Planning your maternity wardrobe can seem daunting. Do you really need to replace everything you wear with a maternity version? What about that stage after birth but before your pre-pregnancy clothes can come out to play again?
Putting a bit of effort into deciding what you need to buy and what you can adapt from your existing wardrobe can prevent wasting your hard earned cash.
Planning for post birth – Breastfeeding access? Tummy clinging or tummy skimming?
Get lots of value out of the maternity clothes you buy and make sure at least some of them will stretch into the post natal months (you might not be interested in trailing round the shops with your new baby when that time comes). If you plan to breastfeed consider whether they'll be viable to breastfeed in or whether you'll be performing a striptease to get access which can be a bit inconvenient in public...
Showing off your bump with clothes that cling to it is truly beautiful but after birth most women are keen to hide their tummy. So before buying a new item think about whether it will skim demurely over a wobbly post-natal tum – or cling to it rather unflatteringly. Ideally you will find a cut and fabric that will cling to a big bump and skim over a wobbly belly. Once you've found a cut like this, it's a gem - stock up in several colours!
Tops with a low, stretchy neckline that you can wear a little vest underneath are great for breastfeeding - pull the top down and the vest underneath up and you have easy, discreet access.
Different stages of pregnancy, different seasons
For the first four months or so you may look more bloated than bumpalicious so you'll probably want to plump for tops and dresses that skim. Maxi dresses are great for this stage. Once you get to around month five and more obviously pregnant you'll probably find you look fabulous with something that shows off that bump, such as a stretch jersey wrap dress.
After birth it's perfectly normal to be sporting a bit of a bump for a little bit and perhaps a wobbly belly for a while after that so the sort of things you wore early pregnancy can look good again.
If you plan to buy a maternity piece with the intention of wearing it after birth don't forget it will be a different season by then. It's much better to buy lighter clothes that you can layer up in the colder months or on their own in the warmer months. This also applies if you think you may also wear it for a future pregnancy.
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