When Did You Start Wearing Maternity Clothes?

Hey there new Mama,

First of all congratulations!!

Now, to answer your question quickly, I would say that pregnant women usually don’t start ‘showing’ until 16 weeks. So, probably you might still fit into your pre-pregnancy clothes till then. Having said that, every pregnant body is different, so it really depends on your height, weight, and the type of clothes you wear. You might start showing earlier than 16 weeks or if you tend to wear bodycon dresses or tighter jeans, you might start feeling it to be too tight earlier than 16 weeks.

Pregnancy can be really exciting for women, and if you’re first-time pregnant, you might even start worrying about buying maternity clothes even from your first trimester. Truth be told, I was no different.

As soon as I heard the news of my pregnancy, I couldn’t wait to start my body to start ‘showing’ to start buying maternity clothes and flaunt my baby bump.

Sure, this is different for every woman. Some pregnant women might not be ready to let go of their current body shape, but hey don’t worry, once the baby is born, you’ll be able to soon go back to your pre-pregnancy body shape.

When can I start wearing maternity clothes?

There is no specific day, or week, or month that I can tell you that you will start showing because it really depends on things like your pre-pregnancy weight, your height, whether you’re carrying multiples, or whether you’re already overweight and your body shape.

Size of the uterus

  • By the end of your second trimester, i.e., 12 weeks, your uterus reaches right at the top of your pubic bone.
  • At 14 weeks of pregnancy, the uterus reaches 2 inches above the pubic bone.
  • At 16 weeks, your uterus reaches midway between your pubic bone and your belly button, i.e., your lower abdomen.
  • At 20 weeks, your uterus has traveled up to your belly.
  • After this, your belly will slowly start getting bigger and determine your clothing style.

So, at 14 weeks, when your uterus is in your lower abdomen, you might start seeing a little difference in your belly shape, although this might not be visible to others, and it might also seem as if you’re bloated.

This is the time when your jeans are not being able to be buttoned up around your abdomen, or your tight, fitted skirt seems to be too tight around your lower abdomen.

Many women will start showing after 16 weeks and will switch to looser clothing, if not maternity clothes. So, you don’t have to hurry up on buying maternity clothes.

Instead, take out any of your clothing that isn’t fitted and is a little loose on your body, and you can wear them till they start getting fit for you.

In my case, the majority of my clothing is a little loose for me and not body-hugging, and that’s the way I always liked them. So, even when I was 17 weeks pregnant, I didn’t seem pregnant to others, as my clothes wouldn’t hug around my belly, and I wouldn’t even show.

Along with how far along you are in your pregnancy, other factors are involved when you start ‘showing’.


If you’re overweight before getting pregnant, chances are you might start putting on weight around your belly earlier. Also, women who have thinner torsos start showing before overweight or obese woman.

A young pregnant woman is feeling her abdomen area where her baby will be growing.

Also, bellies come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. So, if you’re shorter, chances are that your belly will start protruding earlier because of your shorter belly.

Whatever your pre-pregnancy weight might be, if you gain a lot of weight in your first trimester, know that your clothes will be quite tighter in your second trimester. So, you might also need to buy clothes of a larger size as early as 13 or 14 weeks.


During pregnancy, a woman's breasts will grow as her baby does too.

While your uterus is busy traveling to your belly, remember that your breasts are growing too. Because of the increased estrogen and progesterone hormones in your changing body, your breasts tend to get heavier and bigger.

So, you might need to purchase bras with a larger cup and a size bigger than your current ones. Also, tops that are fitted around your bosom will soon get tighter. So, when you go out to purchase tops or dresses, buy the ones that are not too fitted around your chest or buy clothes that you can even alter later.

Type of clothes you could buy during your pregnancy

A young woman sitting on a mat is wearing maternity clothes to be more comfortable during her pregnancy.

If you’re not into maternity clothes, or you can’t find any good maternity clothes that you like and looks good on you, then there are many alternatives that you can try which are still normal clothes but only 1 or 2 sizes bigger than your pre-pregnancy size.

  • Try A-linen dresses that flare from the top.
  • You can also try empirical dresses that are not fitted around your waist.
  • You can also try a size bigger in the clothes you usually wear.
  • Try wearing oversized shirts so that there’s enough space for your breasts and waist to grow in the coming trimesters.
  • Try stretchy pants or skirts with an elasticized waist that you can wear under or above your belly.


Who needs an excuse for shopping, right? But if you’re not into maternity clothes, you can always try different alternatives, but whatever clothes you wear, you should always feel comfortable and have enough space to breathe and move around.

If you’re still in your first trimester, then you have plenty of time till you start your shopping spree, till then enjoy your time and relax, and you might as well check great options on Pinterest.

If you’re planning to buy your maternity clothes now, consider whether the dress or top has enough space for your belly to grow until your last trimester. Don’t buy clothes that will only fit you till 28 weeks of pregnancy and you’ll have to spend again! Instead, try on your dresses and see if they will last you till the day you pop.

Happy shopping!

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Located in India and a mother to a joyfully mischievous son, Kelin is the wife of the world’s most patient man and a busy homemaker. When she’s not busy cooking and running after her kid,  you can find her in a corner reading, or penning down words on her laptop. She believes the world will always try to instil ‘mom guilt’ in new mothers, but she goes by the maxim ‘a mother knows best'.

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