Updated at: 29-04-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

There are a few elements that are common to most women’s pregnancies, regardless of how different their experiences may be. Dressing for a growing and changing body is one of them! We’ve got the answers to all of your queries about fashion and comfort when it comes to major changes.

The short answer is that most women begin wearing maternity clothing when they begin to feel uneasy in their regular attire after getting pregnant. Every woman will reach this point at a different time, but there are a few things to keep in mind when weighing the pros and cons of making the leap.

When to Buy Maternity Clothes

Pregnancy is a unique experience for every woman. What this implies is that in terms of when you should begin wearing maternity clothing, it’s all on you. Pregnant women begin wearing maternity clothing at different points in their pregnancies, according to what others tell you. However, the following signs may indicate that it is time to start shopping for maternity wear:

  • The practice of unbuttoning your pants’ top button is no longer restricted to the hours following a meal.
  • Your preferred fabric for apparel is spandex.
  • All day, every day, you feel like you’re stuffed to the brim.
  • Pregnant women’s bumps begin to pop out of their shirts when they greet strangers.
  • The buttons on your button-down shirts don’t close all the way.

As the baby grows inside of you, you’ll notice these symptoms. A Cleveland Clinic ob-gyn states that the uterus is usually at the navel’s level at 20 weeks. “So many women start to show at this point, but there is fluctuation depending on the mother’s height and body type, weight growth, 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.

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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. In the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, resist the temptation to buy maternity clothing. This is a time when you’re still figuring out how your body is changing, according to New York-based personal stylist and founder of YourSoulStyle.com, Jenny Greenstein. Pregnant women should begin gathering their supplies at the beginning of the second trimester, when their bellies begin to form. As long as you can afford it, there’s no reason not to splurge on a pregnancy essential that’s on sale.

When Do I Start Wearing Maternity Clothes?

Your Uterus

The uterus is the only item that will be expanding for all women. In order to determine where you are in your pregnancy, you need to know the usual stages of the uterus’ growth. A breakdown of where your uterus is expected to be at various points in time is shown here (usually).

In the 12th week, the uterus is just above the pubic bone.

Your pubic bone should be around two inches above your belly button at this point.

At 16 weeks, the uterus is midway between the pubic bone and the belly button on an average female.

It’s 20 weeks old when it reaches your navel.

During your second trimester, your uterus will continue to grow in size. Most women don’t start showing until approximately 16 weeks, so you may start noticing some swelling in your abdomen around that time. Most women will be wearing maternity or at least loose-fitting clothing by the 20th week of their pregnancy.

Body Shape

Your pre-pregnancy body type or shape will give you a decent idea of how quickly you’ll need to update your wardrobe in order to be comfortable during your pregnancy. It’s possible that your stomach will protrude early if you’re shorter as opposed to taller. If you weighed more before you were pregnant, it may take longer for your baby bump to appear. The more you know about your own body type, the more you’ll be able to predict how it will evolve over time.

Weight Gain

This changes from woman to woman during the course of the pregnancy. Pregnancy weight gain might be uneven among women, even if you were a certain size before getting pregnant. Women’s tendency to acquire weight in various areas means that the clothes you want to wear may no longer fit properly. This is especially true if you tend to put on weight in your thighs or face.

If you’re feeling particularly bloated during your first trimester, it’s possible that you’ll need to switch to a different formula sooner rather than later.

Other Factors

During pregnancy, your breasts will expand rapidly due to the elevated levels of progesterone and estrogen in your body. Your chest may require maternity clothing before your abdomen does, so keep that in mind! The great thing about most maternity bras, however, is that they have several rows of hooks, so you don’t have to buy a new one every time you go up a size.

Because your timetable will be drastically altered if you’re expecting multiple children, your progress will be twice as rapid. However, you should keep these elements in mind when planning your wardrobe.

Morning sickness can cause you to lose weight before you gain it throughout your pregnancy. This will allow you to avoid purchasing maternity clothing for a longer period of time.

Pregnant ladies must have developed maternity wear, as it’s surprisingly simple to get them in your size. Pre-pregnancy, if you were a size 8, you’d be a size 8 in maternity clothing.


