10 June 2019 * 10 min
My top 10 Do's & Don'ts of maternity wear
When you think pregnancy, perhaps you think about the pregnancy glow, the cute little baby bump that looks like you have swallowed a pea or a soccer ball. People wish you nothing but happiness and show such gratitude and the #soblessed for you and your family.
All of this is incredibly heartwarming and endearing, but it doesn’t give you the reality of pregnancy. The real, honest truth about pregnancy.
Don’t get me wrong, it is an absolutely beautiful thing and one of the most incredible experiences to feel life growing inside your baby bump. But these changes in your body also comes with an uncomfortable little price tag for the most of us.
Yes, you know about food cravings and aversions, morning sickness, tiny bladder, weight yoyo and all of that stuff.
But did you know that morning sickness could last longer than 12 weeks? That you get incredibly painful cramps? That you cannot touch your feet and tie your shoes?
Did they tell you just how much your boobs swell and you will have swollen ankles and swollen everything? Did anyone tell you that you may fart more?
So sorry to share this with you, but yes.
My personal best, the heartburn. I never had heartburn before I was pregnant.
Yes, #blessed I know.
But boy did I get it bad during pregnancy! I recall being on our way to a birthday lunch and there I was pacing up and down clutching my ribcage in utter disbelief of what burning sensation was inside my body. My husband tried to be encouraging and didn’t rush me at all seeing as we were already late for the lunch.
And there I was walking up and down talking all kinds of gibberish because of the pain (ok, profanities). I couldn’t believe that people experience this kind of pain ever! Even when they were not pregnant - no ways!
With all these changes in your body, it is important to get yourself comfortable during your pregnancy. After all, you are getting ready for more than a 9 month journey.
Yes! More than 9 months.
Nope, your body doesn’t bounce back to a flat little stomach within 2 days. Sorry to break it to you.
So! Without further ado, here are my top 10 Do’s and Don’t when it comes to maternity wear.
One of the very few aspects you actually can control during pregnancy.
1. Don’t buy oversized items
Because guess what oversized items do for your body? Ultimately oversized means it isn’t meant to fit your frame.
They make you look bigger than you are. Bigger means bigger everywhere, not just where you want it to be bigger. Oversized items are not tucked and contoured in the right places, making you look bigger and frumpy than what you really are.
There really is no need to look like you fell out of the washing basket. Instead, raid your closet and see what you can use and pair with a couple of key items.
Your pregnancy is already making you feel bloated and perhaps a little self conscious, why should your clothes make you feel even bigger?
2. Don’t be afraid of snug, belly hugging items
When I say belly hugging, I mean items with stretch that will move with your expanding baby bump. Tops with ruching gives you a snug fit without it being tight on your belly and allows your baby bump to grow to its hearts content.
For some ladies, this might actually be the very best time to flaunt your curves and one of the only times you feel good showing off a big belly.
People already know you are pregnant, you may as well embrace the whole experience and show off that bump. So enjoy this time and make the most of it.
3. Do keep your standards high
You want the very best for your baby and your family. There will be plenty of times in your future where you find yourself no longer in the ladies section of your favourite clothes shop. Instead, naturally drifting to the baby and toddler section.
So don’t let yourself go prematurely.
Be on the hunt for good quality garments that will last all through your pregnancy. Tops, pants, dresses; it really makes no difference on the item. The simple truth is that it needs to be soft, quality maternity wear that will last more than one pregnancy, if that was your choice.
I also don’t mean that it needs to look like it was a second hand item when you only wore it vice times. Pregnancy wear that fits in with your current style and doesn’t compromise simply because you have a bump.
You are SO worth it!
4. Do keep to natural fabrics
What is the big deal with natural fabrics? Natural fibre’s, such as 100% cotton, allows your body to breathe. When your body breathes, it means that you will have less sweat building up and of course then less odour.
Natural fibre’s allows your body to more accurately regulate temperature in both warm and cooler conditions.
So here’s the rule breaker….
Cotton doesn’t stretch a lot and this is a problem when you have an ever expanding bump and you need clothing that will fit.
So embrace a little synthetic. What I mean by this is allow for a good mix of the two fabrics.
Opt for items that is predominantly cotton with a little lycra or similar fabrics. We mostly use a 90% cotton 10% lycra . Most maternity wear brands use a larger % lycra.
Guess we all have standards, right?
5. Don’t wear flat shoes
You have an ever growing belly that is wearing you down and you telling me not to wear flat shoes?
Yes! Shoes with a little bit of height might actually be better for you than proper flat shoes. Your back actually needs a little lift to alleviate pressure on key places.
So wear small kitten heals or sandals with a 2-3cm raise to help ease back pain.
6. Do invest in good pants
This is, simply put, one of the most versatile items in your closet. You wear it to work, to friends, to pretty much, well, everywhere.
