Updated at: 26-04-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

When is the best time to stock up on maternity wear? Pregnant women can shop for maternity clothing at any time, but it is best to hold off until after the first trimester.

Pregnant women typically begin to show around the 12th week of pregnancy. To be safe, it’s better to get fitted for some new clothes if you’re worried about how you feel in your current clothes.

The sooner you do it, the better, because many of the fantastic alternatives available in retailers like Old Navy and Target only go up to a size small or medium.

A great option for pregnant women who don’t want to shop but want to keep their wardrobe fresh is Rent The Runway Unlimited, which offers unlimited rentals of designer dresses starting at $75/month with free shipping on both ends.

When to Buy Maternity Clothes

Pregnancy is an individual experience that is unique to each woman. If you’re wondering when to start wearing maternity clothing, the answer is simple: it’s completely up to you. Pregnant women begin wearing maternity clothing at different points in their pregnancies, according to what others tell you. You may, however, be able to tell if you’re pregnant by looking at these signs:

  • There is no longer a time and place for unbuttoning your pants’ top button.
  • Your favorite fabric to dress in is spandex.
  • You’re constantly swollen and uncomfortable.
  • It’s as if your bump is trying to make a good first impression on people who pass by.
  • The buttons on your button-down shirts don’t close all the way.

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. There is a wide range of women who begin to show at this point, depending on the mother’s height and body type, weight gain, the number of babies in the womb, and whether or not it is a first pregnancy. The bulge “pops” a little later in first pregnancies than in subsequent pregnancies.”

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Even in the early stages of pregnancy, for first-time mothers, it’s natural to get thrilled about being pregnant and showing off your tummy. Begin shopping for maternity wear just after 12 weeks of pregnancy. When it comes to pregnancy and parenthood personal stylist Jenny Greenstein says, “In the first trimester, you’re still sorting through the changes in your body,” founder of YourSoulStyle.com. “Start gathering your items at the beginning of your second trimester, when your belly starts to take shape.” Having saying that, there’s no reason not to buy a pregnancy must-have if you see it on sale and you genuinely love it.

How to Buy Maternity Clothes

In other words, all the evidence points to a pregnancy. But how 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

It’s practically hard to predict how your body will change throughout your pregnancy if this is your first one. As a result, estimating what size maternity clothing you’ll need is much more difficult. Size six pre-pregnancy is often a size six throughout pregnancy. Samantha Brown, a New York City-based stylist, says, “But everyone is different, so you might be a maternity eight or a maternity four, depending on how you carry your pregnancy.” The same rules apply while you’re pregnant as they do when you aren’t.” Much of it has to do with how someone is built.” Keep in mind that not every portion of your body is growing at the same rate.. 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. A good pair of maternity jeans (in a wash that goes with everything) and a pair of basic black leggings are must-haves for expecting moms, and you’ll be wearing them long after the baby is born, too. It’s a good idea to buy three to five maternity T-shirts or tank tops in colors that go nicely with your existing wardrobe if you don’t already have some longer tees and tanks that can fit over your belly.

Under a nice coat, jacket, or fashionable cardigan they’re perfect. Consider purchasing two or three dresses that may be worn up or down for both work and pleasure. It’s possible you’ll need a dress that’s more formal for a wedding, maternity picture shoot, or your baby shower in the final weeks of your pregnancy. A maternity bikini or a winter coat that zips over your belly are examples of seasonal need.

Maternity clothing essentials

When it comes to maternity wear, the words “basics” and “essentials” are sometimes used interchangeably. While some of the pieces in your pre-pregnancy wardrobe will sound familiar, others are maternity wardrobe essentials that are tailored to accommodate and flatter your growing belly.

• Every single T-shirt. Stretchy pregnant T-shirts in white, gray, and black are essential for a healthy pregnancy and delivery. To complete a pair of (maternity) jeans, there is nothing better than this simplest of all finishing touches.

• I’ll take a pair of mom jeans, please. You’ll be relieved to know that despite all the changes to your body, you can still slip into a pair of jeans. And if you’ve never worn pregnancy pants before, you may never go back.

