Almost every first-time pregnant woman wonders when she should buy maternity clothes.
A maternity wardrobe will eventually replace most pieces in your closet and dresser by the time you deliver, but when you actually need to start wearing maternity clothes is anyone’s guess.
However, some averages and statistics can make this a little easier to pinpoint.
When to start buying maternity clothes is entirely up to you. Some women never buy maternity clothes and opt for flowy dresses, loose-fitting sweat pants or roomy leggings, oversized t-shirts, or their husbands’ clothes.
However, suppose maternity clothing is exciting, or you want to check out maternity wear. In that case, this article will discuss when you might want to start adding to or creating your maternity wardrobe.
When to start buying maternity clothes
When your bump starts to expand, you will need to replace some pieces with something stretchier, comfier, or bigger. Your body is meant to grow during this time, and restricting yourself to clothing that doesn’t fit will do you no favors.
Jeans, for example, are typically not something you can wear throughout your pregnancy without ever needing to buy a pair of maternity jeans.
But when do you need to start seriously looking at maternity clothes to purchase? The following factors may help you decide.
1. First pregnancy
If you have never been pregnant before, you may not need to buy maternity clothes or start wearing maternity clothes until later into the pregnancy than other moms.
Typically, the first-time mom’s baby bump won’t grow to the point that they’ll need maternity clothing until the second trimester, which starts at week 14 of pregnancy and ends just before 28 weeks.
This isn’t to say that you may not need maternity clothes sooner than this. Some women show in the early stages of pregnancy, regardless of how often they have been pregnant.
It depends on the baby’s position in your belly, how you are built, and any complications you may have had leading up to or during your pregnancy.
There is certainly no reason to feel down on yourself if you need maternity clothes earlier than your pregnant peers. You also should not wait to purchase these items until other people who are pregnant start shopping for them.
It’s best for your health, and you will look better, feel better, and be healthier in clothing that does not restrict your movement, breathing, circulation, or baby’s development.
If you find your regular clothes uncomfortable, painful, or too tight, there’s nothing wrong with getting a great pair of maternity jeans or a few pieces of maternity clothing.
If you are pregnant with multiples, your baby bump will appear slightly earlier than women with singles. It may be a good idea to start buying maternity clothes at the end of the first trimester to be on the safe side.
While it’s true that most twins arrive a few weeks early, and most are smaller babies than a single birth, it doesn’t mean that mamas of twins don’t grow bigger and faster.
Remember that it’s not just babies and your internal organs in your belly. You also have to contend with the placentas and a lot of amniotic fluid.
This is a significant factor that explains why women carrying more than one baby need maternity clothing sooner, even though they don’t typically give birth to large babies.
3. Second pregnancy and beyond
If you have had children before, you may notice the need for a few maternity dresses or some maternity wear earlier each time you are pregnant.
This is because your body knows what to do now, so more give is available for your baby bump to grow sooner.
Most women who have had children before start wearing maternity clothes between the 8th and 12th week of pregnancy.
While you may think you have a leg up on other women who haven’t had babies because you have maternity clothing from your last pregnancy, note that you may grow at a different rate. You may also have a different size or be pregnant in a different season – all of which may just make the maternity wear you have obsolete.
If this is the case for you, it’s always a good idea to try to sell or exchange your clothing for sizes and seasons that will fit your needs now.
4. Body type
The need for maternity clothes may also have to do with your body type. If you are very tall, you may not show until the end of the second or third trimester.
If you are short or plus size, you may have to begin a maternity wardrobe a little sooner.
There are lovely plus-size maternity clothes that offer several options in many patterns, colors, and beautiful prints.
There is no such thing as a perfect body. Dress for the one you have, because it’s perfect.
Can you wear the same maternity clothes as your last pregnancy?
Pregnancy weight gain is different for each pregnancy. Not to mention that your maternity clothes from your last pregnancy may not be appropriate for the season.
