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The Maternity Machine: Products for the Bump & Beyond

blog post imageIt seemed like from the moment I saw the positive on the stick, there was suddenly an onslaught of marketing my way of all the things I *need* for pregnancy and preparation for motherhood. And I quickly discovered that not much unlike the season of life of planning a wedding, the moment you attach this momentous occasion on to an item, be prepared for the price to escalate.

I found plenty of maternity items to be well worth it and I was incredibly excited when the bump finally was round enough to don some new dresses and belly-banded pants. But I also discovered some items along the way that worked well during pregnancy and will serve me well after. Not all of them are low-cost items, but I find myself far more inclined to spend good money on items that don’t scream preggo style. Most of these retailers offer a variety of discount codes and coupons on a regular basis as well. And unlike the many exclusions often attached to maternity ware, you can feel free to shop savvy on these items.

Mossimo Tank Target

Target Mossimo 

loft tank

Loft Essential

Mossimo Tank – Target, $9

It took a few months into my pregnancy to realize I already had a stock pile of these gems and due to the extra length on it, it is perfect as a bump-ready option. And you have to love spending about $20 less than your average maternity tank.

Essential Tank – Ann Taylor Loft, $14.50

Another tank I quickly discovered would serve me well up until about 38 weeks (which at that point even my maternity tops really weren’t providing good coverage). The variety of colors and thick straps made it easy to wear with a sweater to work and remove layers due to being a bit preggo heating machine.

VS knock out bra

VS Knockout

Knockout Sports Bra – Victoria’s Secret, $56.50-$62.50

I automatically felt super annoyed about purchasing nursing bras. They are expensive and they are ugly. So there are two bras I’ve focused on picking up, one is the Victoria’s Secret Knockout Sports Bras. I was lucky enough to have a woman fitting me who was four months post-partum and she also recommended this convenient front closing bra. The structure helps give you some added coverage and the bit of tightness of a sports bra will be helpful for those (currently anticipated) painful moments of breast-feeding. I like that I’ll have the extra support for post-birthing workouts as well.

While I did not see any similar to what I purchased on Gap’s website, I also highly recommend their bralettes. These are just as easy to move around to BF and come in far more exciting colors and styles. I’ve loved wearing them to bed while pregnant and since most bralettes, Gap or not, come in simple sizes of small, medium, large, xl, etc. it provides you extra flexibility when you are not sure how big things are going to get.

gap leggings

Gap gFast Leggings

Blackout Technology gFast Leggings – Gap, $59.95

I wish I bought these earlier! After managing to rip my Target maternity leggings, I was looking to buy something that would get me through the last couple months and post-partum. I bought my usual size and am so pleased with the fit. It will sit just across the belly or just below. The incredibly comfy yet structured fabric feels amazing. The compression of the legs of the pants was also helpful to me as I began to experience more water retention at 37 weeks. Bonus: They are zero see-through.

athleta capri

Athleta Capri

Chaturanga Capri – Athleta, $64.00

These I bought in the first trimester and I am so glad I did. Similar to the Gap leggings, the fabric feels remarkable and the stretch has been perfect. In addition, the very frustrating combo of winter pregnancy + wanting a pedicure x leg swelling leads to an ideal solution being these capris. Throw your winter boots on and enjoy not trying to roll up pants in the salon.


lula mustard leggings

LuLaRoe OS Leggings

Leggings – LuLaRoe, $25.00

Fans of LuLaRoe are so crazy about these leggings that they refer to wearing them as a verb, Roeing. I didn’t get it until I laid my hands on a pair. I bought a wonderfully, buttery mustard pair where the comfortable waist band easily sits below the belly. They come in two size options; one that fits 0 to 12 (OS) and one that fits size 14 to 22 (TC). Some prefer the TC while pregnant – all personal preference. They come in a variety of colors and fun patterns. Unlike the two above, I would not characterize these as a workout legging (although LuLaRoe promotes wearing these for everything you do). The bottom is not see-through but I feel more comfortable in them with a tunic or layer over the back. Link is to LuLaRoe representative Steph Schettler’s shop. These leggings can be purchased via any LuLaRoe representative.

lulu tank

Lululemon Tank

All Tied Up Tank – Lululemon, $48.00

This is not a tank I would have normally ever thought to buy. I was looking for something that could be easy to wear in the hospital post-partum and for around the house, plus my goal of it being functional longer term. This reversible tank meets the mark. But here’s the thing I love – the scoop neck front slips down easily and due to the fly away back, make BFing on the go a breeze. For a tighter fit, you can tie the back (click the link). I happened to get mine on sale at my local Lulu, so it may be worthwhile to see if any are on markdown near you.


Split-Neck Tunic – Ann Taylor Loft, $49.50

I ordered this back in December in a black and white polka dot print figuring I would hold on to it for postpartum. I was pleasantly surprised by the beautiful way it fit over my bump and its great potential to be worn longterm. I’ve picked it up in this soft pink color as well. Perfect to dress up or down. Loft Tunic

loft cozy moto jacket

Lou & Grey Moto (Loft)

Lou & Grey Cozy Moto Jacket – Ann Taylor Loft, $79.50

If you have not experienced Lou & Grey, let me introduce you. Their items are cozy and beautifully made. This moto jacket is easy for spring to leave unzipped. I love the asymmetrical zip for postpartum and again for breastfeeding, it’s great to have something easy and thick to cover up with yet very accessible. While labeled as a jacket, I found this to be a nice indoor accessory and if you live in the midwest like me, will be a helpful layer when spring can be more like winter one day and turn to summer the next.

lulu bag

Lululemon Kit

Sweaty or Not Kit – Lululemon, $48.00

On the accessory side, this is a big mom win. What I love is the zippered pouch that can easily act as a wet bag, easy to access fold-up compartments (perfect for diapers, wipes, and an extra outfit), and fantastic pouches for both mom and baby essentials. Mine is currently packed with my hospital items and I plan to use the zippered pouch for items to clean when I return home. Seriously contemplating buying a second one just to keep with my gym items.

I was pleased that a number of dresses I owned still worked for me through 7 months, often due to the type of knit they were (jersey or other blends that give a bit of stretch). I did avoid wearing most of my sweaters as I did not want to stretch them out. I found the trick of buying a size up also worked pretty well for me and I was comfortable with doing so with sweaters and some styles of tops where the extra room postpartum will be helpful.

What are your tricks for non-maternity items during pregnancy?



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