Pregnancy Must Haves- Wardrobe and Skincare
taking a pregnant pause from life as you know it
Pregnancy guidebooks should all have the subtitle ‘say goodbye to life as you know it.’ Just so we’re clear, that’s not a bad thing. I just had no idea how quickly my body would change (ahem, bloat) or how adverse my reaction to pants would be.
bloating, and breakouts, and mood-swings, oh my!
Did I mention the bloating? I hope I mentioned the bloating. Literally 10 days into that positive pregnancy test, I grew out of all of my pants. Blame in on their high-waistedness. Blame it on my new obsession with donuts. Blame it on the 2 liters of sparkling water I was now consuming on a daily basis. The only thing that distracted me from my bloated tummy was the rampant breakout situation happening all over my face. It was like I was 14 again- breakouts from forehead to chin for a good 10 weeks straight.
Let me tell you, nothing helps you cope with all of these physical changes like the wild ride your hormones take you on during that first trimester… please note that I’m definitely lying. Crying + bloated mess + teenage style breakouts. Let me just take this moment to give a shout out to my husband for being *as patient as can be. I mean, he’s human, and he definitely asked at one point when I was going to be out of this phase -I bet you can guess how well that went over- but for the most part, he just told me I was beautiful, or lied and said that he didn’t notice the 3 new zits on my cheek. #hesakeeper
learning to embrace the change
After I accepted that there would be a time where I looked less-pregnant-more-chubbers, I figured out what I needed to make the transition as comfortable as possible, and what would help me feel more confident as I learned to navigate a new body and all of its new phases. The first trimester was all about loose, comfy clothing that didn’t restrict my waistline, didn’t yet draw attention to the expansion of said waistline, and that still made me feel attractive.
First Trimester Must Haves- Concealing the bump
Shift Dresses. Whether its summer and you’re pairing a shift with strappy sandals and a sunhat, or with non-control top tights and boots in the winter, shift dresses are the perfect silhouette for those early months of pregnancy. It’s not so flowy that you’re in a mumu, and it’s not so tight that you’re tugging at the midsection all day. Plus, you can find styles to wear to work or casually on the weekends.
Wrap Dresses. Wrap dresses were my favorite First Tri option thanks to their flexibility. My stomach (and boobs) seemed to change size on a daily basis, and wrap dresses adjusted to exactly what I needed when I needed it. Plus, once your belly does start to show, the tied waist perfectly highlights your bump.
Belly Bands. Belly Bandit bands kept me in regular pants and jeans well into my second trimester- no zipping or buttoning necessary. I also love the added support of a belly band when I’m working out or taking long walks.
Oversized button-down shirts. Whether it’s in classic white cotton, or a printed silk, an easy fitting button-down is a great way to keep questions at bay until you’re ready to share your news. I liked to pair mine with leggings or a fitted midi dress with the shirt tied at the bottom.
Jackets and Blazers. Layering any look with a jacket instantly makes feel more polished, creates a long lean line (when you’re feeling anything but), and conceals that your pants may or may not be held together with a hair tie.
Second Trimester Must Haves-embracing the bump
By the time you’re in your second tri, you’re most likely sharing the news with family and friends, and are showing to a point where it’s not exactly easy to hide. My vote? ROCK THE BUMP.
I have 2 basic outfit formulas that I follow almost everyday and I feel great in them.
Option 1: Fitted dress+Long open sweater+booties
I really enjoy wearing fitted dresses to highlight the bump, and pairing them with long dusters or sweaters because they elevate the entire look, and also keep my booty covered. Dusters are cardigans in a variety of colors and textures keep your outfits interesting and are great because you’ll wear them during and after pregnancy. I currently have the same fitted midi dress in 3 colors that I mix and match with different layering options to keep my outfits from becoming too boring.
Option 2: Fitted top+Blazer/Jacket+Full Panel Maternity Pants+Loafers or Slides
Again, the combo is very basic, but the possibilities are endless. I love the comfort of full panel pants as my belly keeps growing, and I’ve found that my favorite tops are working well into my second trimester when I go up a size. For example, the J Crew tissue turtleneck is my ALWAYS fall staple, and going up one size fro my normal is enough to cover my midsection, but not huge anywhere else.
Skincare for your face and belly- taking care head to toe
I’ve found that my skin is extremely sensitive to products I had used forever, but these items have been great, and have even helped keep breakouts at bay
Bare Minerals Foundation
I used bare minerals in high school, and loved it, so when they launched a new blemish rescue line this year, I gave it a try to see if it was gentle enough to help my skin. Let me tell you, I LOVE IT. The breakouts have subsided, and my face sensitivity has improved greatly since I started using it.
Clarins Tonic Oil and Stretch Mark Minimizing Lotion
After MUCH online and blog research, and after reading so many glowing reviews, this is the product combo that I selected to take care of my belly! I’ve used and loved Clarins skincare on my face for years, and after switching my foundation (and finding that my skincare routine was not impacting my face negatively) felt really confident adding their body products as well. I apply this oil morning and night, and layer the stretch mark cream over it in the mornings. So far, I have on new stretch marks, and when I got a massage a few weeks ago, my massage therapist commented on how hydrated my skin was! I plan to keep this routine up through my pregnancy and also into my postpartum recovery.
Epsom Salt Baths with Body Oil
Pregnancy means no-no to saunas and hot yoga. These 2 practices were a huge part of my self-care routine pre-pregnancy, and I knew that I needed a replacement, or the next 9 months were going to be LOONNGGG. So now, every night, I take a 20-30 minute bath with 1C Epsom salts, 2-3 droppers of natural body oil (I use a combination scent of rosemary, eucalyptus, arnica), and a drop of all natural bubble bath. This really helps me to relax before bed, let go of the day, and also helps to exfoliate and moisturize my skin. I feel like my products absorb better after opening my pores in the tub!
bonus tip- pack away what you don’t need
Pregnancy is a great time to clear out your closet! Donate anything you don’t love. Keep anything you do love AND that still fits in your closet, and store anything that just doesn’t fit right now that you’ll want to get back to.
Storing everything out of the way that simply doesn’t fit makes getting ready so much easier in the morning. There’s no point in sifting through clothes that won’t be an option for 40+ weeks, so put them out of sight! Keep your closet and dressers clean, organized, and full of things that actually fit and make you feel great. Doing this was a HUGE morale boost for me. I had no idea how much time I would save by taking the ‘no’s’ out of the equation. PLUS, your clothes don’t accidentally end up in the laundry when you throw them on the floor in a pregnancy-hormone induced rage… oh wait, was that just me?
from me to you
Ok now for the exciting part. I’ve given you my quick list of must haves, ANDDDDD…. I’ve linked all of my top wardrobe and beauty must-have for you Here! It’s your one stop shop to find the products that helped me feel my best, and will hopefully help you feel your best, too!!
Let me know in the comments below: what items are your pregnancy must haves?
Happy shopping, and congrats momma!!