When I first started getting my baby bump I was excited for so many reasons!
I always thought pregnant women were gorgeous with their beautiful bellies of all shapes and sizes and couldn’t wait to have one of my own! A growing bump was a constant encouragement and assurance to me in my first 15 weeks that the baby was getting bigger and continued to develop. And lets face it, who isn’t excited to dress that bump up in cute clothes that compliment your belly!
Dressing up my bump was so fun at first! Mostly because I could still fit into all my clothes. However as we all know, baby bumps grow and this baby bump grew really really fast! I basically exploded out very quickly where everyone thought I was further along then I was or just eating allot of donuts. Neither were true. I was eating allot of hot fudge sundaes. . . Anyways everything I was showing was from baby and not from extra fat. Ever since I exploded my belly has really slowed down in growing. An exploding belly was fun until none of my clothes were able to fit.
I so enjoy shopping for clothes so I didn’t mind needing to grab some more shirts that I would be comfortable in! Very quickly after hunting for some cute clothes to hug my belly I was no longer excited or happy to be shopping. I was frustrated and disappointed instead. The amount of clothing stores available to pregnant women is very small, and out of those stores you’re lucky if you can find anything locally or ethically made. If you can, I hope you have a stash of gold bars laying around to pay for the clothes.
The biggest thing I struggled with was finding clothes that were actually my style. My husband, being the gentle soul he is, let me drag him around to different stores and try on endless amounts of clothes attempting to find something that was comfortable to wear, but was also my style. Every time I pulled the change room curtain back to show Elih the clothes that did fit, we would both know it wasn’t “me”.
Every piece seemed to scream “I have 25 children and have given up on life so I don’t even bother wearing any concealer because my 25 children have taken all my effort and energy.”
Don’t get me wrong, I love this baby more than words can say and I would and will do whatever I have to for him/her and every stretch mark, sleepless night, nonstop discomfort, blood test, and pain from my sciatic nerves is more than worth having this amazing life grow in me. However, as all Mama’s know, you sacrifice a whole ton during pregnancy. And the list of hard stuff you can’t control keeps getting added to. Your body really is no longer your own.
I felt like I was having my style ripped away from me. That may not be a big thing to a lot of women, yet wearing clothes that are an outward expression of myself is important to me.
After I got over my little pity party, I decided I wasn’t going to waste money on clothes I hated. I was going to find shirts or dresses that made me happy. It took a lot of shopping trips but I did eventually find clothes that worked for me!
So I have made a list. . .
A few tips for you to dress up that beautiful belly in clothes that you L O V E!
1. Dont give up
You may find that perfect store for your style on the first try. Or maybe you won’t. Don’t give up! It is hard to drag your feet to a thousand different stores before finding what suits you, but trust me, once you do find that perfect store you will totally forget about the other stores that made you feel discouraged! Try to grab a friend to go with so that you aren’t feeling depressed all on your own!
I had my sister-in-law tag along with me and I told her that if all failed, we would grab ice cream and chocolate to eat away the frustration! All did not fail, but I still grabbed some frozen yogurt. . .
2. Ask a Friend
I texted a few friends who had already had kids whose maternity styles were similar to mine and asked them where their favourite stores were! I got a good list, but also had some friends offer me their maternity clothes because they were finished having any more kids! Free clothes. . . BONUS! You’re bound to find at least a shirt or two from that friend that works for your bump and fits your style!
3. Try Non-Maternity Clothes
Of course you need to get maternity pants because they are a gift from heaven, but it is pretty easy to get your hands on a few pairs you like. Tops and dresses however are another story. Finding cute maternity tops was a real struggle so I started looking at non maternity instead! You learn pretty quickly what kinds of fits and fabrics absolutely won’t work. Once you figure out what does work it can be pretty easy to track those items down! Majority of my “maternity” tops are not maternity at all! I had to obviously use larger sizes than I was used to in order to cater to my bump, which actually ended up being more comfortable to wear than a lot of my normal clothes!
4. Never Say “No” till its Zipped and Clipped
If you are going to try buying tops that aren’t maternity, you really can’t tell if something isn’t going to work unless you try it on. A few of the shirts I ended up loving almost didn’t make it into the change room because by looking at it I didn’t think it would work. And if you are the type of person who never tries clothes on because you know what works and what doesn’t without the hassle of going into a change room, you need to spend the first few shopping trips trying on the clothes that catch your eye. 95% of the clothes I thought would work ended up looking awful, not fitting over my bump, or were a workout to get off. Your body is changing like crazy and will continue to change, so take the extra time to try the clothes on at the store. It will save you from having to travel back to the store in order to return items.
5. Wear an Undershirt
Problem with maternity jeans is that the fabric band starts super low on the pants so shirts that fit over your bump may not cover the band. This problem can be easily fixed by wearing either a long undershirt the same colour as your pants, or the same colour as your shirt. But when shopping for tops, you can’t bring along ten different coloured undershirts! I wore black pants with a black comfortable undershirt each trip so that I could really tell if a shirt would work with my bump. If the shirt works, you can take it home and pair it with different pants and a separate undershirt that neatly covers the belly band.
Happy Hunting. . .
Hopefully these five tips will help you stay connected to your sense of style during pregnancy! Being pregnant is so fun, but so much less frustrating when you can still express yourself through the clothes you WANT to wear!
Something else I did to help with picking clothes on a daily basis was to pack up all the clothes that did NOT fit. That way they aren’t even in my sights as an option to wear! If I don’t see them I won’t try to wear them, and I won’t get discouraged when they don’t fit! PLUS when baby is here and I start working my way back to fitting into my pre-pregnancy clothes I can be excited to have a ton more clothes to wear again!
More exciting and fun blogs coming to you soon!