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
As you most likely know, pregnancy is split up into trimesters. During the first trimester, depending on how you carry and whether or not this is your first pregnancy (first-timers tend to carry smaller!), your body may feel no different than if you were just on a particularly bloaty period. Depending on your pre-pregnancy style, you’ll most likely be able to get away with sticking to the flowy, stretchy side of your pre-pregnancy wardrobe. So, while the first trimester is probably not the time for you to start shopping for all those adorable bump-enhancing dresses, your body is probably already undergoing some different changes (cue the morning sickness).
The second trimester is when you’ll really get into the thick of pregnancy. Most women enter this stage with a regular belly and leave it with a can’t-miss bump, meaning this is definitely the time to start investing in new wardrobe pieces. You’ll want to make sure you have the everyday basics you need to be able to maintain your personal style and feel comfortable. This means a couple of work pieces, workout pieces, everyday outfits, and some celebratory or night-out looks (pregnant women deserve a date night more than anyone!). If you play your cards right, you may only need to buy a couple pieces to satisfy all of these ‘fits. If this is your goal, you’ve come to the right place.
Once your final trimester has arrived, it’s time to really pamper yourself. You’ve been through a lot and your body may not even be recognizable to you. That’s when you really lean into the self care, cozy clothes, and stomach support.
When it comes to supporting that burgeoning belly, you can probably wait until the end of your second trimester or beginning of the third trimester to see if you need some extra pick-me-up action. If your belly starts feeling too heavy or your skin feels like it’s straining to hold onto that baby all day, it may be time to invest in one of the bump-support pieces listed below.
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.
Made to make you feel secure and covered. We’re also huge fans of wearing this cami for some cooling comfort around the house (hey, hot flashes...).When you just want something easy to throw on that isn’t your partner’s XL T-shirt, this cami is perfectly comfy with targeted ribbing for support.
When you need a literal pick-me-up
When your belly gets to be too much to handle, strap on our support belt and keep on moving. That’s right, it wraps around you and lifts from behind to give your belly and back the targeted breaks they need. As soon as you start feeling the extra weight, start wearing this support belt around the house and under your clothes. It molds to your tummy through every stage so it’s always ready to roll.
As if pregnancy wasn’t already glamorous enough, a common symptom many women experience is swelling. Compression socks are known to get you relief. They’re also known for being, well, less than attractive. Motif is giving us a simple, modern look to bring compression into our sock drawers without feeling embarrassed when we slip them on. We couldn’t live without these.
The product that literally started it all! Created to extend the life of your pre-pregnancy clothes and keep you from having to shell out quite so much just to have a comfortable wardrobe. The Bellaband is a must-have for pregnancy, and again post-babe to bridge the gap from maternity denim to your most treasured pair of jeans.
fold down legging
When the bump comes in full force, *these* are the maternity leggings you need. Complete with ultra-stretchy, never-sheer fabric, they’re created to be lived in through every trimester, every single day. And we mean that. Reach for these when you’re going out with friends, running errands, or just staying home.
A complete outfit in one piece
It doesn’t get more effortless than a soft, breathable jumpsuit that works for every occasion. Some days you’re not going to want to pick out a shirt and pants that fit over your bump, give you the space to breathe, and don’t feel constricting against your extra-sensitive skin. Keep this jumpsuit handy to have a completely cute outfit in one quick throw on.
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.