Maternity clothing. It’s a challenge every soon-to-be-mum is faced with. When should you start buying them? How do they work? What should you wear and not wear while pregnant?
Well, fear not. Our Ultimate Guide to Maternity Clothing has got all your questions answered. So you can sit back and enjoy the ride that is pregnancy!
When should I start buying maternity clothes?
The majority of women can wear their normal clothes for most of the first trimester (three months), but you might need to consider a larger bra or loose-fitting clothing for comfort. Once you reach the four or five-month mark, you’ll most likely have to start wearing larger pieces – also known as maternity clothes.
What should you wear while pregnant?
Luckily, we live in an age where there are plenty of stylish and practical pregnancy clothes that make the challenge of getting dressed when expecting far easier (and much more fun!). But you don’t need to break the bank, nor do you need to fill your wardrobe with pieces you’ll never wear again.
We’d suggest investing in comfy, oversized pieces you can mix and match and that you can also imagine wearing again post-pregnancy. Not only is this more cost-effective, but it’s also more sustainable.
It’s also a good idea to consider the weather during your pregnancy, as what you’ll be wearing if you have a summer pregnancy will most likely be different to if you have a winter pregnancy. More about this later.
Here are some of the essential maternity items you’ll want to add to your collection:
You don’t necessarily have to invest in a maternity bra, but you’ll want your bra to be wire-free. Some people believe this is because the wire could restrict blood flow and prevent milk production, which begins well before your baby is welcomed to the world.
This fear is actually largely unfounded, but most women simply find wire-free bras far comfier during their pregnancies (and beyond!). Wirefree bras and maternity bras provide more room for expanding breasts and are also perfect for breastfeeding.
This one’s all about comfort. Maternity underwear will usually be designed free of seams, tags and anything else that may irritate you during your pregnancy. If you haven’t switched to seamfree underwear before your pregnancy, we guarantee you will keep wearing them after bub’s arrived!
Comfort is key when it comes to your pregnancy, so it’s important to opt for a bit of extra stretch. Loose-fitting pants or jeans are a great choice, but you can never go wrong with a comfy pair of women’s leggings – especially towards the latter stage of your pregnancy. You’ll want to live in these!
Bamboo leggings make the perfect choice for pregnancy as they’re super soft, stretchy and breathable. Plus, you’ll want to spend all your time in them, even when you’re not pregnant. Here’s how to wear yoga pants every day of the week.
Loose-fitting dress or skirt
When building your collection of maternity wear (or non-maternity wear if you’re opting for pieces that you can wear after your pregnancy too), it’s always better to go for loose-fitting styles that allow room. A maternity dress or skirt should be no different, so don’t be afraid to go a size up or for an oversized design.
Oversized is also the way to go when it comes to tops, especially in the second and third trimesters. But even if you don’t go for oversized styles, ensure you opt for tops that are made from a stretchy and forgiving fabric. Bamboo tops are perfect to add to your range of maternity wear, as the material stretches to accommodate your growing baby bump.
Comfy flat footwear
Whether it’s from the heat or simply being on our feet for too long, we all know what it’s like when our feet swell – even when we’re not pregnant. So, you can imagine how important it is to have comfy flat footwear when you’re expecting. Swelling is a normal part of pregnancy that is caused by additional blood and fluid known as edema. Do yourself a favour and invest in some comfy shoes!
When you’re pregnant, there are days when you will feel just like your normal self. On the other hand, there will be days when you just want to stay inside and reach for the ice cream tub and binge Netflix shows. On those days, and for every evening, you’ll want to stock up on some comfy and loose-fitting loungewear. Sleep won’t always be smooth when you’re pregnant, nor will it when bub arrives, so you’ll at least want to be prepared with some comfy maternity pyjamas!
What should you not wear while pregnant?
While there are plenty of options out there for what you should wear while pregnant, there are also some styles we’d suggest bypassing during those important nine months (and perhaps a few months beyond).
To be honest, synthetic fabrics are bad news all the time, whether you’re pregnant or not. But when you’re expecting, it’s even more crucial to steer clear of synthetic fabrics. Regulating body temperature, moisture absorption and the chemicals used in processing synthetic fabrics are all reasons to favour natural and organic materials instead.
Pregnancy is different for every woman, but there’s pretty much one thing that’s guaranteed: your body will change. Sure, you might be one of the lucky ones who remains petite and doesn’t seem to swell at all. But even then, your body will be different from how it normally is, and the last thing you’ll want to be wearing is tight-fitting clothing. Avoid it at all costs!
