Pregnancy and Postpartum – Clothing Guide 101

If you’re planning on becoming pregnant soon, or if you’re already pregnant, hopefully you’ll find this trimester-by-trimester guide to preggie-wear helpful.

  1. TTC/Not Yet Pregnant – When you’re trying to get pregnant, it’s not the time to buy new clothes for yourself. Start saving a clothing fund so that when you get your BFP (Big Fat Positive) you can go wild. This might mean you’re wearing the same old pilled t-shirts for a while, but you know the second you go out and buy yourself fabulous new clothes, you’ll be pregnant and too bloated to wear them. So try your hardest to refrain.
  2. First Trimester, First Baby – Congratulations! You’re pregnant! If it’s your first baby, you’ll probably play the game of “let’s see how long I can wear my non-maternity clothes!” First you’ll suffer through bloating in your regular clothes. You’ll proudly announce to your in-the-know friends “7 weeks and I can still zip up my jeans!”… then you’ll use a hair elastic looped through your buttonhole to be able to fasten your pants when they’re no longer cooperating. Once you have to unzip too, you’ll buy a belly band to extend the life of your jeans. (It holds up your unbuttoned/unzipped pants and looks like the bottom of a tank top so it doesn’t look odd sticking out from under your shirts.) Shirts mostly cooperate at this point, but first-timers might aim for “slimming” ones so they can look “normal” as long as possible, or frumpy ones to “hide the bloat,” especially if they’re trying to hide the pregnancy from coworkers or a boss. Some people will look for shirts that accentuate the bump, and poke out their bellies, sway their backs, and try to look as pregnant as possible, hoping to rush the second-trimester cute-pregnantness.
  3. First Trimester, Subsequent Babies – BREAK OUT THE MATERNITY CLOTHES ASAP! Feeling bloated and battling waistbands before you even get your BFP? Dig out that box of maternity clothes from last time and yank on the full-panel jeans, baby! Yoga pants, anyone? Embrace it. This is one time in your life when it’s the opposite of fashion crime to wear elastic-waisted pants; it’s expected and encouraged. Vow not to button another button until a year from now.
  4. Second Trimester – You’ve got the cute belly bump going! You want the world to know you’re expecting a bundle of joy, and now that you’re not constantly sick and exhausted, you’re out and about in public more, and you’re wondering which strangers have noticed your pregnancy but are too polite to say anything just in case. You’ll finally embrace the maternity pants/shorts/skirts if you haven’t already, and you’ll buy form-fitting shirts to highlight your bump. If you’re the type to wear clothes with words, you might go for shirts that say, “Does this baby make my butt look big?” or “Due in April!” or “I’m so crafty, I make people!” You’re feeling cute, and you solemnly swear, optimistically, that you’re going to be a stylish pregnant lady.
  5. Third Trimester – Your belly laughs in the face of waistbands. Even elastic ones. Your cute little belly-hugging shirts creep up, and when you least expect it, you feel a breeze on the bottom of your bump because pants and shirts don’t always meet anymore. You’ll seek out longer shirts, tunics, and dresses that are preferably jersey knit. Who cares about cute embellishments at this point? You need COMFORT! Pants are to be avoided at all costs…The only acceptable ones might be yoga pants or leggings. If you’re seen in public looking cute, people can pretty much assume that as soon as you go home, you rip off all your clothes and spend the rest of the day in pajamas. Shoes must be slip-on, because tying laces is pretty much impossible without kneeing yourself in the gut/baby. Ribs are widening to the point where your bras are all trying to boa-constrictor you to death. Buying some cheap, bigger-banded sport bras or similar is probably a good plan.
  6. Postpartum – The first few weeks, you’ll want to snuggle your baby as much as possible, and have easy access for skin-to-skin cuddles and breast-feeding…so yoga pants or pajama pants and cheap nursing tank tops (or topless!) are great around the house. Beyond that, second-trimester clothes may make a comeback for a while. Most of them will look pretty cute on a non-pregnant body, and they have enough room and “give” to be comfortable while your body is adjusting from bearing and birthing a baby. Don’t obsess about your “thin jeans” or “getting back to my pre-pregnancy body.” Your body has changed a LOT, and your hips might stay wider forever, or for 6+ months, even if you’re back to your pre-baby weight. You’re a mom now. And that doesn’t mean you have to go out and buy Saturday Night Live Mom Jeans. But it does mean you DESERVE a nice new pair of your favorite style of jeans, in a size that actually fits your body NOW. So go buy yourself an outfit that makes you feel hot in your new skin. Buy new underwear that isn’t stretched out from your pregnancy. (I totally replaced my entire undie stash after Anneliese was born.) And maybe some shoes you HAVE to bend over to tie/buckle/fasten. Because you CAN.

What are your clothing tips for each trimester? Postpartum? Any favorite items or things to avoid at all costs?

Find more posts from bloggers sharing their experiences of motherhood on the Huggies page on BlogHer.com.

