Updated at: 21-05-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

To begin wearing maternity clothing, how far along in your pregnancy do you need to be? Pregnant women should begin wearing maternity clothing three months into their pregnancy.

To wear normal apparel around this period, you’ll need to lose weight swiftly.

Feel free to forgo worrying about your appearance merely because your clothing are getting too tiny for comfort, because no one is expecting perfection from you right now! Getting enough sleep is more essential than looking beautiful.

When to Start Wearing Maternity Clothes

First Pregnancy

Women who are pregnant for the first time are normally ready to wear maternity clothing around 16-20 weeks of pregnancy. Keep in mind that no two women are alike, and your individual circumstances may dictate when you should start shopping for maternity wear. The following should be kept in mind:

  • Pregnancy clothing aren’t necessarily a negative thing if you discover that you need them early on! Comfort is more important than making it to a specific occasion in your usual attire. In addition, if you’re one of the rare women who never use them, you don’t have to worry about it.
  • If you’re expecting more than one child, you’ll probably require maternity clothing sooner than you think.
  • There are many loose-fitting items in your wardrobe, so you may be able to put off the purchase of maternity wear for some time.

An excellent tip as you start your second trimester (14 weeks) is to stock up on some essential maternity garments so that you are ready to use them.

When Did You Start Wearing Maternity Clothes? - 1happykiddo

Second Pregnancy

When you’re expecting your second or future pregnancies, you’ll need to start thinking about maternity wear early. When you’re pregnant, your abdominal muscles are more relaxed because you’ve already stretched them once. In your second pregnancy, you may need maternity clothing between the middle and the end of the first trimester, between 8 and 12 weeks of pregnancy.

You may already have maternity clothes from your first pregnancy, but there are still a few factors to keep in mind when making a decision about whether or not to buy more.

  • There is no one-size-fits-all pregnancy – The second time around, a woman’s body may carry her child differently than it does the first time around. Depending on how big or small your baby belly is this time around, you may not be able to wear the cute maternity items you have stashed away from your first pregnancy.
  • Because of the seasonal variations, you’ll probably need to buy some new items in order to make your maternity wardrobe work in different climates.
  • When it comes to maternity clothing, even if you already have everything you need, it is possible to add a few new pieces to your wardrobe for a little bit of fun.

When you’re pregnant for the second time, it’s especially important to keep an open mind and not set yourself up for disappointment. The majority of your new clothing purchases can be put off if you already own a few essentials. This will give you a better sense of what works and what doesn’t from your present collection.

When do your pants start to feel tight when you’re pregnant?

The tightness of pre-pregnancy jeans might be felt even if this is your first pregnancy! Often, bloating is a sign of pregnancy because of hormonal changes. This can lead to discomfort in your jeans before you realize it.

When should you stop wearing pre-pregnancy jeans?

It’s time to pack up your pre-pregnancy jeans as soon as they become uncomfortable! There’s no need to add to the discomforts of pregnancy by wearing jeans that no longer fit you, even if they are a beautiful wonder.

Maternity jeans can be just as fashionable as your regular jeans, but they’ll keep you far more comfortable during your pregnancy. Most pregnant women will need to buy at least one pair of maternity jeans during their pregnancy, and they should be one of the first items on your list when you begin shopping for maternity wear.

What To Do In Early Pregnancy If Pregnancy Clothes Don’t Fit?

If you’re expecting, you’ll likely encounter a period in your wardrobe when you’ve outgrown your usual clothes but aren’t yet big enough for most maternity wear. Here are a few recommendations to help you get through the first few weeks of your new life:

  • Make the switch to maternity trousers with the help of a belly band, such as the popular Bellaband. The top of your jeans is kept in place by slipping a belly band around your waist. Now you may leave your ordinary pants unbuttoned without fear of them sliding down or revealing too much of your midsection. Despite the fact that it may sound unusual, it’s actually rather cozy! If your jeans don’t have a belly band, you may want to wear a cami under there to prevent the unsecured zipper from rubbing against your skin.
  • Decide on your preferred look – Your growing child may be mistaken for a food baby during the uncomfortable time when you are wearing flowing or thick clothing that are not overly clinging.
  • Layering pieces like vests and big cardigans can be the perfect solution to hide your belly until your maternity shirts fill out a little better.

