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Plus Size Maternity

When you first discover you are pregnant, you will have so many things to think about that plus size maternity apparel may not occur to you until your clothes start to fit oddly—or not at all. You'll probably first notice the difference in the way underwear and lingerie fit, since they tend to sit close to the skin. Maternity panties, which give extra room to blossoming tummies, are a must-have unless you want to go through your pregnancy with the uncomfortable feeling that your underclothes are creeping up on you. Around the third month of pregnancy, you will discover that your bras are no longer acting the
way they should: it's time for a maternity brassiere and later, a nursing bra.

Many women find that pregnancy interferes not only with their eating and emotions, but also with their sleeping routines. Some women feel very tired early on in pregnancy, until somewhere around the fifth month, when hormonal surges create bounds of energy known as the phenomenon of "nesting". Sometimes the changes that a coming baby creates in the rest of your life will cause insomnia from worry or excitement. Whether you're taking naps in the daytime, staying up half the night or both, you will want comfortable, soft sleepwear. There are few things more comforting than a soft pair of flannel pajamas, a crisp, cool nightgown and chenille slippers just made to soothe tired feet.

When you're thinking of buying plus size maternity clothes, take out your calendar and look ahead to the coming months. Will you be needing maternity swimwear for a long-planned vacation? Or maybe you will take an aquatics class during your pregnancy to stay in shape without overexerting yourself. You may need a plus size maternity bathing suit! But if you don't plan to be going in the water and the latter part of your pregnancy will take place in winter, why bother? If you only take an occasional swim, wear a pair of shorts and a T-shirt instead. Or find a lovely, soft maternity coat to wear for long walks in the park.

Plus size maternity clothes are available at a number of plus size stores, and for women who want to continue to wear attractive clothing throughout pregnancy, finding the right styles are as important as locating the best prices. Whether it's a bra for your newly enhanced figure or a dress you want to buy at a discount, plus size maternity wear can still be appealing and sexy—if you know where to shop.

Jeans aren't always favorites for pregnancy, since denim tends to feel a bit confining, but maternity jeans in plus sizes may be just the thing for weekends and casual vacations. To get the most out of your jeans, look for elasticized waistbands and stretch fabrics that will take your jeans from month four onwards, perhaps even to delivery and beyond. Obviously, the midriff portion of your jeans will need to expand with your growing belly, or it will need to be larger to begin with so you can grow into it later on.

Career and casual pants are particularly tricky when you're looking for plus size maternity clothes. Maternity clothes sometimes tend towards the cutesie, but it's hard to be taken seriously at work when your shirt is covered with tiny yellow ducks. Especially when it comes to work fashions and formal or evening wear, avoid clothes that draw attention to your pregnancy at the cost of the attention that would normally be paid to your face. After all, you're more than a container for a budding baby—you're a grown person with a brain—and with your own fashion sense. If you're tall, make sure maternity shirts and skirts are a bit longer than you'd usually wear them: tops and bottoms may tend to ride up a little as the shape of your body changes, and you may appreciate the extra coverage. Sears has plus size maternity clothing, and you can also find it at Motherhood (www.motherhood.com). Another store called Baby Becoming (www.babybecoming.com) carries plus size clothes for the mother to be.

If you find yourself looking for a plus size maternity wedding dress or bridesmaid's gown, focus on styles that accent your top half—shoulders, bust, neck and arms. The Empire gown favored by the Empress Josephine set the style for Europe when nothing was considered sexier than a pregnant woman. By setting the waistline high under the bust and letting the skirt fall straight to the floor, the Empire gown suggested pregnancy even at a time when it was considered vital that all brides be virgins. As important virginity was, wedding gowns that enhanced the bust and suggested a round stomach insinuated that the bride, while virgin, was nubile and would soon, under the right conditions, bear many healthy children. Things have changes in fashion, but today's women understand that an Empire waisted wedding gown provides a sexy, classic look without necessarily underlining (or requiring) the pregnant stomach.

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