips to get the most out of your budget. A few wise purchases can even last you beyond the bump.
• Does it stretch? Pay attention to the fabric of the maternity clothes you’re buying, because you don’t know where exactly you’ll continue to grow as you move through each trimester, Greenstein says. “Anything with a flex fabric, a stretch fabric or a jersey fabric is definitely going to give you more flexibility,” she adds.
• Test for sheerness. Sometimes you just have to bend over, touch your toes and ask the fitting room attendant if they can see anything they shouldn’t be able to. “Maternity clothing tends to have a lot of stretch in it, so it’s important to look at it in motion,” Brown says. Garments that go sheer when stretched are something to look out for when shopping for maternity clothes.
• Embrace ruching. It’s a feature that allows your maternity clothes to grow with your bump. “It works with any single body type,” Greenstein says. “Even if you buy an item with ruching in your first trimester, you’re never going to run into any issues, because it totally flexes with your shape.”
• Think beyond pregnancy. It’s really helpful when a maternity brand has nursing features built in. “If you intend on breastfeeding, invest in maternity clothes that you feel beautiful and feel comfortable in for your nine months and beyond,” Greenstein says.
Where to Buy Maternity Clothes
With all the physical and emotional changes you’re experiencing, pregnancy can feel like that awkward puberty phase all over again—unless, of course, you have several maternity clothing brands recommended by expert maternity stylists in your back pocket.
Here, a list of the best stylist-approved retail stores and e-commerce sites to help you stay true to your style during this huge transition.
For on-trend style
Most of us are pretty in tune with what’s hot each season, and that doesn’t have to change with pregnancy. These four fashion retailers carry trendy maternity clothes that will keep you looking and feeling chic.
Ingrid & Isabel
For maternity work clothes
Dressing your bump for work can be challenging: You want to look polished, but comfort is key. Brown recommends sticking to tried-and-true maternity clothing to get you through the day. We recommend hitting up these retailers:
A Pea in the Pod
For inexpensive maternity clothes
Since you’re only wearing these looks for a limited time, you might want to outfit your maternity wardrobe without totally emptying your wallet. Here’s our go-to list for cheap maternity clothes (that still look like a million bucks) for those who want this season’s styles without spending a lot.
For plus-size maternity clothes
Plus-size and pregnant? Rest assured, there are stylish, comfortable options for curvy girls who want to show off that bump.
For petite maternity clothes
If you’re petite and pregnant, don’t hide your bump in oversize styles; you can find comfortable maternity classics tailored to your more pint-size proportions. Try these stylish, maternity clothing options with petite sizes.
Sexy Mama Maternity
For comfortable maternity clothes
Being comfortable in your clothing is important for anyone, but especially moms-to-be. Whether you’re at yoga, out and about or relaxing at home, you’ll want clothes that stretch and move with your changing body. To ensure that your maternity wardrobe is as comfy—and stylish—as possible, shop our favorites below.
Where to Rent Maternity Clothes
If you’re willing to put these style tips into action but unwilling to commit to a whole new wardrobe, clothing rental services could be your go-to.
Rent the Runway has a great selection of maternity and postpartum-friendly clothing under its subscription services, giving you access to over 450 designers and brands. Both the standard subscription ($89/month) and the unlimited subscription ($159/month) give you four new pieces a month, but with unlimited, you can swap them out as you like and keep them for as long as you want.
Le Tote also offers a maternity subscription option where you can choose your favorite styles and wear them as many times as you like. Simply ship everything back in the pre-paid envelope once you’re ready to receive a new tote of fresh looks. Plus, if you absolutely love an item, you can choose to keep it at a special member price (up to 50 percent off retail). Maternity subscriptions start at $79 a month.
Plus, more from The Bump:
Maternity Wardrobe Must-Haves for Working Moms-to-Be
15 Places to Shop for the Best Maternity Clothes
The Top Places to Shop for Plus-Size Maternity Clothes
When to buy maternity clothes?
During pregnancy, the figure of a woman is constantly changing. Therefore, the wardrobe is updated in accordance with these changes. And, one must assume that it is very pleasant to make gifts for yourself, to please yourself in such a wonderful period of life, to emphasize the pleasantness of this moment and make it as convenient as possible with the help of a special wardrobe.