While some pieces of your maternity clothing may work to wear a second time (think comfy tees, nursing bras, and wrap dresses), there are most likely pieces that you will still have to buy.
When is the right time to purchase maternity clothes if I’m not showing much?
Maternity pants do more than show off your bump. Most people need maternity clothes because the pressure of tight and restricting regular garments can be unhealthy and painful to continue to wear.
While you may not love buying a whole new wardrobe, you will most likely wear pieces of your maternity clothes throughout your pregnancy and afterward.
Can I buy used maternity clothes?
Absolutely! Cheap maternity clothes are available in resale shops, online in buy/sell/trade sites like Mercari and eBay, and at garage and yard sales.
If you launder the pregnancy clothes you purchase, there’s nothing wrong with buying used ones. You can get a great deal, find some cute pieces, and then, when you’re done having babies, sell maternity clothes that you no longer have a use for and make a little bit of your money back.
Will I have to wear maternity clothes after I deliver my baby?
Some of us have seen it in movies or on television. A woman who had a baby several years ago is still wearing maternity leggings or jeans.
While it can be humorous in a movie, some women avoid buying maternity clothes because they worry that their changing bodies will never return to the pre-pregnancy size they once were. They’ll be stuck in maternity clothing forever.
Not everyone is the same
Few women seem to give themselves the grace needed to understand that expectant mothers are changing in ways that require more than just new clothes.
You are about to become a mother. You are beautiful and strong, and your body type or the number on a scale does not define your worth.
So what if the maxi dress you bought with a maternity brand on the tag looks cute even after you have had your baby? It’s just a dress. No one but you sees the tag. Wear it and flaunt it if you feel good in it.
Maternity bras and nursing bras
Some women, especially during subsequent pregnancies, notice that their breasts swell to a size in which a regular bra is uncomfortable or even painful. These full breasts that are much bigger don’t go away immediately after you give birth.
If you nurse, you will need to wear these bras, most likely, until you wean your little one. Don’t toss out the maternity bras the moment you deliver.
What to wear when pregnant
When it comes to style tips for moms-to-be, remember that your personal style is still relevant.
You can still dress flirty, edgy, or even sexy while pregnant. You can look professional, as well.
That being said, as your pregnancy progresses, your style may, too. That’s why it’s essential to have a few maternity staples that you can rely on and repeatedly wear, whether it’s your first pregnancy or your tenth.
The following are some pieces that all moms-to-be should consider adding to their maternity wardrobe.
1. Empire waist dresses
These are dresses that are not fitted at the standard waistline. They accommodate your growing first-trimester breasts and your growing third-trimester bump. They come in every color and print you can think of, and you may not even need to get a maternity brand dress of this style to fit your growing bump.
Just find one that’s loose and doesn’t feel uncomfortable.
2. Maternity shirts
Every woman should have a few separates from which they can mix, match, and build outfits. From tee shirts to button-up shirts and sweaters, having a few maternity tops is vital to building a wardrobe.
3. Yoga pants
If you start to gain weight early on, you’ll understand what a blessing comfy yoga bottoms can be. The stretchy fabric doesn’t cut into your abdominal muscles or affect your baby’s growth. Having a few pairs of these is a great idea.
Many women switch to these or leggings after their regular jeans don’t fit anymore.
4. Maxi skirts
These maternity items can be dressed up or down, depending on the occasion. You may even be able to don a cute maxi from your pre-pregnancy days if it’s loose enough and you feel confident in it.
These are great to wear every day, at work, for your baby shower, during your first trimester, all the way to your delivery date, and after!
When to start shopping for maternity clothes
If you need extra room and your regular clothes aren’t working, it may be time to start shopping for a maternity wardrobe. It’s an exciting time but it can also be overwhelming and pricey.
Remember that your comfort and baby’s safety are of the utmost importance, and maternity clothing can be found secondhand or heavily discounted at resale shops or discount stores.
You don’t have to go broke to look great and feel beautiful.