THREE ESSENTIALS FOR MAMA'S To Be...
As a kid I saw "the pregnant" through grainy-like filters: Aunties and family friends in billowy frocks and sweetly bobbed hair hands stiffly at their sides as if there wasn’t a bowling ball emerging below their bustline. As an adult, who can escape today’s ‘cult of the bump’? And, the media frenzy that follows size 0 celebs that sport baby bumps like the latest pair of Pradas? Where does the everyday mama-to-be shop? And, how on earth with nine months of eating and dressing for two, do we dare dress our best if we don’t relish the trapeze frock or want to live in yoga pants?
Dressing for baby-to-be is a no-brainer with these basics and they’ll last your entire pregnancy (and then some!)…
1. A Bella Band. Although it might seem silly at first, this giant external waistband that you pull over your paint waist is the one thing between you and throwing down $300 plus for a pair of designer maternity skinny jeans. Do. not. do. it. Especially if you already have a pair (or several) of designer skinnies, you'll probably be able to get a few more months out of them by using the Bellaband (or something similar). As long as you follow the sizing chart carefully, the belly band will fit right over smooth your waistband while giving your growing belly the right amount of hug. I bought the bands in three colors and when layered they look like any tanktop/cami layered beneath your shirt or sweater. Every woman carries and grows their belly a little differently, but I could wear my regular pants all the way to the beginning of my first trimester with these bands. After the baba hoopla and your holding that precious infant in your arms, use the bands to ease back into your skinny jeans (or any button-front bottoms) comfortably. The extra support feels good. Trust me.
2. Cotton Camisoles, stretchy with a built-in shelf bra, one or two sizes up from your regular size. Upon hearing that I was with child my sister sent me a giant box of "the best loved" bra camis from Express. These are essentially cotton-spandex, machine washable tanktops with a built in bra. Super comfortable. As I tunneled through the neatly packed box noting that she'd sent every color of the rainbow--some plain with scooped necks, others with v-necks and trimmed with 'glitter' lace--and all in size Large. NOTE: When you are pregnant you will not look like the size 0 models on the Express website where you can order these camis--at least not from the bust down. You will be be a life-size photoshop job with your boobs enhanced and your belly busting into new dimensions. You will go up one or a few sizes, and these camis--with their cozy cotton, adjustable straps and extra support in the bust--will be there every step of the way. I wore these all through prenatal and postnatal yoga, all kinds of layering in every season and they are perfection for breastfeeders. Attention: A and B cup ladies: Yes, you can wear this cami without a bra! Comes in approximately a million different colors.
3. Nordstrom Bra Extenders. These are the last stop on the train before your cross the border into... nursing bras (insert violent screeching here). Don’t get me wrong, there are some good nursing bras out there (love Cake brand) but a nursing bra will never be your very favorite go to bra. Just like your designer denim, it's more efficient to adapt your existing wardrobe before investing into pricey maternity gear and a good bra can be a small fortune. I maximized my regular bras pre- and post-natally with a handy set of extenders that hook onto your existing bra closure adding an extra inch or two for your growing girls and/or your expanding ribcage (yes, your ribcage may very well expand). Also, I hate to be the one to say it but not everyone will snap back into place once they recover from the delivery. It's all just a part of the beauty of giving life, and these extenders can help the life after giving that life much more comfortable. The Nordstrom brand is a variety pack with options. I was happily surprised that there was even an extender for my three-hook-super-support runner's bra.
BONUS: It's a bit of an investment, but if you want to treat yourself a Bailey 44 banded stretch-dress is worth every penny for those last nights of freedom. Despite the thrill of being with child, shopping for upscale maternity wear was hardly exciting. Who wants to pay for something that they only have a few months to wear? Especially when today's cuts and styles can certainly accommodate baby bumps and rumps and more. I didn't need to walk the catwalk with my bump, but I didn't want to be in the frump zone. At some point, the Bailey 44 dress with it's four-way stretch and banded construction, became the go-to dress to flatter nearly every bodyshape--including a pregnant one. At once body conscious, shaping yet comfy the design reminds us of the Herve Leger bandaid dress but with more breathing room and more gently priced for the hard-working mama. I rocked mine to a John Legend concert in my third trimester and despite my giant, obvious bump and wedding band, a guy beside me at the bar bought me my drinks. (Two bottled waters, Big Spender!)
ONE LAST TIP: Don't forget to buy your partner something, too. With the long road to the delivery and the even longer road through the first 12 weeks of sleepless nights and zombie parenthood, a nice cozy hoodie should infuse at least a little bit of comfort and care that your partner will be missing when the little one arrives. Think warm, fleecy, easy, grab-n-go. Under Armor makes some nice hoodies. Or, Slate magazine calls these the best hoodies around.
|Real, live new dad slightly annoyed and eating baked goods at odd hours.|