Help! I can’t find anything to wear. I knew it was time for baby to come when at 39 weeks; it took me 30 minutes to find an ensemble that I could fit in to go to the supermarket.
My pregnancy jeans were crashing me at the hips and the cozy tummy holding material on top made my stomach itch terribly. Most of my tops now hang mid length like unfinished tents, and the rest were too tight they made my tummy itch even more.
My dresses were too snuggly for my comfort, drawing curious stares from even the most innocent. I didn’t feel confident in them anymore. I was left to wear tights and the most umbrella shaped tops I could find, which happened to be the two or three sizes bigger tops I had bought earlier.
First trimester for me was a breeze because I was so nauseated to eat much, I lost weight. This saw me wear my normal clothes almost to week 16, save for the fact that my abdomen felt sensitive so I could not wear tight clothes. My low waist trousers and high waist skirts came in handy.
The high waist skirts combined with an above-the-belly belt are particularly handy in early second trimester when the ‘pot’ is beginning to show and help cover a multitude of sins, fashion wise.
Also forgiving are tops that are loose around the middle, cardigans as they help draw attention from the fast-expanding middle, empire waist dresses and waterfall tops. Anything that does not make you look bloated will work because at 18 weeks, people are not too sure if you are preggers or have just been eating too much blackforest.
The secret to second trimester fashion is to embrace your bump. Accept that your body has changed and is daily changing, and buy pieces to go with the times, without looking too much further ahead. Therefore, don’t buy a lot of clothes as they are likely to grow tiny in a month or two, but also don’t hold too hard onto your pre-preggo clothes as you will start looking like someone in denial.
When my tummy could no longer fit in my usual clothes, I bought a few maternity pants and jeans to last me a week, but tried to suck the life out of my normal trousers for as long as possible by using belts (leaving the top button open), and rubber bands and belly bands. But by 24 weeks there was not much repurposing I could do- I had to get into maternity outfits, which I had tried to avoid because I didn’t want to look boring and predictable, and I wanted clothes that I could wear post baby. I therefore ended up getting most of the tops and dresses from non-maternity outlets. You will be surprised at what you can get if you just get a little creative.
Third trimester is time to flaunt the bump; no camouflage, just embracing the new curves. But comfort is also key at this point as you will need fabrics that don’t grate and that let you breathe. My tummy happened to be those that ‘chomoka’ at the front like I am carrying a ball and made for lots of stares from strangers. I stuck with bright clothes that helped me feel pretty, comfortable maternity tops and lots of dresses. I had found out that I did not like anything that pressed on my tummy so dresses were a godsend, as were tights. Also with pregnancy, one tends to feel hotter than normal so consider breathy fabrics and designs.
For stockists of cute, practical Maternity wear in Nairobi, see our Info Centre.