When you’re pregnant, you’ll do anything to feel comfortable.
$20 for a maternity donut cushion? Sounds good. $40 for a maternity support belt? Here’s my credit card. $70 for a body pillow? TAKE. MY. MONEY.
But after going through the big P twice now, I’ve figured out which items are gimmicks and which are true blessings. Here, in no particular order, are my 5 pregnancy wardrobe game-changers.
Price: $10.50 each or 5 for $28
Why they’re a game-changer: The no-show waistband is made of super soft, comfortable, stretchy lace, so they adjust with your growing belly all the way to your due date. And the rest is made of cotton, which will keep you cool and help prevent yeast infections.
Other specialty maternity thongs I purchased sat way too low on my hips (and would have given me plumber’s crack every time I bent over if it weren’t for the belly band on my maternity pants) or dug into my thighs.
Price: $49.00 each
Why they’re a game-changer: Somewhere in your second trimester, your boobs will be too much for your current bra to handle. They’ll be spilling out the middle, the sides, the back, anywhere they can to get a little extra breathing room. At this point, you’ll want to spring for a quality nursing bra or four.
These Bravado! Bras are seamless, so there’s no wire digging into your ever-expanding torso. The stretch fabric provides extra coverage in the cleavage area and around the sides of your breasts so you feel more “ahem” held together, without having a uniboob. And well-endowed mamas can rest assured, they offer plenty of support.
If you plan to nurse after baby’s arrival, the shoulder clips allow you to fully drop down one or both cups for breastfeeding or pumping. Their removable, padded inserts ensure milk leakage doesn’t seep through to your clothes, and the entire bra can be thrown in the washing machine. They also give you a conversion kit so you can transform the nursing bra to a regular bra once you’re done nursing.
Price: $64 each
Why they’re a game-changer: Their breathable, moisture-wicking fabric is perfect for pregnant ladies who are prone to overheating (especially in Florida). They fit snug and have a patented built-in belly lift and support band that eases the strain of baby weight, especially during your third trimester. You can see the support panel better in the pic below. They’re also rather high-waisted, which is a plus, as you won’t have that belly band line showing through your shirts.
The maternity support belt I purchased the first go round was bulky and cut into my thighs every time I sat down. Plus, the velcro. Ugh. Just say no to velcro. I’ll take these leggings over that hassle any day.
They are a bit delicate though, so make sure you hand wash as recommended. I threw mine in the gentle cold cycle and after just two washes there was some wear and pilling from being tossed around in the machine. They also make a High Waist Postpartum + Nursing Support Legging that I’m excited to wear after baby’s arrival.
Price: $14.98 each (typically part of a buy 2 get 1 free offer)
Why they’re a game-changer: Most maternity sleepwear is nightgowns. I HATE nightgowns. Because I toss and turn so much during my sleep (even more so during pregnancy), nightgowns ride up on me. So at 2:00 am, I’m awoken by a bulge of fabric lodged in my back or side.
Then, I have to do this crazy wiggle/shimmy dance to pull the nightgown back down without standing up. Every. Two. Hours. It’s annoying when you’re not pregnant. It’s 500% more annoying when you are. This time around, I found these sleep shorts and it was like the heavens opened up and angels sang, “ahhhhhh!”
After a whole day of wearing form-fitting maternity shirts and pants with belly bands, I want nothing touching my stomach at night. These shorts have a soft, relaxed fit, with only a half-belly band to ensure they stay on. I can’t tell you how much I look forward to slipping these puppies on before bed. I’ve linked to the black pair above, but they’re also available in a pink and gray stripe online and other colors in store.
Price: $49.00 – $74.00/month
Why it’s a game-changer: If you’re not familiar with Le Tote, it’s a monthly subscription service that lets you rent apparel and accessories. You select styles you love from their website and add them to your virtual “closet.” Then a stylist selects 2-5 pieces to send in your tote. You’re given the opportunity to customize your tote before it ships, swapping out anything you don’t like.
When your tote shows up at your door, you wear the pieces for as long as you like and keep the ones you love at a discounted cost. You ship the rest back and receive your next tote in a few days. You can get as many totes as you want each month, only paying the monthly fee, plus the cost of whatever you decide to keep.
When I went online to suspend my Le Tote membership after my first trimester, I noticed they had a maternity option. I immediately switched my subscription. It was the best decision of my pregnancy. When I went back to cold and blustery Ohio for Christmas break, I had Le Tote send me sweaters and long-sleeved maternity shirts. When I returned to Florida, I exchanged them for work blouses and dresses. This navy and pink color block tank from Olian was one of my favorites.
Every few weeks, I send the clothes back and get a new maternity tote. It’s been the best way to freshen up my maternity wardrobe on a regular basis without breaking the bank. And the best part is you don’t have to keep anything!