Now, all women love a good deal on clothing, and when you are expecting a little bundle of cuddles, you probably want to save as much money as you can. I personally always shop sales, clearance, and discount clothing stores like Burlington Coat Factory. If you have never been into a Burlington Coat Factory, it is literally name brand clothing at huge discount prices. And I mean HUGE discounts. You really can not beat it. But if you can not find anything you like there, which I will find hard to believe, there are always sales at other stores. H&M sell maternity clothing, Motherhood Maternity, the list of stores goes on.
For all you first timers, you are probably thinking “Am I really going to need maternity clothes. I won’t get that big.” Well, I am going to let you in on a little secret, I DID get that big. I gain 53 pounds with my first pregnancy and 48 with my second. Now, I am high risk and spend a bit on time on bed rest, but if you are active and make healthy eating choices, weight might not be a big issue.
Did I spend a lot on maternity clothing? Actually no, between both pregnancies I spent about $150 dollars worth of actual maternity and nursing clothing.. As I stated before, I had a summer pregnancy and spent about 75% of it in a bikini. My winter pregnancy was was leggins and over sized shirts. If I could go back and redo my clothing choices, I would probably have bought more clothing.
Essentials for Maternity Fashion and Comfort:
1. Shoes. Shoes are probably the most important to me. All I wore my first pregnancy was flip flops. My feet were in constant pain and swollen. With my second pregnancy I wore a light weight sneaker with a good sole in the fall and spring time. Holy moley did sneakers make a difference. Sure my feet were still swollen on and off, but not as badly as they were when I wore nothing but flip flops. In the winter months, if you live somewhere that gets snow like I do, a boot with a good deep tread is important. Our body changing, changes our center of gravity, you want a good tread to avoid falls.
2. Anything with an elastic waist band. Now, I am not talking about shopping in the grandma section of Kmart. Lately I have been seeing more and more shorts being made of a light cloth material that has a comfortable waist. I bought a pair at walmart just after having my second child and instantly wished I had bought them sooner. I wore a lot of gym shorts, joggers, and leggins while I was pregnant. Jeans just were not comfortable for me, even the maternity jeans. Often they were too lose somewhere and too tight in another spot.
3. Maternity Jeans. I feel as if finding the right fitting maternity jeans is like finding a unicorn. They can have their perks as well. For instance, if you have to squat down to pick something up, the high waist band covers you undies from trying to peak out…or anything else that might try to peak out, I had it happen to me in the store. I strongly suggest trying jeans on in the store, don’t blindly buy them. Sizes run so different with maternity clothing that you really want to insure it is a comfortable size and something you wont mind wearing all day at work or on tips.
4. Maternity Shirts. These can be helpful when showing off that bump, but they are not totally necessary. You can find some really great fitting shirts pretty much anywhere. I loved longer tank tops and with a nice cardigan, but that is just my style. If you want a shirt that shows off your bump, look for shirts that have the elastic on the sides. They mimic maternity shirts but are half (or less) of the cost. Many athletic shirts and tanks are made like this and are great for everyday where, even if you are not working out. Athletic shirts are breathable, a beautiful and much needed thing in the summer months.
5. Shape Wear. This is something I have never personally tried, but I really wish I had. I have had many friends say that shape ware was great because it gave you that little bit of extra support. I tried the belly bands, but those always rode up and fell down where as I have been told the shape wear stays in place. I have also been told that shape wear is a huge help after having your baby. Smooths everything out under your clothing while you get back into shape.
6. Dresses. You can make a dress work in any season. In the spring in summer months dresses are way to keep cool and look cute with minimal effort. They are easy on, easy off, especially in the end of your pregnancy when baby is pushing on your bladder. You don’t have to worry about fighting with your pants in the bathroom. My pants always fell to my ankles. I had a hard time getting them back up because I couldn’t bend over to reach them.
7. Bralette. Bralettes are those super cute lacey little things that look like they offer no support. They come in all kind of styles and gorgeous colors. These will be great when your breast start to swell and you belly gets bigger. I made the mistake of buying a push up bra with underwire and man oh man was I uncomfortable. As my belly got bigger, my bra would push into my belly and leave deep marks that would hurt. I switched to bralettes and it made such a huge difference. If you like to have a little more support, sports bras work very well in being both supportive and comfortable.
I have added some photos of what I wore during both pregnancies to give you all an idea. As you can see most of the time I wore leggins, yoga pants, or something easy on my waist. These items were also helpful after I had my babies and still couldn’t quite fit into my pre-pregnancy clothing.
Remember, when shopping for maternity clothing, you don’t always have to spend a ton of money to look cute. Sales are a girls best friend. Happy shopping, and happy pregnancy.