Wearing leggings for days. 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 overlook the importance of your undergarments. Invest in supportive bras that look good and feel good, as well as comfy undergarments. When it comes to pregnancy and nursing bras, you get more for your money. This most intimate layer of clothes sets the tone for the rest of your wardrobe if you take it seriously.

Assist from Maxi, of course! As your body and silhouette change, a more tailored version of this dress may help you feel less frumpy.

• LBDs are your most valuable possessions. Whether it’s a wedding, a shower, or an after-work gathering, you’ll want a few black dresses you feel comfortable in.

• Wear blazers to work. You can never have too many blazers in your wardrobe. Throughout your pregnancy, you’ll be able to wear it with ease.

Tips for what to look for in maternity clothes

As you shop for maternity clothing, keep these guidelines in mind to maximize your savings. Investing in a few quality items can even help you get through the hiccup.

• Does it have any give? According to Greenstein, you don’t know how much weight you’ll gain during each trimester, so pay attention to the fabric of the maternity garments you’re purchasing. You will have better mobility in anything that has one of these fabrics: “Flex fabric, stretch fabric, or jersey fabric.”

• Do a sheerness test. Ask the fitting room attendant if she’s able to see anything that she shouldn’t. Maternity clothes tends to be very stretchy, so Brown advises looking at it in action. Shopping for pregnant women’s clothing should avoid items that become sheer when stretched out.

Incorporate ruching into your wardrobe and style. With this feature, your maternity garments may stretch and expand with your growing belly. Greenstein claims that it is suitable for people of all body types. In your first trimester, you won’t have any concerns with ruching, because it completely flexes with your shape.

• Don’t limit yourself to pregnancy. When a maternity brand includes built-in nursing capabilities, Greenstein notes, “it’s extremely lovely.” “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

Unless you have a handy list of pregnant apparel brands recommended by top maternity stylists, pregnancy can feel a lot like puberty all over again with all the physical and mental changes you’re going through.

Here is a list of the greatest retail outlets and e-commerce sites recommended by stylists so that you may maintain your sense of fashion during this major shift.

For on-trend style

Pregnancy doesn’t have to alter your ability to keep up with the latest fashion trends. Maternity clothing from these four designers is on-trend and will keep you looking good throughout your growing belly.

  • Collection of Hatches
  • Hana is a steadfast companion.
  • Oliver’s daughter Isabella.
  • Isabeth and Ingrid

For maternity work clothes

Dressing a pregnant woman for the office can be difficult: Effortless elegance is important, but so is ease of movement. In order to make it through the day and into the night, Brown advises that you stick to your tried-and-true maternity attire. These retailers are worth a visit:

  • It’s like two peas in a pod.
  • Seraphine
  • Nordstom
  • Rosemary Pope

For inexpensive maternity clothes

Since you’ll only be wearing these outfits for a short period of time, you may wish to save money on your maternity wardrobe. 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

Is it possible to be pregnant while being overweight? For curvaceous girls who wish to show off their bump, there are fashionable and comfortable alternatives.

  • PinkBlush
  • Storq
  • Maternity as a Motherhood
  • In Your Own Clothes

For petite maternity clothes

Pregnant women who are diminutive in stature should not hide their bumps in big clothing when they can discover comfortable maternity classics customized to their smaller frame. Try these fashionable, small pregnancy clothes alternatives.

  • Storq
  • PinkBlush
  • Pregnancy care at LOFT

For comfortable maternity clothes

  • Bravely, Kindred.
  • Blanqi
  • Gap
  • Beyond the Practice of Yoga

Where to Rent Maternity Clothes

Clothes-rental services are an excellent option for those who are willing yet hesitant to invest in a whole new outfit.

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Rent the Runway’s subscription services provide you access to over 450 designers and brands of maternity and postpartum-friendly clothes. Four new pieces are included in both subscriptions, but the unlimited membership ($159/month) allows for limitless swaps and keeps the pieces for as long as you’d want.

Also available is a Le Tote Maternity Subscription, which allows you to choose your favorite styles and wear them whenever you want. Simply return the contents of the bag in the pre-paid envelope when you’re ready for a new shipment of new outfits. In addition, you can choose to keep an item at a member price if you genuinely adore it (up to 50 percent off retail). Starting at $79 a month, maternity subscriptions are offered.

