Maternity Clothes, Underwear and Shoes

Maternity clothes are created since it is often very troublesome to decide what clothes to wear during pregnancy. With a big tummy, whatever clothes you wear will not have the right shape. You want comfort, convenience and beauty, so what choice do you have? Below are introductions to some choices for maternity clothes and footwear.

Choice of Maternity Clothes

Wear Maternity Clothes from Fifth Month of Pregnancy

The tummy will not protrude too much until 5 months pregnancy, so it doesn’t harm to wear your normal clothing until this time. However, it is best to avoid jeans, skin tight pants or corsets or anything that restricts air circulation, as vaginal secretions will increase. If the area is not suitably ventilated, it could lead to inflammation problems.

Don’t buy maternity clothes too soon. The body will not suddenly get fat until the second trimester, so it is best to buy comfortable and relaxed clothing as the body will return to a smaller size after childbirth.

Suspenders and Dungarees


The best is to wear single piece skirts, dungarees and A-shaped dresses. The dress feels more formal and can be worn on such occasions, due to the larger sized abdomen, it is best for them to rest on the shoulder and unfold from the chest area downwards. For the pregnancies with little weight gain, this can be worn until 6 months pregnancy. H-shaped skirts may appear more sophisticated but will be very inconvenient with weight gain.

Creative Use of Blouse, Scarf and Sweater

During pregnancy, the immune system is weakened and is easier to catch a cold, so must be cautious in air conditioned rooms. Prepare warm clothing, especially during the change of seasons, and wear jackets that are easy to remove. Blouses and scarves have a positive look on outward appearances especially when used with an inconspicuous safety pin.

Important Points when Buying Maternity Clothes

Chose relaxed shoulders

As the size of the abdomen increases, not only the abdomen, but the shoulders too need to be relaxed. All throughout the body, fat will increase under the skin, so the shoulders also need to be loosened.

Chose Easy to Adjust Waist

Whether it is a skirt or a trouser, it is best to choose an item with an adjustable waist that can be adjusted as the pregnancy progresses. It is best to wear this right until childbirth.

Cottons and Natural Fabrics

In the second half of pregnancy, perspiration and secretions will increase and lead to discomfort and itchiness. So it is best to use natural products to help relieve the condition.

Regardless of Season, Ventilation is Essential

Blouses with inner lining will be too hot to wear during summer; similarly skirts with inner lining will also be too hot. For clothes without an inner lining, pay close attention to choose those with smooth stitching. In winter, wear several layers of thin clothing making it easier to regulate body temperature. This mix and match style of dressing is better than a thick jacket and can protect against wind just as well, so it is convenient for any use.

Elastic Waist

Choose skirts or trousers which allow room in the abdominal area to grow. To prepare for when the tummy grows bigger, choose soft and flexible cloth. Western style dresses and skirts must be extra-long at the front. This way when the tummy is large, you do not need to buy more clothing.

Buying clothes for post-natal wearing

During the post natal period, the body has still not returned to its original shape, so it is more economical to buy clothes that are suitable to also be worn during this period, and chose something according to your personal style.

Choosing Underwear

Prepare Plenty

Underwear needs to be changed frequently, including the period after childbirth, and it is important to avoid wearing snug-fit items.

Must use Cotton Products

For those with sensitive skin, itchiness will develop in the second trimester, so cotton underwear is needed. Cottons absorbency and heat preservation is very good for the pregnancy-related increased secretions and body temperature fluctuations; this is the best material to wear.


During pregnancy, breasts will become enlarged and will be accompanied by chest pains. If a bra is unable to be worn, it is possible that after childbirth the breasts will sag down. Due to increased perspiration and sebum secretions, the inner layer of the bra must be cotton to increase absorbency. A specialist bra for pregnancy should be used from the fifth month of pregnancy until lactation.

