Maternity clothing is manufactured to cater for your expanding bust, hips and waist that naturally occurs during pregnancy. Obviously it also caters for your bump that will be sitting out in front before you know it.

Many women wonder if they really need to purchase maternity clothing at all, the answer is pretty simple. If you want to look good and stay comfortable, Yes.

If you do decide that you do-not want maternity clothing you will find pants, shirts and shorts are the hardest garments to get away with this in. Normal clothing just does not allow for a belly to poke out the way your bump will!

There is an item called a belly belt that can be very useful and some mothers manage with these for a majority of their pregnancy. It consists of various size elastic strips that have a button at one end, and a button hole at the other. It comes with different colour belly panels to insert depending on the colour of your outfit. The idea is to place the belt between your normal button and button hole allowing you to wear your normal clothes for longer into your pregnancy.

Pro- Great for the first few months. You can wear your own clothes for longer.

Con- Can only be used for clothes that have a button and zip at the front. Often as your pregnancy progresses you will still find that your normal pants, skirts or shorts end up tight in the legs and hips as these areas are the natural place for your body to store fat as it prepares for the birth of your baby. Maternity clothing is designed with this in mind.

Maternity clothing is designed to be more flattering these days then what it once was. These days most women are extremely excited about their pregnancy and want to show their ‘bumps’ to the world. You will achieve this better and remain more comfortable throughout your pregnancy by carefully selecting a few quality maternity wear garments. As most tend to do with their normal wardrobes you will have your favourite outfits that you wear constantly so you will want garments that wash and wear well. There are two main things to consider prior to making your new wardrobe purchases:

How much wear will I get out of this item?

Consider the style and think about what stages of your pregnancy you will be able to wear it. Look for garments that will look good and feel comfortable regardless of if you are 3 months pregnant or 9 months. Many are also suitable post pregnancy while you are working on getting your shape back, these are a great choice.

How comfortable will this be on my stomach?

If this is your first pregnancy it maybe a little hard to imagine what you will feel like at 8 months pregnant, but roughly it is like someone has placed a basketball inside your belly. It isn’t very flexible, doesn’t like to bend to much and doesn’t like pressure on it. So the last thing you want is something that cuts across your belly.

The good news is that you don’t have to spend a fortune on you maternity wardrobe. By carefully selecting some basic mix and match items you can keep your budget in check. Recommended must have basics would be one or two pairs of comfortable pants, a skirt – length dependant on personal preference, and depending on time of year a pair of shorts. For tops you often can get away with your own for longer then with your pants however eventually you will require more room. Although it maybe tempting to just buy larger sizes you will find they look too big around the shoulders and will be firm around the waist. Maternity tops generally are designed fuller in the bust area and have longer front hemlines to allow an even look as your bump expands, so a couple of Maternity tops and you have your wardrobe set.

Written By Leisa Sanderson
Mother of two. Owner and Operator of Bumps and Bundles – Online article and resource directory for ‘all things maternal’ and Bump and Bundles Maternity – Online retailer of Maternity baby and toddler wear, and baby gift items.

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