Tips for finding fashionable maternity clothes inexpensively

Pregnant women have access to a wide range of fashionable and flattering maternity clothing that is significantly superior to what some of our mothers had to wear. With these strategies, you may save money while still putting together a smart and stylish pregnancy wardrobe.

You may be able to borrow many or all of the maternity garments you need from a friend or relative of your own size. Even if you don’t have the same pant size, you can both wear a size M because maternity clothing is more forgiving.

Buying used maternity clothes is a great method to save money because they’re only worn for a few months at a time, and they’re more likely to be in style because women give away maternity clothes more often than regular clothing. Children’s consignment shops often stock maternity wear. Swap.com, for example, is a good place to look.

Ebay – There are typically “plenty” of maternity apparel for sale on Ebay.com. These parcels will be sold as a whole for a single price. Many goods will be photographed by the seller, but not all of them. It doesn’t matter if only 20% of the garments in a lot are to your taste; you’ll still receive a terrific value.

Old Navy – If you’re looking for cheap maternity clothing, Old Navy is the place to go. Maternity clothes are easy to size (simply purchase your regular size in S, M, L, etc.) and usually fit a wide range of body types. You’ll probably need to buy them online.

A little more pricey than Old Navy, Motherhood Maternity has maternity clothing in store and online, so you can try it on before purchasing. During their sales, you can also find fantastic deals.

Invest in some higher quality clothes

Pregnant women should invest in some high-quality maternity garments that can be worn up or down and layered with a sweater and leggings, particularly dresses. It’s possible that you’ll end up spending less money in the long run by purchasing more expensive garments that will only last a few months after giving birth.

A few convertible pieces that may be utilized during pregnancy, lactation, and beyond are also an option. It is possible to wear the Hipknoties in 30 different ways, ranging from a tank top to a maxi dress. Many pregnancy tops can also be used as nursing tops, extending their usefulness for many years!

When Do You Wear Maternity Clothes?

Pregnancy clothes are a common concern for many women. Be aware that maternity clothing isn’t normally a priority when you’re first pregnant. Most women begin to consider maternity or plus-size clothing shortly after the first trimester. There are a few things that will determine when you should start wearing maternity garments specifically.

Size of the Growing Uterus

In order to prepare for maternity clothing, it is important to know how much your uterus will grow during your pregnancy.

  • During the first trimester, the uterus is only barely above the pubic bone at the end of 12 weeks’ gestation.
  • As about 14 weeks old, it is around 2 inches above the bone.
  • Approximately half way between your pubic bone and your belly button, at 16 weeks pregnant you will have reached this milestone.
  • When you’re 20 weeks pregnant, your belly button is where the uterus is located.
  • The size of your upper belly will increase over the next 20 weeks, affecting the type of clothing you can wear.

Consider the following when your uterus gets bigger:

  • Pregnancy can cause your stomach to swell and protrude, causing discomfort in your clothes during the first trimester because of a natural tendency for abdominal fat accumulation.
  • The uterus can be felt in the lower abdomen at 14 weeks, although it is still not visible to outsiders. If it hasn’t already, your waist will start to get a little tighter at this stage. Pregnant women often begin wearing maternity trousers at this point in their pregnancies because they are more comfortable and provide a better fit, making you appear pregnant rather than just gaining weight.
  • At around 16 weeks, some women begin to “show” as the uterus grows and additional fat deposits protrude. It is common for women to transition to larger clothing at this time.
  • Most women will be wearing maternity or looser-fitting clothing by the time they reach the 20-week mark.

Differences in Weight and Body Shape

Women’s body types, pre-pregnancy weight, and pre-pregnancy clothing designs all have a role in how long it takes for some women to begin to feel uncomfortable in their clothing.

Pregnancy belly shapes and sizes are as diverse as they were before. As a result of having a shorter belly, you may notice that your abdomen protrudes earlier.

Being obese or morbidly obese prior to being pregnant may delay your “showing” time, as your tummy is heavier. Pregnant women who are overweight are more likely to acquire weight because of their eating habits.

Weight Gain and Bloating

If you gain a lot of weight early in pregnancy, you should be prepared for your clothes to get tighter before the second trimester, regardless of your pre-pregnancy weight or whether you are overweight. Rather than your uterus’ size, your pregnancy weight gain could become the deciding factor in when you buy new garments.

