While pregnancy is a highly variable experience that differs from mom to mom, finding the right maternity clothes is something that any expecting mother will have to deal with. 

While you can get away with wearing some of your old outfits for a while, by the second or third trimester, you’ll definitely need more clothes that can accommodate your new bump and pregnancy body.

In this guide, we’ll cover some of the basics of timing your maternity clothes purchases in an affordable way that makes the most sense for you.

Marvelous Maternity

Pregnancy is one of the most exciting and sometimes stressful experiences of a woman’s life. While there are so many benefits and unforgettable moments, it can also be punctuated by doctor’s appointments, irrational fears, and unexpected changes to your body.

It’s absolutely critical to keep your stress levels as low as possible, in order to avoid passing on the negative effects of biochemical stress hormones and markers to your child.

For this reason, buying comfortable and flattering maternity clothes that help you look and feel your best is a smart way to ensure your mental and physical health remain at their highest level possible.  

Timing Your Purchases 

Most wardrobe experts agree that, especially for a first-time pregnancy, you likely won’t need a dedicated maternity wardrobe until after your first trimester.

However, some women are just so excited about it that they can’t wait! If this is you, feel free to stock up and shop to your heart’s content.  

However, if you’re on a tighter budget, you may want to wait until later in the pregnancy to see how your body changes and the specific type of baby bump you end up developing.

First time pregnancies tend to start showing later than a 2nd, 3rd, or even 4th, so first time moms get a break in that they won’t have to worry about a new wardrobe until a little later than others.

Before you break the news to the world, many women prefer that their slightly changing body is not noticeable.

To achieve this, you can wear any selection of looser fitting or more flowing clothes you already have available.

Anything with an elastic drawstring, or empire waistline that sits higher than a normal waistline will be a great help to you in concealing any slight changes you may have.

Second Trimester Showing

However, once you enter the second trimester of your pregnancy the baby bump will, at some point, become almost impossible to hide.

This is when you’ll have to seriously consider adding some new pieces to your wardrobe that will allow you to feel comfortable in any setting, whether private relaxation or a boardroom conference.

Some of the most useful and ubiquitous maternity clothes essentials for a second trimester mom are:

Maternity dresses

A maternity dress that flows gracefully over your body will be a critical piece of your wardrobe. Depending on what setting you’ll be wearing the dress in, there are different cuts that show more or less skin and have higher or lower cutoffs.

For an intimate night in, a babydoll maternity dress, similar in shape to a loose nightgown, will be something both you and your partner will love. If you’ll be in a more professional setting, try a wrap or maxi style dress that fully covers you.

Maternity Jeans

By the second trimester, a pair of stretchy maternity denim pants will be a staple of your wardrobe! Don’t go without these, as they can be paired with almost anything and in any setting.

Try pairing these with a business casual top for an office setting, or opt for denim maternity overalls for outdoor playtime. These will come in handy after the baby arrives too, while you wait for your body to shrink back to its normal size. 

Third Trimester Timing

By now, you may feel a little bit like a walking watermelon! Don’t worry, this experience is normal for pregnant women.

Your baby will be here soon, and with it, hopefully some maternity leave and time to recover.

During this stage, your health and comfort are the top priority in your life.

If you’re buying maternity clothes during this time, try to find pieces that you can wear while nursing or in the “fourth trimester” as well.

A wrap maternity dress will come in handy as it's perfect for nursing. Some other items you may find yourself reaching for are a large or oversize T-shirt or some stretchy maternity leggings.

One item you may be surprised to find yourself needing is new shoes, as during this trimester, a majority of pregnant women will find that their feet swell to a size or two larger than usual due to increased blood flow and fluid retention.

Keep yourself safe and comfortable with some larger slippers or some cute fluffy boots.

Maternity is an exciting and amazing thing, considered a miracle by many cultures and peoples around the world. It’s important to treat yourself right while pregnant so your baby comes out into the world on the right foot. 

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