Most pregnant women end up in one form of maternity clothing or another at some point during their pregnancy. At least maternity pants—it’s not possible to button jeans over a uterus that just won’t quit.
Inevitably the maternity clothing road will have to be traveled. Unless you’re super thin. And your baby is 5 pounds. And you skate through pregnancy in a size 3/4 jeans. Then you won’t need maternity clothes. Also, no one will like you.
During my first pregnancy, I felt a need to purchase all maternity tops. I wore only half of them because they were ugly. So, during my second pregnancy I just wore my regular shirts until I looked like Winnie the Pooh. After that, I migrated into my husbands t-shirts and quit leaving the house.
So, when do you need to buy maternity pants? Well, that varies from person to person and pregnancy to pregnancy. For example, during my first pregnancy I wasn’t in maternity pants until close to the middle of my second trimester. During my second pregnancy, I was in maternity pants as soon as I finished peeing on the pregnancy test.
The general rule I followed for when I needed to start wearing maternity pants was when I met one, or all, of the following criteria:
In order to button my jeans, I had to suck my belly in for so long that I passed out.
The button popped off my pants.
My Goody Ouchless rubber band was no longer effectively holding the button to keep my pants closed.
My muffin top was rising.
I seriously considered duct tape as a viable solution.
My pants gave up and tore in two. Incredible Hulk style.
Some women are able to delay maternity clothing by buying a size or two larger. Or by using products like the BellaBand. These women love this thing and will use it until their final trimester, telling all their friends: “You don’t have one? Oh, but you simply must get one.”
I was not one of these women.
The BellaBand promised me the comfort of maternity jeans with the style and familiarity of my regular jeans. It was a cost effective solution to a growing situation. The BellaBand assured me that I could be pregnant without changing a thing about the denim I loved so much. But, that’s not what happened. The BellaBand frustrated me to no end. It never stayed in place. I couldn’t move without it sliding around and working its way up my torso. By the end of 15 minutes, it was a tube top. By the end of 30 minutes, it was a scarf.
After it’s all said and done, you’ll end up dropping 10-20 pounds after delivery. You’ll land in some weird clothing size limbo between pre-pregnancy and postpartum. It’s in this moment that I embraced ice cream and rolled on. Literally.
It’s been two years since I last had a baby and I still have all my maternity clothes in a box someplace. I consider taking them out and wearing them around the holidays, when stomach expansion is unavoidable. For now, my trusted rubber bands around the button are working. When those stop, there’s always duct tape.
Photo courtesy of AmberChristopher.com.