The positive pregnancy test. The excitement, the tears, the laughter, the fears, the joy.
Pregnancy sets off an adventure you can never prepare yourself for. No books or someone else’s experience will ever come close to going through it yourself.
Once the excitement wears off a little (although come on, it never does), and reality sets in, a million ‘what to do next’ thoughts will run through your mind. Not to worry though, I have you covered! Some people find out they’re expecting in the first trimester, while other might not immediately catch on to some changes and only get the news in their second trimester. Click on the links to get resources to help you out with to-do lists for those trimesters. There’s one for the third trimester too in case you’re further along.
Today I’m discussing maternity wear and how to save on it!
I’m not going to heat around the bush, but babies can be expensive IF you let them be. With all the products and services available to expecting mamas, it’s easy to get sucked into buying things you don’t actually need.
Same goes for maternity wear. Don’t get me wrong: you’ll need maternity wear, but you won’t need to put down an insane amount to have it.
As soon as you slap on a label onto anything, it’s like the price doubles, triples. Before you realize it, you’re spending your hard earned cash on things you can buy for less! Minus the fancy label.
I want to share some tips with you on how to save on maternity wear, and still look fabulous wearing clothing that is comfortable, that will show off your beautiful bump.
You don’t need to rush out immediately to buy maternity wear. You’re not going to need it for a few months at least and it’s hard to estimate what size you’ll need because you don’t know how big your belly will grow. As tempting as it is to start on shopping for pretty clothing, it’s not viable early in your pregnancy. With all three of my kids, I started needing maternity wear at different stages of my pregnancies. With Monster, I only started wearing maternity wear half way through. Gremlin had my belly popping out as early as three months and Cay, while I started feeling my hips expanding much earlier than with the boys, I didn’t wear a single piece of maternity wear. Yeah, that’s right. Read on to see how I managed to work my way around it!
Shop your closet.
Before you rush out to buy anything, take a look at your closet. Look for loose fitting t-shirts, clothing with elastic, maxi dresses, etc. All these can help you along the way when your belly starts growing and can delay the time you need to buy maternity wear. I did this while I was pregnant with the boys, until I needed clothing that was bigger. With Cay, I was able to wear everything I had at home without needing to buy anything extra (except one tiny item: read on!)
Shop your partner’s closet.
Like wearing your husband’s shirts or sweaters because you look ‘oh so adorable’ in them? Now you can wear them because they’re going to be the most comfortable clothing you can wear once your belly (and hips) starts growing. I was constantly snatching t-shirts and sweaters that Hubby Byren didn’t wear often, and paired them with stretchy leggings to create outfits to wear indoors and outdoors. I took it a step further with Cay’s pregnancy and even wore his gym shorts as they were comfortable wearing at home, and with the elastic I could wear them right to the end by adjusting them as needed.
As I mentioned above, put a label on anything and the price goes up. It’s no different with maternity wear. When I did go looking around for clothing, I couldn’t believe the prices. I get it, it’s specialized clothing and therefore ‘deserves’ it’s own price class but I wasn’t willing to settle on it. There’s nothing wrong with second-hand clothing! Buying used goods in good condition will save you plenty of money and you can buy more than you would purchasing it new.
If you belong to any mama groups, you can pop a question there about it, some mamas will be able to help out and you will even find a few mamas that will pass it on for free. Alternatively you can google to find places that sell second-hand clothing (yes, thrift shops) and have a look there. Life is expensive and there is no shame in finding alternatives to save your money.
Do a swap.
If you have friends that are a little bigger than you, you could ask to lend a couple of clothing items from them. It will save you money in the long run, and you can return the clothing when you don’t need it anymore. I was really lucky that my mama brought me a lot of her clothing that she didn’t wear anymore and I had a variety of items to choose from to wear. I packed some of these away while I was still pregnant with Monster so I was able to reuse them with Gremlin and Cay. Once we knew we weren’t having more children, and I was done using them postpartum, I donated them to a charity.
This is probably the only purchase I made during Cay’s pregnancy to help with clothing. I pretty much only wore leggings to accommodate my growing belly and hips but I still wanted to wear jeans every now and then when we went out. So I bought extenders from Carriwell. There are three sizes in the pack which helped throughout the whole pregnancy and postpartum. You can also get bra extenders, although I’m not sure how useful they are as I never tried them.
When you do go out and do shopping, try and look for outfits you can mix and match so you can have a variety of outfits without needing to buy a lot. Look for pastel and neutral colors which are the easiest to pair, and you’ll have a whole lot of options without needing to buy a whole new closet.
If you can, avoid the label.
I’m going to reiterate: labels make the price go up! When I was pregnant with Gremlin, I set out to find a couple of t-shirts that would be pregnancy and breastfeeding friendly. I found a few that I could I could play mix and match with but due to the absurd prices, I only took two. As I was heading to the cashiers to pay, I walked past a shelf of t-shirts in the non-maternity section that looked almost identical to the ones I had in my hand. The price difference was almost half less than the maternity ones, so I took four of those in a bigger size and paid the same as I would have for two from the maternity section.
Before you make any purchases, shop around in the non-maternity section because it’s really worth your while. There are always options, you’ll save money, and if you’re really at a loss with not finding anything, then head to the maternity section.
Many boutiques that specialize in maternity do run sales every now and then on their clothing. Personally, I have never used any of them because I do find the clothing overpriced and I have always avoided them after the initial visit when I was pregnant with Monster. This is my personal opinion, and it’s something I’ve stuck with throughout all my pregnancies. Don’t let that stop you if that’s what you want to do.
I created this post for mamas that are looking to save and still look gorgeous while pregnant and postpartum. There are mamas that don’t mind spending money on maternity wear, and that’s okay. Each to their own. If you’re looking for ways to save, then I hope these tips will help you navigate through your pregnancy with one less thing to worry about.
How did you save on maternity wear?