So let me write it.
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Pregnant? Skip the maternity clothes!
Nor do you need nursing clothes!
I vaguely remember googling about maternity clothes when I was pregnant with Kai. I wasn't terribly keen at getting single-purpose clothes I would wear for only a while. So somehow I chanced upon Bellaband and bought one to try. I loved it so much that I bought a second one! I used them more at the beginning but I did use them all the way through as it was useful to cover my bulging belly when my tights got too low...
Hey, wait a minute - thought there was no need for maternity clothes??
Well, by Yang and Yu's time, I was too big to fit into pre-pregnancy stuff. Plus, my working gear did not include anything with front button/zip. So my Bellabands were used during some weekends only. On retrospect, I did not need the Bellabands at all. That said, I never regretted buying them - more details soon, in the nursing section...
So, what would I recommend for pregnancy wear?
First, loose tunic tops paired with tights. They offer great coverage and go from early days to delivery. The downside is that the tights may get, well, real tight if they were bought just nice. The waistband may also ride too low at the end - coupled with a tunic that's struggling to cover the belly, a Bellaband or an old stretchy spaghetti top worn without the straps will offer coverage.
Second, loose fitting midi or long dresses. These were my go-to for Yang and Yu. So comfortable and pretty and lots of room for growth. You can even hide two kids inside, no kidding! I bought them at neighbourhood shopping malls or shopping carts at $15-$30 each. I'm still wearing them now!
Something like this though I didn't wear this during pregnancy - got this from a friend only recently, and I think I can hide three kids inside!
Third, practical but I won't recommend - exercise pants and tee. I won't recommend coz (1) they made me look auntie, and (2) the tee will be overly stretched and condemned. But this is great for home wear! And the condemned tee can still come in handy in the early post-partum days. Or fat days.
Oh, and I must not forget - underwear. Usually, a pregnant mother will need new bras to cater for wider torso and bigger boobs. Wired or wireless is a personal preference - I have found no difference as long as the fit is good. If you can, get those cross-wrap type of nursing bras with no buckle so that you can wear them for some months more - I got mine at $10 or less each.
I never needed maternity panties though - just use "fat panties" from fat days. I bought a few big panties though when I saw regular panties on sale at Forever 21. Today, I'm still wearing my fat panties, rather unfortunately... I must add that I have plans to trim down within the next year!
Moving on to nursing wear now.
I started out with two nursing dresses and a nursing top. Saw them cheap from an online shop. I did not buy more coz nothing else caught my fancy and I didn't know then, at 34 weeks pregnant with Kai, whether I would be able to breastfeed. Lucky for me, coz I very seldom wore them. My go-to for nursing wear were tees - just pull up the shirt and bra together, and stuff the boob into the little mouth!
My trick is the Bellaband - I used it to cover my belly so that I didn't expose flabby tummy when nursing in public, which I did very often, especially with Kai. In my blue sling, I could turn to the wall, latch him on, turn around and carry on walking about. But like I said, a stretchy spaghetti top would do the same.
There was once when I had to go for a wedding dinner when Yang was only two months old. There were really nice nursing dresses available. But they had really nice price tags too! I decided to wear an old dress that could be slipped off on one shoulder to nurse using a nursing cover.
So, there! My little guide to no new clothes during pregnancy and for nursing. Just grab some cheap bras.
And - did I mention? - you get to do some real shopping when you're done with childbearing and nursing!