Try not to worry too much if you have a few days where you can’t find anything that fits! What matters most is that you are nurturing a precious new life within your own body and ensuring that it survives and thrives. When you hold your baby in your arms, you’ll likely forget about your pregnancy wardrobe woes.

Tips for Buying Maternity Clothes

Don’t start shopping too early!

When you learn you’re expecting a child, it’s natural to want to go out and buy new clothes and accessories. You may not know how your body will alter throughout pregnancy until you see your bump. In general, pre-pregnancy sizes are supposed to be the basis for sizing for most products and brands. However, each woman’s body changes in its own unique way. It’s not just your baby bump that changes the way your clothes fit; you may also notice an increase in your chest or hips.

Plan for returns

To avoid starting too early, you may want to have a few items on hand. Consider keeping receipts in case you buy anything that doesn’t fit quite properly when you get it home.

Maternity clothing in-store selections are sometimes smaller than those available online, which makes internet buying more enticing. Free return shipping can save you money in the long run. If the company you’re purchasing from doesn’t provide free returns, you may want to check out Amazon, which often carries maternity goods from other online merchants, including Motherhood Maternity.

Keep it simple

With a few pairs of high-quality slacks or jeans and a number of t-shirts, it’s easy to make sure you have all the clothing you’ll need for your pregnancy. While it’s wonderful to have a few “special” items, it can quickly become tiresome to wear them all the time if they are not extremely adaptable.


Maternity clothing essentials may be dressed up with accessories! To make things even better, you don’t have to buy anything new. You can simply use your existing jewelry collection. You may want to think about what accessories you currently own when you go shopping for maternity clothing.

When to Buy Maternity Clothes

Pregnancy is a unique experience for every woman. What this implies is that you have complete control over when you start wearing maternity apparel. Ask around and you’ll discover that expectant mothers begin wearing maternity clothing at various points in their pregnancies. You may be ready to buy maternity apparel if you notice these signs:

  • There is no longer a time limit for unbuttoning the top button of your jeans.
  • You prefer to wear garments made of spandex.
  • Every day, you wake up with a bloated feeling.
  • Pregnant women’s bumps begin to pop out of their shirts when they greet strangers.
  • Despite their name, button-down shirts don’t close completely.

The baby’s progress in the womb is mirrored by these symptoms. Trina Pagano, MD, an OB-GYN at the Cleveland Clinic, explains that the uterus is generally at the navel level at 20 weeks. “So many women start to show at this point, but there is fluctuation depending on the height and body type of the mother, weight gain, the number of infants in utero and if it is a first pregnancy. The bump often ‘pops’ later in the first pregnancy than in subsequent ones.

Fashion with a Bump | Maternity Fashion & Clothes | Emma's Diary

Being pregnant and displaying off your baby belly is exciting for first-time moms, even in the early stages. Pregnancy shopping should be avoided throughout the first 12 weeks of a woman’s pregnancy. According to Jenny Greenstein, a New York City-based personal stylist for pregnancy and parenthood and founder of YourSoulStyle.com: ‘You’re still sorting through the changes in your body’ in your first trimester. “Start gathering your items at the beginning of your second trimester, when your belly starts to take shape.” That being said, if you’ve found a maternity essential on sale that you simply adore, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t get it.

How to Buy Maternity Clothes

So it’s safe to say that you’ll require maternity clothing. But where do you begin? What to look for in quality maternity clothing and how to find out your size are covered in the following sections.

What size maternity clothes to buy

For a first-time mom, it’s practically impossible to predict how your body will change throughout the course of the pregnancy. As a result, estimating what size maternity clothes you’ll need is much more difficult. Size six pre-pregnancy is often a size six throughout pregnancy. However, each pregnancy is unique, so you may be a maternity eight or a maternity four, according to New York City stylist Samantha Brown. “Just like when you’re not pregnant, it’s critical to get items that are comfortable for you to wear. Much of it has to do with how someone is built.” Also, keep in mind that your body does not develop at the same rate throughout. As far as pregnancy clothes sizing is concerned, I’d recommend ignoring it and buying what feels and fits best.”

