I’ve had a few requests for my “maternity favorites” recently. Since I wasn’t sure if that meant wardrobe choices or random things that made those 9 months more bearable, I’ve gone ahead and compiled it all!
If you are expecting, I hope that this is helpful in some way. If there is anything I want you to take away from this post it’s this: you don’t have to change your entire life and wardrobe upon finding out you are pregnant. I was afraid of that but am happy to report that was not the case. Sure, some things were much harder (hello needing Matt to buckle my sandals for me) but for the most part I was able to keep my normal routine, style, and beauty products.
Without further adieu, my maternity favorites…
My Maternity Wardrobe
Being pregnant all through the Summer worked out well for me because in general I hate pants; I stuck to an almost all-dress diet!
The first few months I exclusively wore flowy dresses. I got away with those up until the tail end of the third trimester when they simply became too short due to the bump.
Free People was my go-to. I’ve always loved the look of the brand but didn’t own much due to the price. However, during pregnancy I splurged on a few FP pieces and they were 100% worth it. The way I saw it, it was money better spent than on traditional maternity clothing since I could wear them after baby so they were not as limiting. Best of all: they made me feel like “me”!
*A tip: I found that Macy’s always had a really great Free People sale section – better than other sites and they have a really forgiving return policy!
Some non Free People things I wore and loved: the white mini below (sometimes with the tie and sometimes without), a bodycon dress from Forever 21 (exact one is long gone but I linked some good options below) and a bodycon dress from Amazon (the only maternity item I bought!) paired with with various kimonos, a long-sleeve white mini with a stretchy waistband (praise), and a boho mini from Roberta Roller Rabbit. Oh and I really loved ASOS. They have a large maternity section, though I simply bought loose items or sized up.
*One thing to note about sizing in dresses: if you buy a dress with a defined waistband, look for ones that are elastic or smocked. I found that my waist/ribcage area got bigger so anything with a defined waistline was unable to zip.
And then of course there was loungewear… bring on the comfies! I was able to wear my Eberjey and Nordstrom PJs all throughout my pregnancy. They are stretchy and soft so they worked perfectly – no new PJs needed. As for sweatpant and sweatshirt options, I loved Aerie, Lou and Grey and Abercrombie – they all have great sets, too! 99% of my maternity leave was spent in loungewear so I highly recommend stocking up! (They also made for comfortable travel outfits, as seen below.)
PS I just found this robe and think it’s the cutest thing ever! Would be especially adorable if you’re expecting a boy!
If I Had Been Pregnant In Cold Weather
If things had been different and I had been pregnant through the Winter, I am fairly confident my uniform would have been either leggings and an oversized sweater or a bodycon dress with a long cardigan.
I also would have invested in a quality pair of designer maternity denim. The only pair I wore (and only a handful of times at that) were a pair of Citizens my sister lent me. They were a size too big on me but otherwise incredibly comfortable and flattering. I had tried on upwards of 15 other pairs of maternity jeans and hated all of them – either the fit was off, or the coloring bad, or the denim just not comfortable. Most were more budget-friendly brands and sadly, it showed. I couldn’t get them off fast enough. I am frankly always an advocate for investing in denim because of the cost per wear, but especially when pregnant when you may not feel your cutest, you really do get what you pay for with designer denim. It’s just a matter of figuring out which brand works best for you.
The first trimester was rough for me. I only ever threw up three times during pregnancy, but those first 16 weeks I felt like I was going to hurl at any second. Honestly think that may have been worse… So I talked to my doctor and she put me on Diclegis. If you are struggling with sickness I highly recommend trying it – it helped tremendously!
I tried out a few different prenatals because some of those were making me nauseous. In the end, I settled on CitraNatal 90 DHA. Each dose is one prenatal tablet containing things like folic acid and iron as well as one capsule of fatty acids. If you struggle swallowing pills this isn’t the best option for you but I found them very easy on my stomach and was confident that between those two pills I was getting everything I needed.
The first trimester I hardly worked out because I was simply too exhausted – growing a human is TIRING. The choice was either get up early to workout or get more sleep. Ultimately I decided that sleep was what my body really needed. Once my energy returned around month three I resumed my workout routine and kept it up until the week before Joe was born.
