When Should I Start Wearing Maternity Clothes?

questions about maternity clothes
When Is The Best Time To Start Buying Maternity Wear?

There are no set rules, basically start wearing maternity clothes when you feel like it. While some women might feel awkward about shopping for maternity wear before they start looking pregnant, sometimes it's just necessary. Switching to maternity pants after week 6 or 7 in the first trimester of pregnancy is not unusual, although it is more common after week 14. Some women just prefer to wait before hitting the stores until they are safely in the second pregnancy trimester when the risk of miscarriage has receded. If you don't want to buy many items to begin with, investing in a belly band or waistband expander (image) will help extend the life of your regular pants by allowing you to wear them with the button open. The main thing to remember is: don't suffer uncomfortable clothes. You'll probably have enough symptoms to be dealing with without the stress of wearing clothes that cut your tummy. The sooner you buy a few items, the more wear you will have out of them. Bear in mind that maternity wear is not only useful during pregnancy but also in the months following childbirth and delivery when your body eases back into its former state. So a few months of wear can extend to 12 months.

Different Sizes, Different Shapes

Pre-Pregnancy Size 24 Or Over
If you were a size 24 or more before pregnancy, you are less likely to need maternity clothes early as larger women tend not to gain as much weight. In fact you may even be able to combine maternity wear with regular clothes 1-2 sizes larger. Leggings, elastic waist pants and sweats 1-2 sizes up are particularly useful. Men's plus size t-shirts which tend to be cut for extra belly space are useful for sleepwear. In winter, a cape or poncho will work just as well as a coat.
Useful suppliers to check out include motherhood.com, justmysize.com, decentexposures.com and pluswoman.com.
Pre-Pregnancy Size 16-22
Women who were size 16-22 before pregnancy are likely to need maternity clothes earlier than those over size 24, because they gain weight like an average sized woman.
Body Shape
Body shapes can make a difference as to when you should start wearing maternity wear. Apple body shapes (broad shoulders, narrow hips) tend to need maternity clothes sooner than pears (wide hips) or hourglass shapes (wide hips, large bust).


• Need more information about pregnancy? See: Pregnancy Tips / Prenatal Care Guide
• Got another question? See: Womens Health Questions

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