Dear ladies, don't try to save money on maternity clothes by wearing what was previously a little big, or, as some do, by adapting your spouse's wardrobe. Yes, such clothes, as a rule, cost more and are used less, but it is enough to develop RATIONAL CHOICE . Well-chosen models of clothes for expectant mothers:
are equipped with special "secrets" that will help you during breastfeeding,
take into account exactly what a pregnant woman needs, based on body changes,
comfortable after childbirth while the tummy is still awake,
is not much different from ordinary clothes, and therefore will remain a favorite even when you return to your previous shape.
Decorate yourself, emphasize your beauty, indulge yourself, in the end, because pregnancy is one of the most suitable periods for this, well, we tried to compile a calendar of changes and features of the figure during pregnancy and help future mothers make their own costs rational, look even more attractive and feel comfortable.
We make a wardrobe by months of pregnancy
1-3 months of pregnancy
Until the third month of pregnancy, especially the first one, one can hardly feel serious changes in one's body, except, perhaps, slightly enlarged mammary glands. This is a period for realizing your new state, as well as another opportunity to please yourself with your favorite tight jeans or a short dress with high-heeled shoes, because very soon they will have to be postponed indefinitely.
3-4 months pregnant
Existing clothes are already becoming tight, jeans, trousers and skirts are beginning to put pressure on the emerging tummy, and this should not be allowed.
But during this period you can review your existing wardrobe and pick up loose shirts, tunics, dresses, but what is already worth buying is trousers / jeans or a skirt with a special soft belt that can be adjusted throughout pregnancy, in accordance with belly growth.
This is the period when the breasts become noticeably larger, so you should already pay attention to special underwear for pregnant and lactating women. It is created, like all models of clothes for pregnant women, taking into account the ongoing changes, and also, the models BRA DESIGNED FOR THE BREASTFEEDING PERIOD are comfortable.
When choosing underwear, remember that THE OBJECTIVE OF A BRA IS SUPPORT BUT NOT SQUEEGING . The combination of cotton and elastic materials will be the most comfortable and allow the skin to "breathe". Since with the growth of the breast the volume of the chest also increases, it is worth paying attention to bras with several levels of fastening.
At this stage, the stomach is already quite rounded, it is difficult for a woman to endure heat and excessive sweating appears, so it is important that the fabrics of your clothes are natural, and the models are free, not restricting movement. Due to the growing belly, pressure appears on the lumbar region, and the growing weight puts stress on the ankles and calves, here it is necessary to pay attention to shoes - they must be comfortable, without heels, stable. If we are talking about the winter period, then be sure to pay attention to the sole so that it is non-slip.
IN THE WINTER PERIOD at this stage of pregnancy, maternity jackets and coats, or sling jackets / sling coats, equipped with special inserts, which will be comfortable not only for a growing tummy, but will also come in handy in the postpartum period, as their direct purpose - It's wearing a baby in a sling.
SLING JACKET / SLING COAT IS A GREAT MONEY SAVING OPTION , because we have already found out that it is optimal for the period of pregnancy and for the postpartum period, when the baby really needs mother's hugs, and you can give him them with the help of a sling, and also, having unfastened a special insert, you can wear these things as completely simple winter ones, which will be especially versatile.
During this period, the long-awaited maternity leave begins. This is an opportunity to spend more time at home, but it is not at all a reason to put on an unsightly bathrobe or a men's T-shirt. Home clothes should also be beautiful, do not forget about your loved one, who is pleased to see you beautiful and sexy. Well, the models of home clothes for pregnant women on the market today are enough to satisfy any need of a pregnant fashionista - these are lace shirts and negligees, and sports models, and things with special “nourishing secrets”, which will be very useful after the birth of a baby.
In the eighth month of pregnancy, it is worth purchasing a prenatal bandage, it will help reduce the increasing load on the back and abdominal muscles. The bandage can be replaced with a sling.
This is the time to prepare for childbirth and, directly, to stay in the maternity hospital. If the mother does not want to wear the clothes that are provided in the maternity ward, then the most convenient option for her clothes is a shirt specially adapted for attaching the baby to the breast. A robe is also useful, which you can put on when visitors come to you. And don't forget your graduation outfit. Solid color outfits will make you slimmer.
Tips and Tricks
When choosing your maternity wardrobe, , try on the clothes before buying , so you will avoid the procedures for replacement or return. If the clothes are ordered in an online store, then ask for several sizes of a particular model to choose from.
If you want to emphasize your grown tummy , then choose high-waisted dresses or tops, tight-fitting T-shirts or turtlenecks, a-line dresses or tunics, bright colors. Overalls will also emphasize your interesting position.
