Michelle Smiles

Teaching my children to question authority, except mine.

Stages of Maternity Dressing


Stage 1: Excitement

In this stage, the pregnant person in question (from here on out referred to as the preggo) makes a trip to a maternity store with her mom or BFF to strap on the fake belly and try on maternity wear. Though giggling and having fun, she doesn’t really believe that she will ever require that much fabric to cover her ass belly. She buys a few things and secretly tries them on at home every weekend while stuffing a pillow under her shirt, marveling at the sheer volume of fabric.

Stage 2: Denial

While there is some excitement to wear some of the new maternity wear for some outward manifestation of all that is happening inside of the preggo, there is a prideful streak demanding that she must continue to wear her regular clothes for as long as possible. It doesn’t matter that the moment she steps in the house, she changes into sweatpants and a big t-shirt because she can’t breath anymore in her regular clothes – the point is that she can still fit into her jeans.

Stage 3: Grudging acceptance

Finally, the need for comfort overrides vanity. Either fat clothes or small maternity clothes start making it into the wardrobe rotation. The preggo will often grab the excess fabric and tell her husband how ridiculous she looks but that nothing else is comfortable anymore. Despite some annoyance over her less than fashionable feeling, the preggo is loving the elastic waistbands that allow her to breath again! She will spend time each day struggling to come up with a comfortable and still somewhat stylish wardrobe choice. She worries that people will think she is fat rather than pregnant.

Stage 4: Surprise

Suddenly, the preggo realizes that the maternity clothes don’t look quite so ridiculous anymore. Did that bump appear overnight? It wasn’t there yesterday! The preggo is proud to show off her bump now that it is more obvious her new girth wasn’t just a result of too many pasta with cream sauce dinners. The maternity wear fits pretty well during this stage and the preggo works to continue to feel pretty while pregnant.

Stage 5: Disbelief

One day the preggo realizes that those shirts she used to think were ridiculously big are getting a little snug. How is that possible? Did they shrink in the dryer? Last week, they fit just fine. The preggo can’t believe that she could be outgrowing her maternity wear.

Stage 6: Anger

The preggo’s maternity wardrobe keeps shrinking as she finds more items that no longer fit her very pregnant self. She is on the fence about adding some additional pieces or just muddling through the next 2 months because she doesn’t want to buy anymore maternity wear. She is secretly convinced that she can’t possibly get any larger at this point because there is no room in her abdomen left for growth. At this point, fashion has gone out the window as has comfort (because comfort is only found in clothing items the preggo wouldn’t wear outside of the house). The preggo is looking for items that fit and things that sort of match.

Stage 7: Apathy

This stage is characterized by the maternity wardrobe consisting of 3 bottoms and 2 tops that fit reasonably well. The preggo’s criteria for getting dressed each day is does it cover the belly completely (she wonders when all of her shirts got so short)? If yes, does it at least not clash horribly? If so, the preggo wears it. There is no thought to fashion or even looking good. It is all about covering the enormous belly and getting through the day.

posted under Pregnancy
15 Comments to

“Stages of Maternity Dressing”

  1. On July 15th, 2008 at 6:00 am Julie P Says:

    OM – Not ever having been pregnant you just put into words exactly what I was afraid it must feel like to find clothes. But just think only a few more weeks and you won’t be pregnant any more – You’ll be a mom of a newborn and an almost 2 year old!

  2. On July 15th, 2008 at 6:23 am Bobbi Says:

    Great job describing the stages!! You are so right. I remember all of my clothes with Cassie getting way too tight and finding it sooo depressing. The good news is that you will shrink fast with a newborn, and one under two. There will be no time for food for you!!

    Two weeks from today?? WOW!!

  3. On July 15th, 2008 at 7:24 am Muriel Says:

    Sooo true and let’s not talk about the preggo who was plus size before she got pregnant…there is no selection there and the preggo must shop only at Motherhood or on E-bay. I am down to 5 shirts and 4 pairs of capris. Lovely. I created quite the outfit last week for court.