How much maternity clothing to invest in

Pregnancy wardrobe staples are a smart place to start, depending on the season you’re due and how your body evolves. As a new mom, you’ll want to stock up on a few pairs of high-quality maternity jeans (in a wash that works with everything), as well as at least one pair of basic black leggings. At least three to five pregnant T-shirts or tanks in colors that work nicely with your current wardrobe should be purchased if you don’t already have a few longer tees and tanks that can stretch over your bump. Under a favorite blazer, jacket, or fashionable cardigan, they’re a terrific option. Two to three flexible dresses that can be dressed up or down are also a fantastic investment for both work and play. If you’re planning a wedding, maternity photoshoot, or baby shower in the final weeks of your pregnancy, you may also desire a more formal attire. Beyond that, you may only require items that are specific to the time of year (such as a winter coat that may be worn while pregnant or a maternity swimsuit).

Maternity clothing essentials

You’ll hear “basics” and “essentials” over and over again when it comes to maternity apparel. You’ll recognize certain things from your pre-pregnancy wardrobe, but there are also maternity wardrobe essentials that you won’t find anywhere else.

• Every single T-shirt. Buy a couple white, gray, and black pregnant T-shirts. This is the best way to finish off a pair of (maternity) pants.

There’s no need to wear mom jeans here. As your body undergoes so many changes, it will be comforting to know that you can still wear jeans. It’s possible that you won’t want to wear anything else after trying on a pair of super-comfy maternity jeans.

• Leggings all day, every day. There is nothing wrong with having a few pairs of leggings on hand. They conform to your body, making them the most comfortable alternative.

• Don’t undervalue the importance of your pants. Invest in a good pair of supportive, but not too tight, underwear and a few nice-looking bras. When it comes to pregnancy and nursing bras, you get more for your money. This most intimate layer of clothing sets the tone for the rest of your wardrobe.

Maxi saved the day. As your figure and proportions change, a slimming version of this famous dress may help you feel less chubby.

• LBDs are your best bets. If you’re going to a wedding, a baby shower, or an after-work gathering, you’ll need at least one little black dress you feel comfortable wearing.

• Wear blazers to work. Adding an oversize blazer as a second layer is ideal. Throughout your pregnancy, you’ll be able to wear it with ease.

Tips for what to look for in maternity clothes

When looking for maternity wear, keep these simple suggestions in mind to get the most bang for your buck. Investing in a few quality items can even help you get through the hiccup.

• Is there any give in it? For the first few months of pregnancy, it’s especially important to pay attention to the fabric of your maternity apparel, advises Greenstein. You’ll have more freedom of movement if you wear anything with a flexible, stretchy, or jersey-like fabric.

• Do a sheerness test. Ask the fitting room attendant whether she’s able to see anything she shouldn’t be. According to Brown, “Maternity apparel tends to have a lot of stretch, so it’s crucial to look at it in motion. When shopping for maternity clothing, look out for garments that become sheer when stretched.

Ruching should be accepted. Allows you to expand into your maternity clothes as your baby grows. “It works with any single body type,” adds Greenstein. In your first trimester, you won’t have any concerns with ruching, because it completely flexes with your shape.

Pregnancy isn’t the end of life. “It’s lovely when a maternity brand has nursing functions built in,” Greenstein says. “Invest in maternity clothing that you feel gorgeous and comfortable in for the duration of your pregnancy and beyond,” advises the author.

Where to Buy Maternity Clothes

The physical and emotional changes you’re going through during pregnancy might make you feel like you’re going through puberty all over again—unless, of course, you have a list of apparel brands recommended by maternity stylists in your back pocket.

The following is a list of the best brick-and-mortar and online retailers recommended by top stylists to help you maintain your personal sense of style during this major adjustment.

For on-trend style

Most of us have a good sense of what’s in style for the current season, and that doesn’t change when you’re expecting. Pregnant women can find fashionable maternity wear at these four retailers.

  • Collection Hatch
  • Hana the devoted
  • Ingrid “Izzy” Oliver
  • Ingrid and Isabelle

For maternity work clothes

Dressing for work when you’re pregnant can be difficult: You want to appear good, but you also need to feel good. Brown advises that pregnant women keep to their tried-and-true maternity attire throughout the day and into the night. These retailers are worth a visit:

  • A Pod of Peas
  • Seraphine
  • Nordstom
  • She is known as Rosie Pope.

