Friday, May 11, 2012

Maternity Gear

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!


  1. With kid number one, I had sciatica so bad I could barely walk...unless I was wearing heels. People kept telling me heels and pregnancy didn't go together, but I guess they tilted my pelvis enough to relieve the pressure. The higher the heel, the better I felt.

    He was born in September, and I carried low, so by the end of it, some of my maternity tops were a bit small, so I layered them with tanks to keep my belly covered. My SIL, who had a July baby, had a gigantic belly so she wore pretty much dresses because nothing else covered her.

    Baby number two was a November baby, and it doesn't get really cold around here usually until December or later. I didn't want to buy a lot of maternity clothes I'd wear for just a short time and then never again, so I wore mostly jeans, maternity tanks and regular longsleeved vneck tees from Target. I was covered and comfortable, and was able to use the LS tees under scrubs for work after I went back.

    When you're finished with them, there is a huge resale value for preworn maternity clothes. Either through consignment stores or websites. I lent mine out to family and friends and they were happy to not have to spend the money.

    My feet didn't change size, but my eyesight changed dramatically. Something to do with the extra fluids changing the shape of my eyes, and I already have astigmatism. I needed to get new contacts, and my vision never went back after delivery.

  2. Also, the search for a maternity bathing suit was a total PITA. Either super ugly (think horizontal stripes) or no room in the chest! My H asked, "Don't they know pregnant women have big boobs?" I ended up wearing my usual bikini and loosing the ties a little. People stared, but the maternity suit was SO not worth it.

  3. I remember having to buy new underwear and thinking "do they make maternity underwear?" I'm sure they do somewhere but I never saw them. I just moved up a size and was happy again. I loved maternity shopping, but it can get expensive.

    Thanks for sharing all these little tidbits. And a happy early Mother's Day to you!

  4. Kayris, I can't even begin to think about the bathing suit issue! I don't consider myself the bikini-type pre-pregnancy, so I feel that is out of the question (although lots of people have recommended that option). I'm going to have to figure out something because I'd really like to enjoy the outdoor pool at the Y.

  5. Congrats on your pregnancy! I found lots of nice, cheap things on Old, yeah it sucks that you can't try it on, but the price is right and returns are free if you are just exchanging for size. I also am having shoe issues, but I'm not buying anything new now. I did have to get a size larger underwear at VS to get me through the pregnancy, and I'm sure I will appreciate them for my future 'fat days' too! I spent a lot on maternity clothes (almost 1k) but I am very particular about what I wear and couldn't just put on any old stuff at work. That is probably less than what I spend on clothes during 9 months of my non-pregnant life, anyway....yeah, I have a problem! ha

  6. very pregnancy is different for each woman i gained a good 25-30 lbs, swollen feet 3rd trimester, uncomfortable sleeping, heartburn like crazy, outrageous peeing (before and after), moody, always forever hungry could never get full! but what a joy it was to see him once he came out-never ending LOVE. congrats

  7. I wish the Gap Christiana still had a maternity section. (The prices were much better than the online.) I did like Old Navy. Other than that, tunics in a larger size normally work. I had a lot of long sleeve tees for my pregnancy. So I'm currently rotating the same five dresses with no shame. I don't even care any more. I'm just counting down. These contractions...uggh! Having some as I type. So beyond over them...


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