Good pants whether you are pregnant or not is like finding a forgotten R50 in your pocket - you want more of it and you want the world to know of your incredible find.
During pregnancy your belly is the place doing the most growth, of course, and most non maternity pants don’t allow for an ever-growing belly.
Invest in at least 1 good pair of pants that you can wear with either shirts for the weekend, a pretty top for a dinner date and perhaps a jacket for the office. Personally I like the over belly band option because it just feels super sturdy.
Tip: Make sure the band itself has a lot of stretch to last you all the way through pregnancy. You can even wear it afterwards! Simply take off the band or roll it over.
Embrace comfortable maternity pants, your body will thank you for it!
7. Do invest in a statement piece
Invest in 1 key item that makes you feel like a million dollar mum!
There are just certain occasions where you want to feel truly special.
You want the world to see how happy you are and what you wear is a big part of that. So invest into 1 item that makes you feel like you can conquer any day.
Perhaps you have a special occasion, like your baby shower, coming up. You want beautiful memories and pictures to match.
Perhaps you have a work function or you have a wedding to attend and your normal closet doesn’t fit.
Even wear it to your maternity photoshoot. So many uses in just 1 little maternity wear item that will make you feel absolutely stunning, no questions asked.
Personally, I get rave reviews on this one little dress in my range because it is a simple statement piece.
8. Don’t think it’s only a couple months
“I don’t need maternity wear, it’s only a couple of months”, this is what I said myself.
And guess what?
I regretted not buying myself some maternity wear items sooner. I felt instant comfort.
Aside from my example, your pregnancy body doesn’t just jump back after pregnancy.
You may already have your baby and still look 6 months pregnant with a tummy that is rounder than you would have hoped for.
Perhaps you had a caesarean or a difficult birth that makes your stomach more sensitive than normal. Either way, your body isn’t its old self and you will have a transition period where you still have some preggy belly left over.
On average it takes another 4 weeks for your uterus to contract. During this time your pregnancy wardrobe is still your best friend as it is versatile to your body’s changes.
9. Don’t force it
Never, ever force your body into tight clothing.
It can be super bad for baby and his/her development. Just not worth it. Don’t force your body into tight skinny jeans, let them go. For now at least. Your day will come again when you can comfortably fit into those babies again!
I recall a lady with twins trying on our pants for the first time. She was so excited that the band was soft and had loads of stretch for the months still to come with 2 growing baby boys.
So don’t force yourself into an item that isn’t going to go with you all the way.
Baby and your health is super important.
10 . Do put your comfort first
Comfort always, always comes first. Say it aloud to yourself.
Listen to your body.
If you are wearing something that feels too tight, it might be your body telling you that it simply isn’t working and it is restricting movement for the baby.
Time to put your comfort levels first.
You have been given an incredible task to grow a human life. Chances are if you are uncomfortable that baby is too.
So unbutton the pants if you must, buy a bigger bra and invest in key maternity wear items to get you comfortable.
My other big issue on this is constant pulling and tugging on your clothes.
Pulling pants up and tugging your top down was only cute when you were 5.
As an adult, it is annoying to say the least and in the workplace distracts you and makes you look unprofessional.
Wear items that will help you get through your day, not distract you from it. Your comfort is most important.
And then last night whilst I was laying in bed, I had one last thought to share with you.
Bonus 1 - Don’t call yourself fat…ever!
Never, ever call yourself fat during pregnancy.
Promise me that, and whilst we are on it, never ever. Pregnant or not.
No one needs that kind of self negativity in their life. Deal with what you need to, but promise me that you will never put yourself down.
Did you know that on average you have an extra 30% - 50% more blood in your own body during pregnancy?
Whilst your belly might be larger, extra blood that helps keep you and your baby functioning van hardly be called being fat. This blood provides your body with key oxygen and delivers key nutrients to baby.
Some fun facts whilst we are on the topic of health is wealth:
Your heart and other organs are likely larger during pregnancy as they need to work harder
Baby gets food and nourishment first before your own body
Your womb holds about an extra 500ml of water
Of the weight gained during pregnancy, roughly about 38% is your actual baby. The rest is placenta, uterus, breasts and fluid
During pregnancy, your uterus expands nearly 500 times it’s normal self
Never ever call yourself fat when you are pregnant. Promise me that one thing.
Here are my top 10 + Bonus 1 again.
Feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts below.
Don’t buy oversized items
Don’t be afraid of snug, belly hugging items
Do keep your standards high
Do keep to natural fabrics
Don’t wear flat shoes
Do invest in good pants
Do invest in a statement piece
Don’t think it’s only a couple months
Don’t force it
Do put your comfort first
Bonus 1 - Don’t call yourself fat…ever!
I know that pregnancy can be a little overwhelming and that sometimes you just need a break.
I have partnered up with some incredible brands to offer my subscribers some extra special value with some special discounts just for you (including my own maternity wear discounts).