For inexpensive maternity clothes

Because you’ll only be donning these looks for a short time, it’s a good idea to stock up on maternity clothes that won’t break the bank. If you’re looking for affordable maternity clothing that yet looks like a million bucks, this is the list for you.

  • ASOS
  • H&M
  • Target
  • The Navy of yore

For plus-size maternity clothes

Pregnant and obese? For curvaceous girls who wish to show off their bump, there are fashionable and comfortable alternatives.

  • PinkBlush
  • Storq
  • Maternity and motherhood
  • The Clothes You Wear

For petite maternity clothes

There are plenty of comfortable maternity classics available in smaller sizes if you’re expecting and small-framed. Try these fashionable, small pregnancy clothes alternatives.

  • Storq
  • PinkBlush
  • Pregnancy care at LOFT

For comfortable maternity clothes

  • Bravely, Kindred
  • Blanqi
  • Gap
  • Yoga isn’t the only option.

Where to Rent Maternity Clothes

If you’d want to put these fashion suggestions into action but don’t want to invest on a new wardrobe, renting clothes is an excellent option.

Autumn maternity clothes we love | Emma's Diary

Over 450 designers and brands are included in Rent the Runway’s subscription service for pregnancy and postpartum-friendly clothes. All four new pieces are included in both the basic $89 monthly and unlimited $159 monthly memberships, but the unlimited membership allows you to swap them out as often as you like and keep them for however long your heart desires.

You may also choose your favorite styles from Le Tote’s maternity subscription and wear them as many times as you want. When you’re ready for a new tote of new looks, simply return everything in the pre-paid envelope. If you really like something, you have the option to purchase it at a discounted member price (up to 50 percent off retail). Subscriptions for maternity care begin at $79 per month.


Is 12 weeks too early for maternity clothes?

The bump often ‘pops’ later in the first pregnancy than in subsequent ones. Being pregnant and displaying off your baby belly is exciting for first-time moms, even in the early stages. Buying maternity clothing during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy is unnecessary.

Is 6 weeks too early for maternity clothes?

Most pregnant women don’t need to start wearing maternity clothes until they’re between 12 and 18 weeks along, which is when most women begin to show.

What should you wear in your first trimester?

Clothing that is overly tight or clingy should be avoided, especially in the midsection. Despite the fact that you aren’t pregnant, you may have bloating. Wear loose shirts or tops, tunics, a-line shirts, and wrap dresses instead of more fitted garments.

How many pant sizes do you go up when pregnant?

Normal clothing sizes apply to pregnant women, so you’ll be the same size in both maternity and non-maternity garments. You’ll be a pregnancy small if you’re usually a small in your regular clothes, too. For numbered sizes, a regular 6 or 28 is the same as a maternity 6 or 28.

What should I wear at 12 weeks pregnant?

It’s a good idea to invest in a stretchy cotton shirt at 12 weeks. With a T-shirt dress, you get the best of both worlds: it retains its shape but grows with your hormones. If you’re looking for a casual appearance for the weekend, wear your stretch dress with simple sneakers and a denim jacket.

When should you start wearing maternity belt?

Motif Pregnancy Support Band can be worn from three to nine months of pregnancy, depending on your preference. The Motif Postpartum Support Garments are intended to be worn from one week to four months after childbirth, depending on the individual needs of the wearer. Socks with compression can be worn throughout and after pregnancy.

Can tight waistband hurt baby?

Scientific research suggests that a woman’s health may be compromised by wearing tight trousers, even if there is no indication that this may harm her child. Pregnant women who wear tight-fitting pants run the risk of developing a disorder known as meralgia paresthetica.


Preparing ahead of time for when, where, and how to shop for your maternity apparel will help you have a joyful and low-stress shopping experience. In terms of when you should start wearing maternity clothes, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. However, thinking through your needs and the logistics of how you will put your maternity wardrobe together is an excellent place to begin. You can get a lot of mileage out of a belly band and a few loose-fitting clothes while you wait!