What I Learned About Clothes During Pregnancy and Immediately After

1. Interim jeans are worthwhile. Interim jeans are ones in a size bigger than your regular size. I wish I had bought some before buying maternity jeans rather than struggling with using a hairband to hold my pre-pregnancy jeans together. Because now that my pregnancy is over, maternity jeans no longer fit, but neither do my pre-pregnancy jeans. So I’ve invested in a couple of pairs of interim jeans to wear until I DO get back into the pre-pregnancy ones (because I WILL!). I could have had more wear out of them by buying them in early pregnancy though.

2. You can wear pre-pregnancy hoodies and baggy jumpers without stretching them. Many of the T-shirts I wore in late pregnancy were not expensive “Maternity” T-shirts, but regular Lycra T-shirts and they’ve all retained their shape just fine. The unseasonably mild temperatures at the end of my pregnancy meant that I got away without needing a maternity coat, but I lived in warm hoodies instead and they are also undamaged. The drawback of this is that I will not be able to tell my child/ren not put their knees inside their jumper “because you’ll stretch it” in the way that my own mother did!

3. It is perfectly possible to get away with buying larger sizes of basic clothes such as stretchy tees, rather than buying expensive maternity t-shirts, despite what the akers of maternity clothes will tell you. See the above point about non-stretching. The worst thing that will happen in the T-shirt will be longer at the back that at the front over the bump. So what?!

4. Lots of maternity jeans and trousers do not have pockets. But many do, if you search for them.

5. Maternity jeans are more comfortable, and fit better, than almost any other kind of jeans I’ve ever worn. Why all jeans do not have a stretchy wasitband, I do not yet understand! Although obviously it would need to be a stretchy waistband without the shape to cover a beach ball!

6. A hairband is an excellent accessory for prolonging the life of pre-pregnancy trousers and jeans, and costs a fraction of the price of expensive proprietary bump band extender thingys. However, see point one about interim jeans.

7. Maternity bras are not sexy. Or particularly supportive. Ironic, no?

8. Maternity knickers are not required. I was quite shocked when I learned of the existence of specific maternity knickers at about 37 weeks pregnant. I continued to wear my own pre-pregnancy knickers throughout pregnancy, although I‘ll admit that from six months on I only wore boy-shorts style ones. They sat perfectly comfortably just below the bump. I would not advise spending the extortionate amount of money asked for knickers with a bit of a cut away for the bump.

9. Slip-on shoes and flip flops, however, are a must have. Bending down to put your shoes on whilst eight-and-a-half months pregnant is possible, but why strain yourself? Likewise following a c-section. And when your feet balloon to twice their normal size due to hot weather and too much standing in late pregnancy, you’ll be very glad of a pair of flip flops. Even in October!

10. Maternity clothing catalogues are very seductive. They are full of women who looking absolutely blooming, with their neat little bumps as they skip in a sprightly fashion along the sea front. They sell an ideal that if you spend £50 on that tunic, you too will look sleek, neat and gorgeous, rather than hot, tired and ungainly. It’s not true. And once the baby is born, avoid like the plague. Those lovely images will have you missing your pregnant body and wanting to do it all again!

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