SAHM & Navy Wife blogging grain-free real-food recipes, cloth diapering, babywearing, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, crafts, decor, & more.

15 Comments

  1. Exposed Aggregate concrete
    Jul 24, 2013 @ 21:34:23

    How soon during pregnancy do you start getting yeast …there any sign i can look for to detect pregnancy this early.Thanks for sharing the useful information.

    Reply

  2. How to Dress During Pregnancy | The Style Stork
    Nov 27, 2012 @ 19:48:42

    […] A funny guide, especially if you are on your second  […]

    Reply

  3. move out cleaning melbourne
    Jul 11, 2012 @ 01:25:47

    I know this isnt an answer, but im almost 8 months post partum and going through the same thing. All of the symptoms you have, I have. And I look bigger than I did after I delivered. Ive taken too many tests to count.. all neg.WHATS GOING ON WITH US! haha

    Reply

  4. fly rods
    Jun 28, 2012 @ 23:56:15

    I would phone your gyro’s office and explain whats going on. I have heard of women getting pregnant after taking the plan b pill. I would schedule a blood test just to make sure. I hope everything turns out well for you.

    Reply

  5. yoga pants
    Apr 25, 2012 @ 01:04:43

    I saw many cloths from Bear Grylls and what was fascinating, his rucksack wasn’t that much wet after he went under water. I think there were no cell phones or laptops or even GPS. I noticed that his pants were almost dry. How is it possible and how does he dress like?

    Reply

  6. Amber O'Brien
    Apr 17, 2012 @ 22:51:04

    Love the post! And agree with it all :) I also recommend something called a “Belly Belt” which works like the elastic hairband but adds a little piece of fabric over the open zipper area too. Already using it for my round 2 of baby bloating and love them!

    Reply

  7. Stacie
    Apr 05, 2012 @ 01:13:07

    Having almost as many problems finding clothes at 3 weeks pp as I did during 3rd tri. My 3rd tri clothes are now loose which make me look frumpy (definitely not as cute as wearing it with a full term belly bump). For some reason I don’t seem to have much 2nd tri clothes? What the heck was I wearing back then?

    The bigger sized non-maternity clothes still don’t fit (it’s a hip thing), and I really don’t want to go out and buy clothes that fit me right now. This too shall pass…(mantra of many postpartum mamas from what I understand).

    Reply

  8. chrissie
    Mar 27, 2012 @ 21:38:24

    Love your blog!! Just stumbled upon it :)
    Have you ever read the “navigating the mothership” blog?? omg you and her are so similar its scarey!! you even write alike and even look kinda alike. I love her blogs and yours!! haha.. keep up the good work!!

    Reply

  9. Jen
    Mar 27, 2012 @ 20:03:02

    You are so funny! I’m a die-hard clogs fan. I don’t have the time, energy, or ability to tie sneakers.

    Reply

  10. Julie
    Mar 27, 2012 @ 15:07:04

    I LOVE that last picture! Naked baby photobomb!

    Reply

  11. Rosie
    Mar 27, 2012 @ 14:08:42

    You hit the nail on the head!!! Only thing I’d add is that even a few months pp, if you look great in public, you will probably rush home and throw on yoga pants ASAP!

    Reply

  12. Jessie
    Mar 27, 2012 @ 02:56:40

    Got another tip for you! Dont wear your hubbys jeans in the 3rd trimester because they’re comfy especially if he’s a lot taller than you! You will rip the bottom of them to pieces and get in trouble :)

    OOOPs!

    Reply

  13. nicole
    Mar 26, 2012 @ 10:13:02

    Don’t just shop in maternity stores/sections! By my later pregnancies I was kind of tired of the same maternity styles, sometimes. I just bought a larger size in regular clothes, at least for tops. I loved Old Navy’s perfect fit tees in a large–long enough to go over my belly but still fitted. And with baby-doll style dresses and shirts so popular now you can find a lot of choices in the regular stores/sections.

    I spent more money on good maternity jeans with my later pregnancies. I wore jeans a lot and it was worth it to get a pair that fit. All that was big on me was my belly–I wanted to wear jeans that fit me, not made me look bigger.

    Reply

  14. Julie
    Mar 26, 2012 @ 10:48:34

    Such a great article, I really like your point on clothing from the pregnancy’s view. The most fresh mommies (like I was) start to buy maternity clothes as far as they get to know that they are pregnant. Your advices give the mommies a more fashionable look.

    Reply

  15. Lauren
    Mar 26, 2012 @ 05:47:13

    I’ll speak to the postpartum side. Since I’m breastfeeding my daughter, one of my favorite must-have clothing items are nursing tank tops. They make things so much easier because they unsnap and I’m not half naked when feeding her. When she’s done, I just snap it back and pull my regular shirt back down.
    Another thing that makes you feel good after you have your baby, (non-clothing related)is getting your hair cut. My daughter was due in December so I got my hair cut a week before she came. After she was born, I didn’t get a chance to get it cut until March. Getting it cut helped me feel ‘back to normal’.

    Reply

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