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by Shaylie Foley January 28, 2018 11 min read

Maternity Lingerie, Nursing bras, and Maternity Babydoll

Feeling Sexy While Pregnant

Many women have trouble feeling sexy during their pregnancy. It can be challenging to feel confident about your body while dealing with nausea, swelling, back pain, extreme weight gain, and other unpleasant changes your body endures as your pregnancy progresses. Although these changes are all normal, natural side effects of growing another human being inside of you, they cause many women to feel unattractive or even unfamiliar with their own body.

The fact that so many women experience a significant drop in body confidence during their pregnancy is unfortunate and unnecessary. The ability of the female body to develop a brand new human life inside of it in nine months is incredible and a cause for celebration. Pregnant women deserve to feel proud of their pregnant bodies and all of the ways it changes to become a healthier environment for fostering the development of a baby. Pregnancy is the time when the female body is at its most miraculous and, if anything, pregnant women should feel more—not less—confident about the way their bodies look during this time. However, feeling sexy while you’re pregnant can be easier said than done. Unwanted body changes mixed with volatile hormones creates a recipe for low self-esteem and plummeting confidence in many pregnant women.

A Guide to Maternity Lingerie

Shop Maternity Lingerie 

If you’re struggling to feel attractive during your pregnancy, wearing lingerie can be a great way to reverse feelings of unattractiveness and help you learn how to embrace your sexiness again. Wearing the right lingerie while you’re pregnant enhances the appearance of your body just the way it is and reminds you how alluring your body is at all stages of your pregnancy. Even if lingerie is not a regular part of your life in the bedroom when you’re not pregnant, consider trying out a few lingerie styles during your pregnancy. You might discover that wearing sexy lingerie has the transformative effect on your confidence that you need to feel attractive again.

Sexy Maternity Lingerie

Sexy Maternity Lingerie

Cosabella best-selling Never Say Never™ Sweetie™ bra   $60

Cosabella wide stretch Never Say Never™ Lace Thong   $25

During the first trimester of your pregnancy, before your baby bump begins to show, you can probably get away with comfortably wearing lingerie in standard sizes. In fact, some women find that they can wear regular lingerie sizes throughout their entire pregnancy. However, just like how the majority of women begin wearing maternity clothes around the start of their second trimester, most women find that special maternity lingerie provides a more comfortable fit once they are farther along in their pregnancy.

Whether you don’t usually wear lingerie at all or already have a well-worn collection of pre-pregnancy lingerie pieces, it can be intimidating to shop for maternity lingerie. Even if you know precisely which lingerie styles you love when you aren’t pregnant, you might be unsure of which styles will flatter your pregnant body. Fortunately, there are many different styles of maternity lingerie, all of which can complement your pregnant body if you choose pieces that make you feel sexy and confident.

Maternity Babydoll Nightie

Babydoll nighties are one of the most popular types of maternity lingerie. They are usually made from soft silk or satin material that won’t itch or irritate your skin. These maternity nightgowns fit snugly around your chest to show off your growing cleavage. Many babydolls also feature real bra cups or at least an under-bust band that help comfortably support your tender, swelling breasts.

Below their tight bust, babydoll nighties have a loose, flowing fit that settles around your upper thighs. This loose fit around the midsection softens the appearance of your pregnant stomach and comfortably accommodates your belly as it grows, allowing you to wear the same nightie throughout all three trimesters of your pregnancy. In fact, many women don’t even have to buy a maternity babydoll and can wear a standard- sized nightie even while pregnant.

Maternity Teddy

Teddies are a daring and sexy choice for maternity lingerie. They look similar to bodysuits but are designed to be worn in the bedroom. Teddies fit snugly all over, and maternity teddies show off the size and shape of your pregnant belly as it grows.

If you feel uncomfortable with how your body shape is changing, a maternity teddy is probably not the best choice of pregnancy lingerie for you. But if you’re proud of your pregnant body and are eager to show it off in the bedroom, the tight fit of a maternity teddy provides you with the perfect opportunity to do so.

Maternity Boudoir Outfits

It is natural for pregnant women to want to document what is—for many—a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Many women choose to take private maternity photos in maternity boudoir photoshoots so that they can have beautiful, personal pictures from their pregnancy to look back on after their child is born.

Choosing an outfit for a maternity boudoir photoshoot can be difficult. These photos are exceptional, and it’s normal to want them to be perfect. Since the photoshoot is all about your pregnancy, your boudoir outfit should keep the focus on your belly. An open chemise, bra and panty set, or other lingerie that leaves your pregnant stomach bare are excellent choices for a maternity boudoir shoot. If you feel uncomfortable completely exposing your belly, wear a sheer babydoll or teddy that covers your midsection but keeps your stomach in view.

