Having a baby can be one of life’s most joyous occasions — but it’s probably also one of the most confusing. Before you can worry about raising a child in the world, you have to go through the confusion of learning how to dress yourself as the body goes through rapid changes. Are jeans still a possibility? What bras are the most comfortable? And do you need special shirts for nursing? To create a starter kit of great maternity clothes for expecting mothers, we polled doctors, maternity-shop owners, and (yes) moms about the best things to wear when you’re expecting. Below, 63 of their responses, with everything from bras and shirts and leggings to coat extenders and jeans and belly bands.
“When it arrived, I discovered that, yes, it’s truly fugly (other reviewers on the site note the same), but I also discovered that I loved it. Unlike any bra I’ve ever tried as a larger-busted woman, it supports my chest without back bulges, strap-tugging, or quadraboob (when your bra cups are so tight, your boobs ooze over the top). Made of the softest fabric, it also gives the comfiest fit; it’s the sweatpants of bras. While truly an eyesore when worn on its own, it’s incredibly flattering under clothes (meaning 99 percent of the time).” —Kase Wickman
“I’ve worn this bra from Boob every single day since giving birth. It’s just supportive enough, easily slips off for breastfeeding, and the supersoft cotton is soothing on my tender, gnawed-upon boobs.” —Laurel Pantin, editorial director of the Coveteur
“My obsession during and after pregnancy were the Cosabella T-shirt bras. These are not pregnancy bras, but they did the trick. I wanted something smooth that I could wear with all of my XL tees, but also I could continue to grow in as I got bigger. And they are really pretty, so that helped a lot.” —Jasmine Snow, stylist and founder of the Black Bib
“My nursing bras were from Anita. Not a brand I had ever tried before, but they had exactly what I was looking for: reasonably priced nursing bras that weren’t hideous.” —Caroline Cross
“This is my favorite sleep bra. It’s slick and seamless on the outside, with soft-as-silk cotton lining each cup for sore nipples. It’s the first thing you want to put on in the morning, and no need to mess with fussy clips for nap-time or sleep-time nursing. Plus the pink-petal color looks fantastic layered under a tank or cami, too.” —Adriane Stare, owner of maternity boutique Wild Was Mama
“My favorite nursing bra was sooooo comfortable. I actually bought four of them because I never took it off and had to rotate all the time since they get all milky, which is perhaps too much information.” —Gena Shingle Jaffe