Bump it up


By Michelle LeGault

There once was a time when pregnant women hid their baby bumps under tents masquerading as shirts. This was an era when men and women were never shown in the same bed on TV and instead they slept in identical twin beds separated by a nightstand. Think “I Love Lucy.”

Were we supposed to think that sex never happened? Or that babies really DID come delivered by storks? Maybe Lucy wasn’t really pregnant under that giant shirt. After all, she did eat a lot of chocolate when she briefly worked for a candy factory. Maybe she just gained a few pounds…. all in her abdomen.

Gone now are the days of Lucy. This is a new time. Couples today are shown sharing a bed on TV and baby bumps are hip. As a twenty-something who has just given birth to her first baby (yeah buddy!) I can tell you that it is now the cool thing to show off your baby belly. The tricky part is finding stores that sell clothes that a) fit the bump and b) look good stretched over the bump and c) feel comfortable. Here is what I found in my 9ish months of pregnancy:

1. Maternity pants are a good investment and Gap maternity pants are the best. I like Gap pants because they come in actual pant sizes. A lot of maternity pants (apart from being ugly) come in ambiguous sizes like small, medium or large, so unhelpful. The only problem I found with Gap maternity clothes was that most of them are only available online. However, if you like to thrift you can easily find this brand at consignment shops.

2. When it comes to shoes the flatter the better, I say. My baby was just over 7 pounds when she was born, but my total weight gain was 25 pounds (which is normal). That is a lot of extra weight to carry all in your abs and your feet will notice. This is like carrying around two 12.5 pound bowling balls all day. Do yourself a favor and invest in comfy shoes.

3. It doesn’t have to be a maternity shirt for you to wear it while pregnant. Stores like H&M and Express are good places for finding long, fitted tops that look cute over a baby bump. I tried to pick things in solid colors so I could coordinate with other pieces in my wardrobe.

4. Ruching: it looks better on you than on the hanger. You know how some things look really ugly on a hanger, and then when you put them on they look amazing? That’s how it goes for maternity tops with ruching. They are made to fit perfectly over your bump and stay in place so that you don’t accidentally bare your midriff when you don’t want to. Old Navy and Target both carry tops in this style that are very business casual.

5. In a pinch, you can use a cinch – a belt that is. Another way to draw attention to your bump is to wear a cute chunky belt around your shirt at empire-waist-height.

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