Try as you might, you’ll most likely need at least a few maternity basics during your pregnancy. I’ve already written up this list of my favorite maternity essentials to several first time mom friends so it’s now time for my SOTD readers to benefit on my experience!
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Forward this list of maternity essentials to a recently announced newly pregnant friend or buy her something off the list and help get her prepared for the months ahead!
I’m not a fashionista by any means so I was always looking for basics that I could comfortably wear and mix and match in different ways. TIP: Give in and create a spot in your closet/drawers specifically for all your maternity wear options. Yes, it will most likely be small selection, but it will cause you a lot less of a headache to have all the things that actually fit you in one location instead of sifting through a ton of clothes you won’t be enjoying again for months.
- These Old Navy Maternity Rib Knit Tanks are great as you can wear them with a cardigan on top in cooler weather, pair with shorts for hot summer days or rock them with skirts for dressy/casual look. Check out their website to see the larger colorful collection and make sure you sign up for their emails to take advantage of discounts and coupon deals!
- Not all maternity tops have to have rouching on the sides to make it fit months down the road. I have several Liz Lange ones from Target that I love since they look like regular shirts. I can’t find a link to them on their online store so try checking in person.
- These Old Navy Fold-Over Skirts were great as they could be dressed up or dressed down. I have it in both black and grey and wore them all summer long the first time around and have mixed them in when I could for number two. (Side note: it seems harder to wear dresses or skirts when you’re chasing around a toddler!)
- As mentioned prior, I was REALLY against the full panel pants concept prior to my first pregnancy. But then I got to experience how COMFY it really is! I have two pairs of low panel skinny jeans from Old Navy but found they were only good for the beginning of your pregnancy and got uncomfortable around my belly really fast. I was able to wear these full panel skinny jeans much longer, even into the warmer summer months.
- On the same note, I love my Liz Lange jean shorts from Target with the full panel covering. (Again, no online link). You can see me wearing them at 7 months pregnant when we attended a really HOT Nascar race this May.
- I have three pairs of these fold over waistband yoga shorts that I wear to sleep, over a swimsuit in summer, or as seen in the above photo, I rocked them in the hot summer days in 2013 when I was overdue! They’re SUPER comfy and grow with your growing bump. (Ok confession, I never stopped wearing these to bed, even after I lost all my baby weight from the first pregnancy. They’re just that comfortable!)
- When in need of some warmth, I opted for these Maternity Roll-Panel Yoga Pants which were just as comfy and soft as the yoga shorts, just in a full leg length.
- DRESSES: I actually wore two regular pre-pregnancy dresses throughout my first pregnancy without stretching them out forever. But I also loved this one from Old Navy buying it in both blue and black. I wore this black one to my Colorful Baby Shower (seen above) and am now sporting it for my weekly pictures with baby number 2.
- Once you’re at a certain point in the pregnancy, it’s probably obvious that you have a pregnant belly shape and didn’t just indulge in too many sweets. If you’re up for it, rock a bikini and show off the bump! Tip: Buy maternity swimsuit bottoms (I like these from Old Navy) and a new bikini top (since you’ll most likely need to go up a size).
- If you want to cover up a bit more, I also had this maternity tankini that I wore with the same bottoms mentioned above, but I warn you that this doesn’t really fit nicely until your bump is a little larger. I wore this at 24 weeks pregnant with my first on our babymoon and it was a bit loose on me.
- IMTIMATES: I rarely read much about this category of maternity clothing favorites on blogs so hopefully you can benefit from the below info!
- Chances are you’ll need a new bra cup size pretty early in pregnancy. You’ll upgrade and soon realize that you also needed to get a bigger width due to an expanding rib cage! To get the most use out of these new bras, I bought this Maidenform Women’s 3 Hook Bra Extender Pack and was able to gain a few more inches of width instead of investing in yet another set of bras for a hopefully not so long period of time.
- I never went the maternity underwear route so I can’t speak about it’s magic, and instead stuck with my favorite brand, Victoria Secret. I purchase a larger size of their string bikini style, which I was able to wear up into my 9th month, since the string style allowed for room to stretch around my growing bump.
- Like many of your maternity items, sleep bras will be also be great once baby comes so it will have a longer life than 9 short months. While pregnant, you will probably want something to support your growing boobs at night and a soft, cotton Medela Sleep Bra will do the trick. Once baby is here and your milk comes in, you’ll need a soft sleep bra like this, or shelf bra nursing tank, in order to keep your disposable breastpads in, due to leaking. For that situation, I recommend Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads.
Besides the obvious need for new clothes during this growing season, you’ll also want some other items to help keep you comfortable in other ways.
- In your first pregnancy and your belly starts to stretch, it’s itchy! I used the sweet smelling Mama Mio Tummy Rub Butter to combat this issue which both stopped the itchiness and moisture my expanding belly. I preferred this to that cocoa smelling brand!
- This is the number one thing I tell pregnant friends to get when they first share their news and something I included in my Second Pregnancy: What I’m Doing Differently This Time Around post: Get a pregnancy pillow! You may think stuffing your bed with a ton of pillows will do the trick but these special pillows are shaped to help support your growing bump, back and give support to your legs during sleep. I love my Leachco Snoogle Total Body Pillow and am pretty sure I’m going to have a hard time giving it up post pregnancy!
- In the beginning weeks of pregnancy, when you’re probably hiding your bump, or even once you do reveal the joyful news, a Belly Band can help you wear your pre-pregnancy pants but still be comfortable. I have one in black that I got at Target (again, no online link) and wore it often in the beginning!
Some last piece of advice/warning: you’ll wear a lot of these items after baby arrives too. Yes, you’ll loose weight at birth and hopefully more in the days/weeks/months after, but it does take time. It’s ok if you have to wear the maternity clothes (that you are no doubt stick of by then) but it’s just the nature of what happens. Wear it when the weight is going on and wear it as it’s going down. Make sure you read the Post Baby You for more advice on your body an mind after baby.
I used my old maternity tanks to make discreet nursing tops after having my babies. I found the clothing that is for nursing to be expensive, cheaply made (they didn’t really hold up well and stretched out), and not very discreet depending on the design. I cut two vertical holes in the tanks. Since they are knit you can just cut the holes and not do anything about the raw edges. You just layer a stretchy top over the tank and then you can pull the top up and unhook your nursing bra. This way your tummy is covered and the shirt covers the top of your boob and you get to wear real clothes rather than the nursing tops which aren’t necessarily fashionable. :)
Spot of Tea Designs says
Thank u so much for sharing this tip/technique Nicole! I need to look into this if I need more nursing tops when #2 arrives!
Great tips! I was pregnant this entire past winter, and it was a cold one in the northeast. Once I could no longer zip or button my coats I knew I wasn’t going to be able to get away with just leaving my coat open. Maternity coats are slim pickings and I couldn’t even find plus size options that were not hideous. My first intuition was to get an a-line swing coat but they made me feel like I had a tent on! My tip – look for a coat that has a drawstring at the waist (some are even internal that you cant see from the outside). I sized up, but made sure the shoulder area was not too large. I was able to adjust the drawstring as needed and it gave me a waist, and helped the slighly big coat compliment my growing bump. I actually got tons of compliments while staying warm and comfy.
Spot of Tea Designs says
Thanks so much for contributing and helping out the winter mommas with this great tip! Having only had summer pregnancies I forget how hard it must be to find clothes to cover a bump and keep you warm at the same time!