The first few months I stuck with loose tees and my regular shorts and leggings. As the months went on I switched out the tops for form-fitting tanks. I simply went up one size in the tanks. My favorite one was by Zella but isn’t available any longer (though they do have it in a short sleeve version!) and one from Forever 21 that is still for sale (also like this one). I never bought any new bottoms, just kept moving my waistband lower and lower.
My weekly workout routine looked like this:
Monday/Wednesday/Friday: 15 minutes on the elliptical + a pregnancy circuit workout + stretch
I used the Alexa Jean Fit Pregnancy program. It was broken down by trimester and each day focused on a different body area, but I can’t seem to find it online anymore. I’ve heard really good things about Expecting and Empowered and want to try that out next time!
Tuesday/Thursday: 45 minute spin class
As much as possible I walked to and from work (1.5 miles each way) and on weekends when we would travel we would usually walk between 10 and 15 miles.
If you can’t bring yourself to do any structured workouts, I truly think walking is the best thing you can do!
Before my weekday workouts, I took half of my regular pre-workout (rather than the whole thing since I wasn’t exerting myself as hard). You might check with your doctor if you are concerned but it is a pretty light pre-workout to begin with so it worked out fine for me. I love it because a) it’s easy to take, no water needed and b) it doesn’t make me feel crazy (roid rage? no thank you!) but rather just makes me not want to quit halfway through. No weird jitters or crash. (I placed an order the other day and got 50% off with the code HALF50 so try that if you’re purchasing!)
Since I began the switch to cleaner beauty as part of my journey to overcome infertility there weren’t many changes that I had to make to my beauty and skincare routines. I had already gotten rid of retinols and products that were laden with toxic chemicals. The way I see it, if a product isn’t safe to use when pregnant, then it probably isn’t the safest to use at any time, pregnant or not.
That said, below are some of the products I particularly loved during pregnancy…
Honest Organic Body Oil – So hydrating, definitely think this helped me not get any stretch marks while pregnant! At first I used Bio Oil because a friend swore by it, and while my doctor said the ingredient list looked fine to her, there were some in there that I wasn’t comfortable with. I made the switch to the Honest body oil and absolutely loved it. It is a little bit thicker in viscosity than the Bio Oil, but it soaked in really nicely.
Primally Pure Deodorant – You already know my love for this all-natural deodorant.
Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate – Another one I’ve raved about ad nauseum.
Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Anti-Wrinkle Eye Treatment – I hated the applicator (product would always get stuck underneath the tip) but otherwise really liked this eye cream and best of all I didn’t have to worry about the ingredients.
Juice Beauty Foundation – Talked about this last week, but I bought these while pregnant when looking for a clean foundation and really love them (I bought two shades so I could mix depending on how tan I was since I was pregnant all through the Summer).
Tula Dual Phase Skin Reviving Treatment Pads – An instant facial! We did a lot of traveling while I was pregnant and that can take a toll on my skin. I loved using one of these after plane flights. Swear my skin is never softer than after using one of these treatment pads – they’re luxurious.
St. Tropez Extra Dark Self-Tanner – Okay, okay, so it’s not the cleanest by any means but my doctor said it was fine by her! Truth is, sometimes I just felt enormous and as they say “if you can’t tone it, tan it!” Haha, but seriously a tan was such a boost to the self-esteem!
Recently I found these tan drops in the “clean by Sephora” section and really like them! In the future I will probably use those while pregnant.
Random Things I Loved
My Instax Mini camera came with me everywhere. I LOVED taking bump shots and there is something extra special about seeing it in polaroid form. I didn’t have any plans for them but the week before Joe was born decided to put some of them into a collage and frame it. We put it in Joe’s nursery – it’s one of my favorite touches!
A small pillow to “hug” at night. I never got on board with the massive pregnancy pillow, never felt like I needed it and we didn’t upgrade to a King bed until late in my pregnancy (sidenote: best decision ever!) so we didn’t have room for it. However, I did love having a little pillow that I could sort of hug similar to a body pillow.
Silk hair scarves were my saving grace on days I didn’t want to do my hair aka most days. It’s since become my signature hairdo or sorts! Loved how they added some interest and distraction, especially when I didn’t feel my best.
In that same vein, statement earrings. Such a simple way to spice things up and make outfits seem a bit different when really I was wearing the same 7 dresses over and over again.