Now that I’m nearing the end of my second pregnancy, I thought I’d share a few tricks I’ve learnt that have made getting dressed during this pregnancy a little bit easier.
When I was pregnant with my first child, George, I was so excited about getting a bump that I couldn’t wait to wear maternity clothes. However, it didn’t turn out to be quite as fun as I expected. My body was constantly changing size for at least a year – first with the pregnancy itself and then during the postpartum and breastfeeding months – and it was so hard to keep up! Having said that, it’s not all bad. I always feel really body-confident when I’m pregnant and there’s something about having a huge belly that makes the rest of you look smaller!
Most of the clothes in these pictures are either from my last pregnancy or borrowed from friends. I’ve tried to find alternatives that are in the shops right now where possible! Clockwise from top left: (1) dress, denim jacket; (2) top (or this one), jeans; (3) top, shorts; (4) shirt (can’t find an alternative to this dress! I bought it on sale years ago); (5) top, coat; (6) dress, shirt; (7) (p)leather jacket, top, jeans; (8) top, jeans, lipstick (Fab Orange) ; (9) top (great nursing top too!), jeans.
Dress for the body you have right now
This is so important and yet so hard to do when your body is changing all the time! First time around, I totally fell into the trap of buying clothes that I thought would last me for the whole pregnancy and then didn’t wear them as they never quite fit properly. Now I try to have at least a few things that feel and look good now – and if they last for the whole pregnancy or beyond, that’s just a bonus.
Mix and match maternity and non-maternity wear
During my first pregnancy, I was surprised by how many of my normal clothes fit around my bump, and many of my favourite things to wear were actually just normal clothes that I bought a size or two bigger than normal. This trick works especially well for the first two trimesters and has the added perk that they’ll see you through the postpartum period, too.
This time around though, I am much more appreciative of maternity clothes. I’ve discovered that the ruching on the side of maternity tops really is your best friend: it gathers around the bump, highlighting your belly and making the rest of you look slimmer. H&M and ASOS are my favourites for affordable maternity clothes, but you can also find great bargains on eBay.
Some of my favourite maternity picks:
How to avoid maternity jeans for as long as possible
I think most people will agree that you need a decent pair of maternity jeans when you’re pregnant, but I am yet to find the holy grail of comfortable and stylish maternity jeans – I just find them all so uncomfortable! I bought these super low-cut jeans from H&M when I was about 10 weeks pregnant and managed to wear them up to 23 weeks. I get really bloated and tender in my tummy as soon as I get pregnant, so these were great as they didn’t touch it in any way and felt really comfortable. I imagine they’ll also be useful once the baby’s born and I’ve still got a bit of a belly. Since 23 weeks, I’ve been wearing these H&M and Asos (currently on sale!) maternity jeans.
Put away anything that doesn’t fit
I’m a big fan of having a streamlined wardrobe – so what I try to do while pregnant is to go through my clothes every few months and get rid of anything that doesn’t fit. Yes, it’s a total faff, but I make the effort to try everything on and am ruthless about anything that doesn’t fit. Even though some of my non-maternity clothes technically fit, if they don’t look good, they go on the ‘no’ pile. I put clothes I won’t be wearing for a while in storage (I use vacuum bags) and I have a drawer of things that will probably fit at a later stage – e.g. roomier maternity clothes. It’s a bit time-consuming, but it’s so much easier to decide what to wear when you only have clothes in your wardrobe that fit and look good.
Borrow from anyone and everyone
I was the first out of my friends to get pregnant when I had George, but this time around loads of my friends and my sister have had babies, which means I get to borrow all of their maternity clothes! This has been such a lifesaver (and a money saver) – at least half of the clothes I’ve worn this time around have been borrowed.
Find a comfortable bra
I find buying bras when pregnant a total nightmare. I hate wearing them as I get rib pain from the second trimester onwards, but I definitely need the support. Plus, my boobs are always growing, which means I constantly need to buy new ones. A few things have helped this time around: bra extenders to make the back of my bras roomier (my back seems to also be bigger this time as the baby loves having his bum wedged into my ribs!), plus wearing crop tops (I buy mine from Primark or Sainsburys, but this one looks super comfy) and secret support vests whenever I’m at home. I’ve been wearing maternity bras for a few months now – we all know they’re not the most flattering of bras, but I find getting one that fits properly and is as supportive as possible helps (this was my favourite last time). I also try to buy nursing versions wherever possible so I can continue to use them after the baby’s born.
Finally, don’t forget the power of a great lipstick! When I feel crap or am sick to death of wearing the same clothes, a bit of red lippy always cheers me up.
Do you have any other tips for looking stylish while pregnant? What are your favourite maternity jeans?