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Secrets to a stylish pregnancy

by Noelle Watters | FNC iMag

Before I was in their shoes, I never understood why women who were pregnant felt unattractive. It’s not like you’ve gained an extra 20-40 pounds because you ate too many burritos. Your sudden body transformation is due to the growing and blessed baby, who, if you’re lucky resembles a basketball tucked into your pretty new maternity dress. The truth is, the minute your clothes begin to feel tight, your ankles start to swell and your body starts to take on a mind of its own. The simplest things like shopping, getting dressed and taking photos become dreaded events.  Maybe it’s the fact that everyone (and I mean everyone) comments on your new and growing body.  Whether it’s how small you are (causing you to panic that your baby isn’t growing quickly enough), or how large you are (making you feel as if you should lie about your due date), people love to talk about a baby bump.  I have had to explain to numerous strangers that yes, I have several months left and no, I am not due tomorrow, but in fact am pregnant with twins. The overwhelming need to explain this however, is perplexing. Why do I feel reassured when those strangers nod in understanding as if  they're thinking, “Oh twins, that explains it?” 
The truth is every pregnant woman’s greatest dream is to be told, “Oh you’re not showing at all; you’re all belly.” Because even though a woman is pregnant, she still wants to feel attractive, look fashionable and feel comfortable in her own skin.  I myself have found this to be quite possible although not every day. I have however, garnered a few tips and tricks over the last few months that have helped me feel somewhat stylish. Enjoy!
1 – Accept the fact that you have no control over how you grow.
Unless you are using your pregnancy as an excuse to garner VIP status at McDonalds, chances are there’s nothing you can do about how you carry. While some women’s bellies are larger and others, smaller, some higher and others lower, the amount of food you eat or exercise you do won’t change how you grow. The same goes for the rest of your body – a wider butt, swollen feet, a puffy face and bigger breasts are experienced by some, but not others. Of course your doctor does give you guidelines as to how much weight you should gain, but it’s important to accept your fate and move on. Most everything goes back to normal after the baby is born.
2 – Embrace your baby bump as soon as it arrives.
Trying to fit into your regular clothes when you’re clearly showing is a definite fashion don't.  However, DO go through your closet and separate out the clothes you can wear for the first few months. Leggings, stretchy tees, empire dresses, tunics and loose fitting tanks can all be great before you get bigger.
3 – Shop in regular stores (at first).
I found that in my third and fourth month when my belly was starting to grow, buying a few non-maternity pieces and sizing up was a much better option than maternity clothes. In some cases I even found that I looked smaller in an H+M dress than I did in a maternity style. Many maternity dresses and tops have belts and ties right above the belly, which emphasizes your bump whereas a regular dress may have a much more subtle fit.
4 – Skip the designer jeans.
Jeans are imperative. I actually wear mine now more than I did before I was pregnant (mainly because my feet and legs are so swollen I look as if I have elephantiasis).  But there are so many great options; buying the designer versions at $200 and up are not necessary. Look for stretchy styles and have them hemmed with flats, not heels.
5 – Get to know Motherhood Maternity
Destination Maternity is one of the greatest places to shop, visit their website, they have many fashionable clothes.
6 – Let go of high heels.
This had been the hardest part for me – giving up my heels. No matter how big you feel, pregnant or not, a good pair of heels can instantly improve your posture, make you feel thinner and more stylish. But there came a point when none of my shoes fit except for flip flops, and shopping for new shoes became inevitable. I had to buy shoes a whole size bigger and to my dismay, I did opt for a couple pairs of ballet flats as opposed to heels. Remember, being pregnant throws off your balance and takes a toll on your back, so flats are definitely the way to go. With that said, try, TRY to wear heel to your shower -  they are so much cuter.
7 – Recycle.
Maternity clothes are expensive so asking friends and family to borrow theirs is a great idea. This tends to work with tops and dresses more than pants (pregnant or not, pants should always be hemmed perfectly).
Hopefully this helps you feel a bit more stylish during your pregnancy. And remember, if all else fails – great fashion moments are only nine months away

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