Hi there Yummy Mummies-to-be!
If your pregnancy magazines are anything to go by, you’ll be needing to buy a whole new maternity wardrobe for the next 9 months (mostly made up of frumpy tweeddle-dum trousers and tunics), but if I have anything to do with it, you’ll have soon been convinced that this isn’t the case!
In the first trimester, some women will get a bump very early (depending on height, weight and build), but even if this doesn’t include you, it’s very common to have a bloated pot-belly for the first 3 months, however annoying this may be! I’m currently in my third pregnancy and many people commented on my “cute little bump!” in the first trimester when I knew it was just a bloated tummy, but sometimes it’s best just to smile along and say thank you!
At the start of the second trimester most women will start to have a little pregnancy-tum, and it may amaze you how quickly it begins to grow, as baby starts to have a good growth spurt! Before you know it, you’ll be sporting a full-on bump, but even weeks before that your pre-pregnancy clothes may start to become very uncomfortable.
There are a few essentials that you can buy as soon as you’re nagged by that bloated tum (as early as 6 weeks!), that you will – believe it or not – still be wearing at 9 months, and for a few months after the birth. Here are my top essentials to buy:
Maternity Jeans / Jeggings
I was a big fan of maternity jeans in my last pregnancy, but this time round I am trying to retain my sense of fashion and still keep my “look” whilst pregnant! For this reason, I have invested in some maternity JEGGINGS – and they are brilliant!! They’re really flattering as they show off your legs (a place where you probably won’t put on much weight) so that the big beautifully curvy bit can be your BUMP and not your entire body!! What I did was bought them a little loose, so that they’ve become a bit more fitted each month, and I’ll definitely I’ll be wearing them as I waddle about on the school run at a full 9 months. I will certainly be wearing them post-pregnancy for at least 6 months, as they fit to whatever shape you are with no awkward bits/zips that can dig into your skin. I bought mine online from New Look (see below) in a dark demin effect, for £12.99. They look great under dresses or with tops, jumpers and coats – a sound staple for your maternity everyday wear. (They also sell them in a range of funky prints, from floral to aztec) One of the best £12.99’s I ever spent 🙂
**I also have a top tip for making your regular jeans (or work trousers) last longer, without spending a thing! It’s called the rubber band trick. Take a regular hairband and loop it through the buttonhole and hook it over onto the button(on both sides) – et voila! I did this before buying my maternity jeggings and it worked wonders.
Plain Tops / Bump Band
They seem so boring, but you wont regret buying about 3 or 4 basic plain maternity tops (black and white are best as they’ll go with everything in your wardrobe) – you can wear them on their own or (if you’re pregnant in colder months, as I always seem to be!), with more interesting/warmer tops over the top. Having a long plain maternity top underneath means that a lot of your shorter pre-pregnancy tops will be wearable for a long time, perhaps into the 7th month of pregnancy, and as a result you can look a bit more stylish! An alternative to this is the very popular bump band, which again is available in black, grey and white (you can buy multipacks from Mothercare and also from New Look Maternity), and means that you can wear any shorter top over the top and have your bump nicely supported and covered with a plain colour. When worn, it looks like you’re wearing a plain top underneath.
Set of 3 Maternity Vests (in white, grey and black), £12.99, At New Look.com (not in stores)
Maternity bra with non-underwire
A lot of women are scared of losing that flattering/supportive underwire, but while you’re pregnant (as you might have noticed!) your breasts become a lot more tender and the tissues are preparing to produce milk, regardless of whether you plan to breastfeed or not. For this reason, it’s recommended that you do not wear an underwired bra when pregnant (or afterwards if breastfeeding) but do not fear! I have been SO impressed with Mothercare’s range of maternity bras (and nursing bras for when breastfeeding), they are genuinely supportive, flattering and SO comfortable! They are also – shocking, I know – pretty! You wouldn’t know they are maternity bras, and as a total bonus, they are very reasonably priced! They cost about £16 for one or a 2-pack for £28. However, note that Mothercare always has a whole sale rail of maternity bras in every size, of last seasons designs. In every pregnancy I’ve bought my bras in 2-packs from the sale rail, because they will only be worn for a few months, so they’ve only cost me £14 for 2 brilliant bras! I also had to keep moving up a size throughout the pregnancy so I could’ve spent a fortune buying them full price each time! Another thing to note it that you may feel that you know your bra size and can buy online (“Who has the time to go bra shopping??” you think to yourself) but trust me, you really do need to try on several sizes to find out the best fit. It’s annoying to have to do on a saturday, but you will wear these bras every day, so it really is important to get it right!
