The moment you find out you're pregnant, you're bombarded with questions. What time of the year will I give birth? Will the baby look like me? Will the pregnancy be difficult? What kind of baby shower should I have? And finally (and more so if you're fashion forward), you'll wonder about your new pregnancy wardrobe. However, rarely does the fantasy of maternity wear mimic the reality, as there are things no one will tell you about pregnancy fashion that can be nothing if not jarring. Thankfully, well, I'm here.
Pregnancy changes the rules regarding your wardrobe (along with pretty much everything and anything else) because your body is constantly changing shape. It grows fast — sometimes at the boobs, or the legs, or the butt, and most definitely the stomach — so just when you've grown somewhat used to one change, another change occurs. Some people actually lose weight their first trimester, especially if they develop hypermesis gravidarum (that thing where you puke incessantly and is basically hell). Some women develop rashes and need clothes that won't aggravate their now overly-sensitive skin.
In other words, we all basically react in different ways to pregnancy, and that’ll affect what you decide to wear throughout your pregnancy journey. If you’ve just found out you’re pregnant and want to know a bit more about what I mean, read on.
You’ll Want To Buy All The Cute Maternity Clothes (Until You See The Price Tag)
Whether you're looking forward to wearing them or dreading it, maternity clothes will become a necessity at some point (since most shirts don’t come with extra room for a giant belly). This is even more important when you need professional maternity clothes for work. That said, you’ll go from wanting to buy it all (because some maternity wear can be downright adorable) to only wanting a few essential mix-n-match items when you see how much companies up-charge for these outfits.
You’ll Spend The First Couple Months Just Wearing What You Usually Wear
While you might want to jump the gun and start buying up maternity dresses right away, you won’t. There’s really no point in the first trimester, usually. Even if you start to show early, you can always turn some regular clothes into maternity clothes with a few snips and tucks.
You’ll Try To Wear Third-Trimester Outfits Too Early And Feel Discouraged
You might splurge on a cute maternity outfit in your first trimester, but you just won’t be filling it out the way you would toward those last few months. As such, you might feel a bit disappointed at how long it’s taking your baby-to-be to grow and show. Don’t rush it. Focus on making some of your regular outfits pregnancy-friendly, for now, and save your cash.
You’ll Try To Stick To Leggings, Yoga Pants, And Other Stretchy Bottoms
At least at first, you don’t need to really wear maternity pants. Yoga pants, leggings, or anything else with an elastic band is just as efficient. Check out our suggestions for other alternatives to maternity pants, too.
You’ll Probably Want To Show Off Your Maternity Cleavage (And That’s OK)
There are no hard and fast rules about maternity fashion. We all just kind of make it up as we go along. Some of us will be pleased at our newfound boobage and it’s cool if you want to show it off. There might be some haters, but you know what? Screw ‘em.
Most Of Your Bras Will Become Completely Obsolete...
Unless you’ve got insufficient glandular tissue (meaning your breasts might not grow during pregnancy and your milk supply will likely be low), your chest is going to grow. And grow. And grow. And probably grow some more. This means all those bras you’ve accumulated over the years will be of no use.
...As Will All Of Your Cute Underwear
Thongs are not your friend during pregnancy. Some folks might dig it, and they can work for a limited amount of time if you’re looking to show off some sexy lingerie for a night, but in general, they aren’t practical. Between your ever-expanding waist (and hips), and the amount of discharge that comes with being pregnant — plus the potential for pregnancy hemorrhoids — you’ll want to wear large, comfortable, cotton panties most of the time.
Friends Will Want To Give You Their Maternity Clothes (But You’ll Want To Say "No" So You Can Buy The Cute Stuff You Have Your Eye On)
It’s easy to take on hand-me-downs, especially when you’re busy saving for your future baby, but you won’t always want to. Accepting these palpable acts of kindness means not having a real reason to buy new clothes, and chances are there will be at least be a couple of items you’re itching to purchase yourself. Then again, you can always compromise and accept your friends’ goods while also using a subscription maternity wear service.
You’ll Eventually Graduate To Maternity Jeans With The Huge Belly Band And Have Mixed Feelings
Once your belly is big enough, you’ll want to get some jeans with a band that goes all the way up to the bottom of your boobs. It will take some getting used to. Trust me.
You might miss your old hip huggers, too, but you’ll get through it.
You’ll Buy A Few Belly Bands Because One Will Itch, One Will Pinch, And The Last Will Feel Just Right
Belly bands are a must, especially when you're late into your pregnancy. Your back will thank you later. But there’s a science to it.
Your belly might already itch because that’s what happens when your skin stretches out to seemingly unnatural lengths. Some belly bands might be wholly uncomfortable, or they might poke in weird places. Just keep trying and you’ll find one that works for you.
If You Live In A Warm Climate, You’ll Eventually Just Wear Flip Flops Everywhere (Because Shoes And Pregnancy Don’t Mix)
In case no one has told you yet, your feet often expand during pregnancy (and chances are they won’t shrink back to their pre-pregnant size). This sucks, of course, because your shoe collection may become obsolete. You’ll also have trouble finding shoes that are comfortable while pregnant. Flip flops are your friend if you live in warm weather areas, though Toms are a close second.
You’ll Find One Super Comfortable (Warm) Outfit And Wear It Everywhere, Everyday (Because Laundry And Pregnancy Don’t Mix)
Your pregnant body doesn’t always have the energy to do laundry all the time. You might start employing some mom beauty hacks — like constantly spraying perfume on your favorite maternity outfit — and hey, that’s OK. We know better than to judge.
You’ll Keep Wearing Some Of Your Maternity Clothes After The Baby Is Born...
You just gave birth. You don’t have time to go shopping. It’s cool, you’ll keep wearing those cute free-flowing tops.
...Until You Finally Get Tired Of People Asking You When You’re Due
Folks have no business asking you about your body, in general, but just because we know that doesn’t mean everyone else does. Some people will ask you (without batting an eye) if you’re due soon, because as you may or may not know, the pregnancy belly doesn’t disappear right away. In fact, for some of us, it kind of remains with us for years after. You’ll get sick of people asking you if you’re having a boy or a girl or how many weeks you are and then you’ll throw all your maternity duds in a bag and donate them to your next pregnant friend.