Dressing your baby bump—with your favorite everyday clothing items!

Tips for affordable, practical, and stylish pregnancy fashion!

By Whitney Butters Wilde

Baby blankets as soft as clouds. Tiny socks and shoes. The sweet smell of baby lotion. Figuring out that perfect theme to decorate the nursery. There’s nothing that compares to the excitement of welcoming a little addition to your family.

As exciting as the baby prep can be, moms-to-be find themselves weighed down — literally. Depending on the mom’s pre-pregnancy weight, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Centers for Disease Control recommend a gain of anywhere from 11 to 40 pounds.

The weight gain is for a good cause, of course, but it certainly presents a challenge when it comes to figuring out what to wear. Trust me, I know. My husband and I are expecting our first child — a baby boy — in March (wahoo!), so this is an obstacle I’m currently experiencing.

Transitioning from your regular wardrobe to maternity wear can be difficult. While you certainly will need to add maternity staples to your closet, such as maternity pants, you don’t need to completely abandon your regular wardrobe for nine months. There are several ways to adapt pre-pregnancy items for your expanding belly — especially in the early stages of that burgeoning bump.

Here are a few ideas I have found helpful as a new member of the “bump club”:

Single out the stretchy.
Stretchy fabrics are perfect transition items. Whether it’s a stretchy top, modest skirt or dress, fabric with a little give allows you to comfortably accommodate growth.

Ultimate Tee Natural
Sweet Salt Ultimate Tees have a bit of stretch in them, making them a great first and second trimester pregnancy staple!

Sweet Salt’s modest Ultimate Layering Tees are all made of a 95 percent cotton, 5 percent spandex blend, which allows them to stretch over your growing belly. Every belly is different, but I was able to wear my “normal size” Sweet Salt tees all the way through my second trimester; and from there, I’ve just sized up.

Bring on the baggy.
Right now is a great time to be pregnant because baggy clothes are in style. But even during times when tighter clothes are all the rage, you can still go through your closet to find anything that has a bit of a looser fit or an empire waist and use those items to transition you into maternity wear. Especially if you aren’t ready to announce to the world that you’re expecting, baggy clothes allow you to keep that belly under wraps.

Belt it out.
When you are ready to show off your bump, use belts and ribbons to turn baggy tops and modest dresses into empire waists that accentuate your belly: just wear the belt at the top of the bump.

Physically separate out the clothes you can still wear.
If you’re anything like me, you have an embarrassing amount of clothes in your closet. Instead of having to sort through all of your clothes every day to find something that works as maternity wear, separate anything you can wear into a dedicated “maternity clothes” spot in your closet. This makes finding something to wear quick and easy and makes it so you don’t have to be reminded every day of all the clothes you can’t wear for the time being.

If you don’t feel comfortable in it, don’t wear it.
Being pregnant has been one of the most exciting things I’ve ever experienced, but it’s certainly required me to adjust to my changing body. Sometimes you feel like a beached whale that can’t possibly get any bigger, then you realize you still have months to go! Add the potential for nausea, an achy back, swollen legs and feet and more, and you might not feel anything remotely like yourself. Don’t let your clothes be one more thing that makes you feel uncomfortable. Try to plan ahead on what you’re going to wear so you can try it on and make sure it feels comfortable and makes you feel like the beautiful woman that you are!

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