Much has been written about the glories of pregnancy. Morning sickness seems to be the most common symptom, but many women find it difficult to concentrate, almost as though every hormone in your body is yelling ‘BABY’ and making sure that the coming happy event is the only thing that matters.
But life goes on. Growing a baby takes time and in that time our routine continues much as before, split between work and home. First time mothers are often surprised at how quickly their bodies begin to change and wonder whether they will ever feel well again. Then, usually around the end of the 1st trimester, when the baby is, unbelievably, almost fully formed and just waiting to grow, we start to feel well again and can begin to think about how we look. When not working on the baby’s room, the baby’s clothes and the baby’s toys, we think about how we are going to get through the next six months.
For most of us, work is not an option. So despite our ever changing size and shape, just in order to survive, we need to think about clothes. Not the little woolly clothes and shoes that occupy our dreams, the practical necessities. Unless you are wealthy, or plan on a very large family, maternity clothes, though supposedly designed for this phase of life, are an expensive luxury. Whatever size you are now, at full term, you will be bigger, usually around the middle, though the bust also enlarges. When your waist becomes a memory, what should you wear?
It is not necessary to sacrifice style for comfort. Your baby bump is not something to be ashamed of, so don’t get stuck in black or navy blue (unless your work dress code requires it) wear something that makes you feel good. You don’t need to buy specific maternity clothes as long as you stick with styles that will cope with the coming bulge. Typically these include anything run from a yoke, anything with a gathered neckline and anything with an Empire style high waist. For some reason the last of these is the most popular with the maternity clothes companies, yet may not be the best buy, while bust size increases early in pregnancy to cope with the temporary enlargement of the mothers heart, cup size increases towards the end, something which can alter the fit of empire styles quite drastically.
Gathered necklines can give a tent like appearance if they are round, but V necks can be very flattering, giving the appearance of a longer neck area which in turn, compliments the face. Many women find their skin ‘blooms’ in pregnancy, so the extra emphasis on the face is more than justified. For women used to wearing blouses and skirts, the move to dresses (and jackets) can be the most economical, as most pants, with the exception of leggings (which most women find really comfortable) simply can’t cope with the bulge in its final stages.
Clothes for day are not the only consideration for the ‘Lady in waiting’. Your bump will need to be clothed at night, and traditional pajamas are unlikely to work. And of course a suitable nightgown may be the most important item in your hospital suitcase. You need something for that first picture, holding the baby and presenting him or her to the world. You will want to feed your baby, and many lovely nightgowns make that difficult. Look for one with simple openings or ribbon straps.These work very well in providing access, both for your doctor who may need to do tests or take samples, and for your hungry baby. Ideally choose a nightgown with a matching jacket, then you be able to provide your baby with full access when required AND look fabulous for all those visitors who have come to meet the new person in your life.
Every baby is special and pregnancy an amazing experience. Hormones make moods volatile and may women find that while they may have been relatively unemotional before, during and after pregnancy they are more sensitive, and find it far easier to cry. All the more reason then to use every tool a women can to make sure you feel good. Choosing your day and nightclothes carefully for the right fit, style, fabric and color can provide a much needed boost at a time when we are all at our most vulnerable.