Follow our tips on maternity essentials to stock up on. Plus how to make the most of your existing wardrobe to see you through the winter months.
Brrrrr. It’s time to wrap up tight because it’s getting cold out there. But it’s a bit more tricky when you have a bump to contend with.
The good news is that during pregnancy you’re likely to feel warmer than usual so you might not feel the cold as much (NHS Choices, 2018). But you’ll still want to find ways to keep you and your growing bump nice and snug as the chilly days set in.
Layer upon layer
Layering is key for warmth, and for eking out your normal clothes a bit longer. You don’t need to buy a wardrobe full of maternity tops straight away, but some long maternity t-shirts or vests could be helpful. Try stretchy fabrics as a base layer to keep your bump covered and cosy, and simply layer on top.
Try your existing woolies for size
You might want to treat yourself to some maternity jumpers for a bit of extra length and stretch. Equally, you might be surprised how many of your normal ones will do the job quite nicely. Especially if you’re not yet into the third trimester.
If none of your jumpers are fit for purpose, there’s always cardigans. Cardigans left unfastened or with just the top few done up will do an excellent job if it’s not too cold. Who needs buttons anyway?
Here’s what one mum wore a lot: “I lived in coatigans the winter I was pregnant with Frankie. Those really chunky cardigans but without the buttons. They were perfectly adequate for a British winter with a scarf and layers underneath.” Jenny, mum to Frank, two years old
Get a big scarf
A large scarf or shawl partnered with an undone cardigan or coat is an excellent maternity combo for a nippy day. Especially as the scarf can cover up anything your outerwear can’t stretch over. Plus it’ll keep your neck warm of course.
Jeans and leggings
Don’t underestimate the relief of slipping on some denim with a stretchy waistband after weeks of struggling to do up your flies. Mums we speak to often say maternity jeans are the comfiest they’ve ever worn. Leggings are also a great choice – pair with tunics, jumper dresses and oversized shirts.
One mum told us how much she loved her special jeans: “Want to know a secret? I wore my maternity jeans for much longer than I needed to after Rex was born. Why live with a button digging into your belly. Or the risk of baring all when bending down, when you can have elastic to keep everything in place?” Julia, mum to Rex, 16 months.
Try a maternity band
If you don’t want to buy maternity jeans, it might be a good idea to try a band. Bands are designed to allow you to wear your existing trousers undone. They are tight enough to hold trousers up, plus they stop too-short tops riding up over your bump. Simply add layers on top.
Invest in some maternity tights
Your normal tights will only see you so far into pregnancy. If you’re struggling to stretch them over your growing bump, try out some maternity ones. A few pairs of decent quality maternity high denier tights should see you through the cold months and help you feel snug.
This is how one mum wore her tights: “I got given a few pairs of these from a friend and lived in them last winter. In fact, they meant many of my non-maternity dresses still did the job until I was about seven months in.” Fran, mum to Joey, five months
It’s shoe time – steer clear of laces
When your bump gets beyond a certain size, you’ll soon discover that shoes become problematic. Your feet might swell and make walking uncomfortable. Plus, bending over to fasten shoes or tie laces becomes all but impossible.
In summer, this problem is easily sorted with a pair of flip-flops. In winter, you’ll want to reach for a pair of slip-on boots. They’ll become your new best friend. Look for those with good grips to keep you steady whatever the conditions underfoot.
While woolly cardigans are a godsend for cosy nights in and woodland walks, there are times you might want to look a little sharper. A blazer can work well in these instances. No one will care that there’s no chance of doing that button up.
What about coats?
If you want a proper winter coat that you can do up, then of course maternity coats are available. But unless you plan a holiday to chillier climes, you’ll probably be fine with an existing coat left undone. Team with a snuggly scarf or shawl for extra warmth.
Don’t forget about underwear
You’ll probably find it worthwhile investing in a well-fitting bra or two and some oversized knickers, whatever the season. Luckily any VPL from oh-so-comfortable-but-scary big pants can be covered by winter layers.
You might find your bra size keeps changing during pregnancy. It’s a good idea to get measured up whenever you need to if you’re uncomfortable. Many double up as nursing bras for once baby arrives. Win, win.
If you think the above looks like a long old list, don’t worry about breaking the bank. You can find loads of great bargains at NCT Nearly New Sales.
Many pregnant women we speak to also have a hand-me-round system among friends in various stages of pregnancy and in-between. This means a new maternity wardrobe for you for free.
This page was last reviewed in November 2018
Our support line offers practical and emotional support with feeding your baby and general enquiries for parents, members and volunteers: 0300 330 0700.
We also offer antenatal courses which are a great way to find out more about birth, labour and life with a new baby.
You might find attending one of our Early Days groups helpful as they give you the opportunity to explore different approaches to important parenting issues with a qualified group leader and other new parents in your area.
Make friends with other parents-to-be and new parents in your local area for support and friendship by seeing what NCT activities are happening nearby. To find out when an NCT Nearly New Sale is happening near you, search here.
Read more about keeping warm and well during pregnancy in this NHS guide.
NHS Choices, 2018. Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/common-pregnancy-problems/ [Accessed 29 October 2018]