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An Expectant Mother's Guide to Maternity Clothes

Posted by Johnson Memorial Health on Mar 5, 2015

Those fast forty weeks leading up to the birth of your new baby are thrilling times. There are challenges and rewards, time spent getting ready for your new baby, new emotions, new baby things, and new clothes for mom!


If you love to try on new clothes, spend hours shopping, and put together new ensembles, then you probably have the maternity fashion thing handled.

If you're new to the world of maternity clothing and accessories, we have you covered. We've put together some of the basics you'll need for looking and feeling your best with your new baby bump.

Elastic Wastebands Are Your New Best Friend

As your midsection grows during pregnancy, you will want to give your tummy, rear end, and thighs plenty of room to stretch out. Elastic waistbands come in very handy during the first few months, when you're not quite ready for serious maternity pants with the built in tummy expanding panel.


Fortunately, this is a great time to be pregnant. You can almost get by without investing in strictly maternity fashion. Here are some fashionable stretchy pants, that aren't necessarily maternity-only:

All of these choices can be paired with tunic style shirts, long sweaters, sweater dresses, or stretchy skirts.

The point is to be comfortable and enjoy what you wear, without having to spend a fortune on a whole new wardrobe.

Serious Maternity Pants

Professional attire may require some serious maternity pants. But there are so many nice, affordable options out there for the professional mom-to-be.

Gap has a line of maternity joggers and casual pants, but their maternity dress pants are really nice.


source: gap.com

Shirts and Dresses

A-line shirts and dresses, tunic style sweaters, and long t-shirts are great choices. You can layer a long tank top under a shorter shirt that fails to cover your belly. 



Supportive Garments

Many expectant moms may experience lower back pain as their pregnancy progresses. There are many supportive garments on the market that can help support your belly and ease back pain.

Sleeping & Nursing Bras

Women's Nursing Sleep Bra 2-Pack - Gilligan & O'Malley® at Target.

If you plan to nurse your baby, think about purchasing nursing bras instead of maternity bras. These sleeping/nursing bras can work for expectant mothers as breasts grow during pregnancy, and still be useful in the months to come when you are nursing your baby.


source: Target.com

Belly Bands

This band is dual-purpose: It provides light support where you need it and serves as a layer so you can still wear your normal tops. Nordstrom sells the Ingrid & Isabel 'Everyday' Maternity BellaBand® :

"A stretchy tube with a stay-put silicone strap fits around your expanding belly, giving your favorite tops a cool, layered look and allowing you to wear your favorite jeans — unzipped underneath — well into your pregnancy."


source: Nordstrom.com

Support Belt

You may opt for more support, in which case you can pick up a support belt at Walgreens. They carry the Gabrialla Maternity Medium Support Belt. It's adjustable and great for abdominal and back support.


source: Walgreens.com

Support Hose and Tights

You can get support for special occasions as well, with maternity supportive hose. These pretty black tights can be found on Motherhood.com. I don't think we would recommend the high heels, though!


source: Motherhood.com 

Outfits and Ideas

Casual to Dressy ensembles: 

  • Baggy sweaters and leggings
  • Elastic waist shorts and baby doll shirts
  • Loose dresses, empire waist dresses
  • Stretchy skirts
  • Overalls / onesie
  • Stylish joggers and long shirts
  • Pea coat



Final tips:

  • Dress comfortably
  • Have fun with it and take time to look good. It will help you feel better!
  • Embrace your bump! Wearing big bulky sweatshirts might cover your belly, but then you feel like you're swimming in your clothes.
  • If you only buy one expensive maternity item, invest in a good pair of jeans!
  • Enjoy your pregnancy and stay healthy!

Have any other maternity fashion items or tips that you love? Share them in the comments below!

Topics: Maternity Care