  • The weight gain is also distributed differently among women. Pregnancy fat distribution differs from woman to woman, and this can influence whether or not you need maternity clothing.
  • In the first trimester, gaining weight due to water retention can make you uncomfortable in your regular clothes because you can’t handle anything around your midsection. Pregnancy is a common trigger for women to don maternity trousers.
  • Progesterone, a hormone produced by the uterus during pregnancy, slows down the bowels, resulting in constipation and bloating. Maternity apparel may be necessary as early as the first trimester.

Breast Growth

In tandem with the development of your uterus, the size of your breasts also expands. Your breasts will become heavier and larger as a result of your elevated estrogen and progesterone levels.

From the first trimester onward, you may need gradually larger bra and cup sizes, as well as larger tops, depending on the rate of expansion. It’s fortunate that pregnant bras include many rows of hooks to accommodate your expanding bust size.

Number of Babies on Board

Your uterus will get larger each week if you have more than one baby in your womb. It is conceivable that your clothes may begin to get tighter earlier and you will begin to show earlier than normal..

Primigravida vs Multigravida

Pregnancy is a one-of-a-kind event. A subsequent pregnancy (multigravida) could see you gain more or less weight than your first (primigravida). Pregnancy clothes may be needed sooner or later than they were with your first pregnancy, despite the fact that first-time pregnancies tend to “show” later.

Morning Sickness

Hyperemesis gravidarum, a crueler form of morning sickness, can contribute to early weight loss during the first trimester of pregnancy. The necessity for maternity clothing may arise later in the second trimester because to the lower fat deposit in the belly.

Maternity Clothes and Sizes

As the baby grows, so does the size of the maternity clothes. Pregnant women’s sizes tend to correspond to those of non-pregnant women. So, unless you acquire a significant amount of weight during pregnancy, if you normally wear a size 8, you may anticipate wearing the same size during your pregnancy.

You may need to go up a size when your uterus reaches a height of 20 weeks, depending on your weight gain.

Professional attire as well as evening and formal wear are also available in pregnancy versions.

Alternatives to Maternity Clothes

Maternity clothing may not be appropriate for all expectant mothers in the first trimester. Instead of maternity gear, some women opt to wear larger or looser ordinary clothes for the duration of their pregnancies. From the first trimester to delivery, certain styles, such as the following, can support fluctuating sizes:

  • Flaring from the top, A-line dresses
  • dresses with empire waistlines that do not fit over the lower abdomen
  • Dresses with a flared waist and pleats.
  • Sheath dresses made of flexible fabric that cinches in at the waist are on trend this season.
  • elasticized-waist pants and skirts can be worn around, below, or above the waist, depending on the situation.
  • In the late second and third trimester, you should go up a size or more in your regular clothing.
  • A large blouse in the first trimester can support your growing breasts, and as you go into the second and third trimesters it is an excellent alternative to have on hand.
  • When you’re in your third trimester, flared, billowy shirts will be more comfy for your developing breasts and abdomen.

Deciding When to Start Buying Maternity clothes

Pre-pregnancy weight, body shape, developing uterus and breasts, and pregnancy weight gain are some of the primary elements that impact when you might begin wearing maternity garments (or not). To help you decide when to start and what to wear while pregnant, consider how comfortable you are in your clothing.


When should I start wearing maternity clothes?

Women who are pregnant for the first time are normally ready to wear maternity clothing around 16-20 weeks of pregnancy.

Is 9 weeks too early for maternity clothes?

The bulge “pops” a little later in first pregnancies than in subsequent pregnancies.” Even in the early stages of pregnancy, for first-time mothers, it’s natural to get thrilled about being pregnant and showing off your tummy. Begin shopping for maternity wear just after 12 weeks of pregnancy.

Is 14 weeks too early for maternity clothes?

In the 14th week of pregnancy, you may begin to notice that your stomach has grown a little, but most women don’t begin to show until around 16 weeks. Most expectant mothers will be wearing maternity or loose-fitting clothing by week 20.

When did you start showing?

In most cases, the first signs of a baby bump appear between 14 and 16 weeks of pregnancy, but you may notice a difference earlier.

