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Must-have maternity essentials

Clothing items every mom-to-be needs

You don’t need a whole new wardrobe when you’re expecting — but a few helpful items will go a long way (or at least nine months). Here are a few things that every mama-to-be needs that will make dressing her pregnant body a breeze.
1

A comfortable bra

Comfortable bra | Sheknows.com

Contrary to popular belief, changes to your breasts don’t begin when your milk comes in, they begin during pregnancy. You may find your back and shoulders are getting tight or that it’s difficult to get a full breath as your ribs expand to make room for your growing baby. This maternity bra is perfect for all stages of pregnancy, as the side panels can expand and contract. It has an easy-open flap for breastfeeding, so you don’t need to toss it once baby arrives. (Made 4 Maternity, $40)

2

Compression socks

Compression socks | Sheknows.com

During pregnancy, circulation becomes more difficult for your body due to progesterone causing the blood vessels to relax. Some of the negative side effects can be swelling or varicose veins. A pair of compression socks like these can help to keep the blood flowing as it should and hopefully stave off these uncomfortable situations — or at the very least, cover them up. (Due Maternity, $20)

3

A maxi dress

Maxi dress | Sheknows.com

This is as much a fashion statement as it is a necessity. When you reach the less-than-limber days of late pregnancy, just pulling on your clothes in the morning can feel like a workout. A maxi dress is the perfect all-in-one item to help you get ready with ease and feel about as free as your changing bod allows. We love this one because it’s beautiful, comfortable and even has nursing panels so you can wear it postpartum. (Maternitique, $108)

4

Leggings

Leggings | Sheknows.com

They’re comfortable, easy to put on and will change shape as you do. You can never have enough pairs, pregnancy, postpartum or beyond. There was a rumor once these were going out of style, but it hasn’t happened yet and I hope it never does. You can find lots of styles, like these cute patterned leggings, at Target, just as easily as you can at any maternity store. (Target, $14)

5

Belly belt

Belly belt | Sheknows.com

There are many amazing pregnancy inventions, but the belly belt might just be the big winner when it comes to comfort. It turns just about any pair of regular pants into maternity pants with ease. Now you can keep wearing your favorite outfits long after your bump shows up. (Maternitique, $20)

6

Comfortable flat

Comfortable flat | Sheknows.com

If you’re more than a few weeks pregnant and still rockin’ heels, you deserve a gold star. But the thing is, a flat can look just as nice and make your days a little more painless, especially if your feet start to, er... expand. This adorable ballet flat will give you all the stretch and style you need in one pair of shoes. (Crocs, $35)

7

Sunglasses

Sunglasses | Sheknows.com

Less-than-rested days happen in pregnancy — a lot. Luckily spring has sprung so you don’t need to look like the scary lady in the grocery store with a huge pair of sunglasses glued to her face in the dead of winter. Target has a constantly rotating selection but these round-rimmed sunglasses will hide your tired eyes and add a little fab to your frock. (Target, $17)

8

Tummy sleeve

Tummy sleeve | Sheknows.com

There are times when we all need a little extra support — for our bellies, I mean. The tummy sleeve gives just that. It provides abdominal and lower back support during (or after) pregnancy and can be worn under any clothing item. There’s good reason why Motherhood Maternity calls it the #1 Pregnancy must-have- it’s simply amazing. (Motherhood Maternity, $17)

9

Comfortable underwear

There’s no time like the present to put your big girl panties on. That’s why there is maternity underwear made especially for pregnancy. There are many supportive styles that won’t leave lines around your belly or leave your gasping for air. Check out this pair that’s just snug enough and has the ultimate stretching power. (Fit Maternity, $22)

More maternity wear

Top 5 maternity fashion mistakes
Top 10 maternity dresses for spring
Best celebrity maternity style of 2013

Comfortable underwear | Sheknows.com

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