What Are The Right Clothes To Wear During Pregnancy?

Wearing comfortable clothes during pregnancy is essential to facilitate easy movement and give space to the baby bump. A pregnant woman’s body goes through various changes, both internally and externally. Therefore, maternity clothes help provide comfort to the mother and allow space for the baby to grow.

Moreover, a pregnant woman might experience various kinds of physical discomfort and pain during this time. Comfortable wear allows her to flex and also provide relief from the discomfort.

Read on to know more about the importance of wearing comfortable clothes when pregnant. We also suggest some types of clothes you can try wearing and give you tips on choosing the right clothes to add to your pregnancy wardrobe that offers comfort and style.

In This Article

Maternity Clothing Styles

Image: IStock

It has become a popular trend to wear fine quality and well-designed clothes during the pregnancy period. Most pregnant women today are no longer trying to hide or cover up their pregnancy; instead, they are choosing different varieties of garments that fit into their new shape. Some women like to dress in a very subdued way during pregnancy, a few like to show their bump, and some like to hide it. Pregnancy wear is available in different styles to suit all three expectations!

Choosing the Right Pregnancy Clothes

It is most important to choose the best clothes to wear during pregnancy. Dressing up during the time of pregnancy is also fun, as it boosts the self-confidence and sense of beauty in pregnant women. Here are some do’s and don’ts of pregnancy style for the expecting mother (1):

  • Choose light and stretchy clothes; do not wear extremely snug or figure-hugging outfits.
  • Pick lighter fabrics if you feel warmer during pregnancy.

Image: IStock

  • You can choose traditional clothes that are tailored to your shape & style and are within your budget.
  • Wear clothes that provide belly support.
  • Avoid tight bras, slacks, garters, belts, and knee socks as they restrict the blood flow in the legs that could lead to varicose veins.
  • Keep your garments simple and flaunt any dress that you like, but be confident about it.

The Various Aspects To Choose Appropriate Maternity Clothing For You

You can spend on your pregnancy clothes depending on your lifestyle, budget, etc. You can also choose clothes according to your professional guidelines, i.e., if you work in the corporate sector, you are required to go for the crisp office look. But never compromise your comfort!

One of the most important factors to keep in mind while choosing maternity or pregnancy dresses is your comfort level while you are wearing them. Your clothing should evolve as your body changes every week. Pick clothes that give you more breathing room – think zipped pants and skirts. Wear a long shirt to cover the zipped skirts or pants.

1. Maternity Wear on Your Budget:

Often, women tend to be conscious about their looks and how their clothing size changes during the various stages of their pregnancy, which is why it is recommended to spend on good-quality maternity wear. There are several options available both in retail stores and online shopping websites for all types of budgets. We suggest some of the following:-

  • Wrap tops during pregnancy are simple and cheapest things that can be easily adjusted as you expand.
  • Tunic tops too, are attractive, but make it a point to stick to fabrics that are soft, comfortable and breathable.

Try to wear natural fibers since they are the best. Choose light prints and avoid bold, big prints. For a laid back feel, try to pick loose clothing like longer shirts with buttons.

protip_icon Quick tip
Wear maxi dresses during pregnancy. They are fitted on the top and loose and flowy beneath the breasts, giving your growing belly enough room and comfort.

2. Comfort Counts the Most:

Image: Shutterstock

Fashion does play an important role when it comes to choosing clothes at the time of pregnancy, but keep in mind that you and your baby’s health comes first. Maternity pants at the waistline should be loose and have an elastic waistband that should not obstruct the baby’s movement or confine the blood flow to the stomach. The belly band, which holds up the unzipped jeans, skirts, pants, or low-slung jeans, should provide support around your waist. Additionally, do remember to wear comfortable shoes during your pregnancy.

Bloating is a common issue when you’re pregnant and can make wearing pants feel uncomfortable. Natalie Bennett, a mother of three, offers some helpful tips for picking comfortable clothes during pregnancy. She says, “I decided to say goodbye to pants with a fly, button, or lower waistlines. Instead, I opted for high-waisted basic leggings without having any band that cut across my tummy or lower down but went above my belly button. This helped a lot in dealing with the discomfort of gas and bloating I was going through (i).”

protip_icon Quick tip
Opt for over-the-belly yoga pants during pregnancy. They are not tight over the tummy but fit snugly and stay up throughout the pregnancy (7).

3. Make it Size Wise:

Maternity style clothes have added space for the belly and bust, as these body parts grow in the later months. Still, some pregnant women may prefer to stick to non-maternity. In that case, to ensure a comfortable fit, they should choose clothes that are larger in size than they normally wear. Depending on your weight you need to buy larger sized garments for your final months.

4. Maternity Clothing for Professionals:

Pregnancy for regular professionals demands more care and comfortable dressing, without breaching the standard professional dress codes, for one’s entire pregnant phase. Here is a simple guide for you to dress up smoothly for office time:-

  • For the first three months of pregnancy, you can stick to regular clothes.
  • For the later months, you may need maternity clothes that will be larger in size than your regular clothes.

Image: Shutterstock

  • Stick to subtle, complementary shades of clothing and soft fabrics that allow you to move around without being all uncomfortable and irritated.
  • Large shirts with buttons, slim fit pants and skirts should do the trick. You can also choose combinations of non-maternity tops and sweaters.

