My Must-Have Maternity Clothing List

So a few folks have asked for a little post over here about my “maternity style” which makes me laugh because I’m not a stylish prego gal. I’m one of those moms with dog hair on my shirt and half of a sandwich inexplicably stuck to the back of my leg whether I’m pregnant or not (as a sidenote, I’m very popular with both Burger and Clara for exactly this reason).

But I thought I’d humor you guys and just share more of a quick recap about how I get through being pregnant without spending an arm and a leg in the hopes that perhaps someone else out there will benefit from my love of Old Navy maternity jeans and big earrings to distract from my puffy pregnant face. So here’s my must-have pregnancy clothing list:

1. Old Navy maternity jeans. I like the full belly panel ones, because they just make my bump feel more supported (it’s a comfort thing). For my pregnancy with Clara I bought one pair that took me all the way through my pregnancy (from about 14 weeks to delivery day). Those babies stretch. So far with this pregnancy I’ve had one pair as well (I sprung for a new pair so they wouldn’t be stretched out) and they’re doing me right again. So I think it’s safe to say that they’re my favorite budget-friendly maternity solution.

2. A bra extender. This is a weird one, but later on in my pregnancy with Clara I learned that Target sold these little extender tabs that can be hooked right onto your bra hooks (they sell them with 2 eye-hooks or 3 of them, near the gel shoe inserts and stockings) and they make your bra a little wider around the ribs. I’m not sure about you guys, but my ribs expand like crazy when I’m pregnant, so it’s a super easy fix to allow my bras to work throughout pregnancy, and then I can pop the extenders off and wear them normally again when my ribs go back to where they belong (assuming they do this time… it took about 6 months after having Clara but they did last time).

3. Various stretchy shirts. This is an obvious one, but I love cotton because it’s comfortable and I’m generally a fan of v-necks (short girls with short necks hear my cry, v-necks are elongation devices!). So I have a bunch in a few colors (although the black ones are clearly my favorite). Some of them are made in the maternity department at Target or Old Navy, but many of them are just larger sizes from the regular departments at those two stores (or occasionally from the Gap or Banana clearance rack).

4. Big ol’ earrings. These are a favorite when I’m pregnant or not, but they seem especially comforting when I’m in the last trimester and my face puffs up and I want something (anything) to hide behind. A nice big and colorful pair of earrings might not be a full-on masquerade ball mask (which would probably hide more of the puff) but they make me feel a little less like people are staring at my puffiness or my tired eyes and a little more like they’re doing me a solid by whispering “don’t look there, LOOK HERE! Ooh yes, SHINNNNY! Keep your eyes on the EARRINGS!”

5. A simple pair of slip on flats. This pregnancy my staples have been some cute little leopard flats by Sam Edelman that I found at DSW for $39 a few months before I even got pregnant. And with Clara they were some cute little black patent leather flats by Steve Madden. Otherwise I’m tempted to flip and flap my way around town in flip-flops all the time, which feels a little bit weird (especially when it’s winter). So having some cute little go-to flats make me feel like I’m a little more pulled together, even if I do unknowingly have a hunk of granola bar stuck to the back of my arm. Oh but when I’m on my feet all day it’s nice to have some added arch support, so I might go for Puma sneakers if we’re running around all day or if we’re on-site at the showhouse (which is kind of a mud pit) for example.

Here are some old bump photos from when I was carrying Clara, and all the jeans were that very same Old Navy pair I mentioned. All of the shirts were from Old Navy or Target from the not-maternity section (they were just larger and stretchy) except for the last one with the dots (which was from the Banana Outlet, but also from their non-maternity section). Oh and that pink dress was from Target, but was a maternity dress. It’s nice to have one or two of those just for events where jeans wouldn’t be the best call. They can actually be crazy comfy like a big ol’ muumuu.

I’m probably forgetting ten million things, but I thought those were some basic things that help me get through being pregnant without dumping tons of money into clothes that I’ll only get to wear for a few more months while bowing to the porcelain throne (yes, that’s still happening, but this little bun of ours is so darn cute and wiggly that I can’t even be mad). What about you guys. What do you love when you’re prego? Do you have any favorite low-budget “cheater” finds (like bra extenders instead of buying all new bras)?

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Clara Conversations

Convo #1
Clara: Mom, octopuses are kinda mean.
Mom: All of them? Or just some of them?
Clara: Just a few of them. The rest are ok.

Convo #2
Mom (pretending to be sick): Doctor Clara, I’m sick. What’s my diagnosis?
Clara: You have… (looks around and sees a stuffed reindeer) … Reindeer-itis! It’s when you swallow a reindeer and it’s stuck in your throat.

Convo #3
(Dad walks into the kitchen and sits down next to Clara)
Clara: Hi-ya toots!

Convo #4
Mom: When you eat food, it goes down your throat and into your tummy.
Clara: And then it goes all the way down into your legs! Isn’t that cool?

Convo #5
Mom (during our New Year’s Eve dinner, while chatting about “word of the year” resolutions): Clara, what’s your word of the year for 2014 going to be?
Clara (thinks a long time): … ketchup!

Psst- Check out dozens of other conversations with Clara here.

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