As you may have read from my previous post, I am officially a first-time pregnant woman watching my belly stretch and expand each day. However, for some who don’t know any better, this has also been misconstrued as, “Wow, you’ve really gained a lot of weight since you’ve been married!”

There seems to be a very specific look that people associate with pregnancy. This isn’t made easy when your body is still transitioning through all the stages of carrying a child. It’s not like you conceive and automatically wake up with a visible and perfectly formed bump – it takes a while for your stomach to shape itself into what is recognized as “pregnant”.

If only others knew what was going on inside, like how bloated you feel, your tender/swollen mammary glands, and that you really do pee a little every time you sneeze, they wouldn’t be so quick to comment on your changing shape. But alas, the easiest way for people to judge whether you’re pregnant is by what’s outside and that’s mostly seen through how successfully you dress.

The last thing a pregnant woman wants is to be called fat and you certainly don’t want to be accused of being pregnant when you’re not! In the spirit of finding outfits that work for a changing body, let’s play a fun game of “Fat or Pregnant?” using these four examples of looks that I’ve tried through my pregnancy so far:

Pregnancy Week 18 – Did You Have a Big Breakfast?

The outfit: You have two choices when you’re at that in-between stage of a burgeoning bump and full-grown belly; wear loose pieces or go fitted. I suppose there’s also the third option of staying home in your pajamas. Anyway, I decided to accentuate what my momma baby daddy gave me by donning a pencil skirt (with an elastic waistband, obvi) and white tee. Accessorize while you can because you will be way too lazy to do so as you get bigger.

Bump tip: Don’t wail over the extinction of your crop tops. You can still wear them! Layer them over your shirt to create the perfect definition right under the bust line, above your growing tummy. The goal is to stay away from lines that cut across the largest part of your belly to help balance out your proportions (which is now starting to become uneven as your stomach takes over).

“Fat or Pregnant?”: Hmm, is she or isn’t she? This look could start pregnancy rumors from those who don’t know the news. If you don’t mind people gossiping about you, then go on with your form-fitting outfits. Otherwise you may want to wait until your bump is more pronounced to draw attention to it.

Pregnancy Week 19 – Don’t Touch My Belly!

The outfit: One inevitable truth of pregnancy is the rise of the tummy-touchers. Strangers and lovers alike are drawn to caressing your belly as if it possesses some magical force for your baby. If they actually did something useful with their hand, like scratch my itchy, expanding stomach I’d be all for it. But alas! The best way to combat this annoyance? Conceal the bump while you still can! If you know you’re attending a family function or any event where people are prone to touching, wear a loose fitting top that skims over your figure and cool jogger pants.

Bump tip: Print on print is a great way to distract from your bump and add a whimsical touch to your look when you might not be feeling so hot otherwise. There’s something about wearing florals during pregnancy that is really favorable. Even if you’re not into feminine designs, I find that flowery motifs help make you (and the bump) feel pretty. Maybe florals make you appear more like a mom?

“Fat or Pregnant?”: Neither! Your pregnant body can still be disguised in this early stage when swathed in loose and comfy clothes. And a pox on anyone who dares to interpret this as fat – you’re growing a baby, after all!

Pregnancy Week 22 – Baby Can I Hold You?

The outfit: The funny thing about pregnancy is that the bump literally seems to pop out overnight. One day you can still (kinda) button your jeans, then suddenly you can barely get your pants past your thighs. This is your cue to start “dressing and acting pregnant”. What does that mean exactly? For starters, you should begin incorporating empire silhouettes to highlight your bump. With this dress, I moved the belt above my belly to give me more of a pregnancy-approved shape.

Bump tip: Besides a flattering empire silhouette, “acting pregnant” means employing the best and most-loved pose by pregnant women – holding their hands on the belly! Positioning your hands as such is a surefire way to ensure that people know you are indeed with child (as opposed to having a stomach ache).

“Fat or Pregnant?”: Pregnant! Time to blame the hormones for everything!

Pregnancy Week 26 – Boho Bumps

The outfit: There’s no turning back now! It’s time to get belly deep into empire waists and flowy boho dresses – the foolproof pregnancy outfit to suit every type of figure.

Bump tip: Fitted up top and flowy down below will still make you feel like you have some shape. Avoid the terrible and ill-fitting mumu look that some pregnant women fall prey to.

“Fat or Pregnant?”: I’ll come back to finish this part after I return from my 100th pee this hour…


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