Shopping for Maternity Clothes When You're Expecting Multiples

What to Wear When You're Pregnant With Twins or More

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Finding clothes that are both comfortable and stylish during pregnancy is no easy task. Although clothing manufacturers have greatly expanded their maternity lines since our grandparents' days, it can still feel like a scavenger hunt searching for outfits that fit your rapidly changing body and your budget.

When you're expecting not just one, but two or more babies, what used to be the simple job of dressing yourself can become even more of a challenge. You may feel as though your bump is growing too fast for you to keep up.

Rest assured, adding to your wardrobe for a multiple pregnancy doesn't have to be a daunting task. Options for affordable and attractive maternity wear abound—you just need to know where to look.

Bigger Bellies: Maternity Clothes for Multiples

When you're expecting twins, triplets, or more, you will likely need maternity sizes and styles earlier in your pregnancy. You might also outgrow your options in double time. By 28 weeks, your belly may be the same size as someone with a full-term singleton pregnancy.

The girth of a pregnant twin belly can be several inches larger than pregnant bellies with a single baby, and many maternity clothes just aren't designed to accommodate them. Going up in size may give room in the middle but create an awkward fit everywhere else.

Luckily, with a bit of inside information from parents of multiples who mastered their own maternity wardrobe challenges, you can dress like a pro right up until your due date.

Best Maternity Styles for Multiples

When considering what to buy, you may be wondering about the current styles for expectant parents. Maternity clothes have changed quite a bit over the years. Thankfully, both comfort and fashion are popular these days.

Below are some of the most practical and stylish choices along with tips on how to make them work when you're pregnant with twins or more.

Athleisure

Athletic wear that's polished enough for the office or an evening out skyrocketed in popularity in 2020 when most of the world was homebound due to COVID-19. Although most people are getting out of the house more now, athleisure isn't going away anytime soon.

It's comfortable, practical, and can take you anywhere in style—all the things a parent of multiples needs. Look for jogging pants, long tops, and sweatshirts—all of which come in maternity styles.

Dresses

Many people carrying multiples find that regular maternity shirts don't cover their front adequately, and pants can be uncomfortably tight. For this reason, you may want to get serious about dresses even if they aren't normally your top choice.

A-line styles work well for a growing bump because they're cut to gradually flow out from the waist. A variation on the A-line, the baby doll style can fit a multiple pregnant belly quite well, as it flares from just under the bust.

As for length, midi or maxi dresses are the best bet when you're expecting more than one. Your belly will grow quite large by the end of your pregnancy, and any dress shorter than mid-calf length may show off more than you intend as the hemline rises each week with your growing bump.

No matter which direction your belly is expanding, maxi dresses give comfort and stretch all around with their high waistline and roomy fabric below. Toward the end of a multiple pregnancy, many parents say they can't stand any type of waistband around their middle, making a dress the perfect solution.

Leggings

Who doesn't love a comfy pair of leggings? Maternity leggings have an extra-high waist with a soft, stretchy panel to accommodate growing bellies while minimizing itchiness.

Think about buying one size up from what you're wearing now so that you can get more use out of each pair. While you can't predict which way your belly will grow, the material in most leggings is forgiving enough to wear with any size or shape of baby bump.

Side-Ruched Garments

Ruching is a way of gathering material at the sides of a garment (usually from mid-torso to hip) to take up additional fabric while allowing extra room in the front and back. Genius for anyone expecting multiples!

Look for side ruching in tops, as it allows room for your bump without making you feel like you're wearing a tent. You may also want to try dresses that have side ruching, but know that this tailoring technique will cause the dress to hug your curves.

Some people love that look, while others may feel self-conscious. Sweater dresses are also a good option, as they allow extra room for a baby belly without being as form-fitting as a side ruched dress.

Well-Designed Jeans

Showing off a pregnant bump with form-fitting clothes is mainstream these days. Don't be surprised to find tank tops and skinny jeans in the maternity section.

You may be able to wear some or all of these styles in the first trimester, but as your pregnancy progresses, you will likely want clothes with more growing (and moving) room. Keep in mind that while all maternity jeans feature stretch panels at the waist, some manufacturers place them just on the sides, just above the pockets.

This may not be the most comfortable design for a multiple baby belly, as the front area can be constricting without a stretch panel. Instead, look for maternity jeggings or jeans with an all-around waist panel, and don't forget to size up for more growing room.

Solutions for Work

With the work environment becoming more casual and more people working from home, you may not need to make many changes to your wardrobe for work.

Thankfully, even those who do dress up for work have plenty of options. Maxi dresses and pants or leggings with baby doll dresses or tunic tops can work well for professionals. A cardigan, wrap, or blazer adds a professional touch to a basic outfit without having to worry about fitting your growing bump.

Shopping for Multiples Maternity Clothes

When it comes to shopping for maternity clothes for a multiple pregnancy, having a plan in place and knowing where to look are the first steps.