Is 17 weeks too early for maternity clothes?

Since many pregnant women start showing between 12 and 18 weeks of pregnancy and you can buy maternity clothes anytime you’re ready, you’ll probably wait until then to start wearing them.

When should I start wearing a maternity belly band?

During the first few months of pregnancy, many women prefer to wear belly bands because they don’t need as much support. When women return to their pre-pregnancy attire, they might wear belly bands to aid in the transition.

Should I buy maternity clothes or just bigger sizes?

What’s the best piece of advice you can give? Instead of buying pre-maternity clothes, go one or two sizes up and wear them the entire time you’re pregnant. When your body hasn’t yet returned to its pre-baby size, these outfits might be terrific transitional goods. Low-rise jeans should be worn below your expanding tummy.

What should I wear at 12 weeks pregnant?

At 12 weeks, cotton with a little stretch will come to the rescue. While a T-shirt dress keeps its shape, it will also expand with you when your hormones soar. If you’re looking for a casual appearance for the weekend, wear your stretch dress with simple sneakers and a denim jacket.

What trimester do breasts grow the most?

The breasts of some women begin to enlarge during this time. Second trimester (week 13-27): Breasts will develop bigger and heavier.. You may require a bra that is a little larger and provides a little more support. Tenderness and tingling in the early stages of pregnancy are likely to diminish.

How long is maternity leave in China?

China’s maternity leave is 98 days long! Of the countries on this list, it has the shortest name. While they are on maternity leave, women are entitled to receive half of their normal salaries through social security.

What countries have 3 years maternity?

Three-year maternity leave is available to English language teachers in various countries. The United States, Canada, and Australia are only a few examples.

How long is maternity leave in countries?

The length of maternity leave varies by country. Some examples: Spain’s is 16 weeks, while Greece’s has a minimum of 18! The social security system pays for the full 52 weeks of a mother’s maternity leave in countries like Canada and Australia.

What countries have 50 days paternity?

Fathers can take up to 45 days of paternity leave in France and Germany, two of Europe’s most popular expat locations. If the father is caring for a sick child or many children at the same time, additional special provisions can be made!

What countries have 13 months of parental?

Some countries in Europe are noted for their liberal parental leave policies, which include generous leave lengths. A maternity/paternity allowance in Norway is worth 47 weeks’ full income, while in Finland it’s worth 52 weeks’ worth of paid time off for both parents following the birth!

Here are just a few more examples: The length of parental leave varies greatly over the world, so before you decide to relocate abroad, look into your own country first!

An open line of communication with your employer regarding what best suits your needs is essential. Don’t let friends or family bully you into making a decision that doesn’t fit with who you want and need to be in your life – both now and when you return to work in the future.

Being raised by parents who were able to foster positive working relationships with their coworkers and family increases our chances of doing the same.

Does Russia have paid maternity leave?

A Russian mother is entitled to 140 days of paid maternity leave. During this time, women are entitled to 100% of their wages, which are also paid by social security.

How long do you get parental leave?

It’s a full year of parental leave in China! In this period, workers receive 50% of their normal wages from work and the other 50% from social security benefits.

In Hungary, parents who are caring for newborns or newly adopted children under the age of 18 are entitled to one year of unpaid parental leave.

Work moms can also take an additional 26 weeks of unpaid leave from their jobs provided they meet specific conditions connected to pregnancy or childbirth (e.g., medical complications). This means that whereas men can take the entire year off, women who do not match these conditions (such as a lack of proof of pregnancy difficulties) will only be granted 26 weeks of time off.

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As long as each parent takes at least three months of parental leave, parents in Hungary can divide up the remaining 12 months of parental benefits between them in any way they see suitable. To put it another way, if a parent want to stay at home with their children for an entire year, the other can return to work after a few months.

Parents in Hungary can also take advantage of flexible working arrangements that allow them to spend more time with their children and limit their workload outside of traditional office hours so that employees don’t feel coerced into taking on extra shifts.

How long is paid maternity leave in Sweden?

In Sweden, a woman is entitled to 480 days of paid maternity leave. During this time, women are entitled to receive up to 80% of their pretax income. They also have the option of taking a total of 60, 90, or 120 days of leave before and after the birth of their child.