Maternity Chemise

Maternity chemises are very similar to babydoll nighties. They both support your bust and fit loosely around your midsection to provide a comfortable, flattering fit. The only real difference between chemises and babydolls is that babydolls fall around your upper thighs and chemises’ hemlines range from above your hips to below your knees.

The variable hemlines of chemises provide you with more options depending on your lingerie preferences. Shorter chemises look more scandalous and show off your legs, while longer chemises offer more coverage while maintaining a flattering fit. If you want to expose your belly playfully and sexily, choose an open maternity chemise of any length. Open chemises part in the center under your bust to reveal a peek at your pregnant stomach.

Maternity Wedding Undergarments

Many women struggle with choosing maternity lingerie for their wedding and honeymoon if they will be noticeably pregnant when they get married. Fortunately, there is a wide variety of maternity wedding undergarments that can help you feel as sexy and confident as any bride should on her wedding day—and night.

A classic bra and panty set is an ideal choice for brides searching for maternity wedding undergarments. The bra can provide more support to your bust than most other lingerie options, and you can choose a sexy high-waisted panty style that supports your belly. Most bra and panty sets are invisible underneath your wedding dress and won’t add extra layers of bulky material over your stomach. To stay in line with traditional bridal lingerie standards, choose a white bra and panty set with lace, beading, or other intricate detailing. If you want to feel slightly less exposed once the vows are over and your wedding night arrives, pair your bra and panty set with a sheer white chemise or babydoll nightie once your honeymoon begins.

Maternity Leggings

Maternity Leggings

Maternity leggings are sexy maternity clothes that are transformative for many pregnant women. They are incredibly versatile and can be worn as loungewear, pajamas, part of a lingerie outfit in the bedroom, or as everyday bottoms. Maternity leggings provide pregnant women with a sexy, trendy alternative to having to choose between wearing sweats to work or struggling through the impossible chore of comfortably fitting jeans or slacks around their belly.

Leggings designed for pregnant women are made from soft and stretchy material to ensure a comfortable fit. They are incredibly high-waisted and are intended to rise over your pregnant stomach. This high-rise fit allows the leggings to compress your midsection to support your growing belly comfortably lightly.

Maternity Bras

During the nine months that you are pregnant, your rib cage expands, your mammary glands develop, and your hormones go haywire. All of these dramatic physical shifts are concentrated around your chest and usually lead to noticeable changes in your breasts. As their breasts naturally undergo these and other internal changes, many women experience related tenderness, swelling, and other seemingly random changes in the size and shape of their breasts throughout their pregnancy.

Because of how common breast-related pregnancy side effects are, maternity bras are understandably one of the most popular types of maternity lingerie. While some women just opt to buy larger sizes of their regular bras when their breasts begin to swell during pregnancy, many other women find that the unique design of maternity bras provides their breasts with a better fit and the functional support and coverage they need as their pregnancy progresses.

Some women are hesitant to try maternity bras because they associate these bras with unattractive, frumpy styles akin to “granny bras.” Since most women’s feelings of attractiveness are already fragile during pregnancy, it’s understandable that many don’t want to wear maternity bras if they are worried these bras will make them feel even less confident about their bodies. However, the connotations of maternity bras as unattractive are entirely false. Countless different lingerie companies offer complete lines of maternity bras for pregnant women with designs that are both sexy and supportive. From the outside, many of these maternity bras are indistinguishable from any other sexy lingerie bra. Maternity bras also come in many different styles, including wireless maternity bras, racerback nursing bras, maternity sleep bras, and many others to help you comfortably maintain your lifestyle during your pregnancy. They are just like the pre-pregnancy bras you wear, plus the extra support you need while you’re pregnant.

Because maternity bras are produced specially to be worn during pregnancy, they include many unique features that are customized to benefit pregnant women and their continuously changing breasts. Don’t just settle for larger sizes of your pre-pregnancy bras when there are many sexy maternity bras out there waiting to enhance the look of your pregnant breasts and comfortably support them at the same time.

As for when you should buy your first maternity bra, there is no defined prime time to switch from your regular bras to pregnancy bras. Listen to your body. If your breasts feel too tender in your regular bras or are beginning to spill over the tops of the cups, start looking for a maternity bra that fits better. Many women experience noticeable changes in their breasts very early in their pregnancy and switch over to pregnancy bras during their first trimester. Others don’t feel the need to stop wearing their regular bras until the latter half of their pregnancy or even until after they give birth and start breastfeeding. Don’t let how far along you are in your pregnancy dictate when you buy your first maternity bra. Start shopping for a maternity bra as soon as you start to feel uncomfortable in your pre-pregnancy bras whether you’re in your early trimester or your third.

