Now that I’m nearly at the end of my pregnancy, I feel I can talk with authority about maternity clothes.
I’ve survived nearly nine months of gestation, and have been wearing these things since probably about week ten. I was very bloated from about week seven onwards, and was definitely into maternity trousers at least by the second trimester.
Where did I buy maternity clothes?
eBay. eBay eBay eBay. Seriously. This is where I got most of my maternity clothes. I’m a fairly standard size, which helps (size 10 pre-pregnancy and 5’3).
I ended up with an amazing maternity wardrobe, lots of brands like Seraphine and Jojo Maman Bebe, but paid full price for none of it.
My favourite maternity outfit was a black and white striped Seraphine jersey dress that honestly I’ll probably wear later on too as it’s not stretched out and is lovely and loose.
I had some things that were great and some that were less great, but I didn’t care so much about the stuff that didn’t work out if I didn’t spend so much on it!
The only things I bought new were some jeans (Amazon and H&M), a jersey dress (Lidl!), a work skirt (Mothercare), two pairs of yoga pants (Mothercare), a couple of shirts (H&M and New Look) and bras (M&S).
What did I end up needing?
I have relied on:
- Maternity jersey dresses x 2
- Maternity sundresses x 2 (it was a very hot summer and I could maybe have done with another)
- Maternity jeans
- Maternity yoga pants x 2 (but could easily have got away with one!)
- Maternity maxi skirt (not an essential but so good in the summer!)
- Maternity pencil skirt
- Maternity shirts x 4
- Well-fitting bras x 2 (at a time – get new ones at least every trimester!)
That’s probably all I absolutely needed – and if I were more on top of washing, I could probably have coped with less!
You don’t need maternity everything.
I have not bought a single pair of maternity knickers, for example. My usual M&S midis work just fine. I’ve got some in sizes 12 and 14 for those days where I’m feeling a bit larger (and in black for after the birth!), but I’m generally still wearing my usual pre-pregnancy pants.
Maternity leggings, it turns out, are hideously uncomfortable on me. So I bought some larger non maternity jeggings from Asda George and just push them down under the bump. They only cost £8!
I’m continuing to wear my old long stretchy H&M vests – they fit over the bump just fine, and I pair them with a button-down shirt (again, non-maternity). I can keep the shirt mostly open, and it’ll be a good outfit to repeat later on when I’m feeding.
Here are some example outfits: none of these tops are maternity.
What did I not use?
The aforementioned maternity leggings. I bought a two-pack from New Look very early on, but it turns out that I’m not so comfortable in massively over the bump things. I don’t know if I just have a weirdly shaped bump, but they don’t stay up properly. Then, as they progress downwards, they dig in painfully!
The same went for maternity tights. I ended up going bare-legged, which was fine most of the time as I was largely pregnant over summer.
I’m wearing maternity/nursing bras now, but didn’t start until the third trimester. Until then, I just wore non-underwired bras. Debenhams have a great selection, and I don’t think I spent more than about £10 on any one, thanks to the Blue Cross sale.
What else to consider?
Shoes! My feet haven’t swollen up too much, but there was no way I could wear heels past the first trimester.
I spent the summer living in my beautiful Birkenstocks, even to work. They’re obviously not maternity specific; I wore them pre-pregnancy and I’ll be wearing them later on too.
Now that I’m on maternity leave, it’s Skechers all the way. I need something I can just slip on, because I can’t bend down to actually get to my feet any more!
Also, socks. I never considered this before, but my ankles have swollen a bit and most socks dig in. Also, my feet are much sweatier than they used to be. I’m pretty much exclusively wearing bamboo socks right now. TK Maxx usually have a good range!
Totting it all up, I think I probably spent about £200 on maternity-specific clothes. I could have gone cheaper, honestly, but I’ve been working throughout my pregnancy, we’ve had invitations to three weddings, and I admit I went a bit overboard before I worked out what really worked for me.