Myth: In the third trimester you’ll need to shop again
Truth: Not likely.
When you’re in the third trimester, it gets a bit difficult. It’s not as difficult as the first trimester when it was a no-man’s land – by this time, everyone knows you’re pregnant – but it has its own difficulties. You’re bigger than you imagined and you’re tired physically. You’re also past the initial excitement of being pregnant and you want to just have your baby and be done with it, but your estimated due date seems to approach at a snail’s pace. And you may even pass it with nothing happening. All of this is normal. But you may also think that you need more maternity clothes to get you through. Not so fast.
From me, you get the truth.
When shopping for maternity clothes to start, I always recommend shopping at brick-and-mortar stores so you can try things on before buying. Most stores that specialize in maternity clothes have tummy pillows in the dressing rooms so you can see how the clothes will fit when you’re really that big. Just in case, you need to bring a small pillow or folded blanket so you can get a good fit. These tricks will allow you to buy maternity clothes that will fit even when you’re in the final weeks. In fact, the third trimester is often easier in terms of fit because now that you are bigger you can fill out the clothes better.
The biggest problem is boredom. If you shopped smart, you bought a small selection of basic maternity clothes in neutral colors instead of going crazy with a huge wardrobe. And you mixed and coordinated with the clothes and with accessories to come up with a good selection of outfits. But by the time you’re in the third trimester, you’ve worn those outfits a few times and you’re bored. That’s also normal. But shopping too much more is not the answer.
First, I hope you followed my advice and you didn’t start wearing your maternity clothes until you absolutely needed them. You may have been tempted to do so at the beginning because you were anxious for it to be real, but since you do get bored in the last weeks, it’s best to wait.
Second, even if you did hold off, you did eventually have to wear those maternity clothes. And no matter how great they are and how healthy they make you look, you don’t have many different items and so you’re bored. Start by “shopping your wardrobe” again. See if there are any combinations you haven’t tried yet. Maybe you loved that navy top with the dark brown skirt and that’s great, but you haven’t tried that navy top with the gray skirt. Or maybe you haven’t tried the brown skirt with the chocolate brown top. Play with accessories. Maybe you’ve worn the navy top with red necklaces and now it’s time for a green scarf. Or maybe you’ve worn the black dress with a purple scarf and now it’s time for the blue chandelier earrings.
Third, if you do shop, look for accessories. A new oblong scarf or a new necklace might be just what you need. Don’t buy new tops, skirts, or dresses unless you’re really getting huge and the items you have really don’t fit you anymore. Remember that if you used something to estimate the fit for when you’d be bigger, chances are that your base items do still fit so you don’t need new ones.
In addition, consider what’s going on on top. If you wear a sheitel, talk to your sheitelmacher about tweaking the style or color just a bit. You could also buy a few new hats, berets, or mitpachot; those can also perk up base outfits. If you love mitpachot, try new and different wrap styles.
No matter what, make sure you make time for basic grooming. You still need to brush your teeth, wash your face, and apply lip balm and sunscreen every morning. You need to remove any makeup, brush your teeth, wash your face, and apply lip balm before bed. Your skin care needs may change during pregnancy, so work with that. A little makeup (when called for) will make you feel better. Make time to shower and take care of your hair. Most women have the best hair of their lives during pregnancy, so work with that. Wear it in its natural state; it will make things so much easier. Of course, remember your basic health needs. Make sure you’re eating right and exercising and getting your checkups.
The third trimester is not easy. But no one has ever been pregnant forever. And if you shopped smart at the beginning, you’ll look great all the way through.
To be continued…
By Meira E. Schneider-Atik