    Hey, did you read the article and comments on my blog…I am still steaming and a steaming preggo is no fun.

  4. On July 15th, 2008 at 8:50 am Farrell Says:

    true true – and I was pregnant during the summer and what I couldn’t stand were all the sleeveless tops and tanks and tank dresses. Yes, i was hot. But. I didn’t have Angelina Jolie arms BEFORE i got pregnant and after gaining 30 pounds, they were…well…not tank-worthy.

  5. On July 15th, 2008 at 8:59 am Krystal Says:

    OK – I had a bit of a different experience. . . I went through stages 1-5, but not 6 & 7. Instead after 5, I went through a “Disappointment” stage after I had the baby and had to stop wearing my maternity clothes (absolutely the most comfortable jeans EVER) and go back to my frumpy, out-of-style, bought off the clearance rack, regular wardrobe.

  6. On July 15th, 2008 at 10:00 am Pocklock Says:

    Haha. This couldn’t be more true! I’m down to just a couple things that fit. Thank GOD I only have to go into my office 3 days a week. I rotate the same 3 appropriate-for-work outfits. Otherwise I’m in XL yoga shorts that I found at Target for $4 and one of hubby’s wife-beater T-shirts! HOTT.

    5 more weeks…

  7. On July 15th, 2008 at 11:51 am Burgh Baby Says:

    I stayed in Stage 2 for a VERY long time. And, only after completely skipping Stage 1. But at the end? I didn’t care. If it sort of kind of maybe covered the belly? GOOD ENOUGH!

  8. On July 15th, 2008 at 1:57 pm Cass Says:

    This is so true. So So So true. I’m in Step 7 and if we’re really honest I’m pretty sure I showed a little under belly cleavage today and it wasn’t hot but whatever I’m gigantic I have a WHOLE person in there that better be damn near fully cooked.

  9. On July 15th, 2008 at 4:04 pm Liz Says:

    Hilarious!! You brought back some forgotten pregnancy/maternity clothes memories. I can relate to all of the stages! 🙂

  10. On July 15th, 2008 at 5:41 pm Kelly Says:

    Just wait until you have to go through the stages in reverse.

    I have to admit I still wear one pair pants. They have an adjustable waistband that had totally worked to my advantage.

  11. On July 15th, 2008 at 9:24 pm Samantha Says:

    #4 😉

  12. On July 15th, 2008 at 9:34 pm terri Says:

    What a hoot you are!!!! I love the way you write.

    I have never been pregnant, can’t now that I’ve been “spayed,” but reading your ADVENTURES as a preggo are so funny that I don’t think I could have enjoyed it as much as you do.

    Two more weeks!?!?!?!? How did that happen. Can’t wait to see what hilarity wil flow from your pen during this time.
    terri in virginia

  13. On July 15th, 2008 at 9:43 pm sig Says:

    Will you beat me us if I tell you tyere is yet another stage? After baby….you need to find clothes that fit, proabably going to stage 2 again. ::running from Michelle::

  14. On July 16th, 2008 at 2:34 pm Vanessa Says:

    Too funny. You are so right on with these! I thought it might be different for me this go round with all the walking I’m doing but alas, no. I’m now in your stage 5 disbelief. How is it possible that these maternity jeans were so loose and now they’re actually tight and uncomfortable? Can’t stand any underbelly style bottoms any more – cuts right into me so now have to wear the stuff that goes over the bump and practically reaches up to my bra. Fashion slowly going out the window…

  15. On July 17th, 2008 at 5:15 am DD Says:

    Don’t forget about the stage where you think you only have x-number of days before you don’t have to wear any of it anymore…

    Yeah, post-pregancy sucks that way.

    (Thanks for the lovely words regarding ZGirl! It warms the bitter cockels of my heart…or is that cockles? – whatev!)

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