With your new bundle of delight on the way, your waistline is popping – in fact, it sometimes seems as if everything about you is — including your feet!
“Weight gain during pregnancy depends on your initial BMI,” says Dr. Ron Hirth of Hilltop Obstetrics & Gynecology Associates. An average-size mom-to-be can expect to gain 25 – 30 pounds during her pregnancy, while overweight moms will want to aim for 15 – 25 pounds. Underweight moms shoot a little higher, at 30 – 40 pounds, while moms who find themselves in the obese category will want to aim for an 11 – 20 pound gain. Some moms may find that they actually lose weight in the first trimester, according to Hirth, who adds that he watches his patients very carefully and if they gain too much weight or none at all, he’ll use an ultrasound to take a closer look and see what might be going on. Hirth also says that he will often discuss a well-balanced diet with his patients, as well as the importance of maintaining exercise, even though that first trimester of feeling sick might serve as a pretty strong deterrent.
“Delivery is a marathon,” he says. “It takes a lot of strength and stamina.” Not to mention that you just spent nine months building a human being!
You’ve got plenty to do before Baby arrives, so you don’t necessarily have the time (or the energy) to shop for an entirely brand-new wardrobe. So here are some tips and tricks to save money and alter a few items yourself to get you through those growing months.
“Shopping for yourself while pregnant is not fun,” says Mary Helen O’Connor, owner of Mary Helen Clothing. And figuring out maternity wear when you’re a very petite person can make shopping even trickier. “A lot of people like maxi dresses,” she says, “but I’m five-foot-two, so I don’t like them on me.” While O’Connor was able to incorporate much of her own wardrobe during her pregnancy, she did opt for long maternity undershirts (the ones available at Target are her fave) that she could wear under tops and jackets. Mostly it was a matter of finding clothes that weren’t necessarily maternity items, but just a size up.
Greater Cincinnati is home to a small handful of shops and boutiques that cater to expecting moms. While some offer cute maternity wear, others are home to an array of services, including massages, lactation consultants, new mom classes, gear for when Baby arrives, and more:
9361 Montgomery Road | 513-791-1089
Becoming Mom Spa
5685 Deerfield Blvd., Mason | 513-770-6730
Cincinnati Family Enrichment Center
4244 Hamilton Ave. | 513-591-2332
The Red Balloon Café + Play
6200 Montgomery Road | 513-620-8328
And for super cute clothing when Baby finally arrives (and becomes a toddler faster than you can say “Too cute!”):
The Spotted Goose
3048 Madison Road | 513-351-9600
Mary Helen Clothing
1981 Madison Road | 513-802-5020
3435 Edwards Road | 513-871-2458
7875 Montgomery Road #78 (inside Kenwood Towne Centre) | 513-253-0832
Sometimes it’s just about knowing where to shop. Old Navy stores and the Gap Outlet at 2050 Global Way in Hebron, KY, are great places to buy clothes when you don’t necessarily need maternity wear, so much as just a bigger size. Head online to ebay.com for their own maternity section, or check in with your local MOMS and MOPS Clubs for their semi-annual sales, which typically take place in the spring and the fall (find a list of local clubs at our site, under “Directories”).
Consignment shops are some of the best places to great deals on gently used maternity wear, so you can add new-to-you items to your wardrobe without breaking the bank! Some of our favorites for both maternity wear, as well as baby equipment and teeny-tiny ensembles, include:
Once Upon a Child
Reruns for Wee Ones
A Word on Shoes
“Summer is the hardest time to be pregnant,” says O’Connor, mentioning her swollen feet.
Hirth reminds us that “everything changes” when you’re pregnant — your joints and muscles are relaxing to accommodate a growing baby and that means all kinds of weird things happen — some moms-to-be even find themselves suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome! So don’t forget that even your shoe size will change during pregnancy, whether you’re just swelling or your feet are expanding, thanks to musculoskeletal changes that are happening all over your body. Hirth points out that shoes sizes will generally go back to normal, so don’t chuck those Chanel pumps just yet! Plenty of water, ice packs on her arms and feet, and flip-flops with a wide, high loop have helped O’Connor.
If you’re handy with a needle and thread, you might want to just keep things on the cheap with a few homemade alterations. Cottonandcurls.com has loads of tutorials on how to alter tops, dresses, leggings and more into maternity wear.
Mom Katie Kelso says, “I didn’t drastically alter clothing, but I did make my own nursing tanks. I cut the straps on the spaghetti strap ones and created/sewed a lop to pass my bra strap through.”
O’Connor suggests that if you hem any dresses like she does, to leave in the hem so that you can let it out later when your growing belly takes up more room. That will help to keep your dresses from suddenly feeling too short!
Head to our Pinterest board, Maternity Wear, for links to tutorials on how to alter everything from tank tops to jeans.