when will i need maternity clothes

when will i need maternity clothes

When Will I Need Maternity Clothes?

When you first find out you’re expecting a baby, it may be hard to imagine what your body will soon look like. Being pregnant is a wholly new experience, and you will inevitably change to accommodate your growing baby. One of the changes many women experience is changes in the size and shape of their body, and the conventional clothing they may have worn no longer fits.

Knowing When to Buy Maternity Clothes

It can be difficult to know when the best time is to buy maternity clothes, and there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Generally, that time varies for each woman, and some factors that determine when it’s time to buy maternity clothes include:

  • Your Pre-Pregnancy Size: Depending on the size and shape of your body before you became pregnant, the time you need maternity clothing may come at different stages. If you have a larger bust, for example, you may need to buy maternity clothing earlier than other women.
  • Your Weight Gain: If you’re carrying multiple babies, or gain more weight than is average during one pregnancy, you may also find that you need maternity clothing earlier than you may have expected.
  • Your Size After Birth: This is a less certain factor, but some women find they stay in maternity clothing longer than expected, not returning to their pre-pregnancy size even after the birth of their baby.

When to Start Shopping

As a rough guide, most women start shopping for maternity clothing somewhere around the 18-20 week mark. By then, your body is beginning to change and maternity wear will likely be more comfortable than non-maternity clothes. While there are many different options for maternity clothing, it can be a good idea to start with a few essential garments such as leggings, loose dresses, fitted tops and comfortable bras.

The environment around you can also affect when you may need maternity clothes. If it’s summer, for example, the difficulty of finding cooler clothing your regular sizing may mean that you need to start shopping for maternity-specific items earlier than if it were a cooler season.

Many women find they shop for maternity clothes a few times throughout their pregnancy. You may find that your growing body requires different clothes to accommodate your shape at different stages of pregnancy.


When it’s time to start buying clothes to accommodate your growing body during pregnancy can vary depending on the individual and many factors, such as your pre-pregnancy size, amount of weight gain, and the season around you. Generally, however, it’s a good idea to start shopping around the 18-20 week mark, and make sure to stock up on essential items such as leggings, comfortable dresses and fitted tops. You may need to shop for more clothing as your pregnancy progresses, and when the time comes you will likely be thankful for the comfort and style that maternity clothing provides.

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