5. Exercise Clothing:

Exercising during pregnancy is highly recommended, provided it is approved by your doctor (2). Exercise makes sure both you and your baby are in good health. We suggest the following guide for you to choose the best pregnancy activewear:-

  • Maternity clothes selected during exercising should be airy, loose fitting and comfortable (3).
  • Stick to natural fibers like cotton, Lycra, spandex etc. These fabrics are breathable and help regulate body temperature.
  • Avoid tight clothes, choose clothes that are more flexible to move and stretch.
  • Ideally, clothes chosen during pregnancy should leave lots of space for the belly area.

6. The Inner Secret: “Bras”:

During the pregnancy months, your breasts get heavier and tender. This indicates shopping for new maternity undergarments. Selecting appropriate bra-size is important, as your breasts need proper care and support. Pregnancy allows the breasts to enlarge during this time, thus absolute comfort is a must.

  • Choose bras made of natural, breathable fabrics, such as cotton and silk ensures the sweat underneath or between the breasts gets absorbed and doesn’t bother you (4).

Image: IStock

  • The bra should support your back and shoulders, and yet, you should not feel strained while wearing it.
  • Make a good choice of the maternity bra, and make sure you don’t compromise on your comfort!
  • During pregnancy, stick to flat sandals and shoes and avoid high heels at all costs.
protip_icon Quick fact
You may go up by one or two cup sizes during pregnancy. Many women also broaden across the back to make space for the growing baby (4).

Frequently Asked Questions

1. When should a pregnant woman stop wearing tight clothes?

According to experts, most women can wear regular clothes for most of the first three months of their pregnancy (5). However, some may need loose-fitting clothing to stay comfortable. Typically, expectant mothers would need loose-fitting clothes from the fourth month to accommodate their growing bellies. Then, from the sixth month, most women may switch to maternity clothing, which is more comfortable and breathable.

2. Does wearing tight clothes during pregnancy affect the baby?

According to several doctors and midwives, wearing tight clothes during pregnancy can constrict blood flow to the fetus and cause discomfort to the mother. Additionally, it can inhibit natural body changes (6).

3. Can wearing tight clothes cause a miscarriage?

Miscarriage during pregnancy could happen due to several reasons. However, no studies or reports show that tight clothes can cause a miscarriage.

Pregnancy is a time like no other, and it offers innumerable reasons to pamper yourself. As your body starts growing, shopping for pregnancy clothes becomes mandatory. However, gone are the days when pregnancy clothes were supposed to hide the bump. Now, you should shop for stylish and comfortable clothes during pregnancy. Further, choose supportive clothing made of light materials that offer comfort to your growing belly and make you feel confident. Also buy maternity clothes for different occasions, such as office and workout clothes. Most importantly, remember to embrace your physical changes and flaunt your bump in style.

Infographic: Tips To Look And Feel Your Best During Pregnancy

With maternity fashion emerging as the new thing, most expecting mothers leave no stone unturned to look their best. However, comfort and confidence are factors you should not miss apart from looks when styling your pregnancy look. So skim through the tips in this infographic and take control of your style and well-being during pregnancy.

choosing the right pregnancy clothes (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Get high-quality PDF version by clicking below.

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Key Takeaways

  • Wearing comfortable clothing during pregnancy is important for the baby bump to grow and for the mother’s comfort and confidence.
  • Pregnancy fashion should be chosen carefully to balance comfort, style, and functionality.
  • Choosing lighter, sweat-absorbent, or breathable fabrics, natural fibers, and loose-fitted clothes with zips or buttons can be helpful.
  • Stomach-supporting garments, flat footwear, and maternity bras and pants can also help avoid strain and complications.
  • Shape-tailored and budget-friendly outfits such as wrap tops, tunics, and skirts can be practical choices.
  • However, tight or figure-hugging clothes, heavy fabrics with bold prints, tight bras, garters, belts, and knee socks should be avoided to ensure proper blood flow.

Personal Experience: Source

References

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. Dressing Comfortably During Pregnancy.
    https://www.marshfieldclinic.org/specialties/obgyn/pregnancy/care-tips/pregnancy-info-dressing-comfortably
  2. Exercise During Pregnancy.
    https://www.acog.org/womens-health/faqs/exercise-during-pregnancy
  3. Physical Activity and Exercise During Pregnancy and the Postpartum Period.
    https://www.acog.org/clinical/clinical-guidance/committee-opinion/articles/2020/04/physical-activity-and-exercise-during-pregnancy-and-the-postpartum-period
  4. Maternity bras and nursing bras: what you need to know.
    https://www.nct.org.uk/pregnancy/worries-and-discomforts/common-discomforts/maternity-bras-and-nursing-bras-what-you-need-know
  5. Maternity clothes.
    https://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/maternity-clothes
  6. Kenji Takehara et al.; (2015); Efficacy of advice from healthcare professionals to pregnant women on avoiding constrictive clothing around the trunk: a study protocol for a randomised controlled trial.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4593137/
  7. Comfortable Must-Have Clothes to Wear During Pregnancy.
    https://www.achildsdream.org/comfortable-must-have-clothes-to-wear-during-pregnancy
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