A handy guide: how to shop for maternity clothes

by pregnancy journalist

Every baby bump (and body) is different. So if you’re wondering if there’s the perfect day to purchase your first official piece for your maternity wardrobe, in reality, it’s all about how you’re feeling in your clothes.

Rather than focusing on a particular week in your pregnancy, think about how your clothes are fitting. It might not be until you’re 20 weeks+ pregnant that things feel a little tight, or it could be at 10 weeks. Not comfy? Then it’s time to go shopping.

Maternity wardrobe essentials

  • Slip-on shoes
  • Leggings
  • Stretchy tops

Cheat and make do…

What should I look for in maternity clothing?

Have these questions in mind when shopping for maternity clothing:

1. Does it stretch?

Pretty obvious but it’s super important. See how far it can stretch – will a nine-month pregnant belly be just as comfy in it as a six-month belly? If it’s leggings or tighter pants, just check how sheer the material is when stretched. We do tend to pop on some weight around the thighs and hips in pregnancy, so make sure there’s a bit of give. Also, remember that your boobs are also likely to change size, so make sure there’s a little extra room up top too.

2. Is it adjustable?

Most maternity jeans and pants have some sort of adjustable band at the side that keep increasing as your bump gets bigger.

3. Can you breastfeed in it?

Some pieces might be a little more exxy, but you’ll find they do double duty as nursing tops or bras beyond pregnancy. So look at it as a cost-per-use item if it costs a little more than you expected or wanted to pay.

4. Is the length right?

Most maternity tops have a little more material at the front to accommodate that gorgeous little bundles you’re growing. Just check to make sure you think it’s enough to keep you comfortable

Maternity leggings

Comfy, stretchy and supportive, maternity leggings are very different from normal leggings – the waistband is crafted to sit perfectly for preggy bellies and many pregnant mumma’s recommend having a couple of pairs of maternity leggings at the top of your list.

Types of maternity leggings:

What’s to love about maternity leggings:

Check out our list of the best maternity activewear.

Maternity jeans

If jeans are your go-to pre-pregnancy, keep the comfort factor high by grabbing a pair of great maternity jeans. Dress them up with heels, down with sneakers and you may just find yourself still wearing them long after bub arrives.

Types of maternity jeans:

What’s to love about maternity jeans:

Check out our list of the best maternity jeans.

Maternity bra/nursing bra

Give your boobs a rest from underwire and switch to a comfy maternity or nursing bra. Feel free to go a little nuts and grab a few as most are also nursing bras, so you’ll be using them for a while.

Types of maternity bras:

What’s to love about maternity/nursing bras:

Check out our list of the best maternity bras.

Maternity underwear

You may need to experiment with over-the-bump versus under-the-bump maternity knickers to see which you prefer, but stretchy, comfy and breathable undies are a real asset.

Types of maternity underwear:

What to love about maternity underwear:

Maternity sleepwear

Getting comfy at night with a baby bump is sometimes tricky, so make it as easy as possible to get relaxed in sleepwear made specifically for preggies.

Types of maternity sleepwear:

What’s to love about maternity sleepwear?

Check out our list of the best maternity sleepwear.

Maternity swimwear

Whether your pregnant through summer and want to hit the beach, or bumpin’ in winter swimming at your local indoor pool, maternity swimwear means there’s no need to stay out of the water!

Types of maternity swimwear:

What’s to love about maternity swimwear?

Check out our list of the best maternity swimwear.

Nice to have but not necessary…

Maxi dress: A long dress that glides over your bump oozes effortless chic and is uber comfortable.

A cocktail dress: Think ahead to any weddings or events you have over the next few months and invest in a form-fitting little black (maternity) dress that can be changed up with accessories.

Coat/jacket: Think ahead to how far along you’ll be when the weather cools, you’ll soon work out whether you’ll need to buy a maternity coat depending on how big your bump will be. Otherwise, you may be able to get away with wearing your existing coats, albeit with the buttons undone!

Shoes: Remember that you may go up a shoe size while pregnant, so look for shoes like slip ons that will cope with swelling tootsies. Wedges also tend to be comfier than stilettos if you still want some height when expecting.

Stretchy t-shirts: A couple of maternity tees, with ruching down the sides are a great idea – check for ones that are also nursing friendly so you get plenty of mileage out of them.

Our favourite places to shop maternity…

Ask other mums

Searching for maternity clothing and still not sure what to buy? Continue your search online by jumping into one of our closed Pregnancy groups and ask thousands of other Australian mums what they recommend – ‘What to buy’ is the most talked about topic, followed by MIL vents!

Click below and find your group today.

This content was originally published here.

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