Shopping for maternity clothes is great prep for motherhood. When that baby becomes a toddler, you'll have no idea what size boots or shirts to buy on sale for next winter.
Just like now. You know that cute and tiny little belly bump won't stay that way forever. Who knows how much you'll expand .. or where.
Cathleen Price, who's been helping expectant mamas dress themselves for 20 years at Destination Maternity, most recently as store manager at the Carle Place, New York, store, takes some of the guesswork away in sharing these 6 biggest mistakes to avoid:
1. Buying clothes the next size up
Lots of first-time preggos overestimate how much they'll gain. In some cases, women who normally wear a size Small will want to go for a Medium for comfort's sake. But that's rarely necessary. Maternity apparel takes moderate weight gain into consideration. As a rule, if you wear size Small, buy a Maternity Small, if you're normally a Large, there's no reason to think you'll need Extra Large pregnancy clothes.
2. Squeezing into your regular bra
Sounds like a good idea at first -- save some bucks and wear your regular bra during pregnancy. Or, since you'll need one after baby comes anyway, just wear a nursing bra. Wrong, wrong wrong. First of all, you're boobies are going to stretch out your sexy Victoria's Secret so it no longer does its job. You won't realize it until post baby or breastfeeding.
Second, you'll look terrible in all those awesome clothes you just bought. Maternity bras have extra supportive straps to keep you perky and streamlined for just this purpose.
Third. Your correct nursing bra size won't work for you during pregnancy. See more about this in Mistake #6.
3. Being close-minded about different styles
Those empire waist shirts that tie around the middle are cute on the rack, but they make some women look ginormously tent-like. Fitted tops may actually make you look smaller. Be daring and try a side-ruched style shirt ... you may be pleasantly surprised at how something you'd never consider buying pre-pregnancy flatters your new shape.
More from The Stir: 20 Craziest Bits of Pregnancy Advice Moms Have Ever Heard
4. Putting looks over comfort when buying pants
Maternity pants and jeans are expensive. Many moms try to get by alternating among a few pairs of basics -- jeans, khakis, a dressy pair of slacks for the office or night out. Just consider that those stylish underbelly and mid-belly trousers fit well early in your pregnancy, but won't be nearly as comfy as pants with full belly bands later in the third trimester (when you get real cranky and could care less what you look like, anyway).
5. Buying regular T-shirts and tops in bigger sizes
Fine for month three, four, maybe even five. But good luck to the Small size woman trying to squeeze into a Large size T-shirt come the seventh, eighth or ninth month. Unless you want to pass some slightly stretched-out work shirts along to hubby when you're done with them ...
6. Getting a nursing bra too soon
The rule for bras: You buy a maternity bra in your normal breast size give or take. You buy your nursing bra a full cup size up from what you measure about 4 to 6 weeks before your due date. Many women buy their nursing bras way too early ... and too small in the end.
What types of mistakes have you made when buying maternity clothes?