For those who have put off purchasing new clothing, there are still items that can be worn long into the third trimester of pregnancy. Dresses with an empire waist, a-line dresses that flare out, or sheath dresses made of elastic fabric are all good options. Choose pants or skirts with elastic waistbands that allow you to wear them above or below your abdomen, depending on your preferences and requirements. Finally, your chest will appreciate loose-fitting tees and flowy blouses.

While many women’s transitions to maternity clothing may be unique, remember that it’s all about your personal comfort. You’ll know when the time is right!

Contact Regional Medical Center right now for more information and ongoing maternity care.

How to Buy Maternity Clothes

As a result, it’s clear that you’ll need maternity wear. But where to begin? Learn what to look for in excellent maternity clothing, as well as how to determine your correct size, in this guide to building your pregnancy wardrobe.

When to Buy Maternity Clothes and What to Look For

What size maternity clothes to buy

You may not know how your body will change as your pregnancy continues if this is your first time having a baby. There is a greater difficulty in determining how much clothing you’ll need during your pregnancy. If you were a size six before getting pregnant, you’ll most likely be a size six after giving birth.” But everyone is different, so depending on how you carry your pregnancy, you might be a maternity eight or a maternity four,” New York City stylist Samantha Brown adds.

The same rules apply when you’re not pregnant: buy what you feel comfortable in.” a person’s body proportions play a significant role.” Remember that not all parts of your body are growing at the same rate. Before you know it, you’ll be a cup size larger than you were before you were pregnant, therefore I would advise you to ignore the pregnancy apparel sizing and buy 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. Investing in a few good maternity jeans (in a wash that fits with everything) and a pair of black leggings (you’ll live in these staples postpartum too) will go a long way for you during your pregnancy. In the event that you don’t already own some long-sleeved tees and tanks that can be worn over your bump, consider purchasing a minimum of three to five maternity T-shirts or tank tops in colors that work well with your current clothing.

They’re ideal for layering under a blazer, jacket, or a fashionable cardigan. Purchasing two or three dresses that can be worn up or down, whether for work or play, is also a smart move. 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. Additionally, you may require a winter coat that zips over your belly or a pregnant swimwear for the season.

Maternity clothing essentials

Basics and necessities are maternity clothing’s two most overused catchphrases. Some of the pieces in your maternity wardrobe will sound familiar from your pre-pregnancy wardrobe, but there are other maternity wardrobe staples that are specifically designed to accommodate and compliment your growing bulge.

Every T-shirt. Invest in a few white, gray, and black stretchy pregnant T-shirts. A pair of (maternity) jeans can’t be complete without a simple pair of jeans.

There’s no need to wear mom jeans here. 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.

• Leggings all day, every day. Keeping a few pairs of leggings on hand is a smart idea. As far as I can tell, they’re the most comfortable.

• Your underwear is an important consideration. Comfortable yet fashionable underwear and supportive bras are worth the investment. Preparing your most private layer of clothes intentionally sets the tone for everything else you wear. (Many maternity bras double as nursing bras, which offers you more bang for your buck.)

• Maxi comes to the rescue. As your body and silhouette change, you may benefit from a more tailored version of this dress.

• LBDs are your best bet. 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. An oversize blazer makes a terrific second layer. 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.

• Does it have any give? As you progress through each trimester, you never know where your weight may accumulate, so Greenstein advises paying attention to the fabric of your maternity garments. You will have better mobility in anything that has one of these fabrics: “Flex fabric, stretch fabric, or jersey fabric.”

• Do a sheerness test. The fitting room attendant may be able to see something she shouldn’t, so sometimes you just have to hunch over and ask her if she can. If you’re pregnant, you’ll want to look at maternity clothing “in motion,” adds Brown. When shopping for maternity clothing, look out for garments that become sheer when stretched.

Incorporate ruching into your wardrobe and style. Allows you to expand into your maternity clothes as your baby grows. Greenstein states, “It works with any single body type.” Ruching will never cause you any problems during your first trimester because it flexes to fit your changing body.

Pregnancy isn’t the end of life. “It’s lovely when a maternity brand has nursing functions built in,” Greenstein says. If you plan to breastfeed, buy maternity clothes that make you feel beautiful and comfortable for the duration of your pregnancy and afterwards.”

Where to Buy Maternity Clothes

Pregnancy might feel like puberty all over again with all the physical and mental changes you’re going through. That is, unless you have a list of maternity clothes brands recommended by professional maternity stylists handy.