Build a Basic Wardrobe

You may have heard this advice from stylists before: Buy a few quality pieces in colors that go with everything. Then you can add outerwear, accessories, and trendy pieces to round out your look.

Sometimes called a capsule wardrobe, this approach allows you to mix and match without spending a fortune, getting more use (and more ensembles) from each piece. If you are pregnant more than once, high-quality basics may last through them all.

And don't forget the fourth trimester: It can take a bit more time to lose baby weight after a multiple pregnancy, and your maternity clothes will serve you well as you get to know your postpartum body.

Smart choices for basics include:

  • Dresses (one black, one gray or white)
  • Leggings or pants in black, grey, and khaki
  • Tunic tops in white and black

If you happen to find a piece for your basic wardrobe that you love, consider buying it in a few other colors. You might also want to purchase the next size up so that you can enjoy it throughout your pregnancy.

Choose the Best Size for You

Remember that regardless of the stage of pregnancy you're in now, your babies will continue to grow until your due date. Consider buying a size or two up to ensure that you get the most out of your new outfits.

Keep in mind that carrying more than one baby will make your belly expand more than you may expect. It's completely normal to find that only the plus-size maternity wear fits, even if you didn't wear a plus size before your pregnancy. Don't worry about the size, just buy what feels comfortable.

Know What to Look For

Shop for maternity clothing made of lightweight fabric that offers lots of extra room in the belly. Fabric that is both breathable and stretchy will move with you and allow body heat to escape. Some fabrics that meet both of these criteria include:

  • Cotton: An all-natural fiber, cotton is known for its soft feel and breathability. While it does absorb sweat, cotton is not as good as some other fabrics at wicking it away from your skin.
  • Merino wool: In contrast to the heavy wool used for knitted winter sweaters and mittens, Merino wool is light and soft. It also has excellent moisture-wicking properties.
  • Nylon: This synthetic fiber is great at pulling moisture away from the skin when used in tighter-fitting clothing. Form-fitting dresses or workout clothes made of nylon can be a great choice because they dry quickly.
  • Technical polyester: Not the same as the polyester found in dress clothes, technical polyester is lightweight and is often used in athletic clothing due to its stretch and breathability.

Shop the Right Stores

Whether you prefer shopping online or in-store, knowing which companies cater to pregnant customers is essential for saving time and energy. Companies that specialize in maternity wear include Ingrid & Isabell, Motherhood Maternity, A Pea in the Pod, and Seraphine, just to name a few.

Ways to Save on Maternity Clothes

Follow these tips to save money when shopping for maternity gear.

Do Your Research

Shopping online has become the norm for many of us due to the convenience and greater selection offered by many online companies. You can take advantage of maternity retailers from around the world when shopping on the web.

A few caveats before you begin your virtual shopping trip, though. First, be sure to read reviews. Input from others who are pregnant with multiples can help you choose between similar options and see how clothes perform in real life. For instance, you may learn that a pair of leggings isn't as stretchy as the description states.

You can also ask the manufacturer questions before ordering and read through the questions and answers of other shoppers. A bit of pre-purchase research may save you the hassle of returning a piece.

Which brings us to the next important reminder: return policies. Make sure to confirm that items can be returned or exchanged before making a purchase. If your belly is growing faster than you anticipated, you may need to return a piece before you have a chance to wear it.

While most companies accept returns, not all offer free return shipping. For those that don't, check to see how much you'll be paying to ship an item back if it doesn't work out.

Checking the return policy before buying maternity clothing is especially important when ordering online.

Buy a Little at a Time

Multiples parents warn those going through their first pregnancy not to stock up on a closetful of maternity clothes early on (as tempting as it may be). Every person gains weight and grows differently when they're pregnant, and this is even more true with multiples.

Buy a few pieces at a time that fit with a little extra room, waiting a month or so before buying the next size up to see what styles are the most comfortable for you. Ordering another of your favorite top is easier than having to return some because you bought too many.

Go Thrifting or Rent

One way to stock up on maternity clothing without breaking your budget is to take part in a clothing swap or to shop at consignment stores. Just Between Friends provides an online locator for their maternity clothing (and baby gear) swaps held all over the United States.

Le Tote strives to provide trendy, chic maternity options to fit anyone's budget by offering clothes for rent. That's right: You don't have to buy a thing. For a monthly subscription, you can rent maternity outfits for as long as you need them, then send them back and choose more. Now that's smart shopping.

A Word From Verywell

It's completely normal to feel surprised and uncertain about the changes your body is undergoing in a multiple pregnancy. Even expectant parents of singletons are often startled at how their shape changes, and these changes are more pronounced when you're carrying multiple babies.

While choosing what to wear each day is not normally a huge decision, it can definitely feel that way when dressing a multiple baby bump. Remember that your body won't stay this size for very long. In fact, it will be a relatively short time until you're welcoming your new little ones into the world and saying goodbye to your maternity clothes.

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  1. Lamaze International. What are you wearing? Fabrics that beat the heat in pregnancy. June 3, 2019.