How to dress your baby bump

Pregnancy has a way of stretching all kinds of things out of proportion--including your breasts, belly, and buttocks. Be proud of your new womanly curves, but also consider that your pre-pregnancy clothes might not be as modest as they once were.

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  • During pregnancy, various parts of your body will begin to boldly grow bigger than they’ve ever been before. Your breasts will store more fat and begin producing milk and it’s not uncommon for a woman to go up a bra size (or two, or three) during this time. Your belly will stretch to proportions that didn’t seem previously possible and you’ll remember with fondness those days when you could look down and see your pink, wiggly toes. Don’t be surprised if your buttocks and thighs also begin to inflate — it’s all a natural part of pregnancy.

  • It’s also an enormous pain in the neck (and back) because the clothes you used to wear so comfortably begin to tighten. Suddenly, shirts that used to be entirely modest start to reveal things you probably don’t want revealed. Your newly formed cleavage and outee belly button will make their presence known whether you want them to or not — as if you needed another thing to worry about. Save yourself some stress and embarrassment and try these tricks for maintaining your modesty during pregnancy:

  • Invest in maternity clothing

  • It may seem like a waste, considering in a few months you’ll start to deflate back to a more normal size, but eventually you’ll need to bite the bullet and go shopping. Your body may shrink back down, but the damage done to your normal clothes by your pregnant body may be irreversible. Luckily, showcasing burgeoning pregnancy belly is "in", and maternity clothes have never been more stylish. To save yourself a few bucks, try second hand stores or just borrow a few items of clothing from your previously pregnant friends.

  • Use tape

  • If you’re embarrassed by your protruding belly button, the best way to conceal it is to avoid overly tight clothing. You can also use tape or band aids to strap it down to a less noticeable size.

  • Get resized

  • Your pre-pregnancy bras won’t fit forever. Consider getting resized at a maternity or women’s clothing store so you can get some more comfortable, better fitting bras. Many women find that bras with underwires don’t fit as well in late pregnancy. And while you’re in the market, you might want to look at some nursing bras if you plan to breastfeed post-pregnancy.

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  • Go long

  • If you go shopping mid second trimester or early third trimester, remember that you still have a long ways to go — and lots more growing to do. Choose shirts that are extra long so that in later months you don’t end up flashing your ivory under belly to the world. Maternity stores should have fake, padded “bellies” for you to try on with your clothes so you can predict how you might look and how the clothes might fit by late third trimester.

  • Gone are the days when pregnant women would hide their bodies beneath floor-length muumuus or shapeless shrouds. Don’t be afraid to proudly display your beautiful, glowing body to the world — just be sure you don’t end up displaying more than you bargained for.

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Katie Nielsen received her bachelor's in English with an emphasis in technical writing. She has taught English and is a published writer.

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