Here is a selection of the greatest retail and e-commerce stores that have been vetted by stylists to help you stay true to your personal style as you transition into adulthood.

For on-trend style

For the most part, we’re very up on the latest trends, and that doesn’t have to stop just because we’re expecting. It’s easy to look pregnant-chic in these four fashionable maternity outfits from these four well-known designers.

  • Hatch Objects of Desire
  • Hana is a loyal companion.
  • Ingrid “Izzy” Oliver
  • Isabeth and Ingrid

When to Buy Maternity Clothes and What to Look For

For maternity work clothes

It can be difficult to put together a work wardrobe while pregnant: You want to appear good, but you also need to be comfortable. When it comes to getting through the day and into the evening in comfortable maternity apparel, Brown advises women to stick with tried-and-true styles. Here are a few places you might want to check out:

  • A Pod of Peas
  • Seraphine
  • Nordstom
  • Rosie Pope is the author of this article.

For inexpensive maternity clothes

Maternity fashions are only worn for a short period of time, so it’s a good idea to stock up on the essentials before they’re all gone. 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 plus-sized? For curvaceous girls who wish to show off their bump, there are fashionable and comfortable alternatives.

  • PinkBlush
  • Storq
  • Maternity as a Motherhood
  • Clothes from Yours Truly

For petite maternity clothes

Keep your belly out of the way by opting for maternity basics that are customized to your smaller frame rather than opting for bigger styles that hide your pregnancy. Petite women can still look great in maternity wear with these chic choices.

  • Storq
  • PinkBlush
  • LOFT maternity

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.

There are over 450 designers and brands available through Rent the Runway’s subscription services, including plenty of pregnancy and postpartum-friendly options. In both the normal and unlimited subscriptions, you get four new items each month, but with unlimited, you can swap them out whenever you want and keep them as long as you want.

Also available is a Le Tote Maternity Subscription, which allows you to choose your favorite styles and wear them whenever you want. Once you’re ready to receive a new tote of fresh looks, simply return everything in the pre-paid envelope. In addition, you can choose to keep an item at a member price if you genuinely adore it (up to 50 percent off retail). The first month of a maternity subscription is $79, and subsequent months are $79 as well.


When do I start wearing maternity clothes?

Pregnant women may have to start wearing larger sizes around the fourth or fifth month of their pregnancy. Around six months into their pregnancy, the majority of women begin shopping for maternity clothing.

Is 6 weeks too early for maternity clothes?

Most women don’t start showing signs of pregnancy until they are between 12 and 18 weeks into their pregnancy, so you can shop for maternity apparel whenever you’re ready.

What should I wear at 12 weeks pregnant?

Cotton with a little give will save the day at 12 weeks. 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.

Is 14 weeks too early for maternity clothes?

Most women don’t start showing until approximately 16 weeks, so you may start noticing some swelling in your abdomen around that time. Most women will be wearing maternity or at least loose-fitting clothing by the 20th week of their pregnancy.

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When should I start wearing a maternity belly band?

Pregnant ladies are more likely to choose for belly bands because they don’t require as much support at that time. While readjusting to their pre-pregnancy wardrobe, women can also benefit from the use of belly bands in the months following childbirth.

Is 12 weeks too early to wear maternity clothes?

The bump often ‘pops’ later in the first pregnancy than in subsequent ones. 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. During the first 12 weeks of your pregnancy, resist the temptation to start shopping for maternity clothes.

What size maternity jeans should I buy?

In most circumstances, your pre-pregnancy size will be the same as your maternity size (2). If you normally wore a medium, you should continue to do so during your pregnancy. Pants are the same way. Women who were pre-pregnant size 10 would continue to be so while pregnant.

At what point do you switch to maternity clothes?

Most women don’t start showing until approximately 16 weeks, so you may start noticing some swelling in your abdomen around that time. Most women will be wearing maternity or at least loose-fitting clothing by the 20th week of their pregnancy.

Why is it important to wear maternity clothes?

Even after the nine months of pregnancy, maternity gear is still useful. It’s time to breastfeed when your kid is hungry and you need to have enough room from your clothing so that you may feed the baby comfortably. Maternity clothing is meant to make it easier for mothers to breastfeed their babies.