When To Start Wearing Maternity Clothes?

When you find out that you’re pregnant, you might be super excited. After all, you’ll have an adorable little baby. The next thought is usually, “What should we do to prepare?”

In the midst of planning for your baby’s arrival, you may have temporarily forgotten about the part before pregnancy itself. There are so many things that expectant mothers experience during their pregnancy, and it’s essential to take care of yourself while waiting for your baby’s arrival and after.

Pregnancy changes a lot of things about a woman’s body, and it also means at some point, your current clothes may not be wearable for a while. That’s when you need to invest in maternity clothes. When does that time come? Let’s find out.

When Will I Need To Start Wearing Maternity Clothes?

Like many pregnancy-related changes, there isn’t really a one-size-fits-all answer to when pregnant mothers will need to start wearing maternity clothes. The best rule to follow is that when your clothes start to feel uncomfortable, you’ll probably need to start wearing maternity clothes.

Generally, this happens between the 14th and 20th weeks of pregnancy. However, some mothers will choose to wear looser clothing until later in the second trimester or the beginning of the third trimester. It’s really up to you and what feels most comfortable.

Between the 14th and 16th week, your baby bump will usually start showing, and around the 20th week, your uterus will reach up to your belly button. Of course, the effect these have on your clothing will depend on several factors. 

What Are Some Signs That I’ll Need Maternity Clothes Soon?

There are some things that you can look out for to determine when you’ll need to start wearing maternity apparel. One of the most significant signs that you’ll be needing maternity clothes is that your baby bump is becoming extremely visible when you wear tighter clothes. If you prefer to wear loose clothes, you may be good for a few weeks after that.

You’ll also start having trouble buttoning up your pants. When you’re pregnant, the baby bump can get in the way of buttoning up pants when the waist is set at the size you normally wear. 

Some jeans or khakis have elastics that you can loosen so that they’ll fit longer. You may also be able to wear them by using an elastic or rubber band and inserting it through the buttonhole, and hooking the two ends around the button.

You can also put a pregnancy band on over unbuttoned jeans, keeping them up and preventing the button from showing. 

You may also notice your breast getting larger since they’ll be preparing to feed your little one. Some people need to get maternity bras or maternity shirts because their chests will grow bigger before they need new clothes because of their baby bump.

What Can Affect When I Need Maternity Clothes?

Not everyone will need maternity clothes around the same time. Some mothers need to wear them earlier, while others can wait longer. Various aspects can affect how slowly or quickly your body will change.

Most of these are related to what will cause your baby bump to appear sooner or later, like your body type and how many babies you carry. 

Body Type

Things like height and weight can affect when you need maternity apparel. Taller women will be able to wait longer since there is more room for the baby and uterus to grow lengthwise. Shorter women typically show sooner and will therefore need maternity clothes sooner.

Weight can also affect when you make the switch to maternity clothes. Slender frames might call for maternity apparel around the 14-week mark, while curvy frames might be able to wait until closer to the third trimester.

Number of Babies

The number of babies in a womb will definitely affect how soon you’ll need to add to your maternity wardrobe. Mothers expecting only one baby can wait much longer than those expecting twins or triplets. 

The rate at which you start showing is much faster if you’re expecting two or more babies, primarily because they’re taking up more space than one baby.

Early Pregnancy

Some mothers will need maternity clothes early on in pregnancy. One of the common side effects of pregnancy is gassiness and constipation, which leads to bloating. If you’re experiencing these symptoms, you may need maternity clothes early on. However, loose-fitting clothes may work just as well.

On the other hand, morning sickness can also affect how soon you will need maternity clothes. Some mothers experience severe morning sickness, which causes them to lose weight. It may take a while for a mother to gain that weight back, especially if the morning sickness continues to later trimesters.

Fortunately, most mothers who experience morning sickness will only have it during the first trimester. It may take some time, but eventually, it’ll be over.

What Size Should I Buy?

Finding the right size of clothes may sometimes be tricky. It seems like every store has a different sizing system, so once you find the perfect size for you, it can be aggravating to learn that you’ll need to get new clothes that need to be bigger to accommodate your growing bump.

Fortunately, maternity clothes are actually easy to shop for. All you need to do is get the same size clothes that you normally wear. Maternity clothing is really just the clothes you would normally wear with some extra room in the front for your growing baby.

Maternity bras can be a little more difficult, but you should be able to get them in roughly the same size that you wear currently. Most maternity bras have plenty of row hooks so that you can adjust the size accordingly.

If necessary, you may want to get fitted for a maternity bra to make sure that you are getting enough support.

Shopping for maternity clothes will actually be one of the simplest things you can do during pregnancy.

What Will I Need?

Most maternity clothes are needed for a few months (but can be totally comfy in the postpartum period). You may need them for up to nine months, depending on when you start wearing them and how long you’ll need them after your baby is born. If you plan on having more children, you can reuse them, but replacing your entire closet with maternity clothes probably won’t be worth it.

Generally speaking, you’ll only need a few of each type of clothing, like:

  • Two to four maternity shirts
  • A plain dress or two
  • A skirt
  • A maxi dress
  • A jacket (depending on where you live and how cold it gets)
  • A formal outfit (for business meetings or a nice dinner)
  • Two pairs of maternity pants, like leggings or jeans
  • Comfortable, flat shoes, ideally ones that you can slip on yourself
  • Cotton underwear (there is maternity underwear you can buy, but that may not be necessary)
  • 3-in-1 belly wrap

Pregnancy Apparel in the Postpartum

You should be able to wear some of your other clothes that are stretchy or loose, like long tops or cardigans. Belly bands can also help if you want to continue wearing your jeans. It’s important to keep in mind the weather. If your baby is born in the winter, you might want warmer maternity clothes than if they are born in the summer.

You may want to get a maternity bra, but if you decide to breastfeed, investing in nursing bras might be more helpful. You can also find nursing tops and dresses that also can be used as maternity clothes, especially since it will be a while before you can start wearing your old clothes again.

It takes a few weeks before your uterus will return to its average size, so you will need maternity wear at least until that happens.


Preparing for Changes During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is an exciting time. After all, it means there’s a baby on the way. There are so many exciting points during your development, like when your bump starts showing when you feel your baby kick for the first time, and when you can start wearing maternity clothes.

For some mothers, maternity clothes will be needed early on, while others may be able to wait longer. All you need to do is pay attention to your body and its needs. It truly all depends on what you’re comfortable with.

Each milestone means that your little one is going to arrive soon. You’re one step closer to meeting that adorable baby growing in your womb. Even though your baby is important, you should remember to take some time to care for yourself. After all, moms (and dads) need care and love too.


Maternity clothes | Pregnancy Birth and Baby

Vomiting and morning sickness | NHS

When Do I Start Wearing Maternity Clothes? | Regional Medical Center