Swimsuit Shopping During Pregnancy (And Beyond!)
Summer is here, and along with the BBQs and vacation planning and end-of-school-year activities comes something that many women dread: swimsuit shopping. Even if you are one of those blessed souls who actually love searching for the perfect suit, being pregnant or
newly postpartum adds an entirely new twist. Just like other areas of fashion during pregnancy, it helps to try out a lot of different styles – even ones that you might not have thought of before pregnancy – to figure out what works best for your new body shape. I’m not saying
that you should completely abandon your personal style (if you weren’t a ruffled skirt kind of gal before getting pregnant, you do NOT have to become one now!), but try to think of new shapes and cuts that might flatter the new belly, bust and behind that you may be sporting.
To help you find the perfect maternity swim suit, nursing swim suit or postpartum swimsuit for you, whether you are in your first, second, third or fourth trimester, I’ve put together a list of all of the options with my favorites picks for each.
PERFECT FOR: Hiding the Tummy, Easy Access for Nursing
Tankinis are an excellent option for anyone who wants the ease of a two-piece without showing too much skin. If you are in your second or third trimester, you’ll want to opt for a maternity option like the lovely simple black suit from Maternal America or the eye-catching red ruched tankini from Ingrid & Isabel, both below. For the first trimester, when you may look more bloated than pregnant, and for the first months (or years!) after baby when you may not feel completely comfortable baring tummy skin, ruching will be your best friend! It helps hide any lumps and bumps, and sucks everything into place. I really love this option from Seafolly because it has the breast support that many of us need after babies, has plenty of ruching for the tummy, and offers easy access if you’re still breastfeeding.
|Ingrid & Isabel Ruched Tankini||Maternal America Maternity Tankini||Seafolly Standard Tankini|
Rash Guard + Bottom
PERFECT FOR: Sun Protection; Covering the Arms and Belly
NOT GREAT FOR: Nursing; Women who Overheat Easily
Pregnancy skin can be super sensitive to the sun, as many women find out when they experience that unpleasant experience of melasma (or “pregnancy mask”). In addition to slathering on the sunscreen and wearing a hat, you can protect the rest of your upper body with a rash guard and bikini bottom. This is also a sporty way to cover up your arms and stomach if you’re feeling insecure with those areas.
Traditional maternity rash guards like the sleek option from Mermaid below are important for the second and third trimesters when you need the extra room in the belly. I also love the Sweet Mommy hooded rash guard for first, second and third trimesters and for nursing because of the zip – most rash guards would be too difficult for a nursing mom, so that is a huge plus! And Old Navy’s striped option is perfect for postpartum. Many think horizontal stripes should be off limits if you aren’t feeling your fittest, but I actually think they can be slimming in the right proportions.
|Mermaid Maternity Rashguard||Sweet Mommy Hooded Rashguard||Old Navy Women’s Rashguard|
PERFECT FOR: Second and Third Trimesters; Nursing
MAY NOT BE GREAT FOR: Support; Any Insecurities During First Trimester and Immediately Postpartum
Then, of course, there is the standard bikini. Many women who might be insecure about rocking a bikini when they’re not pregnant relish the opportunity to wear one without worrying about constantly sucking in during the second and third trimesters when the belly is in full bloom. And if you feel confident, the bikini is perfect for the first trimester and postpartum period as well! It’s basically all about finding the right suit that makes you feel beautiful, and if that’s the bikini then go for it. While many pregnant women simply throw on their own bikinis, or buy one a size or two bigger, there are some great maternity bikini options that provide added support up top and a bit of additional coverage in the behind for any, ahem, expansion that may have occurred there. Seraphine’s maternity bikini below even has an extendable panel that you can pull over the belly or leave folded underneath. If you do go for a standard biknini, make sure you find one with sufficient coverage and support for you larger bust, like the one from J.Crew below. Many women also opt for a swim skirt to provide a bit of additional coverage. The beauty of the bikini? You can mix and match to find the perfect combo for you!
|Seraphine Maternity Bikini||JCrew Women’s Bikini Top||PregO Women’s Swim Skirt|
PERFECT FOR: Full Body Coverage; Sun Protection
If you just can’t find anything that suits you, don’t underestimate the power of the cover up. Because it feels more like clothes, you may feel more comfortable in it for lounging by the pool. And the best part? Many cover ups are cut generously in the stomach so you can buy non-maternity versions as well as maternity ones.
And if all else fails wrap yourself in an Aden and Anais swaddle cloth that hopefully you have either stocked up on our received from your registry – they take “multi-purpose” to a whole new level and make for a fabulous cover up!
|Topshop Coverup||O’Neill Coverup||Aden & Anais Coverup|