Maternity Wear Tips From a Mamma to Be


Words by Leona McDaid
June 28th, 2018

Maternity wear can be a minefield. Amongst all the unsolicited advice there remains a glaring gap. What people don’t tell you is that you’ll need to buy pretty much a new variation of everything along the way. But there is a way to get longevity out of some pieces. So whether you’re in the early stages of your pregnancy journey, or wondering what to invest in as you enter your final trimester, here are some tips I’ve learned along the way.

Wardrobe edit

I spent the first few months of my pregnancy covering my bump and mostly wearing variations of what I wore before, however, jeans after about 8/9 weeks start to tighten. My advice? Edit your wardrobe after the 12-week mark. I have an Ikea rail with the final edit of what I can realistically wear now and it goes towards makes dressing a lot easier.

Not all dresses are created equal

There are a lot of styles out there that can be worn during pregnancy that don’t fit into the traditional “maternity wear” box. Look out for dresses with high elasticated waistbands, loose-fitting maxi dresses or smock dresses. There are some good choices out there if you keep your eyes peeled.

Depending on the style, you may need to go up a size but you’ll have the choice to wear once the baby comes and can alter too at a later date if you wish. Retailers such as & Other Stories and H&M consistently deliver. UK brand Olive also has a good selection.

& Other Stories V-Neck Midi T-Shirt Dress, €39

Buy quality

Bear in mind that you are actually pregnant for 10 months and many new mamas wear maternity in the early months, post birth. Don’t fall into the trap of buying cheap clothes that you don’t or won’t particularly like or that don’t fit into your usual style aesthetic. Speaking from experience, you end up kicking yourself with “quick fix” purchases which turn out to be a waste of money. Be wise with your money and invest in a few key pieces for now and after.

Buy the basics

Just as you would with your normal wardrobe, it is worth investing in some basics from the outset. Buy good quality T-shirts (I live in ASOS maternity T-shirts). Blazers add structure to any look. Marks & Spencer is the to go to for comfortable maternity/nursing bras and good quality underwear. Finally, leggings for pregnancy yoga are a must; ASOS Maternity does great striped versions that have a hint of athleisure about them.

Buy local

Tap into designers in your local market. Irish label Manley is a good one for well designed yet loose dresses that glide over a bump in the first and second semester in particular. If you go up a size you’ll get the full pregnancy out of these designs. New Irish maternity label The Pod Collection is a go-to for quality pieces that you can wear now and after. I’m living in their Little Black Dress and Perfect Tee combo which can also be worn beyond pregnancy.

The Pod Collection Little Black Dress, €69


Let’s be realistic, if you were clumsy before, you will be more clumsy now as is the case with me. There is an element of getting used to your growing shape that makes wearing heels prohibitive. Common pregnancy symptoms such as low blood pressure which causes dizziness, leg cramps and swollen feet do not make good conditions for heels. It is worth investing in a few pairs of trainers or this summer’s staple slip-on shoes. New Look has great, affordable options.

Embrace the stereotypes

Sometimes they are there for a reason… Maternity jeans tend to fall down and can create an unflattering crotch and while longer tops can cover this up, there is a lot to be said for a good pair of maternity dungarees particularly when you’re in full nesting mode. Also, there is no harm in buying the odd maternity dress that screams “I’m expecting”, it could be your way to secure a seat on the train home. So polka dots and dungarees can be effective.


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Invest in accessories

Now is the time to invest in that bag you’ve been keeping an eye out for or those designer sunglasses. They will add to your overall look and have a cost-per-wear benefit.

Keep your identity

Look to style leaders such as Man Repeller’s Leandra Cohen who injected her personality into her maternity look throughout her pregnancy with twins. Other maternity style mavens include Pandora Sykes and The Frugality’s Alex Stedman. In Ireland, Angela Scanlon and more recently Vogue Williams and Aoibhinn Garrihy have been sticking to their pre-pregnancy style just with the added accessory of a bump.


The label lowdown

Affordable labels for the bump before and after: Ganni, Olive Clothing, Manley (as worn by Vogue Williams), H&M and & Other Stories.

Contemporary maternity labels: The Pod Collection, Mitera, Hatch and Clary & Peg.

For designer labels shop, a dedicated site that curates pieces based on what stage of pregnancy you’re at, and features maternity designer labels and non-maternity designer labels that you can wear during and post pregnancy. Great if you have an upcoming summer wedding.

Go to designer labels: Emilia Wickstead, Mira Mikati, Valentino, and Paul & Joe.

Have fun

Pregnancy is an unforgettable journey with a lot of changes happening in your body. Remember to have some fun along the way. The odd signature tee is a good way to do just that.

ASOS Design Maternity Maternity T-shirt with Lé Bump Print, €19.36

Looking for some maternity inspiration while supporting Irish business? The Pod Collection is next month teaming up with Beauty and the Bump and a number of other up and coming local brands to host a dedicated maternity pop-up shop. Featuring curated pieces from the creatives behind The Pod Collection and more, it takes place in Dun Laoghaire, Upper George’s Street from 17th-22nd July. Head to the @thepodcollection on Instagram for further updates.