First off, I know this isn't a mommy blog, but it is My Life on a Plate, so I figured this fits into the "my life" part. I'm still learning a lot a lot about pregnancy and parenting, but I do think I found out what works for me in terms of maternity wear. Of course, every woman has a different sense of style, but here's what worked for me:
1. At 26 weeks (about 6 months) pregnant, I can still wear some regular clothing. I can still fit maxi dresses, loose tops (especially if they are a size or two larger than my pre-pregnancy size), babydoll-style tops and dresses, and all of my accessories (scarves, jewelry, etc.). I've turned to maternity wear for pants and some dresses.
2. Shoes are becoming a situation. I've heard that your feet can grow up to a full size during pregnancy (and not return to the pre-pregnancy size). Most of my 8 1/2 shoes still fit, but they aren't comfortable. Anything with a heel is out. My peep toe flats cut into my toes. Fortunately, warm weather is here and I prefer to wear sandals anyway. I've invested in three new pair of sandals that have good arch support (Cole Haan, Mephisto, and Zealand). My goal was to not wear "mom shoes", but to have something flat, stylish and comfortable for hot weather. I'm really pleased with my new sandals and I can see myself wearing them into the fall.
3. I never thought I'd say this, but most of my new clothing is coming from JC Penney. Yes, the same place where I used to shop for sheets and curtains is now my go-to spot for maternity wear, especially tees and pants. I tried Target, but most of their stuff is online only (and more expensive than JCP). I tried the specialty stores in the mall, but I'm not into paying $90 for a pair of maternity jeans (plus the styles were a bit young for me). I was able to grab cropped black pants, dark denim, gray slacks, a few dresses, and solid tees for less than $25 a piece at JCP. Once I accessorize with my own earrings, scarves and shoes the pieces look more professional and up-to-date.
4. I didn't initially realize that I'd have to invest in new undergarments to accomodate my changing body. Target has some nice options for maternity underwear. Nordstrom has worked for me for bras.
5. Although many people tell me that being pregnant in the summer is hard, I'm happy that I got out of buying a maternity coat and more structured clothing for work due to the timing of my pregnancy. Summer tends to bring a more relaxed dress code in the workplace, so I can often wear the same clothes at home that I wear to work (with a few adjustments).
The biggest thing I've learned so far is that every woman and every pregnancy is different. People told me all different tales of woe before and during this pregnancy. I've experienced some things, but others haven't happened (yet). I'll admit that I'm finding it difficult to sleep comfortably, but that's part of growing a little human. I expected to gain a ton of weight, but my weight gain has been modest and my appetite has been light. As long as the baby is growing well, I'm okay with that.
I'm learning so much and still feeling so blessed to bring this child into the world. With less than 100 days until my due date, I'll be meeting him soon!