When to Wear Pregnancy Clothes

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Some pregnant women look forward to wearing pregnancy (or maternity) clothes, while others dread it. Many moms make the leap the instant their jeans feel tight. Some make do with roomy sweatpants and baggy shirts until they can’t pretend any longer. When you decide to make the switch from your regular wardrobe to your pregnancy clothes is a matter of both personal preference and genuine need.


A Matter of Need

Most women won’t go shopping for pregnancy clothes until they starts to “show.” when the belly starts to swell. In first pregnancies, this usually happens at the start of the second trimester, or during the fourth month. By the start of the fifth month, the majority of pregnant women need to adjust their wardrobes. In subsequent pregnancies, women can start showing as much as a month before that, according to the Parents website.

Making Do

Even though your jeans may start feeling tight at the start of the fourth month of pregnancy, you may decide you aren’t ready just yet to purchase a whole new wardrobe. Your stomach (and breasts) are going to get a lot larger in the weeks and months to come, and you may want to spend your money on clothing that will fit you even in the ninth month. For that reason, many women “make do” during this in-between time with elastic-waist pants, yoga or other drawstring pants, roomy sweatshirts and even clothing borrowed from their partner’s closet.

Special Clothing

Pregnancy clothes aren’t just clothes that are a larger size than you normally wear — they are clothing made to fit a pregnant woman. Shirts are roomier in the bust, with a larger front. Pants have a long crotch seam. Some are even adjustable so you can expand them as your belly expands. Many maternity outfits are made of cotton, which keeps overheated pregnant women cooler than synthetic materials do.

The Right Sizes

Pregnancy clothing is sized to be similar or the same as normal clothing. This means that if you normally wear a size 10, you should shop for a size 10 in maternity clothing as well. If you are having twins, however, you might want to go up a size, or ask to try on the largest “pregnancy pillow” the store carries.

Things to Think About

Many women suffer from swollen feet during the last months of pregnancy. Don’t forget to buy shoes if you don’t have any comfortable, wide shoes you can wear. Finally, keep in mind that you will be wearing these clothes even after you give birth. Shirts that allow easy access for breastfeeding, for example, are a good investment if you plan to nurse your baby.

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