Maternity Clothes; When to buy, When to wear?
Congratulations on your positive pregnancy test! Now that you’ve had a moment to let it sink, its time to start planning for your pregnancy. By now you’ve probably set up your first doctor’s appointment and put together every question that’s been keeping you up at night. Next up, you’ll have another list of things to figure out for when the baby arrives like nursery themes, baby names, etc. If you’re anything like me, only after all of that will you realize you’re eventually going to need to take care of yourself differently now as well. There are many things that come with being pregnant where you won’t know exactly what you’ll need until they become an issue, like what you’ll be craving (or not craving) or how many antacids you’ll need. One thing you’ll almost definitely need for sure though are maternity clothes, but when?
This question of when usually is thought of as “when will I need to start wearing maternity clothes?” but really, you should start with “when should I start to get my maternity clothes?” so you have them on hand whenever you suddenly realize you suddenly can’t button your pants any longer. The answer to the question of when you should get maternity clothes is, of course, different person to person. Many things can play into this, but one of the biggest issues is seasonality. If you are in the fall and you know most of your pregnancy is going to be in the winter, you could buy some warmer clothes now and just wait until the end of winter to add on a spring wardrobe. If its early summer and you won’t start to show until fall, you might need to wait a bit for the next season’s wardrobe to hit the shelves and just hope things aren’t too snug in the meantime. The other option is save yourself the hassle and time spent trying to find the right wardrobe for every point of a 9-month journey and the money spent buying new clothes mid-way through your pregnancy by renting them from a company who has a wardrobe for any weather on hand at all times.
Now as for when to start wearing maternity clothes, everyone is different here as well (I know, big surprise!). Generally by the start of the second trimester women are starting to find that their normal pants aren’t fitting so well anymore. This signals that it’s time to switch out your normal clothes with roomier ones to accommodate your changing figure. Now some people may need clothes by eight weeks and others may never need them at all. Everyone is different and has different needs, so trust what your body is telling you!
A lot of women get tripped up on what size they’ll need. As a general rule, a lot of maternity clothes follow the sizing of your pre-pregnancy clothes. So if you wear a small now, you’ll look for smalls in maternity clothing as well. Just like all other clothing, sizing will vary between brands so if possible, look for a sizing chart and check measurements if you’re unsure. Sometimes it will be necessary to size up, especially if you’re carrying multiples. It is helpful to know your store’s exchange policy in advance so you don’t end up with something that seemed like it fit well in the store but wasn’t truly a good fit when you got it home. There is little worse than winding up stuck with an ill-fitting dress because you can’t return it!
Maternity pants also have a variety of belly bands, so you will have to determine if there’s a specific band you prefer. Full bands are designed to come up over most of your belly, half bands come across near the belly button area and then there are pants without a band that have a low, V-waist to accommodate your bump. Some people don’t like the half bands once their bump is larger because they find it annoying or that it rubs their outie belly button. Full belly bands may not fit your bump until you’re a bit further along, but can be rolled down so they’re able to be worn throughout your pregnancy and postpartum as well. The low waist pants might be a good option if you don’t like anything across your bump.
If all of that was a bit too much to read and you skipped to the end, let me recap things quickly. When should you get your maternity clothes? Early in pregnancy, hopefully before you’re uncomfortable in your regular clothes. When should you start to wear your maternity clothes? Probably around the start of the 2nd trimester, but trust your body and keep yourself comfortable. What is the best solution for maternity clothes? Renting them from Lifecycles Maternity! For more information on renting and to look at our selection, click here!