5 Step Pregnancy Wardrobe Prep: What I Wish I'd Done the First Pregnancy
As a first-time mom, I never really knew what to expect with a changing body. I had no idea what would take place and be needed when it came to growing a tiny human, followed by recovering from said experience. I just assumed you bought cute maternity clothes, and then went back to normal. Or you lived in oversized things for a bit while your body acclimated after delivering your little bundle of joy.
Well, here I am on pregnancy #3 and I feel like I finally have a grip on how to prep, and regrettably, I know a few things I wish I would have done the first pregnancy.
1. Invest in Maternity Basics
I consider maternity basics to be leggings, basic layering tank tops, basic dresses, and t-shirts. These are items that you will wear over and over again. They can be worn through seasonal changes, along with mixed and matched to create new looks as your bump grows.
I went super cheap the first time, so by my second pregnancy, I was dealing with A LOT of wear and tear. Leggings coming apart at the seam, holes, fabric pilling, and overall loss of shape. If you are at all planning for more than one child, or even have the slightest inclination that will be your route, I recommend investing in these things now, so you don't have to re-buy them in the future.
I can't tell you the quality difference and comfort factor you get when you splurge just a little more. In the moment, being skimpy with your maternity wardrobe budget seems to make the most sense. But now that I've had to buy some items 3 times over, I think it would have been wise to invest from the beginning.
2. Purchase Clothes That Can Be Worn in Postpartum
This tip was my biggest AH-HA during pregnancy #3. Now that loose fitting clothes are popular, these items are on my must-have list for maternity purchases. (Think flowy tops, tanks, T-shirt dresses, and cropped hoodies and T-shirts that can sport a nursing tank or maternity tank underneath.) I have found a lot of items that work for before and after online at Pink Blush.
After your baby arrives, you will want to feel confident as your body heals and your stomach returns to its normal size. Clothing items that are loose enough to stretch over your bump now will be loose enough to hide any discomfort you have with your body in the postpartum period. If you choose to nurse your baby, clothing with nursing access is a must. Tight clothing can get stretched out throughout the day from all the lifting and pulling.
What I've found the most comfortable are loose-fitting tank tops that I can layer with a nursing bra or nursing tank, and again things like cropped hoodies and T-shirts with nursing tank tops underneath. A combo like that also helps to give you the most privacy when nursing in public, especially if you don't want to deal with nursing covers.
3. Invest in Nursing Wear and Undergarments
If you have entered the season of life where nursing is going to absorb a lot of time and energy, I've learned again it's best to be comfortable! The first time around I scrimped. I think I purchased one nursing bra, an ill-fitting nursing sports bra, and maybe one nursing tank and a nightgown. I insisted on making other clothes work by yanking things up and pulling things to the side. Eventually, all those clothes became stretched out and I had to purchase new items anyway.
If you plan on nursing and you know you want more children, make it comfortable for yourself. Purchase comfortable nursing bras that are going to stretch (and shrink) with you. Get the nursing nightwear that is going to make you feel sexy and confident as you rock nursing your baby, and also give yourself options when it comes to your nursing base layers.
Most importantly, do not forget about the panties! Oh my wow, I had never been warned about that aspect before. Go for comfort and support! Companies like Bao Bei Maternity make amazing maternity and postpartum underwear, as well as tons of other essentials to support the body that motherhood makes!
4) "Capsule" it
As you are building your wardrobe, try to choose colors, patterns, and pieces that all mesh really well together. Follow this tip all the way down to comfortable, cute shoes that can change the look of your outfits, plus adapt to swelling feet and seasonal changes. So far, my go-to shoes have been two cute pairs of slides from Vici Collection collections and Vans' new comfort cush. The Capsule method makes outfit making a breeze, and it keeps your wardrobe from feeling stale as your bump expands.
5) Postpartum Body Prep
I hope I am not breaking this news to you, but your body won't be the same after the baby comes out. And that is TOTALLY OKAY!! What's important is supporting your newborn and prepping for this stage of your life.
In my post-baby wardrobe, my personal favorites have been anything high-waisted. In fact, high-waisted compression yoga pants are the real MVP of postpartum. Companies like Blanqi and Sankom make some pretty amazing compression and postpartum leggings. I scored my Sankom leggings which were amazing for swelling after I order delivery from a site called Zulily and scored with a major discount.
If you are looking for even more core support during postpartum, Bellefit makes phenomenal support corsets for postpartum and even C-section mommas. I truly felt like they helped me support my core, as my body regained its core and back strength, as well as helped heal my diastasis recti.
I have had a theme of comfort going on throughout this post, so I am going to stress it again. You will live in your loungewear, and your old stuff may not make you feel good or hug you in all the right places anymore. So, allow yourself to get new postpartum loungewear when the time comes. Ill-fitting anything is the last thing you want to stress about.
Enjoy your growing bump, momma! Creating a tiny human is a true miracle.