Now that I am expecting my fourth child, I consider myself a lot wiser than I was during the first pregnancy, so as a part of the 2013 Baby Guide, I have put together a little maternity guide based on my own experiences.
Being pregnant with number four is a lot different than being pregnant with number one, but there are still many things that are the same. While I was in college the first time around, I am now a stay-at-home mom of three working from home, but it does not change the fact that being pregnant can be extremely uncomfortable, and at some point in the pregnancy the “whale” feeling will appear. I have put together this maternity guide, which is mainly a Maternity Clothes Buying Guide to help pregnant women like myself get the most out of their money and their maternity clothes.
The first time around my maternity budget was basically non-existent, as all I worried about was how we would be able to afford having a baby, since both my boyfriend (now husband) and I were students. I vividly remember how my sweet boyfriend took me to H&M in Manhattan to purchase my first maternity outfit with his hard earned savings. I got a pair of black and white checkered capri pants, and two shirts – a white and a black. These shirts were my feel-good outfits throughout the pregnancy, and with the help and kindness from friends of friends, who passed on a few pieces of hand-me-down maternity clothing, I made it through the end without suffering too much from lack of fashion.
With my fourth pregnancy I have learned that being comfortable and looking nice comes hand-in-hand, and it will help fight off those “whale” feelings, once you can no longer tie your shoes.
I surely wished that I had taken to heart my own tip of comfortable slip-on shoes, using sports bras and a maternity band during my first pregnancy, because these items make the pregnancy much easier and more comfortable.
What To Buy – The Maternity Guide:
- A pair of comfortable slip-on shoes without heels that can be used to walk in and used at the office or for dress stituations. (Mary Janes are a great solution.)
- 2 – 3 comfortable bras (sports bras will be the perfect solution, but you may have to go up a size)
- A maternity belly band or be band (A be band can extend the time you can wear your regular pants before moving to maternity pants, and it is also great for the post partum time, when you cannot quite fit into your regular pants again)
- 2 pair of maternity shorts, capris or pants
- 1 dress up outfit (maternity dress or a skirt with a forgiving waistline)
- 3 -4 maternity shirts in different colors for some variety
- 1-2 maternity tank tops in black or white. (Make sure it is long enough to cover up a growing belly)
- Depending on the season, you may want to look for a warm jacket in a bigger size at your local thrift store.
- A maternity support belt becomes more essential for every pregnancy, as pelvic pains may become stronger the more pregnancies you go through. I have had a good experience with the Gabrialla Elastic Maternity Support Belt , but make sure to get it large enough, as the sizes run small.
Now, the above maternity clothes can be as expensive or as inexpensive as you want it to be, and I personally recommend going frugal on most items, while investing more on a few special items.
The thrift store: Ask your local thrift stores if they have a maternity department. It is usually very small, but you may be able to pick up a couple of items for $2-$4 each. Doing this will enable you to spend more money on other items. If you are pregnant during the winter, you can also look for a warm, larger sized winter coat at the thrift store.
Yard sales: You may not want to drag yourself around to yard sales, when you are pregnant, but you can look through the classifieds or the Craigslist section and do a search on maternity clothes.
Craigslist: You can find maternity clothes on Craigslist or ask at Freecycle, but make sure to take safety measures, when meeting up, and bring your spouse or a friend along for extra security.
The clearance aisle: I am a clearance shopper, and this is by far my favorite place to find maternity clothes. My favorite clearance stores for maternity clothes are: H & M, JCPenney, Kohl’s, Target and Motherhood Maternity. I have found items for as little as $1.99 on the clearance racks, and with a coupon at Kohl’s you can save even more. You may only find one or two appropriate pieces each place, but you do not need a lot of maternity clothes to look good for the last couple of months.
Friends and family: Ask friends and family who have children, if they have any maternity clothes stoved away that you may borrow for a few months.
If you are able to save on maternity clothes by shopping at the above places, I highly recommend that you save the big spending for a pair of comfortable shoes, as these will make it worthwhile. You can still shop clearance, sales and with coupons, but finding those right shoes can mean a big difference.
Now after you give birth, don’t foget to save your maternity clothes, because it will still be good when you are ready to have number 2, even if it is several years in the future. Save it in an airtight plastic container, and it will be just as good the second, third and perhaps fourth time around.
If you are able to save on your maternity clothes by using the frugal shopping ideas above, you can then splurge on a few items that will make you look fashionable throughout your pregnancy whether you are a stay-at-home mom, a working mom or simply need a nice outfit for special events or meetings. I personally love Pink Blush Maternity, as they have great-looking, but cheap maternity clothes.
Make sure to check out the 2013 Baby Guide here at Frugality Is Free, because you will be able to win great prizes such as baby products, maternity clothes, nursing accesories and more.