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9 dos and don’ts for your maternity wardrobe

When you’re expectant, finding an outfit that you like can be quite a challenge as your body is changing, and you don’t know which clothes are going to fit from day to day. Here are some maternity wear dos and don’ts to help you out.

1. Do invest in maternity leggings

Think of leggings as a base layer for your maternity style, a must-have everyday basic that allows you to secure your bump and add a layer of comfort to maternity outfits. The ideal pair of maternity leggings should feel soft against your skin, adequately support your bump, have plenty of stretch, and come in a weighted fabric to give a premium look and feel. You can style maternity leggings in a variety of ways, including:

  • Tunic dressing

Tunic dressing is popular thanks to its simplicity – all you have to do is wear your leggings under a dress. When you combine these two items, the leggings give you that essential but unseen bump support and elongate your leggings at the same time, while the tunic acts as the cherry on top to elevate an otherwise basic look. 

  • Oversized shirt

For an effortless look, consider throwing an oversized shirt over a pair of maternity leggings. Look for a crisp white shirt for a classic contrasted look that is perfect for the office. Add a pair of ballet flats in the warmer weather or boots if it’s chilly outside.

  • All black

An all-black look is valued for its understated elegance and endless versatility. A black jersey top, tunic, or dress worn over black leggings gives you a minimal yet polished look that will add a muted uniqueness to your maternity wardrobe.

  • Oversized knits

Sometimes all you want during pregnancy is to be cocooned and embrace in snugly clothes – what better to realize that dream than to combine comfortable maternity leggings and oversized knits? Choose to go for longer length knits to achieve a more flattering look. Or better still, opt for a long-line cardigan that can double up as a body wrap for those chilly nights at home.

2. Don’t shy away from patterns and stripes

Expectant women worry that they can’t wear patterns or horizontal stripes as they are not considered to be particularly flattering. However, as long as you invest in an all-over print that doesn't have a lot of negative space, or you have a simple stripe, they can flatter your bump. 

The key to pulling off stripes is to pay attention to the size and placement. If you love the idea of a printed blouse, but feel like you'll look larger, try patterns that are small and condensed as they will not only create a visually slimming effect but will also prevent you from appearing larger than you are.

3. Do embrace your bump

As your baby bump burgeons, you may be tempted to start wearing billowy fabrics and untailored cuts to try and conceal your changing shape. However, these items can make you appear bigger due to how unflattering they are. Keep in mind that your bump is only going to get bigger, so you're better off showing it some love.

Consider going for stretchy dresses and tops and generally slimmer cut and tight styles which are great at showing off your bump and making the rest of your body appear smaller. It’s also trendier to proudly flaunt your bump than attempt to conceal it in a mumu style that will make your entire figure look larger. 

4. Don’t be afraid of colorful items

The instinct for pregnant women is to dress in dark colors like blue, navy, brown, and dark colors because they think it makes them look slimmer. However, in reality, color can flatter your body, especially if you have ruching details around your stomach. Don't be afraid to show off your unique style and balance your outfits. You can wear black leggings with a bright top or vice versa, or a vibrant dress that you can color-block with colorful shoes.

5. Do consider investing in a pregnancy support belt

More than 65% of women experience back pain during pregnancy. Pelvic girdle pain, caused by stiffness of the joints moving unevenly at the front or back of the pelvis is also common. Pregnancy support belts, sometimes known as maternity belts, are designed to support the abdomen and lower back without exerting unnecessary pressure on the baby.

To use a pregnancy support belt, you have to wrap the rigid elastic panel around your abdomen, under your bump. Most designs have a one-piece adjustable panel, and some models also have a wide supporting panel at the back. These belts are typically worn over clothing, although you can choose to wears underneath if you prefer.

Pregnancy support belts take some of the weight off your growing abdomen to help you manage low back and pelvic girdle pain. They may also help to improve your posture and balance. 

6. Don’t wear high heels

Wearing high heels (even your favorite wide-based, chunky ones) is generally not the best idea. That's because your weight increase and your body's shape and center of gravity change, making you walk differently. Furthermore, your ligaments tend to loosen during pregnancy, which can lead to joint instability as well as muscle strain. If you have to wear heels, consider going for lower ones as your pregnancy progress, and always try to place comfort and safety over fashion.

7. Do invest in quality maternity underwear

You will need to buy new underwear that can accommodate your changing body shape during pregnancy. You may want to simply go up a size or two and call it a day, but these don’t provide you the support and comfort you need. Choose quality maternity underwear and bras to ensure that you feel comfortable and adequately supported.

8. Don’t be afraid to wear layers

Layering won’t make you look larger as long as you do it the right way. Scoop, V-neck, and boat tops are all great options for expectant women as they help frame your face. 

9. Do have a maternity clothes budget in place

You should keep track of your spending so that you don’t end up with maternity wear that you don’t need. To get the most out of your maternity wardrobe, look for items that can accommodate your post-pregnancy figure or even shrink back as you shed the baby weight.

Final thoughts

Keep in mind that body shape and style are unique to an individual, so don't forget to enjoy your pregnancy journey. Don’t be afraid to embrace your changing boy and have an enjoyable experience shopping to fit it.

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