Pregnancy definitely affects everyone differently so there is no real right or wrong answer. But you might be interested in working out if maternity clothes are necessary for you.
Maternity clothes are not always necessary during and after pregnancy. Those who find their ordinary clothes easier to wear can do so, however, you may feel more comfortable in clothing made to support the body and bump. More often than not you can wear maternity trousers with a non-maternity top.
I personally found having a couple of basic items that would go with a number of different t-shirts, jumpers and shirts worked well for me. That way I only had to have a couple of maternity items that would suit me throughout my pregnancy and I could mix and match those pieces with what I already had.
With that said I wanted to talk through what makes maternity clothes different to normal clothes, whether or not you really need maternity clothes and some advantages and disadvantages so you can decide if you want to invest in any during your pregnancy.
What Makes Maternity Clothes Different To Normal Clothes?
Maternity clothes are made to sit around the growing bump and provide comfort and support. T-shirts, jumpers and even dresses will be made with extra fabric gathered around the stomach area to allow the fabric to spread and sit over the bump.
Things like trousers and leggings are made to sit under the bump with an extra band expanding over the bump to create coverage, support and comfort.
You can find maternity clothes that are also nursing clothing so once your baby is born you can use the same clothes for longer and wear them while breastfeeding. These are different again from normal clothes as they are designed to reveal the chest discreetly.
Maternity clothes work on adding extra fabrics and space around the bump area only and will stick to regular measurements (that of normal clothing sizes) as in many cases the rest of the body hasn’t changed much in size. Whereas normal clothes that would be bought in a larger size to fit over your bump would be bigger everywhere and may not suit or feel as nice.
Can I Wear Normal Clothes During Pregnancy?
Yes, of course, much of my wardrobe during my first pregnancy was made up of clothes I already had and liked wearing. I was able to swap and change items in my wardrobe that would fit with maternity clothing items.
I found stretchy clothes were easier to wear during my pregnancy as they adapted to my body and would stretch with me day by day. They were also one of the most forgiving and softest items to wear as they were made to stretch, breathe and move with my body.
I would often wear maternity trousers such as jeans or leggings with a dress I already had or a stretchy top which led me to only having to buy a small number of items.
Wearing normal clothes during pregnancy is completely normal and fine because it really is down to you and how you feel. Some people stay generally quite small throughout their pregnancy and so may not feel the need to wear maternity clothing.
You may also just want to buy stretchy clothing or clothing in the next size up instead of spending money on specialised maternity clothing.
Are Maternity Clothes Necessary?
No maternity clothes are not necessary at all during pregnancy. Clothing is completely up to you and what you feel most comfortable in.
Maternity clothing is simply a nice way of being able to still dress nice, be comfortable and have the support you need for your bump. You can also create this same feeling yourself with normal clothing or clothing you already have.
Advantages Of Wearing Maternity Clothes
To help you decide if you wanted to invest in any maternity clothing I thought I would list a couple of advantages;
- Can be more comfortable around your hips and bump area especially towards the end of pregnancy
- They can be worn after pregnancy too
- Made to fit a pregnant body so you can still feel good throughout your pregnancy
Disadvantages Of Wearing Maternity Clothes
Along with the advantages of having maternity clothes I wanted to list the disadvantages;
- They can be very expensive to buy
- Some items may only last a couple of months of wear and can feel wasteful for the money
- They can look frumpy and unappealing
- They are hard to find in stores and often only online
Ways To Save Money On Maternity Clothing
Look In Charity Shops
Many women will donate their maternity clothing to charities as it isn’t something worth selling or keeping and wearing. Charity shops are a great place to find maternity clothing at a great price and more often than not the quality is great because they were worn for a shorter period of time.
Buy From Supermarkets
Within the last year, I have noticed more and more supermarkets making space on their shelves for maternity clothing. It was extremely helpful during my pregnancy knowing I could go in and properly look at the clothing. That way you didn’t have to pay for postage and returns were limited or fewer due to being able to see the item in person.
You can often use things like Nectar points, Clubcard points and more to bring down the price of the clothing too saving you some extra money.
Buy On eBay, Facebook Marketplace or Vinted
Places such as eBay, Facebook Marketplace and Vinted are great places to scroll through and find some good deals on maternity clothes. Buying maternity clothes on eBay is great as you can often get a great price as many items will be in an auction so you can get jeans, tops or even coats for next to nothing.
Facebook marketplace is another good resource as it is locally based so it can be something you pick up on your way home from work or on the weekend while you are out running errands.