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Pregnancy essentials guide

‘What can I wear’ is the cry of women everywhere. But it becomes a real cry from the heart when you are pregnant. Whether you prefer the latest fashions or are a little more conservative, buying maternity clothes can be a real headache.

Although you are pregnant for nine months you will really only need to wear different clothes for around five of them. But this can take you from the cold of February to the heat of June and the last thing you want to do is to have to buy a new wardrobe for those last few weeks.

During that time, you will be going to a number of different places such as the office, home, the beach or a party all of which require different clothes. Unless you are the sort that buys a complete new wardrobe every season, a certain amount of planning is required.




The Basics

One of the first changes you will notice in your body is that your breasts get larger and a new bra may be needed. The breasts themselves become heavier and unless you want stretch marks, they will need the support of a properly fitting bra. You may be able to save money by buying a bra for breast feeding at this point but it is likely that you will change shape again when your milk comes in and you might need a different size again. Do put your natural shyness on hold and seek the advice of a properly trained fitter, especially if you are on the large size.

You may feel more comfortable with some support at night and there are soft sleeping bras available.

Although you can buy special maternity pants and tights, you may find that you can manage with ordinary ones – perhaps by buying a size larger than normal. If you are heavily pregnant during the
summer months, then you may feel comfortable enough with the tops of your pants and tights going underneath your bump, but in the cold of winter you can get quite a draught up your skirt and something that will come up and over the bump is likely to be warmer and more comfortable. Granny knickers become desirable!

Shoes are another basic. You may find that your feet get a little larger and during the last few months, a slight puffiness is quite common. Comfort is everything as your feet will also bear the brunt of all that increased weight. Bear in mind as well that your sense of balance will be upset with that weight concentrated at the front. Low heeled shoes are the order of the day. Trainers are fabulous as they can be laced to just the right point.



Every day wear 

At home, appearances do not matter so much. If money is tight, you can get away with some short cuts. A piece of elastic can hold up a pair of trousers, leaving the zip to gape. You can buy ‘extender’ buttons sold for those who have put on a few pounds and can no longer fasten their trousers or specially designed pregnancy extenders which will last you a bit longer. The resulting gap can be covered by a large baggy jumper or T shirt. Many pregnant women ‘borrow’ their husband’s jumpers at this time! The same principal can be applied to skirts but watch out for the hem rising at the front and looking peculiar.

At work, we probably can’t get away with such casualness. It is now more acceptable to flaunt your bump than it once was but, towards the end when you are feeling like a beached whale, you may prefer not to look like one! Black is always slimming. Choose clothes that have plenty of bump space so they will last until the very end of your pregnancy, a number of attractive maternity items don’t actually have that much room. Take particular care if you are expecting twins. Avoid clothes that pull tight across your bust as you will need to wear maternity clothes for a few weeks after the birth and with feeding, you are likely to increase in bust size again.

With a bump in front, you are more prone to getting your clothes dirty and since you are likely to have fewer of them, you may need to get them cleaned quickly. If getting them to the cleaners
isn’t a chore and you can bear the cost, then dry cleaning is usually quick. Otherwise choose things that can go through the washing machine and tumble drier.

Clothes that can team up with other clothes to give a different look are a wise choice. For example, a plain dress would be smart enough for the office. Team it with a silky overblouse and you have something to wear out in the evening.

Whatever your tastes in clothes you can still have the look you want. Just bear in mind that you will need them for such a short time!



Night time

Sleeping can often be difficult when you are pregnant. There are several support cushions on the market. The long, soft pillows can help support your bump and legs while smaller ones fit under and support your bump. You may find that a nightdress is more comfortable than pyjamas.

Finally, travel

You should always use your seat belt when in the car, but it is often uncomfortable and often rides up over the bump. If you are unfortunate to have an accident, even a minor collision can put significant pressure on the uterus, leading to all sorts of complications, even the death of baby.  A Bump Belt is not expensive and holds the seat belt in a better, safer position across the thighs and underneath the bump. And remember that, for some reason, you are more likely to have an accident in your second trimester, so do take car when driving.