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5 Essential Maternity Clothes You’ll Need For Your Pregnancy

5 Essential Maternity Clothes You’ll Need For Your Pregnancy

Do you really need to buy maternity clothes? 

If you’re like most pregnant women, you might be wondering whether it’s worth investing in a whole new wardrobe over the next 9 months. 

I remember asking myself the very same question during my first pregnancy. I didn’t want to spend extra money on expensive maternity clothes — clothing I thought was unnecessary and worn for only a few months. Fast forward a few years later, I realized why some maternity pieces were worth splurging on. 

Things to consider when investing in maternity clothes 

Before you start filling your shopping cart with must-have pregnancy outfits, you may want to consider a few factors. 

First, think about your specific pregnancy. How far along are you? Do you plan on having more children in the future? 

Early in your pregnancy you probably won’t need to wear maternity clothes. In fact, most women in their first pregnancies only start showing at about 3-4 months. But you can start to experience early signs like bloating. In this case, purchasing clothing that is looser around the waist will help keep you comfortable. 

Women in the second and third trimester may upgrade their wardrobe, either by sizing up or investing in maternity clothes. 

Also, if there’s even a slight chance of future pregnancies, you can plan on long-term use from any clothes you buy now. 

Next, look at the current season. Will you be showing yet or sporting a bigger belly in the winter months or summer? 

My babies were born in the spring, which meant I wasn’t really showing those first couple of months until the winter season when my belly “popped.” And during that time, I was able to get away with large, comfy sweaters without having to invest in too much else early on.  

However, if your belly is bigger in the spring or summer, it’s harder to squeeze into jeans or hide behind sweats. You need breathable clothing that actually fits well and maximizes comfort with a growing belly. 

Then consider your lifestyle.

If you work outside of the home, what type of clothing do you normally wear?  Can you get away with wearing your everyday clothes in a size up? If you need to dress professionally with business-casual attire, then investing in maternity sizes will most likely be necessary.  

Maternity Clothes Essentials 

Ready to shop maternity wear? Below are the top pieces of clothing I recommend for pregnant women who want to focus on the essentials. 

If you aren’t sure what size to get when shopping maternity, stick to your pre-pregnant size. Maternity clothes are designed to match your current size and accommodate your growing belly with stretchy fabrics and a proportioned, flattering fit. 

1. Maternity Leggings 

If you can only invest in one piece of maternity wear, most women opt for maternity leggings. Maternity leggings are ideal for your growing bump and come in various styles. Most feature a stretchy elastic waistband that can be pulled over your belly for maximum comfort with fabric that conforms to your body. Other styles are designed to fit right below the bump in an underbelly crisscross design, all while still stretching and accommodating your growing belly. 

Standard leggings can only get you so far. As your waist expands, they tend to become snug at the waist and restrict. Plus, you just won’t get added support or coverage your body needs. 

Maternity leggings may seem like a big investment, but the truth is they are really essential when you want to feel and look your best. Plus, you can wear them throughout your entire pregnancy and even postpartum recovery. 

2. Maternity Bras 

With a bigger belly and typical pregnancy weight gain, this also brings changes in breast sizes. Although the amount will vary, your breasts will grow and start to produce milk within the milk ducts. Having a maternity or nursing bra ready now, whether you plan to breastfeed or not, will help you get as comfortable as possible. 

Maternity bras come in various styles and can resemble sports bras. However, they are non-constrictive and designed to provide optimal support through pregnancy and breastfeeding postpartum. Nursing bras like these are also wireless and stretchy for easy access for feeding. 

3. Belly Belt 

Another must-have item to include in your maternity wardrobe is a belly belt. This piece of maternity clothing helps extend usage of your pre-pregnancy clothing. When you can no longer button your favorite jeans or pants, the belly belt conceals the top portion of your pants so you can wear them a little longer. They are also relatively affordable and can easily become a go-to option early on in pregnancy before it’s time to size up or find maternity pants. 

4. Maternity Dresses 

Although you can probably get away without buying a ton of maternity dresses during pregnancy, it’s still a nice option to have one or two on hand. When you become pregnant, you are pregnant for most of the year. During that time, it’s likely that you will have a special occasion or formal event to attend. With a maternity dress on hand, you won’t have to spend last-minute rummaging through your closet for creative alternatives. 

Also, as a mom who’s been pregnant three times, I regret not having more maternity dresses, especially full-length maxi-style dresses. These dresses create an elegant look and makes a beautiful keepsake in a maternity photoshoot. 

5. Maternity Jackets  

My final recommendation when it comes to must-have maternity clothing, especially for moms during the colder months, is a specifically designed jacket or coat to accommodate a pregnant body. 

You might initially think of just sizing up for this, but I can tell you from experience that isn’t always the best idea. Buying a large or extra-large coat for someone who typically wears medium may seem reasonable but can actually just make a pregnant woman look frumpy and much bigger than you actually are.  Your belly bulges in the middle section, leaving a big opening at the very bottom, thus exposing you to cold air. 

I tried this for my first pregnancy, and it was not very flattering. Just imagine how a 7-month baby bump looks and feels in a coat designed for a pre-pregnant body!  

While it might be tempting to avoid buying maternity clothes and just wear whatever you already have hanging in your closet at home, remember there are a number of factors to consider during pregnancy. The most important of all is your comfort. You need stretchy, comfortable clothes that fit well,  easy to move around in, and help you look and feel your best during the long months ahead.  You got this, mama. 

If you’re ready to add some favorites to your cart, check out the array of maternity clothes Zulily shoppers love!

About The Author

Ana Taney

Ana is a mom of three and the creator of the motherhood blog, Mommy’s Bundle. As a blogger and maternal health advocate, she enjoys creating resources to support and educate new moms from pregnancy, postpartum and beyond. Connect with her on Instagram at @mommysbundle or visit her blog!

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