Underwire bras are nasty things at the best of times. Trickey fastenings, straps that dig in and worst of all – the wires. Stock up on seamfree and wire-free bras for when you’re pregnant (and beyond). You will thank yourself for it, we promise.
Clothing that’s hard to remove
You know what we’re talking about. Dungarees, jumpsuits, skinny jeans that are like extracting a tooth to take off. When it comes to maternity wear, you want to keep your wardrobe simple, easy and practical.
Speaking of practicality – now’s the time to put those heeled shoes away and embrace flats. Yes, this is about comfort, but it’s also about safety. Even the most skilful heel wearers can trip and take a tumble, which would put both yours and your baby’s safety at risk. It’s just not worth it!
How many sizes do you gain when pregnant?
The simplest answer to this question is that every woman is different. When it comes to bra sizes, it’s normal for a woman to go up two to four band sizes and two to four cup sizes during pregnancy. After around seven months your breasts should have stabilised and will increase when your milk first arrives, which is after the delivery of your bub.
Elsewhere, it again really depends on the person. Some women might go up one or two sizes while others might not go up at all. It’s a good idea to see how it’s going during your pregnancy and not rush out and buy too much – you might be surprised how little your body changes (or how much it does!). As mentioned, the key is to try and shop for pieces you would wear again post-pregnancy, even if they are oversized.
How do maternity clothes work?
Maternity sizes work the same as regular clothing sizes. If you’re normally a medium, you’ll still be a medium in maternity sizes. So, if you’re not shopping for clothing that is officially considered maternity – like the styles on Boody – you’ll want to consider going up a size depending on how your body is changing.
Can I wear jeans in pregnancy?
You don’t need to worry about tight clothing harming your baby, it’s more about how uncomfy it will be. Feel free to wear skinny maternity jeans, but you’ll more than likely want to opt for a stretchy pair of tights as your pregnancy goes on. There’s no shame in that! Comfort comes first and who doesn’t love a comfy pair of leggings?
How should I dress for summer while pregnant?
Summer’s can get hot and humid here in Australia, which is never a fun mix when you’re expecting! Here are some top tips for dressing for summer when pregnant.
1. Opt for breathable fabrics
We’re not going to sugarcoat it – you’re going to be hot. Really hot, at times. So, make life more bearable when pregnant during the summer months by opting for breathable fabrics such as bamboo, organic cotton and linen.
2. Wear lightweight pieces
It’s a no-brainer, but also easy to forget. When rushing to get ready in the morning, when the weather is at its coolest, you might think that stretchy jersey or sweater is a great idea. Fast forward to lunchtime and you’ll be regretting not wearing the most lightweight clothing you can find!
3. Avoid wearing all black
We all know that black is generally a warmer colour to wear. This is because black clothing absorbs more light, which in turn, gets transformed into more heat. Refrain from wearing too much of it during a summer pregnancy, instead opting for white or lighter and more natural colours.
How should I dress for winter while pregnant?
Many people prefer to reach their third trimester during the cooler months, for obvious reasons. That said, now you’re dressing for two, you’ll want to ensure both you and bub are warm and cosy when the temperatures drop, so a winter pregnancy still takes a bit of planning.
1. Stock up on layers
Layers are key during the winter months, whether or not you’re expecting. But it’s even more important to stay toasty when you’re pregnant, so ensure your wardrobe is stocked up with a range of stretchy and breathable basics. From tops and cardigans for you to a Soft Jersey Beanie and Booties for bub, ensure to keep snug in comfy layers.
2. Get some warm leggings
As you know by now, we’re huge advocates of leggings during pregnancy (or any time, for that matter!). Make sure you have a couple of warm pairs in your drawer when the weather turns cooler. Bamboo is the ideal fabric for winter or summer as it’s thermoregulating – a great investment for all year round! Find out more about the benefits of bamboo.
3. Don’t forget chunky socks
Last but not least, you’ll want a pair of chunky socks or two in your top drawer for a winter pregnancy. Whether they’re bed socks or socks for every day, a cosy pair will stop you from feeling the chill, and in turn, keep bub nice and snug.
A note on sizing: Maternity sizes generally work the same as regular clothing sizes. If you’re normally a medium, you’ll still be a medium in maternity sizes. However, because Boody does not design specifically for maternity, you might want to consider going up a size depending on how your body is changing. Every pregnancy and body is different.