Maternity Bras Versus Nursing Bras

Maternity and nursing bras are both types of bras that are commonly worn by pregnant women. Many women are preparing to purchase new bras for their pregnancy get confused about the differences between these two styles and which one is the best choice for them.

Although the differences between maternity and nursing bras are subtle, they do exist. As their titles suggest, maternity bras are designed to be worn by women in the later months of their pregnancy, and nursing bras are technically meant for after-pregnancy wear by breastfeeding mothers. Maternity bras are usually made from very stretchy material with adjustable straps and extra hook and eye closures on the band to accommodate the changing size of your breasts easily. They also include additional support features like wider straps and soft cups with cotton lining to keep tender, swelling breasts comfortable. The only significant difference between maternity and nursing bras is that nursing bras—which are also known as breastfeeding bras—feature cups that open and close with a clasp or hook to provide easier access to nipples for natural breastfeeding. Nursing bras feature the same exceptional comfort and support components as maternity bras.

The truth is that nursing and maternity bras are very similar and which style you choose to wear during your pregnancy is little more than a matter of personal preference. Many women wear nursing bras throughout their entire pregnancy and breastfeeding stint, while others wear maternity bras during and after their pregnancy or switch from maternity bras to nursing bras after giving birth. Don’t restrict yourself to one type of bra. Choose your pregnancy bras based on which ones feel the most comfortable and supportive.

Maternity and Nursing Bra Fitting Guide

Finding a bra that fits comfortably is hard enough even when you’re not pregnant. Once you get pregnant, bra fitting becomes infinity more complicated and can be extremely frustrating for many women. Fortunately, choosing to wear a maternity or nursing bra makes the process of finding a well-fitting bra during your pregnancy easier since these bras are designed specifically to provide pregnant women with a comfortable and supportive fit.

The main reason that buying a bra that fits you while you’re pregnant is so difficult is that your breasts are constantly changing during your pregnancy. You might buy a bra that fits perfectly at sixteen weeks, but your breasts will likely be spilling out of it by the time you hit your third trimester. There is absolutely no way to know how your breasts will change as your pregnancy progresses or how much they will grow. Pregnancy changes every woman’s body differently and predicting how it will affect your breasts is impossible. Some women experience little to no visible changes in their breasts and can wear their normal bras throughout all three trimesters of their pregnancy. Other women’s breasts grow two to three full cup sizes as their pregnancy progresses. After giving birth, some women’s breasts shrink closer to their pre-pregnancy size while others experience additional swelling of one to two cup sizes.

The cup and band sizes of most maternity and nursing bras match the sizing of normal bra styles. Just measure your breasts normally to determine which size bra to buy during your pregnancy. Don’t just measure yourself for cup size; your rib cage expands while you’re pregnant and your band size will likely increase as well. When you buy a maternity bra or a nursing bra, plan on buying a bra that is one band size larger and one to three cup sizes larger than your pre-pregnancy bras. That being said, every woman’s body changes differently so don’t be alarmed if your band and cup sizes shift even more dramatically than that. When you try on maternity or nursing bras, choose them based off of how comfortable and supportive they feel and not by their size.

The most important part of finding well-fitting nursing and maternity bras is to measure yourself regularly during and after your pregnancy. Accept that there is a very high chance that you will have to buy multiple bras in different sizes or styles as your pregnancy progresses and after you give birth. With this in mind, avoid buying multiple bras in the same size at any point during your pregnancy and be conscious of the price of the nursing and maternity bras you buy. While it’s important to choose high-quality bras that are comfortable and supportive, it’s also a good idea to buy bras that are relatively inexpensive since you might only be able to wear them comfortably for a few months. Also, don’t buy a nursing bra when you’re twenty weeks pregnant solely to avoid buying a new bra after you give birth and start breastfeeding. If nursing bras feel more comfortable for you than maternity bras, there’s nothing wrong with wearing them throughout your pregnancy. Just beware that starting out with a nursing bra does not mean you won’t have to buy multiple bras before your pregnancy ends and you stop breastfeeding. Although you might be able to wear the same nursing bra during and after your pregnancy, there is a good chance that your breasts will change enough to warrant buying another bra later in your pregnancy or after you give birth.

10 Best Maternity Lingerie and nursing bras

Shaylie Foley
Shaylie Foley

Shaylie Foley is an author and a fashion expert at HauteFlair. She writes to inspire and educate readers on women's fashion and lifestyle topics. With over 6 years of writing experience, Shaylie brings a vast amount of knowledge, style, and skill to her work

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