While many people say women suddenly have a glow about them when pregnant, it might not always feel that way. Pregnancy can be tiring and uncomfortable, especially as your clothes become tighter and your body changes shape. To ease the transition of your growing belly, investing in maternity dresses can not only make you more comfortable but help you feel beautiful and confident during this phase of life. With options that provide ample stretch as well as dresses that work for postpartum and breastfeeding, you can sport these maternity dress options both before, during, and after pregnancy. From beautiful solid colors to vibrant patterns, you won’t have to make any fashion sacrifices during this magical stage of life.
The Best Maternity Dresses
(Best dress for baby showers — $$)
Why it’s great: The tie closure and feminine wrap styles make the Mother Bee Maternity Women’s Knee Length Wrap Dress with Belt ideal for baby showers or other events. The knee-length design and half-sleeve fit are flattering throughout pregnancy while the variety of colors and patterns work with your complexion. The stretchy material allows this maternity dress to work postpartum as well as for nursing.
Keep in mind: This dress runs on the small side so be sure to size up if between sizes or expecting to grow.
Good for: Mothers-to-be looking for a dress to wear to their baby showers.
(Best cotton option — $$)
Why it’s great: The soft, natural cotton construction of the BBHoping Women’s Casual Striped Maternity Dress is comfortable to wear over growing bellies. The A-line style is flattering on all body types and the smooth, jersey material works with all stages of pregnancy and thereafter. From solid colors and polka-dots to soothing stripes and fun florals, you can have a patterned dress for every day of the week.
Keep in mind: Although machine-washable, it is recommended to hand wash this dress to ensure its longevity.
(Best budget option — $)
Why it’s great: With plenty of stretchy and side ruching, this maternity dress is easy to dress up or down. The Smallshow Women’s Short Sleeve Maternity Dress fits most budgets so moms-to-be can order more than one due to the abundance of colors and patterns. Machine-washable and created in an extra soft fabric, this maternity dress is easy to both wear and care for.
Keep in mind: Some of the lighter color options may appear sheer when stretched over a growing belly.
Good for: Women looking for an inexpensive maternity dress option.
(Best for pregnancy to postpartum transition — $$)
Why it’s great: The flowing maxi style design of the Peauty Button Down Maternity Dress is flattering throughout pregnancy as well as the months afterward. The delicate touches, including ruffled sleeves and button closure, add a dose of femininity and elegance to your maternity wardrobe. Made mostly from cotton, this maternity dress option is soft and skin-friendly against sensitive skin.
Keep in mind: The loose, flowing fabric may wrinkle easily if not hung to dry.
Good for: Women wanting a dress that will carry throughout pregnancy and into the postpartum period.
(Best dress for maternity photoshoots — $$$)
Why it’s great: TThe Saslax Maternity Off Shoulders Gown is a show stopper and perfect for moms wanting to make an impact at their maternity photoshoots. The off-shoulder style with sweetheart neckline and flowing skirt fits perfectly on growing bellies. The high-quality material is not see-through and works well both in pictures and in real life.
Keep in mind: It is recommended to iron the folds in the skirt before wearing it.
Good for: Mothers-to-be looking for a flattering dress for pictures.
(Best prints — $$)
Why it’s great: With nearly 50 different designs and prints, the My Bump Women’s Maternity Dress is sure to have an option for everyone’s taste. The slim fit and stretch material fits comfortably over growing bellies without restricting movement. The premium fabric doesn’t cling but drapes beautifully overall body types.
Keep in mind: This maternity dress runs on the smaller side, size up if between sizes.
Good for: Moms who like to add a spunky print to their closets.
(Best for pregnancy and breastfeeding — $$)
Why it’s great: The wrap style top of the HELLO MIZ Women’s Faux Wrap Maxi Maternity Dress makes this a great option for women throughout pregnancy as well as if they transition to breastfeeding thereafter. This maternity dress can be worn with or without a belt for a personalized fit. Machine-washable, it’s easy to both wear and care for this maternity dress.
Keep in mind: The style of the maternity dress may fit differently depending on your color and pattern selection.
Good for: Moms who want maternity options that also work for breastfeeding.
FAQs about Maternity Dresses
1. What size maternity dress should I get?
Follow the sizing recommendations on the dress of your choosing. Stretchy fabrics may have more give, so you may want to size up if looking at fabrics with less flexibility. Keep in mind that the styles you find most comfortable not pregnant may be different than what feels best throughout pregnancy.
2. When should I buy maternity clothing?
You can buy maternity clothing at any point during your pregnancy. Some women are ready to switch wardrobes at eight weeks pregnant, while others won’t grow out of their current clothes until closer to the third trimester. As soon as you feel uncomfortable, a soft, flattering maternity dress provides you room to grow while also fitting you in the phase you’re currently in.
3. What style of maternity dress is best for me?
If looking to wear your dress during pregnancy as well as postpartum, an empire waist or ruched siding may be best. A wrap-style top or button closure works well for breastfeeding after pregnancy.
4. How do I care for my maternity dress?
Most maternity dresses are machine washable. Follow the care instructions on the maternity dress of your choice to help your outfit last. Handwashing and hanging your maternity dress to dry may extend its life.
5. Can I still wear my maternity dress when I’m no longer pregnant?
Nearly all maternity dresses can be worn throughout pregnancy and the weeks, months, and even years following. Flowy dresses are less likely to stretch out of shape and may work best during the postpartum period. High-quality, thick materials often transition better to flatter your evolving boy shape.
Maternity dresses are a comfortable and functional option for women before, during, and after pregnancy. With soft materials and flattering styles, this selection of maternity dresses can be worn through nearly all stages of pregnancy. Comfort is extremely important when you have a growing belly, so your wardrobe should reflect your needs throughout these treasured nine months and the period of time afterward. Maxi dresses with additional coverage are ideal for cold weather while wrap-style dresses work perfectly for nursing moms. Whether you’re looking for a formal maternity dress for a photo shoot, or a comfortable dress for everyday wear, you’re sure to find a maternity dress or two that fits you and your growing body.