The Definitive Maternity shopping guide
Okay, first things first. Take a deep breath. Entering the world of motherhood is enough to stress about. In addition to your ever-growing registry list, I’m sure you’re wondering right about now why there’s no pregnancy registry? With none of your clothes fitting and more physical changes than you could ever imagine, shouldn’t we get to make a wish list and have all the little luxuries delivered to us in tidy little bows? Well, unfortunately, purchasing things for pregnancy are usually on the mother-to-be and maybe a generous family member or friend (in case that’s you, hint hint…).
From all the Instagram influencers and sponsored posts that are probably targeting your feeds right now with their endless lists of pregnancy must-haves, it can be hard to narrow down your list. Especially as you prepare for a whole new person to join your family, it probably feels like a less-than-stellar time to have to re-style your entire wardrobe and drop some serious change.
Here’s a secret: Pregnancy is hard for everyone in different ways. What one person said was an essential may not be necessary at all for you. One woman’s cure-all may never even be an issue for you. Since our mission is to bring modern, useful maternity products that work for all mamas-to-be, that takes plenty of research and talking to a whole bunch of women (1,000s to be exact!).
With that, we bring you a consolidated list of pregnancy essentials to address things every mom goes through. We’ve narrowed it down to four major changes—your wardrobe, weight, and day-to-day—see how they relate to your pregnancy journey so far:
1. your wardrobe
This one is a bit of a no-brainer. As your body fluctuates, grows, and stretches around that adorable tiny miracle you’re cultivating, chances are you’ll need a couple new things for your wardrobe. Those high-waisted jeans and cropped tops may not quite work for your new body (and if they do, you do you…). Just because you likely need to make some slight wardrobe adjustments does not mean you need a complete overhaul. That’s where we come in. We’ve done the thoughtful designing for you to make just a couple additions work with what’s already in your closet.
2. your weight
This can be a hard one for some to cope with. Just think about all the work your body does to create a safe and healthy home for your little babe. It’s not just the bump that grows: your ribcage expands, your bra size changes, and even your feet can grow (sorry, that one can be permanent). The average woman should expect to gain around 25-35 pounds during pregnancy. While a healthy mom and babe should be the ultimate priority, that doesn’t mean it can’t be an uncomfortable adjustment.
3. your skin
All those changes will of course pose new challenges for your skin. It will be stretched taut, pulled in ways you’ve never experienced, and grow around the new body you’re working on. This is all good. You should be proud of all that incredible work. But one thing to consider: some products that were your go-to moisturizers or most-loved oils may not be safe enough for your teeny little bean. So, along with being more stretched than ever, you’re going to need a higher degree of quality and product knowledge to ensure there are no harmful chemicals that can be putting your babe in danger.
4. your day to day
Okay, so your body is changing; it feels and looks completely different. But we can deal with that, right? That’s all? Haha. There are also day-to-day tasks and parts of your existence that will just downright be flipped upside down. You may be stricken by nausea in between meals, during meals, or maybe just all day long. Flu season may hit you extra hard due to your body’s extra susceptibility to colds and illness. And after a long day of fighting pregnancy’s many difficulties, you’re ready to hit the hay and have a nice, long night’s sleep, right? Bad news. Many pregnant women experience insomnia at some point of their pregnancy. Trust us, it’s important to combat this.
Okay, so those are the problems—um, changes—most women report during pregnancy. We know they can be intimidating and a lot to take in all at once. The good news is your entire body and lifestyle are not going to drastically change overnight. The changes will be gradual and if you take things step by step, day by day, you’ll be just fine. There’s no reason for you to do an entire overhaul of your closet all at once or buy tons of clothes three sizes bigger than your regular size. When it comes to when to buy and how to buy, we’ve got your back.
when to buy
what size to get
So, you’re prepping your maternity wardrobe with everyday basics and a couple fun pieces. Now, how do you make sure they fit from the time babe is the size of a banana to a watermelon? The trick is to do your research. All maternity is not created equal, but if you’re shopping from reputable brands with high-quality materials and expert fits, you should be able to wear your typical pre-pregnancy size until that baby pops out. Maternity that is well made will account for the parts of you that are getting bigger and remedy that by giving the clothes extra stretch in certain places. Some questions to ask yourself before ordering your size can be:
100% cotton will be harder to wear for a long time than a stretch blend.
Some regular dresses and pants have enough stretch to fit over your bump, but they may not be able to stretch all the way to babe’s due date without you ordering up a size or two.
Every brand will have a size chart and should include some fit tips if it’s maternity. For example, in most cases we say to order true to your pre-pregnancy size.
Every body is different; some women see lots of extra curve in their hips, some see a little bit all over — it really just depends! For example, if you were a size 10 pre-pregnancy but have found that your bosom is *extra* extra ample these days, you may want to order up a size in a fitted top with minimal stretch.
One final tip before we get to the good stuff— always look at what is going into your maternity purchases. When you’re pregnant, there’s a good chance you care now more than ever about the things being put into your body — and of course, your little one’s body. But don't forget: what's going on to your body matters too. Buying a cheap pair of maternity pants may save you money in the short term, but are there any longer term effects you may be signing up for?
When it comes to buying other wellness products like teas, lotions, and creams, you’ll want to make sure those ingredients are safe. You can always ask your doctor whether certain products are proven to be harmful or helpful for baby, plus looking for products that say things like “certified organic” or “free-from toxins” can be a great step, like our EWG-certified body oil.
At our core we’ve always taken a less is more approach, so we’ve narrowed down a list of 9 pregnancy essentials to get you through all three trimesters in the most comfortable way possible.
When it comes to pregnancy, you don’t want to be caught off guard by the many areas of discomfort and change, just to be left scrolling for hours online trying to find a solution to your problems. Get ahead of the curve (or bump) and have our pregnancy essentials ready, so that when you suddenly can’t zip your pants or get a full night’s sleep, you know what to do.
Change is hard. But when your body is undergoing massive shifts to grow a baby, that change should also feel exciting, new, and like evidence of the amazing things your body is capable of. This consolidated list of pregnancy essentials will help you feel as prepared and taken care of as possible, so you can roll with the changes and seriously live it up during this special season of (new) life.