10 tips that will comfortably yet fashionably see you through pregnancy
I vividly remember trying on my first maternity clothes ever in an H&M stall with my mom giving me advice and me getting teary-eyed and excited. At twelve weeks there was only the slightest hint of a bump but I wanted to start wearing maternity clothes immediately. “Hold your horses”, my mom laughed, “in a few months you’ll be sick of these.” Although I got a few nice items, I didn’t want to invest too much in maternity fashion. It’s only for those few months I thought, but the second time around I did buy a lot more. In my opinion, it really is important to feel comfy and beautiful – if only for that short amount of time and yes, it does get dreary to wear the same outfits over and over. So let me guide you through my favorite items and brands now that I’m becoming quite the expert, pregnant with baby number three.
Pants that feel like yoga pants and you can live in
The first few months of pregnancy are always pretty terrible for me,… (read more here). And whereas the first time around you didn’t really start noticing a little bump until 14 weeks, the second time and now especially the third time I was showing quickly! At eight weeks I was in maternity pants. Not only didn’t I comfortably fit in regular pants anymore, I was also so nauseous and bloated I didn’t want to feel any kind of pressure on my tummy.
So in come the yogapants. They will be your best friend throughout pregnancy. And no, I’m not talking about those hot, tight yoga pants Instagram yogi’s wear, I’m talking about the loose pants that add absolutely nothing to your sense of fashion.
However,… There are pants out there that have the yoga pant feel but don’t look it. My all time favorite this pregnancy are the dark blue pants with stripes I got from Belgian brand Fragile. I was invited to their design studio in Antwerp and was so impressed. Everything I tried on was made in Belgium and they combine fashion and color with comfort.
The last few weeks you won’t feel like squeezing into any skinny jeans anymore but the first few months maternity jeans are a must-have. I have tried many brands but always come back to the ones from H&M. I also strongly advise borrowing clothes from friends so you have lots of things to wear without having to actually buy tons of new stuff. This way, I have eight pairs of jeans to choose from this pregnancy!
One of the basics I could easily live without when I’m not pregnant but am in love with when I am expecting, are leggings. They are just so comfortable and with an oversized shirt and sneakers they are socially acceptable for pregnant women and actually do look cute. I have a regular black pair and one with a bold print.
That dress you feel gorgeous in
When I was first pregnant I was obviously really excited but I was also feeling terrible and often surprised by the little changes my body was already going through. I felt a little bit betrayed,you might say, by how the world and other women had portrayed being pregnant. (Can you relate, check my Instagram account for more discussion on the subject). On the other hand, I do enjoy pregnancy in general and love embracing my bump and there’s no better way to do that than a dress that makes you feel pretty. This pregnancy I have been showing off my bump in this beautiful linen dress from Fragile. I love how I was immediately able to wear it and didn’t have to wait until I had a really big bump.
When I was pregnant with Amelia we had a wedding to go to and it took me a while but I found a really pretty dress that wasn’t even maternity wear. With a skinny belt to accessorize it was pretty with my bump but I’ve also worn it after which is always nice when you buy something a little pricier.
Pregnant in summer? Then you’ll get a lot of use out of a maxi dress. There’ll be days you don’t feel like wearing something tight and a maxi dress is perfect to feel super comfy and still look pretty. Lots of regular maxi dresses fit just fine with a bump and this way you can enjoy it after pregnancy too. I actually gave birth in a t-shirt fabric maxi dress.
I love color and when I first started looking around for maternity wear, it dawned on me that I would have to go through life in black, white and polka dot prints for nine months. I couldn’t give in to that! Luckily, I did find some colorful outfits. My favorite brands to find color in are Fragile, Paulien and Colette, JBC and ASOS.
A perfect way to spice up your outfit is a colorful kaftan to throw over the pair of jeans and top you’re wearing or a bold cardigan.
The last two times, I was pregnant over the festive season and had a wedding to go to. Obviously, I didn’t want to wear the same thing over and over again. I invested in one dress, borrowed another and bought a short black jersey dress. With accessories I was able to make lots of different outfits out of these three dresses. I particularly liked adding a faux fur vest to the combination and also got a lot of use out of a skinny red belt with a bold flower on it.
So, this might be a bit of a surprise but I actually love the way I look when I’m pregnant. I feel so feminine and curvy, and feel like a Victoria’s Secret model (from the chest up that is! With a growing cupsize I also had to expand my bra drawer. Especially with the nausea I was suffering from, I desperately needed comfy bras and soon couldn’t keep wearing my old ones. Easiest is to buy nursing bras and start wearing those right away. I like the wireless ones from H&M most but also really like one I have from Noppies too. A little bit of a surprising turn this pregnancy was that a few months in I couldn’t sleep well without wearing a supportive top. As generally advised, I try to sleep on my left side but I’d wake up with an aching right breast! (in the meantime my gynecologist has told me sleeping on your left side is not at all necessary, only in some cases!) Is this something all big chested women have to deal with? I don’t know but I got myself some stretchy sport bras to sleep in and that helps!
Oversized t-shirts aren’t only comfy, they also look cute with a pregnant belly! Rummage through some of your man’s shirts with prints and pair with a skinny jeans or maxi dress and experiment with tying a knot above your bump or rolling up the sleeves a bit to get a nineties vibe going.
Here are some items people want you to believe you need but you really don’t:
A pregnancy support belt
I too suffer from pelvic pains but was advised to steer away from these support belts. They make your muscles even weaker and will worsen the problem and make it more difficult for you to heal after your pregnancy. So unless you are immobile without one, don’t cave.
A belly band
This stretchy band is designed to wear over regular jeans so you can leave open your button and zipper and don’t have to move on to maternity jeans so quickly. Why though? How can that be comfortable, how do your pants stay up? You’ll have to get adjusted maternity wear anyways,…To me a totally useless item you better skip.
Not sure why there are special underwear for pregnant women on the market,… I just wear the same ones I always do and the belly doesn’t interfere with them at all.
T-shirts and dresses that you can wear pregnant and for breastfeeding afterwards
In my experience the fabric and cut that allows your belly to fit, looks weird without a bump later and also,… I don’t even really get the concept of breastfeeding tops and dresses as it is. (read more on how I dress while breastfeeding here).
In conclusion, pregnacy does only last nine months but that’s no excuse not to invest in some pretty-looking and comfortable clothes. Nine months, and let’s be honest it’s ten, is actually a long time to walk around with a changing body and you deserve to feel beautiful. This doesn’t always have to be expensive; share maternity clothing with your girlfriends and try to find items that will also serve their purpose after your bump has gone.
More on pregnancy and life with two little ones, on @mommoiselle_com!