Shopping Requirements

l Whilst the breast is increasing in size, the cup of the bra must not fit too tight.

l Not only will the breast increase in size, but the circumference of the chest will also increase, so it is better to buy a bra with an adjustable strap.

l Choose a size the same as the size you naturally use. So for example, if before pregnancy a size 80 bra was sufficient, whilst pregnant simply use the pregnancy type size 80 bra. Typically speaking, for every 1kg increase in body weight, the chest measurement will increase by 1-1.5cm.

Maternity Briefs

Briefs can be worn from the fifth month of pregnancy until the second month after childbirth. If they are too small, not only will it be inconvenient, but the lining of the briefs will also cut into the body and will lead to pigmentation, so you must choose briefs that can completely cover the abdominal area.

Shopping Requirements

l Choose items that can loosely cover the abdominal area.

l Choose briefs that are adjustable and will not grip the abdomen too tightly.

l Choose briefs that are white in any area that touches the genitalia.

l Briefs come in size 80, 85, 90 and 95. A typical woman at six months pregnant would wear size 85, between 6 and 9 months pregnancy would wear size 90. The larger figure would wear size 95 from the very start until the very end of the pregnancy.

Abdominal Support

Wearing this from the fifth month of pregnancy gives a complete cover for the abdomen, preserves heat, and prevents contraction of the womb. When the tummy gets bigger, standing will become unstable and the increased weight will cause back ache, but these problems can be reduced by wearing this type of underwear. It will help the body return to its original shape after childbirth. In addition, due to the gentle squeeze on the womb, the fetus will have a sense of safety.

Shopping Requirements

l Needs to amply cover the bottom area of the womb and needs good elasticity in order to use until 10 months pregnancy or full-term pregnancy is reached.

l Must support the lower abdomen and reach to just over the top of the abdomen.

l Must confirm whether or not there is a waist support board.

l Must be of sufficient size to envelop the buttocks.

l Just like the briefs, at the third month wear size 80, between five and six months wear size 90, and at full term pregnancy wear size 95. When buying underwear, remember that because the manufacturers are different, so then the sizes will have variations, so you must look carefully. Regardless of the differences, never buy too small!


Girdles can prevent back ache and the sagging of the abdomen, will also hold the fetus in the correct position, and will make the body feel relaxed. This can be used between six months and full term pregnancy.

Shopping Requirements

l Check if it is comfortable to wear.

l Because it needs to be worn until full term, please ensure that it is adjustable.

l For adjustable girdles, it is best to buy a large size, so when the abdomen gets bigger, the girdle can be adjusted accordingly.

Choosing Shoes

A 3-4cm heel is the most appropriate. As the abdomen increases, when walking, the body will feel like it is tipping backwards. If the heel is too short, then this will make the situation worse. The foot will be easy to become swollen, and the size of the foot will vary from morning to evening. It is best to wear soft leather footwear, like American Indian boots, which are made from one single piece of leather and is more flexible than several small pieces stitched together. This will give greater comfort for the feet.


The front part of the sneakers soles need to be a little harder than running shoes. It is best for them to be slightly wider in the width with a soft inner lining on the soles to help the feet; these pads will help reduce the shock caused on the knees and ankles when walking. You can check the inner sole by pressing down with your finger and seeing the level of elasticity. The sole of the trainers is best to have air padding.

TIP: Footwear Unsuitable for Pregnancy

Flat, Thin Canvas Shoes

Avoid footwear with a hard sole, in regards to sports sneakers, the sole is too thin and too hard and the shoelaces are not too good either.

Wedge Shoes / Platform Shoes

Though these shoes look very cozy, they are not good for pregnant women. The advantage of this kind of shoe is that the front is taller than normal which will prevent the weight of the body leaning forward. However, because the entire sole is higher, it will cause the body’s center of gravity to be higher which will cause fatigue in the waist, shoulders and neck. Furthermore, when wearing this style of footwear, the work done by the root of the big toe is reduced, insteadthe pressure is moved to the middle of the same toe, causing serious stress.

That’s it for maternity wear to guide you through choosing which one is best for you.

Sandra Henderson

Editor-in-chief at Babiology and a proud mother of four passionate about sharing pregnancy and baby growth knowledges

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