Friday, September 19, 2008

Thoughts on Maternity Clothes

I thought I'd post a few thoughts about maternity clothes here, in case anyone was considering in investing in some. :)

When I first started gathering clothes, I abhorred the pants with the big panel across the belly. Oh my gosh. Who wears those? So, everything I bought for myself, I made sure they were the low-rise, below-belly type. However, I've found two problems with those. First, the 3-inch elastic band can twist and fold inside the fabric. This is really frustrating, though liveable. Second, as I've gotten bigger (just recently at 6-7 mos), the same band has a tendency to fold over and put pressure on my belly, which is not comfortable at all. So, I've pulled out a few of the big panel pants. And gagged every time I put them on. I mean, really, is there no other way to be comfortable? And even these aren't that comfortable. Yes, the elastic doesn't double over and hurt me, but now the elastic is at the top of my uterus (or directly across it), and that still isn't that comfortable. But I admit it is better.

The best pants I've found are the knit gauchos I wear for my belly pics. They're super-comfy, will stretch to whatever size I am, and put absolutely no pressure on my belly. As a matter of fact, Motherhood Maternity has a line of pants with the "secret fit belly" that I think are basically the same as my gauchos. I haven't bought any because I don't really need more maternity clothes, but they would be my top choice if I were to buy pants. And, for those of you like me who hate the idea of the full-belly coverage, you can fold the panel down.

Something else I've found invaluable are my workout shorts: one pair from Target and one pair from middle school gym class. They're stretchy and comfy, and will definitely make it through the entire pregnancy--at least through shorts season. Plus, they're shorts I already owned, and will continue to wear after the pregnancy.

I've outgrown about half my underwear--some pairs are just stretchier than others! I haven't found the need to buy maternity undies, but I do see how some seamless ones would be nice and comfy. And they wouldn't have to be maternity, either, just regular ones from Wal-Mart or wherever.

I've pretty much outgrown my bras. For whatever reason, one pre-pregnancy bra is still hanging on (with the help of the bra extender), but I think it's time to retire it and move to a larger size. The first time I moved up sizes, I added 2 inches and 1 cup size, and I think I'm going to have to go up again one more time (both inches and cup size) before I hit nursing bras. I've read that when I buy nursing bras (if I buy before baby), I should add a cup size to account for my milk coming in after baby's here, so I may be changing sizes one more time, at least! I've kept two "day" bras in constant rotation, and one comfy sleep bra.

I don't really have a lot to say about shirts. My favorites have been t-shirts that are snug enough to show off even the smallest baby belly. Otherwise, they feel like circus tents until about the 7th month. The crossover type shirts are very popular, and usually very low-cut, so black and white camisoles have been a good investment.

And dresses have been a godsend in hot weather. When you can't wear shorts (church or work), dresses are a way to keep cool, and there's no elastic around my waist! My favorite are the kind that stretch around the belly and then come back to normal shape around my legs--showing off the belly. Others just hang off straight off the belly, making it quite breezy below, and also making an already-self-conscious prego feel like a small whale. (I'm sure they look fine, and it's just me, but I'm just warning you.) If you're pregnant in the warmer months, I'd recommend getting some casual knit dresses, even if you won't need any for special occasions or things like that.

Overall, maternity-wear should be fun and comfortable, should reflect your style, and should make you feel pretty at a time when your hormones and emotions may tell you otherwise.


  1. The gauchos are my fave! I wore mine at 42 weeks on the way to the hospital to deliver Bennett.

    And I also second wearing dresses in warm weather. I didn't need any summer maternity clothes with B but this time I've been lovin' the empire-waist sundresses (some maternity, some not).

    You are looking great!

  2. Hi Cousin! Your blogs just crack me up sometimes! I had blocked my preggo undies out of my memory, until you mentioned them. Oh man, were they bad!! I threw them away as soon as I could after my first baby, then vowed to never again consider buying more for my second pregnancy!!

  3. I never could stand having anything too tight around my belly, and then I ended up having to wear a belly support because I got so big and my stomach muscles had separated down the middle, so that was very uncomfy.

    As far as clothes, I was a big fan of wearing my nightgown all day. I did have some low-rise pants that I liked, but couldn't wear them after I made it to about 5 months, so my one pair of maternity jeans that lasted through the last month were the big-panel ones. I tried to stay home as much as possible so I never had to wear anything except my jammies. :)

  4. The only maternity pants available "back in the day" were the big panel ones. I thought they were comfy. When I saw modern below-belly ones, I thought, "Wow, how do they stay up?" I mean, gravity does its work, and I had no hiney to hold pants up. :) So I was grateful for the ones that came up to the waist!

    And, too, back then maternity clothes weren't cute; they were utilitarian. So enjoy the styles you can choose now.

  5. Still waiting for the pictures to be updated!!! :)


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