A few weeks ago, after cleaning out my closet, I discovered a box of maternity clothes. I dug through them a bit, remembering multiple trips to maternity clothing shops and maternity sections of my favorite stores on lunch breaks when I was pregnant. I then promptly doused the clothing in gasoline, lit a match, and watched those f*ckers burn. OK, fine, I donated them, but it would have been satisfying to settle the score after enduring all the lies the maternity section told me when I was pregnant.
Maternity clothing, by and large, is not fun. However, I'm not going to poo-poo progress because, believe it or not, things have gotten better. All you need to do is watch old episodes of TV shows to see how much cuter pregnant lady clothes are now, compared to "back in the day." That said, most maternity items are still not all that cute. Unless you spend a ton of money on clothing with a very limited shelf-life, you're probably going to wind up with cheaply made, chintzy, poorly fitted, not-so-adorable clothes (that will nevertheless still cost you more than non-maternity clothes you would actually like).
What's worse is that these clothes are marketed to pregnant ladies as an OMG super fun awesome rite of passage. Yeah, no. That's a lie. So, let's delve into the specific #AlternativeFacts maternity sections try to sell us on.
You Have To Buy Maternity Clothes
There's no possible way this can be avoided. None whatsoever. I mean, what are you going to do? Buy non-maternity clothes in a size bigger than you normally wear?
(Seriously: I know many a mom-to-be who went their entire pregnancies without buying a single maternity item. Simply buying bigger clothes won't work for all items, but there's enough out there to make this specific arrangement work quite nicely for a lot of people, especially if you have the fortune/misfortune of being pregnant in the summer, when billow-y clothes are all the rage.)
This Is Going To Be A Fun Experience
Yeah, what could possibly be not fun about having to get a new, largely overpriced wardrobe for a body that is difficult to get accustomed to and, as soon as you do, changes again? Oh, and don't forget that your hormones are constantly making you cry about literally everything all the time for no particular reason.
You'll Look Just Like These Models
Buy this dress and you will transform from a sweating, constantly nauseous hellbeast who waddles, huffs, and puffs to her waxers once a week to get her upper lip taken care of, to this lithe, long-limbed Aphrodite with a perfect bump. Isn't that worth the $75? Look at her. I'll bet she doesn't have sciatica or hemorrhoids or weird black hairs around her nipples.
Pretty Clothes Will Make You Feel Pretty
Nothing like a delicate floral pattern to make you forget about the fact that you have dark circles under your eyes, feel like crap, and can't help but notice that your vagina has had a really weird and unsettling smell right for the past four months, right?
These Are Pretty Clothes
Sure. Cool. Awesome.
You Love Stripes Now
Guys, I really don't know what it is, but maternity clothing is always striped. They're literally always in season. We're all supposed to be mad for stripes. We can't get enough stripes. Stripes are like folic acid: if you want your baby to be healthy, you need to make sure you get a daily dose of stripes.
I hate stripes, people. I don't like the way they look on me and, I don't know why, they always read really childish to me. So why are pregnant women subjected to them at higher than usual rates? Is Unsolved Mysteries still a thing? Can we get on this?
You Can Always Wear These Clothes During Your Second Pregnancy
This glosses over so many really crucial points, including but not limited to:
- You will absolutely have a second child (I don't mean to be a bummer here, guys, but look up secondary infertility.)
- Your second child will be due the same time of year as your first child, meaning your wardrobe will be seasonally appropriate
- You are the same starting size/weight between child one and child two
- You gain roughly the same amount of weight in the same places during your second pregnancy
That's a lot of contingencies, people.
You'll Be Happy If You Get An Adorable Sleepwear Ensemble For Recovery
You're going to be, like, super focused on how cute you look after giving birth. In fact, go ahead and get the lightest color you can find because you definitely won't leak body fluids all over that satin nightgown and robe. Your baby certainly won't poop on you. You are going to glow with maternal beauty. Here, buy a second one! Your fans are going to expect new and exciting looks from you every day.
Get Nursing Bras Now
Because your boobs aren't going to get, like that much bigger, right? And you're for sure going to breastfeed. Nothing could possibly derail that plan, right? And make sure you get the really pretty bras, because you're determined to always be perfectly put together and sexy even after you have kids. The women who "let themselves go" are just lazy!
("But won't I need something?" you ask. Perfectly reasonable question. Yes, but you can either get a couple of cheap nursing bras to tide you over until you figure out if nursing is for you and what size you'll be or you can make do with a bunch of nursing tanks to start. Seriously: wait on the good nursing bras until you're a few weeks postpartum.)
You'll Be Back To Your Old Size As Soon As You Give Birth
As a writer, I'm usually not one to agree with the whole "A picture is worth a thousand words" kind of person, but in this case I feel this ridiculous lie is best refuted with images from my second pregnancy. Here's me, two days before I delivered my daughter:
And here's me two days after I delivered my daughter:
You Have To Stop Wearing These Clothes After You Have Your Baby
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Oh honey, my youngest child is almost 3 and I still rock maternity jeans from time to time. When it comes to waistbands, once you go elastic you never go backstic. That's just crazy talk. Go home, maternity section. You're drunk.