When you first become pregnant, you look for every little sign that there is a tiny human growing in there — a small bump, the first kick, nausea that has you making best friends with your toilet — but sooner than later, the proof is in your growing body and everyday clothes that you can't quite into anymore. It's about then that you realize it is, perhaps, time for a wardrobe change, but you might wonder, "How many maternity clothes do I need?" After all, you might not want to overbuy in the same way you already have newborn onesies, right?
According to The Bump, it's important to initially invest in a few basic pieces. The website noted stretchy leggings, a comfy camisole, a cardigan, lounge pants, and a nursing sleeping bra are just a few staples you might want to have on hand.
"A good strategy for maternity wardrobe building is to take inventory of the things in your closet that you may be able to wear as your belly grows," noted Mama Natural. "Stretchy material like yoga pants and casual skirts are a good start, but the lower the rise the better." It's important to keep in mind that many women don't like the feeling of anything across their bellies as it grows, so it might be a good idea to have items like empire waist dresses, loose shirts on hand, fold over yoga pants, long tank tops, and wrap dresses, according to the website.
Of course, as Parents pointed out, for the first four months of pregnancy you might not probably won't need to spring for maternity clothes just yet. Longer-fitting shirts, blouses, stretchy tanks and t-shirts, flowy tops, and looser-fitting pants that you already have in your closet might work. As for jeans, you might want to try this nifty trick from the magazine: "Your favorite pair of jeans can be worn comfortably for a while with the help of a rubber band or elastic hair tie looped through the buttonhole and wrapped around the button." I mean, talk about a Pinterest-worthy tip, am I right?
There is, of course, also the chance that you are going to opt to not purchase maternity clothes during your pregnancy. If you fall into that camp, then elastic waistbands, low-rise pants, and drawstring bottoms will be your new best friend, Parents noted. Unbuttoned blazers and cardigans are great options, as well as regular clothes two sizes larger than your current size. (Hint: these will also double as great post-baby options). You might also want to consider an elastic band for your belly, like the Bella Band that can be worn over unbuttoned pants or skirts. If all else fails, your partner's clothes might also make for comfy maternity wear.
In my unprofessional opinion, I would also add that it's important to find a few key items that work best for your everyday life. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I fell in love with these H&M tees and wore a short or long sleeved version of it every day. (Seriously, scroll through my IG and I'm wearing this particular one in nearly every pregnancy photo and even wore it to the hospital to give birth.)
At the end of the day, the key to finding pieces that work for you during pregnancy is to choose comfort. I promise you that this is not the time to force yourself into uncomfortable jeans or opt for anything other than a t-shirt that makes your growing belly happy. Invest in a few solid pieces or find ways to make your favorites work for your changing form, and you're bound to find a maternity wardrobe that suits you.