If you want to draw attention away from your tummy , solid colors, vertical lines, such as elongated jackets and sleeveless cardigans, which are very fashionable today, worn over a dress or jeans with a shirt, and V-necks will help you on a dress or sweater and bright, eye-catching details that will undoubtedly draw attention to themselves first of all.
Be beautiful and loved and please yourself!
What are the maternity trousers? Types, recommendations
Voluminous bathrobe dresses have long ceased to be relevant among women who are expecting a baby. Fashion for pregnant women is increasingly relying on trousers. They are presented in a wide range of styles and are made of a variety of fabrics, while the woman feels comfortable and comfortable in them. This type of clothing is especially in demand in the cold season.
Types of pants for pregnant women
Pants designed for pregnant women differ from the usual ones in that they have a special elastic insert along the waistline. It is made of soft fabrics, pleasant to the touch, well supports the growing belly, but does not press it down and does not interfere with the development of the baby.
Depending on the season, there are:
winter trousers for pregnant women, which are additionally insulated on the inside with fleece or a flannel;
demi-season models made of dense fabric, designed especially for cool weather;
summer pants made from natural, breathable fabrics such as linen or cotton.
Pants with an elastic insert are the most popular among pregnant women. They perfectly support the stomach even for a long time. The size of the elastic insert on the trousers is different. It can reach the middle of the abdomen (most models) or completely cover it (end under the chest). In this version, insulated trousers for pregnant women are usually sewn. They will warm the stomach in the cold season.
In addition to trousers with an elastic insert (with a high waist), there are models with a low waist. As a rule, they are intended for the summer season. The waist line in such models passes under the stomach, and the trousers themselves are held on the body due to a thin elastic belt. Their main advantage is the ability to wear a thing even after childbirth.
When should I start wearing maternity trousers?
More recently, pregnant women tried to buy all their clothes in ordinary stores, picking up flared styles of dresses and sweaters two sizes larger. Today, fashion invites expectant mothers to dress in a special way. Dresses, skirts, coats and jackets - all this designers create specifically for pregnant women, taking into account their changing over 9months figure. Comfortable and practical trousers deserve special attention.
A woman will have to buy at least two pairs of trousers during her entire pregnancy. The first must be purchased for a period of approximately 16 weeks, when the tummy is just starting to grow. Which model to prefer: with a low or high waist - depends on the time of year and the chosen style. The second maternity pants are bought already at the beginning of the 3rd trimester, for a period of approximately 28-30 weeks. The need to update the wardrobe is associated not so much with the growth of the abdomen itself, but with an increase in the volume of the woman's hips. At this time, the old trousers will become tight and uncomfortable.
Considerations for choosing maternity pants
When shopping for maternity pants, there are a few important things to keep in mind. The convenience and comfort of the expectant mother and baby depends on this.
Pants must be tried on before purchase. Therefore, pregnant women are not recommended to order things via the Internet. Or you should choose a store where a preliminary fitting of things is provided before payment.
Maternity trousers are recommended to be purchased one size larger. Things bought back to back, a woman in position will very quickly become small.
Pay attention to the quality of the elastic insert. It should fit tightly around the stomach, not be too tight or too stretched. Even if the clothing model sits just great, but the quality of the insert leaves much to be desired, it is better to refuse to buy. In such trousers, a pregnant woman will be uncomfortable.
Check the presence of the elastic band on the elastic waistband. With it, you can adjust the width of the insert as your belly grows.
These recommendations will allow you to choose high-quality trousers that will always be comfortable in any season.
Clothes for pregnant women are produced by many domestic and foreign brands. Some of them have allocated a separate line for such things, while others specialize exclusively in models for expectant mothers.
Maternity wear brands include SweetMama, Uniostar, Budumamoy, Newform, Diane Von Furstenberg, Pietro Brunelli, Liz Lange, Motherhood Maternity. Things specially created for women in position are in the price category above the average level. But at the same time, when buying trousers from a well-known manufacturer, there is no doubt about their quality.
Old maternity trousers
Those women who cannot afford to buy expensive clothes for such a short period of time can make their own trousers. For this fit any pants or jeans of the desired size. You will also need a piece of knitted fabric, which will later turn into the very insert for the abdomen. Using the simplest pattern, you can sew wonderful maternity pants that are not inferior to designer items.