With each passing week I’ve enjoyed watching my baby bump grow. It felt like overnight at 21 weeks my belly popped out! I went from, “Is that a baby bump?” to “Look at that baby!” The rubber band holding my pants up trick wasn’t working any more and my tees were too tight and too short to cover my whole belly. It was finally time to invest in some maternity clothes. I couldn’t push it back any longer. While browsing through the internet, I wanted to make sure that I invested in pieces that would last my entire pregnancy and that would also remain in style for future pregnancies. After doing some major searching–and shopping–I have discovered the 14 essential items that every pregnant mama needs to have in her closet.
1. Comfortable, casual dresses
This navy striped dress from Pink Blush Maternity has been one of my go-tos. Slip on some sneakers, a jean jacket if it’s cool outside, and a cute tote bag and you are ready to go!You want something in your wardrobe that you can easily pull off the hanger and throw on. We all have those crazy, busy days and having some comfortable, casual maternity dresses is the perfect thing.
2. Dressy maternity dresses
It can be a pain trying to find something to wear when you’re pregnant when you have an event to go to. I found this coral chiffon dress also from Pink Blush Maternity and love it. I particularly love it because I can easily wear this piece after baby too! Style it with some cute sandals or wedges and a statement necklace or statement earrings and you will be receiving compliments all night. I certainly have!
I love the flowy dresses like the one before, but I also like the tighter dresses that really show off that adorable bump. Because I have several events and baby showers to attend this summer, I needed to have a few nice dresses that I could wear. When I saw this lace dress in winter white from Ingrid & Isabel, I had to have it. Not gonna lie, I’ll probably wear this bad boy with some stellar blue heels to my own baby shower. ?
3. Maternity jeans
As I said before, the rubber band trick around the front button will only last so long. You need to have one or two good pairs of maternity jeans. These above are from Ingrid & Isabel. I really like how they use high quality denim and that they have a crossover design that will grow with my bump but will also keep my back cool. Summer is here, you know!
I also chose these white jeans below from A Pea in the Pod since it is summer time. They are so comfortable and really complete my summer wardrobe.
4. Maternity shorts
I chose the wrong time of the year to be pregnant. ? Just kidding. But as the temperatures start rising, I’m realizing that I will be living in shorts. This is another staple to have in your maternity capsule. I really like the brand 7 for Mankind so I chose these cute and comfy jean shorts from A Pea in the Pod. They have already come in handy in this Texas heat!
But I do love me some white pants, so I also chose some white shorts. These are from A Pea in the Pod too. I know that I will be wearing both of these pairs quite often and through any future pregnancies. They are well made so they will last forever!
5. Cute and casual tees
I don’t have that many big, flowy tops from my pre-pregnancy wardrobe so I had to invest in some new maternity tops. I’m all about celebrating and showing off our baby bumps, so I chose these fitted tees and tops. They are so comfortable, cute and are pieces that I know I will wear again.
6. Good maternity/nursing Bras
You’re about to get an eye full... sorry.
Quickly after getting my positive pregnancy test, my girls started growing. My bras just weren’t cutting it anymore so I needed to get some new ones. I chose a few Natori nursing bras to help me out. This one (as shown above) this one, and a strapless maternity bra. Some women leak breastmilk sooner than others so I recommend carrying some nursing pads with you once you hit 6 months in your bag in case you notice any leakage happening.
Also, if you are already leaking, you might also want to start wearing a seamless bra when you are sleeping. This is the one that I chose. (See below.) I also love wearing it when I go to the gym.
7. Kimonos and ponchos
I love me some kimonos and ponchos during pregnancy. It helps cover your hips, your booty and makes you appear leaner. It’s normal for our hips to widen when we are pregnant. Mine sure have. So having a kimono on or a poncho on helps me feel like I have more coverage.
This kimono from SheIn is a great, lightweight piece perfect for summer. I can wear this over my bathing suit or pair it with a tank top and cute jeans or shorts with sandals.
This poncho from Ingrid & Isabel is also one of my favorites since I can wear this outfit during pregnancy and after baby. Anything that can last after pregnancy is a plus. I can even use it as a nursing cover! Just put on some comfortable leggings, a maternity tank and adorable flats, and the look is complete.
8. A belly band
Rather than having to purchase a whole new closet full of clothes for your pregnancy, you should invest in a bellyband instead. I have this bellaband and love that it allows me to wear my pre-pregnancy pants unbuttoned a little longer, that it has extra length to completely cover my belly, and that I can use this after I have our baby boy. The stay-put silicone strip is the trick to keeping everything in place.
9. Comfortable shoes
As our weight gains and shifts during our pregnancies, we have to have good support on our feet. But comfort doesn’t always have to mean that we have to sacrifice style. I have been wearing cute sandals like these and these from Tory Burch, these slip on converse, and these leopard flats. They have been great throughout my pregnancy.
10. Pretty heels
Some of you may think I’m crazy for having cute pumps on my list, but a good pair of heels can pretty much complete any outfit. I have totally been rocking my heels and just added these amazing blue suede Christian Louboutin pumps to my collection. I am having a boy after all. These are for sure going to be worn at my baby shower!
11. Statement necklaces
Because I’m so short (5’1.5″–yes, the half inch counts!), I feel like my bump is really getting a lot more attention . . . and real estate. I don’t want everyone’s eye to always go straight to my midsection, so a good statement piece — I think — has helped. As you can see in the majority of my outfits on this post, I like to pair it with a good necklace. Here are two of my favorites.
12. Pajamas and a robe
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been rocking a large t-shirt and shorts that hug under my belly, but there is something about having pajamas that actually fit your new body. I feel so good when I go to sleep in this maternity and nursing chemise from Belabumbum and wake up and put on their matching robe. I also love how they have a matching onesie!
Leggings are a girl’s best friend. I’m convinced. They perfectly stretch and adjust to your changing shape and can be worn casually around the house or dressed up cute with a fun top and shoes. This seamless capri belly leggings from Ingrid & Isabel have been wonderful to have. So grateful that they will last all the way through my pregnancy and beyond. Every girl needs a pair. Especially in her maternity wardrobe.
14. Workout clothes
We all know that we should be working out during our pregnancies! It will help us prepare for birth and have a faster recovery. My normal workout pants are not giving me the support that I need through my workout so I have now been wearing these active capri pants from Ingrid & Isabel. I put on my seamless maternity bra, a stretchy Lululemon top with these workout pants and sneakers and I’m ready to get my booty in gear!
You made it! You actually made it all the way through my 14 maternity style must-haves. These are the staples that I believe every expectant mama should have. But let me know in the comments if I am missing anything. Was there a piece that you would add to your must-have list? I want to know!
Cheers to style from having your bump to beyond!
— Nina Spears
This story originally appeared on Baby Chick. Nina is The Baby Chick® & CEO of Baby Chick®. She is a baby planner, birth doula, postpartum doula, childbirth educator, newborn care specialist, and a mother. With over eight years of experience, she has supported hundreds of families during their pregnancies, births, and postpartum journeys.