When will I need to buy maternity clothes?

When it comes to maternity clothes, every pregnant woman feels differently about whether to invest in them and the best times to do so.

Considering that every pregnant woman will display a unique shape from the beginning of their pregnancy right up until the end, there’s no hard and fast rule as to when to start purchasing those clothes which are considered for maternity purposes.

If you’re beginning to think about the idea of wearing maternity clothes during your pregnancy, here is some guidance to make help you make the best choice and discover how to find cheap maternity clothes.

When will I need to buy maternity clothes?

Are Maternity Clothes Necessary?

While maternity clothes aren’t strictly essential, when you do get into the later stages of pregnancy, namely your third trimester, you may well begin to feel uncomfortable in your usual regular clothes. This is just because standard clothes aren’t designed to accommodate this kind of expanding waistline!

In those first few weeks or months, you may be able to get away with wearing some of your current wardrobe choices. However, depending on the size of your bump and the rate of its growth, you could very well find yourself needing to purchase extra sizes on a regular basis to do this.

Consequently, normal clothes such as trousers, pants and fitted choices, for example, won’t offer any room for growth and end up cutting into your bump and feel painful every time you move!

What Size Maternity Clothes Should You Buy?

Just like the regular clothes we buy, when it comes to selecting sizes in maternity clothes, it’s all the same. Therefore if you usually fit small, medium or large, then continue to purchase the same in your maternity wear.

Maternity sizes are designed to work in the same way as regular clothing sizes, and this applies whether you were initially a size 8 to start or a size 16. They take account of your normal size and then allow for the increasing width of your bump through drawings, adjustable waistbands, and elasticated busts and stomach areas.

By selecting your initial size, you ensure you get the right fit for you which will also work to grow with you and continue to fit comfortably as your pregnancy progresses.

When Is the Best Time to Buy Maternity Clothes?

As every pregnancy is unique, the timing of when maternity clothes are typically purchased varies hugely! There is no right or wrong answer here, merely a personal decision as to when you want to start wearing maternity clothes.

For some women this can be as early as nine weeks – for others, it can be when entering the third trimester. If this isn’t your first pregnancy, you may find you’ll start wearing them much earlier, not just because you know by now how comfortable they are, but because many women find their bump seems to be more prominent the next time around!

For example, when do you start wearing maternity pants could depend on the activities you undertake when pregnant.  If you’ve found comfort in jeans for many years, you may want to think about investing early on in a pair of maternity jeans as your usual ones will soon become uncomfortable and cut into your bump.

Similarly, if you are working throughout your pregnancy, you may find it more practical to invest in some staple maternity workwear clothes or uniforms, especially as you will be wearing them for many hours of the day. With much maternity work wear indistinguishable from standard workwear items, you could invest in early maternity clothes for work, and get a lot of wear from them throughout.

Maternity Essentials List

Though your maternity list should suit your individual needs, here are a few practical items thoroughly recommended time and time again:

  • Maternity Jeans: Perhaps the most popular trouser and pant type, these are great for relaxing in at weekends. Consider purchasing two good pairs here for maximum comfort.
  • Maternity Skirts: You may not want to spend your pregnancy in trousers, pants or jeans and prefer something lighter. A couple of stretchy and long flowing skirts are ideal during pregnancy and can be dressed up or down to suit.
  • Comfortable Maternity Bras and Maternity Underwear: Maternity clothes will not offer any additional comfort if what you wear underneath is tight and restricting! Consider investing in larger underwear and a couple of bigger bras to see you through. If you’re wondering when to buy a maternity bra, or when to start wearing a maternity bra, merely be guided by your comfort level at every stage of your pregnancy.
  • A Belly Band or Maternity Belt: Finally, this is a maternity fabric which covers your bump to give you added support while helping you transition from standard size clothes into maternity clothes. Postpartum belly wraps can also be used after delivery to provide some extra support during the recovery period.

Best Place to Buy Cheap Maternity Clothes

Some women feel cheated when paying out for maternity clothes, knowing they’ll only be in them for a few months at the most. Therefore, it’s a good idea to look around and find second-hand cheap maternity clothes to start.

Fortunately, many stores sell a range of maternity clothes often at reduced prices. If you can pick up maternity clothes on sale, you won’t feel you’ve lost out too much financially here!

Some women like to scour social media for notice boards of new mums selling their past maternity clothes, so it’s worth looking out for those forums that are dedicated to this. A quick search online of cheap maternity clothes can also bring up a wealth of results at some of the more reduced prices.

Alternatively, your health clinic, midwives, and health visitors will all know of the best opportunities to buy maternity clothes at reduced prices, with many pregnancy groups and even antenatal classes offering guidance.

Final Thoughts on Maternity Clothes

As with all pregnancies, the choice of whether to purchase and wear maternity clothes is all up to you as an individual. Let your body guide you and do what you feel is right for you.

Some pregnant women can get away with merely buying clothing which is the next size up and may want to avoid buying maternity clothes altogether.

However, if it’s comfort you want throughout your pregnancy, it’s certainly worth looking into a couple of maternity items to keep you both looking and indeed feeling your best.

5 thoughts on “When will I need to buy maternity clothes?”

  1. This is a great post. I wish I had it a few years back. Maternity clothes are tricky. I didn’t need them with much with my girls. Just bigger clothes, and a bella band. But looking for gently used maternity clothes is a great option.

  2. I fought buying maternity clothes for so long bc I didn’t see the point in it.. I didn’t know what I was missing! When I finally bought maternity clothes I was so much more comfortable! And some pieces I still wear postpartum just as comfort / lounging clothes!

  3. Great post and great tips. I definitely purchased some maternity clothes but the essentials which were a pair of skinny jeans, leggings with the high band and shorts. Everything else like shirts or summer dresses I just bought the next size up and bought things that would still look good after pregnancy.

  4. Jeans are about the only thing maternity that I bought, the only other thing that I bought was a pregnancy belly band. It felt better and it look good as an undershirt tank top like, so my shirts didn’t ride up as often! Other than that men sized t-shirts and other shirts were just fine for me. Great tips for new mamas


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