From maternity jeans to nursing bras, find out the essentials you need, trimester by trimester
Trimester 1: work with your existing wardrobe
The first trimester of pregnancy can be a tricky time for many women; you may not have told everyone you’re pregnant but are probably feeling a bit queasy, and while you’re unlikely to have much of a bump at this point, you may well feel bloated and uncomfortable in the first few months. Avoid tight, restrictive waistbands – a smart pair of joggers with a cashmere jumper looks chic or, if you want to hold on to your denim, choose jeans with some stretch, such as our super-soft Carrie skinnies. You might also notice your breasts get bigger early on in pregnancy (you can try our bra-fit calculator to check if you’ve changed size). If so, you could buy nursing bras now and wear them throughout pregnancy for comfortable support.
Trimester 2: invest in the basics
You’ll probably start to develop more of a baby bump during the second trimester, which makes it a good time to invest in a few essentials for the rest of pregnancy. Maternity jeans are so ridiculously comfy you’ll never want to take them off – M&S has both straight-fit over-the-bump jeans and skinny fit maternity denim (also over-the-bump, not sitting beneath it). Ditto maternity leggings. In terms of tops and knitwear, the looser-fitting items in your existing wardrobe will likely do the job although, for close-fitting items, such as T-shirts and vests, consider buying maternity versions so as not to stretch the ones you already own.
Trimester 3: look good, stay comfy
The final trimester is serious baby bump territory, and you may well find your wardrobe limited to a few choice items worn on rotation (this can be surprisingly liberating). A couple of good dresses will serve you well; choose between maternity dresses or simply sizing up in a standard shirt dress – you can easily belt this style when you’re no longer pregnant, and they’re great for breastfeeding. You’ll probably want some giant knickers at this point, which will also be your best friends post-birth (see our guide to what to pack in your hospital bag for labour and birth for more handy advice) and possibly nursing tops that you can keep wearing for the weeks after your baby’s arrival.
Words: Sophie Hines