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What Maternity Clothing Essentials Do I Need?

What Maternity Clothing Essentials Do I Need?

Dressing during pregnancy can become a source of stress without the right maternity clothing essentials. As your body changes along with your growing baby, it’s crucial to invest in maternity clothing that’s comfortable and functional, but also makes you feel confident and stylish throughout this nine-month journey and beyond. 

Pregnant woman holding a glass of milk

What is the Difference Between Maternity Clothing and Regular Clothes?

Maternity clothing is specially designed to accommodate the changing shape of a pregnant person’s body throughout the entire journey of their pregnancy. This is because maternity wear is typically made with stretchier fabric, adjustable waistbands and straps, and extra belly room and longer lengths to cover your growing mid-section.

While you can definitely still wear regular clothes when you’re pregnant, keep in mind that these likely won’t have the extra space, stretch, or adjustable features that you’ll want as you get further along in your pregnancy. In order to avoid discomfort, you may have to invest in bigger sizes or more flowy clothing if you opt to not buy maternity wear.

What Are the 7 Types Of Maternity Clothing Essentials?

During pregnancy, your body changes in many ways, and there are all types of maternity clothing for every transition you’ll go through. Here are the seven maternity basics you’ll need for your wardrobe:

1. Maternity t-shirts and nursing tops 

These closet essentials have the extra length and stretch to accommodate your growing belly during pregnancy and, once your little one is here, will also provide easy access for breastfeeding. Maternity and nursing tops often feature empire waistlines, stretchy fabrics, and discreet openings or panels.

2. Maternity tank tops 

Meet your best friend for warm weather and temperatures. Maternity tank tops offer lightweight and breathable coverage, using stretchy fabrics and extra length to cover your bump. Some can also function as nursing tops, with front panels that easily clip on and off when you need access.

Nest Bump maternity tank top

3. Maternity and nursing dresses 

Maternity dresses flatter your changing body shape throughout pregnancy and provide comfort and style all-year round. These dresses come in a variety of styles that can be dressed up or down, and nursing dresses will have hidden nursing openings so you can breastfeed with ease. 

4. Maternity rompers 

Rompers make some of the cutest maternity outfits (in our opinion)! With their relaxed fit, adjustable waistband, and endless ways to style, maternity rompers make great first trimester clothes as well as cozy postpartum staples.

Nest Bump maternity romper

5. Maternity pants

Maternity pants offer stretchy and supportive or adjustable waistbands that help keep you comfy as your bump grows. Strut around with confidence in maternity styles like jeans, trousers, leggings, and more.

Nest Bump maternity leggings

6. Maternity joggers

When you want to feel ultra cozy or just need a breezier style to keep up with you as you prep for baby, maternity joggers are another stylish bottoms option for casual wear during pregnancy. Maternity joggers feature a slim-fitting silhouette, elasticized waistbands, stretchy fabrics, and a cinched ankle design.

7. Maternity shorts 

Whether the weather is getting warmer or you're feeling your hormonal-related temperature rising, maternity shorts are a fabulous way to stay cool and fashionable. Look for styles that feature stretchy waistbands and extra room for your baby bump. 

How Do You Style Maternity Essentials?

Choosing pregnancy clothing in basic color and styles gives you a range of options for mixing and matching to create different outfits. You can also add in a few of your timeless, non-maternity wardrobe as you find your pregnancy style.

When you prioritize comfort and choose fabrics that allow for breathability and flexibility throughout your pregnancy, you can feel confident that you’ll feel and look your best whether you’re dressing up or down, for work or play. 

Pregnant women wearing neutral clothing

Should I Wear A Nursing Bra When I’m Pregnant?

Nursing bras are a great option to add to your wardrobe if you’re expecting. Around weeks 6-8, you may start to notice your breasts growing larger due to the hormonal changes that prepare your body for breastfeeding once your baby is born. As your breasts grow larger, your regular bras will no longer offer the comfortable fit and support you need.

Nursing bras come in various styles and are made from soft, breathable fabrics for maximum comfort. They typically feature adjustable straps, easy-open nursing clips, and soft, stretchy fabrics.

When Should I Start Wearing Maternity Clothes?

It’s typical to start transitioning into maternity wear around the second trimester, which is between 12 and 16 weeks. Regular clothes may feel too snug for comfort as your precious baby bump grows.

It's important to emphasize that every body and pregnancy is unique. Expecting parents should start wearing maternity clothes based on their preferences and needs. Indicators that it's time to buy maternity wear can be when clothes start to feel restrictive or uncomfortable, or your bump becomes more prominent. (Read our guide for more: When Should I Start Wearing Maternity Clothes?)

What Clothing Fabrics Feel Best for Pregnancy?

Choosing the right fabrics during pregnancy is essential not only for comfort, but to also help you feel cooler as hormonal changes and baby’s growth raise your body temperature. Eco-friendly fabrics are also great options when you’re expecting since these feel gentle and soothing on even the most sensitive skin.

Some eco-friendly fabrics to consider during pregnancy are:

  • Cotton: This breathable and soft fabric is healthy and gentle on the skin. It allows for airflow and helps to keep you cool and comfortable. Organic cotton is even better, as it’s made without harmful toxins, so it’s better for you, your little ones, and the planet.
  • Bamboo: A soft, hypoallergenic, and eco-friendly fabric, bamboo's comfort is hard to top. This material has natural moisture-wicking and antibacterial properties, which help to keep you feeling fresh and comfortable all day.
  • Jersey: This stretchy knit fabric is known for its comfort and flexibility. It has a smooth texture, and it stretches to accommodate your growing belly while retaining its shape and providing support.
  • Spandex: This synthetic fibre has exceptional stretch and recovery properties. It is often blended with other fabrics like cotton or polyester to add flexibility and a supportive fit to maternity clothing.

At Nest Designs, we are known for oh-so-soft, eco-friendly, and responsibly sourced fabrics. Learn more about our fabrics here. 

Fabric materials

Can you wear maternity clothes postpartum?

Yes, many women continue to wear maternity clothes after giving birth since these provide the flexibility, comfort, and often, nursing features (if you’re breastfeeding) that you need as you recover from birth. It took 40+ weeks to grow your little bub and it may take some time for your belly and body to return to its pre-pregnancy shape and size.

The soft and cozy maternity basics that you wore during your pregnancy journey can help you continue to feel comfortable, supported, and confident during your postpartum journey. 

Looking and Feeling Your Best is Essential 

Pregnancy is an incredible journey full of both beautiful changes and challenging ones. Worrying about what to wear should be the last thing on your mind. With comfortable and classic maternity basics by Nest Designs in your closet, you can feel confident knowing you’ll always have maternity wear that will suit your personal style throughout this journey.