Blooming Marvellous Maternity Mini Spot Bra, £16 at Mother care (buy instore to guarantee a proper fit)
There are so many of your normal things you can continue to wear throughout pregnancy – dresses with a stretchy waistband, big jumpers, loose tops, cardigans, underwear, belts, socks and shoes…but just you try squeezing your bump into regular tights in the Winter! Good luck with that! It’s one of those little items you might not think about, but if you like to wear skirts or dresses, you’ll need at least one pair of maternity tights to see you through those nippy days! I’ve opted for some thick black tights from the Blooming Marvellous range at Mothercare, so that they won’t ladder and need to be replaced.
Right – so those are your key essentials that will get you kitted out for your 9 months and beyond! But what about style? As someone who was so excited to just have a bump first and second times around, I definitely neglected any sense of style, and didn’t care! But this time round, I’ve taken inspiration from some fab-looking pregnant celebs and realised that I CAN still have fun with fashion! I’ve popped a few photos of some great examples below…
Some great examples of maternity jeggings above – comfy and gorgeous!
Okay, so the heels might be a bit much, but otherwise, these are pretty practical outfits that look great! Very do-able!
My Secret Weapon
I cannot write this post without telling you that my (not so) secret weapon is EBAY! Considering how little time you wear these clothes for, maternity wear is really pricey. But Ebay is full of every maternity item you can imagine (and perhaps a few you couldn’t!), that’ve usually been worn a handlful of times, that you can snap up for a quarter of the price!
My favourite pregnancy Ebay buys have been a big cable-knit maternity jumper from H&M Maternity, that cost £5 inlcuding P&P and will keep my bump cute and cosy right up until the birth, and some some cool patterned maternity leggings, again H&M Maternity, for a few pounds on Ebay.
You can also stock up on things like maternity pyjamas on Ebay (although I’ve always managed without needing maternity pjs, by wearing regular pyjama bottoms with a plain maternity vest), or things you might not have thought about, like a maternity coat (if pregnant in Winter).
Work Wear and Special Occasions
Work is no different to being out-and-about, and you can still look stylish and professional whilst pregnant! If you’re in a traditional workplace, a good pair of maternity work trousers will be an essential, which you can pair up with plain tops and smart cardigans to stay comfortable but stay looking smart. If you’re keen to keep it formal, you might need to head over to Mamas and Papas workwear range – or JoJo Maman Bebe also has some stylish workwear that you might want to check out. It’s all a little pricey though, so if you’re on a tight budget, don’t forget Ebay!
Left: Black Pencil Skirt at Mamas and Papas, £32 / Right: Dress at JoJo Maman Babe Workwear, £39
But even more so, if you’re attending a special occasion such as a wedding or posh work do, why splash out on a beautiful maternity dress when you may literally only ever wear it once or twice in your life? Ebay really comes into its own for this sort of thing, in my opinion (but then again I do love a bargain, and I appreciate that not everyone feels this way!)
I think that when it comes to pregnant celebs, Natalie Portman really nailed the formal bump wear, never failing to look graceful on the red carpet! There are some great examples below!
Top Places to Shop
There are some great maternity brands for fashion-lovers, I’ve listed some of my favourites below, but remember you can always buy these brands secondhand on Ebay, depending on how much you’ll be wearing them!
Asos Maternity – Great for very unique fashion-savvy pieces, they have their own brand and sell the best bits of other brands too!
New Look – it will not come as a shock for me to mention New Look Maternity! What makes them stand out is their low high-street prices
Mothercare – they have everything from bras to breastpads, pushchairs to babygros, and even cute dresses like this one below!
Topshop Maternity – more pricey but very cool! (ps. is the woman below even pregnant?!)
Well, I hope that this post has been helpful and also encouraged you that you can keep your own unique sense of style throughout bumphood! I would say that the final 2 months of pregnancy are the most difficult to look stylish in, when only very big items may fit! But at least if you have a good pair of jeans, jeggings, or trousers, your legs will look stylish, even if you’re wearing something similar to a tent on your top half! Even so, popping a cardigan over the tent will turn the tent into a “look”, so all is not lost!
Another thing to remember is that you can wear those plain tops, bump bands, tights, and trousers after the birth, as I think it’s important not to put pressure on yourself to look exactly as you did before pregnancy instantly! It takes 9 months to get like this, so it only seems logical that it should take at least 9 months to return to your previous figure. (Or often more that 9 months, because you’ll now be preoccupied with looking after a new baby!) So don’t be hard on yourself, and expect to use these maternity essentials for a few months after pregnancy, too. Think of it as better value for money! 🙂
As always, if you have any comments or questions, please do comment on this post!
Over and out!
Yummy Mummy xXx