Welcome to Part 3 in our Pregnancy Essentials: Maternity Clothes
Welcome back to the Pregnancy Essentials Series for Experienced Moms Part 3. Pregnancy Essentials Maternity Clothes. If you missed Top 5 Pregnancy Essentials Part 1: Comfort and Care and Top 10 Pregnancy Essentials Part 2: Bump to Toe
What an exciting time in your life! You are expecting for the first time in years. Growing a new life! Although you have been down this road before, you will likely need some of these essentials to help get you through your pregnancy in comfort this time around. For certain you have passed on your maternity clothes from the first time around.
Let’s face it, some of us love to shop for clothes, and some of us still like our moms to buy our clothes. Hiding my face here, but what can I say, she is really good at it and I hate changing room mirrors.
Either way, these next few months will put you in a quandary of a position regarding your wardrobe. Eventually, you will be more COMFORTABLE in maternity clothes (although you could probably get away with creative alternatives). So you may want to pick up some basic pieces.
However, the reality is you will not want to wear maternity clothes long after your Lovie is born. You’ll be trying to squeeze into your old jeans at 12 weeks postpartum. Let me know how that works for you. 😉
Keeping in mind the relatively short amount of weeks you will be able to use these clothes, you’ll want to get them on the cheap. Do not spend your baby’s diaper fund on expensive maternity clothes. Wise clothing investments are usually for an item we plan to spend a few years wearing, not a few months. I mean by the time you really need to wear maternity clothes you might be 5 or 6 months along. Buying expensive clothes to wear for 3 months is bonkers!
And maternity clothes can often bear a distinct maternity look. They usually won’t pass off as regular clothes postpartum. If you actually get your pre-pregnancy bod back soon, you are not going to want to hide it behind a baggy shirt or pants that you need to keep hitching up once your bum slims down and your bump is gone.
Not to mention that most maternity clothes don’t have nursing capabilities built-in. This is a pet peeve of mine because if they did, they would be much more functional for a whole lot longer. If you can find ones that do, by all means, grab those!
Still, there are a few items that will make your growing bump, bust, hips, and butt more comfortable, and by all means, you are worth it.
If you can snag these items from a friend who has just had a baby, all the better, I was able to borrow a fair amount of clothes from a friend at church who had several bins full of maternity clothes in differing sizes from a group of moms that kept passing them around with each new pregnancy. Lucky was I to get in on that action!
Still, some pieces were meant for a winter baby or a summer baby and you may need to fill in the gaps.
Your next best bet is consignment. Paying next to nothing is much better than retail and will extend your options so you aren’t wearing the same two tank tops all 4 months.
The things you will want to buy brand new are few: Underwear, nursing adaptable Day Bras, Nursing Adaptable Sleep Bras and PJ/Robe. Nearly everything else you can find new-used!
Your needs will vary by the season that falls in your second and third trimester. If you are expecting a fall-winter baby, sweaters, pants and long sleeve shirts will be your priority. If you are having a summer baby, sundresses, shorts, and tank tops will be yours.
You will know from your last pregnancy if you are a ‘full-panel’ or an ‘under the belly’ girl. There was just something about the comfort and security of a full panel that I loved.
Personally, I am not a woman that appreciates a wedgie, so I preferred the full panel undies over little drawers that were bound to get stuck up my… Never mind! You get my drift. And I didn’t like having to hike up my pants to make sure they didn’t fall off each time I got up.
Everyone is different, which is why they make both!
And Maternity Jeans. I have yet in all three pregnancies been able to find a single pair of Maternity Jeans full panel or underbelly that did not fall down regularly. I don’t know what it is about the material but they just did not stay up on my hips! I hated them.
But I am a jeans girl in regular life so I really wanted us to work it out. Alas, no. Unless you like to hike up your pants all day, just don’t bother.
Well, enough talk, here we go:
Laboy Joy’s picks for the most helpful maternity clothing essentials
Do yourself a favor and do not wait on these. Don’t wait until your belly is big or you outgrow your normal underwear, and they are cutting into your thighs and squeezing your rear. Your growing bump and thighs will thank you for the extra comfort and support these beauties will provide.
A tank top made to fit your beautiful growing bump will actually make your regular wardrobe a viable option for a lot longer. With a tank underneath, you can wear your button downs open, borrow your man’s, or pair it with a cardigan or zip up sweatshirt. Tank tops are an essential wardrobe piece for this season of life. A nursing adaptable tank top will extend the usability of this wardrobe piece to postpartum wear.
A robe is helpful if you want to cover your belly as your regular robe might not be able to make it all the way around by the time you are due. This is a critical piece of your wardrobe not only during pregnancy, but for your hospital stay to cover the Johnny from showing your backside to the world, and absolutely while you are recovering and caring for your cherub at home. Many pajama days are ahead of you. Enjoy them in a soft robe.
BY ALL MEANS, make sure there are pockets on your robe. You will want a place to carry your phone, a binky, or tissues, just to name a few. Do yourself a favor and get a robe with pockets, and be sure to look for them when you are making your selections. Why they don’t all have them is beyond me! Check out this one.
This cute sweatshirt with lace insets at the wrists is a top that can be worn during pregnancy, as well as postpartum with ease and lots of style.
These are by far my favorite style of nursing tops because they conceal the postpartum belly jiggle you will no doubt sport for several weeks if not months, or in my case, years! Don’t feel bad for me, for my baby’s sake, I would walk around with a permanent buddy belly, he is worth it. That being said, I don’t want to let it all hang out, a little concealment is welcome. Another plus, when you do nurse, your belly will not be exposed at all. Perfect for a bit of modesty in public or in front of company. Try this Tulip Layered Top from Motherhood, and there is also a long sleeved version as well.
For comfortable casual days during pregnancy and postpartum, these jogger pants fit the bill.
So versatile, leggings can be worn with boots and a long tunic-like shirt, or with a tank and flip flops.
Maxi Dress and Maxi skirts
So versatile! I wore this maxi skirt out of the hospital. You may want something very comfortable and easy access for bathroom breaks. Pair with a favorite nursing top and you are good to go!
If you work a 9-5 and wear business skirts/dresses to work, investing in maternity hose or tights is AWESOME! And well worth the cost. Talk about wrapping yourself in comfort from belly to toe.
Favorite shopping sites for inexpensive Maternity clothes
Clothes that you already own that will serve you well during pregnancy
Keep these items in your closet for the duration of your pregnancy months. Reach for them often and enjoy the versatility they provide.
- Your favorite Long Cardigan
- Poncho or Wrap
- Infinity Scarf
- Button Down Tops
- Oversized Sweaters/Sweatshirts
- Drawstring Sweatpants tucked under bump
Well, that wraps up our Pregnancy Essentials Series. I hope these tips will help remind you of what you enjoyed most about your pregnancies for staying comfortable during your baby baking journey.
God bless you and your baby these next few months.
Chandra is the chocolate-chip loving mother of 2 teenage girls who started over again with a baby boy in her 40’s! She is the author of The Mom’s Playbook to Conquering Softball Season. She gives other moms the tools they need to prepare their daughters for real life. Her content is centered on helping girls grow up to be well-rounded, equipped, expressive, confident, intelligent, capable, kind and independent.