Do You Need Maternity Swimwear?
After the initial excitement of discovering that you’re pregnant, it’s time to begin thinking about what you’ll need for the months ahead. As well as considering maternity clothes such as shirts or trousers, you’ll also likely need to think about getting your hands on some maternity lingerie so you can look and feel great as your baby grows. Whether you’re planning a holiday, you’re thinking of having a water birth or you just like to swim at your local pool, you might be wondering whether maternity swimwear is something you’ll need.
Can You Wear Normal Swimwear When Pregnant?
In many cases, particularly in the first few months of pregnancy, you may be able to continue wearing your usual swimwear. Swimwear that is adaptable in size - such as bikini bottoms that tie at the sides, for example - can be a great choice, as this allows you to opt for a looser fastening to suit whatever feels comfortable.
As your bump and breasts get bigger over the course of the pregnancy, you may find your usual swimwear no longer fits. This is perfectly normal. You may wish to buy a larger size of swimwear to cater for those last few months of pregnancy. It’s best not to wear swimwear that’s too small, as this can be painful and may mean your swimwear stretches out of shape so that it doesn’t fit properly after your pregnancy.
Does Swimwear Stretch?
It’s a well-known fact that swimwear stretches in the water, and also stretches over time so that a swimsuit you’ve had for years might fit differently from one you’ve just picked off the hanger. For this reason, swimwear is designed to feel slim-fitting when you first put it on. It’s often described as a ‘second skin’ feeling, where the fabric sculpts your body but doesn’t pinch, leave red marks or hurt you in any way. Once the fabric gets wet, it will typically feel a little looser, but not so baggy as to feel uncomfortable.
Because of this, you might find that an older swimsuit fits you nicely as your body changes during pregnancy, even if the size on the label makes you think it’d be too small. Your best option is to try it on and see how you feel - and if it’s too tight at all, don’t keep wearing it. Instead, why not treat yourself to a new swimsuit to see you through your pregnancy?
What Swimwear To Wear When Pregnant
The first step to buying new swimwear for your pregnancy is to decide what kind of style you’d like. Some women like to keep their bump covered, helping to protect the skin from the sun as well as providing a little support. Swimsuits are the best option here - although you might consider combining a more revealing style of swimsuit with a kaftan or sarong as a more adaptable alternative.
For mid-range coverage, the tankini is your friend. This style will cover part but not all of your bump, offering a little protection from the sun when you’re standing or sitting down. The added benefit of a tankini is that it gives your bump a little extra space to grow, helping to avoid feelings of bloating or tightness around the midriff.
Finally, if you’d prefer to have your bump out and proud, a bikini can be a very cost-effective option. By choosing an option that allows you to customise the size of your bottoms - such as those tie-side styles we mentioned earlier - you can adapt your bikini for different stages of pregnancy to get the maximum amount of wear out of it. Plus, you can mix and match bikini tops to ensure you get the right level of support as your breasts grow over the course of the pregnancy.
Once you’ve landed on a style you like, you can opt for any design. Be aware that some swimsuits may incorporate things such as cross-body designs, underwiring or ‘invisible’ bras to give more support, so it’s worth looking into the specifics of your favourite options to check if they’re right for you. Whatever the case, there’s no one style of swimwear that’s ideal for pregnancy, so feel free to go with whatever looks and feels best to you.