My 6 Pregnancy Wardrobe Essentials

Photo credit: Flickr/aleahey
Photo credit: Flickr/aleahey

I can't believe my pregnancy is almost over — already! I am entering the final stretch of my last pregnancy, and it has been quite an interesting ride. This pregnancy has not only been different in how I feel, but the way my bump is growing. How I am showing has been quite different this time around, as well. It wasn't something I had expected since I had grown and dressed 3 full-term bellies before, and this change in shape has meant I have had to look at my maternity closet a little differently as well.

One of the only challenges has been that I am unable to rely on the maternity wardrobe I stocked up on for my last three children — I had to start my wardrobe all over again. 

So, how am I carrying differently? It's strange that I am, like I said, because I have carried both a boy and two girls and old wives' tales say that the gender of the baby determines how you show. Not in my case — not this time. It took a lot longer for my pregnancy to show this time around. I have a feeling it's because there was a lot more time between my last full-term pregnancy and this one compared to the last times around. I didn't start showing until about 22 weeks compared to 16 weeks previously, and my bump is a lot more round — like a basketball — this time, too. 

These changes have brought with it some great perks and some challenges along the way. One of the challenges being that I am unable to rely on the maternity wardrobe I stocked up on for my last three children — I had to start my wardrobe all over again. My pants from last time around were too big and would just fall right off my hips without a belly to hold them in, and because of the super-round shape of my belly, the shirts I owned all caused the bottom part of my stomach to hang out, which isn't a cute look for me.

One of the perks is getting to shop all over again, and the biggest bonus has been that I have been able to wear the same wardrobe from early first trimester into late third trimester. With my high bump, I have also been lucky to be able to use some of my non-maternity wardrobe staples, which has saved me money, and I am still comfortable with a few modifications.

I don't have to dress up for an office, so my wardrobe essentials may look a little different than what you need for office wear, but if you're a stay-at-home parent, work-from-home parent, or are able to wear casual clothing to work, your closet may look similar to mine. So, what has been in my pregnancy wardrobe this time around? 

The Maternity Support Tank


A Support Tank: Not only is a support tank good for any back pain caused by your larger breasts and bigger belly, but a support tank works to hold up your pants when you need to wear them unbuttoned and keeps your lower belly covered in case a shirt gets a little too small.

My choice for this pregnancy: Maternity Underbust High-Performance Belly Support Tank by BLANQI, $68 – a bit spendy, but if you wear it regularly, you'll get your money's worth. 

MORE: Preggers: Compression Product Line for Pregnant Moms}

Comfortable Nursing Bra


Comfortable Nursing Bra: My breasts are sizeable under normal circumstances and, during pregnancy, they can get a little unpredictable. I like to have a bra that grows with me and will give me and my back the support I need without causing any pain. It may seem a little strange to wear a nursing bra already, but I find they are usually the best to take me from maternity to postpartum and with the price-point, it feels as if I'm getting my money's worth. It can be difficult to find bras that support a larger bust during pregnancy without wires, so they can be comfortably worn at anytime — day or night — but they do exist!

My choice for this pregnancy: ECLIPSE Nursing Bra by HotMilk Lingerie, $57.95

The Maxi Dress


Maxi Dresses: One of the best things about maxi dresses is, not only are they crazy comfortable, but they are a forgiving shape, so you don't need to spend extra money on a maternity version. They are perfect for the summer heat and can be dressed up for fall weather or any occasion. 

My choice for this pregnancy: Women's Cross-Front Maxi Dresses by Old Navy, $33.00

Basic Maternity Tanks and Tees


Basic Maternity Tops and Tees: Those great t-shirts that look great dressed up with accessories or perfectly paired with a great pair of jeans can be a useful staple in your wardrobe — they have been in mine. They're usually not too expensive, so you can always get a larger size if your belly grows. If not, just be sure to wear your support tank underneath, and you're all set. 

My choice for this pregnancy: Short-Sleeve V-Neck Basic Tee by Liz Lange for Target, $14.99

A Lightweight Sweater


Light Sweaters: I am not a fan of having my arms exposed — just something that makes me feel a little self-conscious — but I don't want to sweat in the summer weather or freeze in the fall cold, so a light sweater is the perfect wardrobe edition for me. The great thing about a light cardigan is that you typically don't need to get a maternity style, and you can check in your current wardrobe for what you're looking for. I just happened to find a maternity style one that I believe will work just fine in the postpartum period, and it's served me quite well, so far, in this pregnancy.

My choice for this pregnancy: Long-Sleeve, Open-Front Cardigan by Motherhood Maternity, $39.98

Maternity Jeans


Non-maternity or maternity jeans: I have been so lucky in this pregnancy to get away with wearing non-maternity pants. I have never had this before, so if you're not able to button your non-maternity jeans comfortably, investing in a comfortable pair of maternity jeans is a great staple in your maternity wardrobe. If you're carrying high like I am, and you can get away with wearing regular pants (unbuttoned may work using your support tank to hold them up), it's a great way to make use of your current clothes, and you're less likely to grow tired of one pair of pants.

My choice for this pregnancy: The Rockstar Demi-Boot Jeans by Old Navy, $34.94

:: What are some of the essentials in your pregnancy wardrobe? Share in the comments! ::

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My 6 Pregnancy Wardrobe Essentials

Devan McGuinness is the founder of the online resource Unspoken Grief, which is dedicated to breaking the silence of perinatal grief for those directly and indirectly affected by miscarriage, stillbirth and neonatal death. Using her own experience of surviving 12 miscarriages, Devan has been actively supporting and encouraging others who are wading through the challenges associated with perinatal and neonatal loss. Winner of the 2012 Bloganthropy Award and named one of Babble's “25 bloggers wh ... More

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  1. kimberly says:

    comfy shoes were left out !! whether ballet flats, flippies or canvas sneakers they are a must. it doesnt matter how great and comfy your clothes are if your feet hurt

  2. Flo says:

    I seem to be carrying my son pretty good except for the fact that my hips and my rear end have spread (quite nice according to my husband), but I had to buy some maternity pants because my stomach is round and I cannot see my feet anymore.

    I am 30 wks and cannot wait to meet my son, so I am just grateful for this experience.

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