When do I need to start wearing maternity wear?
There is no specific time, it is more a matter of when your ordinary clothes start to feel tight. Bear in mind that you will also take a few months after the birth to return to your pre-pregnant size, so you can potentially get 12 months use of out your maternity wear.
Do I really need to wear maternity wear?
No, but the baggy shirt and sailor dress look went out in the 60s. There has never been such good choices of maternity wear, so why not really celebrate your new form with some fabulous clothes that fit the pregnant shape, and more importantly they stretch as you grow.
Can I not just buy bigger sizes of normal clothes?
You can, but you don’t know how your shape will change month by month. Maternity wear is made in stretch fabric and has room for growth in all the right places. You will look more elegant in well-fitted clothes than baggy over-sized pieces. Buying in larger sizes can be false economy.
What materials should I look for?
Linens and cottons are cool for summer – you may suffer in the heat with the increased blood flow, so cooling fabrics are important. Skin may become sensitive to man-made fabrics, resulting in hot, scratchy rashes. Clothing made with natural fibres is recommended in these cases.
Lycra is great for stretch and fit, and microfibres are breathable allowing air to circulate to keep you more comfortable
Layers are also useful, some women experience increased perspiring, so layers can help, to cool off and warm up as you do.
Cotton jersey is super soft and super stretchy, ideal for around your sensitive tummy.
What styles are best?
Look for rouched sides that can be gathered or loosened with your bump. Extra length on tops is important. Non-pregnancy tops tend to be too short, exposing your midriff.
Wraps are wonderful, enhancing your cleavage and giving great bump coverage.
Ties help to gather in the extra fabric on tops and dresses in the early stages and to loosen in the last trimester.
What size do I need to buy?
In most cases you should just purchase your pre-pregnant sizes. Have a check through the size guide section to check your pre-pregnant size.
The only thing you need to re-measure for is your maternity bra and nursing bra.
What about footwear?
Most people’s feet swell during the later stages, and often sandals and flip flops are the only thing you can wear. Bear this is mind when selecting your wardrobe – choose items that are going to look good with flatter, more comfortable shoes.
Do I need a maternity bra?
Most women experience an increase in cup size once they become pregnant. It is important to support your breasts properly to avoid damage and back ache. Please refer to the Size and Fit section for further information.
Do I need a sleep bra?
Not necessarily, but you may find your new breast size uncomfortable at night, so a soft support top with no adjusters or buckles may help you get a more easy night’s sleep. The other advantage is that as you get closer to the birth your breasts may start to leak, so you can insert breast pads into the sleep bra.
...its all in the waist
Jeans are clearly a staple in any wardrobe and that shouldn't change because you are pregnant, but maternity jeans come in many shapes and styles. So we have developed a brief guide to help pregnant ladies choose the perfect pair of jeans for pregnancy.
The biggest choice you have to make is your waistband style, so here are our pros and cons for each of the styles:
Popular with first time pregnant women are the under-bump style. These sit low on your waist and naturally curve under your bump. Many women prefer under the bump as their tummies are sensitive, and they don't like anything on it. The downside of under the bump is that you will need to invest in maternity tops, as your normal t-shirts and tops are not going to cover your expanding tum.
If you choose below you can always invest in a separate bump band to cover up any exposed skin.
With below the bump jeans and trousers look for how they expand with your bump. The important thing here is that they do expand, but you can still keep them reasonably tight, otherwise you will spend your days hiking your jeans back up! The majority have elasticated sides, internal button adjusters or elasticated waistbands with a tie-adjuster. All our jeans have one of these options; check out the product information for exact details.
This style sits high on your waist with a soft and supportive full jersey panel.
Many women feel these jeans offer two key advantages, the support of the jersey panel and the comfort of what is essentially a soft elastic waistband.
They may not look sexy but you can hardly see them once they are on, and they do offer the assurance that if you stretch up you don't expose too much flesh and they are so very comfy.
Both styles can also be worn after baby arrives, while you get rid of your 'jelly-belly'! (no-one tells you about your jelly belly, do they!!)
There is also an on-the-bump style that sits at the fullest part of your waist, but we don't currently stock this style, as they are not as comfortable and can't necessarily be worn after the birth.
Before you take the plunge with your maternity jeans you could always try a waist band expander from Emma-Jane Maternity. This neat little item allows you to expand your current jeans with a simple panel, and gives you a few extra weeks of use out of your trousers and skirts before you take the plunge with maternity wear.
You shouldn't need to go up a size - maternity jeans are specifically cut to accommodate your bump.
Quality is key when buying maternity jeans. Elastane, lycra, spandex - call it what you will - is an important factor in maternity jeans. The material needs an element of stretch, as it is not only your tum that gets a little bigger. So look for some denim with an element of stretch, but not too much as you may get sagging around the bottom and knees. In our opinion, 2% is the perfect amount - and the majority of our jeans conform to this guidance.
Everyone's bump is different so there are no hard and fast rules as to what suits best, but we have spent time and energy looking at many brands and hope we have brought you some of the best.