March 26th 2012
archived under: Family Life, Joseph, Pregnancy and Birth

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.

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