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Ripe Maternity: When should I start buying maternity clothes?

Yay - you’re pregnant! Congrats, mama! What an exciting journey you’re about to embark on. You’re probably also a little mind boggled by the changes that are occurring in your body and asking questions on a daily basis like, ‘Is this normal?’, ‘Should this be happening?’, ‘What to do when…’. Soon enough you’ll also be asking, ‘When do I need to buy maternity clothes?' Cue the experts at Ripe Maternity!

One of the first questions most women ask when doing their first maternity shop is – “what size do I need?” It’s a common misconception that you need to size up to accommodate your growing bump. However, all good maternity wear is designed with you and your growing bump in mind! So, we always recommend starting with your pre-pregnancy size. This size should see you through until the end. As your pregnancy progresses, if you find that a little fluid retention means that you need to go up a size, then let that be the case! Also keep in mind that with all clothing, sizing between brands can vary slightly, so it’s always best to double check your measurements with a sizing chart.

First trimester

You might notice that you’re feeling a little more bloated or that for the first 3 months there’s really not much change to your body at all. You might even find yourself looking in the mirror each day wondering if your tummy is growing or whether you just ate too much for dinner the night before. The best thing to do is to take each day as it comes and don’t stress about whether your pregnancy experience is “normal” - what does normal even mean?

Usually the first thing you will grow out of is your pants. If you start to feel like the waistband of your pants are digging in as your waistline expands, but you’re not sure if you’re ready for maternity pants yet, then perhaps a pair of leggings is good place to start. A fitted maternity tee or seamless tank is another idea, to offer a little extra support. Our maternity tops are also designed with extra length, so they’re perfect for layering over bottoms that aren’t as comfortable as they once were, or over unbuttoned pants! 

Second trimester

The size of your boobs will likely fluctuate throughout your pregnancy and you will be able to gauge when you feel like you’re outgrowing your bra. As a guide, most women need to get fitted for a maternity bra between 12 – 16 weeks, and then again between 29 – 32 weeks. When you get home at night and haven’t even put your shopping bags down before flinging your bra off, that’s a sure sign that it’s time to ditch those firm underwires! Or at least opt for a maternity bra with softer underwire than a regular bra.

The Hotmilk range offers a selection of lovely looking maternity bras which are also suitable for when and if you decide to breastfeed, as they feature clip release straps for easy nursing access.

The Seamless Nursing Bra is made from a lovely soft fabric that will make you feel like you’re not wearing anything at all (with the exception of the added support of course!).

Around the 13 – 16 week mark, you’re probably well and truly ready for maternity jeans that look just as good as your old jeans but feature a very different kind of waistband! From skinny legs, to boyfriend jeans, over the bump waistbands to under the bump, light wash, dark wash and distressed… we’ve got you covered! We have the most extensive range of maternity jeans available to ensure we have something for every mama-to-be. What can we say; maternity jeans, they’re kind of our thing.


So, how do you go about choosing jeans with a waistband that feels right for you? There’s no better way than to try both on and see how they feel. Often women who prefer to wear higher waisted pants pre-pregnancy will opt for the over-the-bump band, as they’re not used to the feeling of the waistband sitting below their belly. It’s also an option to fold down the waistband during those earlier months and then once you feel you need some extra coverage and support; you can pull it up and wear over your bump.


Some women just simply don’t like the feeling of the waistband over their bump and the feeling of anything tight across their belly. If this is you, then you’ll most likely prefer to go with under-the-bump jeans. The under-bump waistband is designed to sit low under the bump at the front and high across your back, providing a supportive and comfortable fit. 

Third trimester

Things are getting real now! Time to start thinking about nursing clothes. Even if you haven’t thought too much about breastfeeding yet, it’s never really too early to start investing in clothing that will make feeding in public easier! Did you know that our nursing styles are actually designed to wear at any stage of your pregnancy and afterwards too? The nursing access is so discreet you can wear these styles at any point, and nobody would know what’s going on under that second layer or invisible zip!

Hospital here I come!

Around the 30 – 34 week mark, you’ll be reading all kinds of lists about what you need to pack in your baby bag for your hospital stay. Don’t forget about what you’ll need, mama! 

Once your bub has arrived, you might need a little assistance to help you gain confidence and assist your return to exercise. Our Recovery Compression Shorts  and Recovery Compression Briefs assist in smoothing out your waistline and supporting your tummy while it shrinks back to shape!

Shop all your maternity needs from Ripe Maternity today:

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