Maternity Swimsuit Guide

Why You Need a Maternity Swimsuit

Maternity swimsuits are specifically designed to give you the comfort, support, and ease of movement you need while pregnant. As with nursing bras and other maternity apparel, maternity swimsuits are cut and designed to allow for your growing tummy and bustline without constricting or becoming binding. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with wearing your maternity suit as you reclaim your pre-pregnancy size after pregnancy!

Types of Maternity Swimsuits

There are just about as many different styles of maternity swimsuits as there are non-maternity swimsuits. While I have yet to see a “g-string” type pregnant swimsuit, there are several of the basic swimsuit styles available in pregnancy swimsuits.

The One-Piece. As with any one-piece bathing suit, a one-piece maternity swimsuit is a one-piece bathing suit made of stretchy material that will 'grow' with your tummy. This is a favorite of many expecting moms who suffer from back pain during their pregnancy. The stretch material helps to support both the tummy and back to help reduce back pain and discomfort.

The Tankini. A two piece with bikini bottoms and a ‘tank’-style top, the tankini is a great two-piece option if you prefer the more modest look of a one-piece, but the comfort and versatility of a two-piece. The Tankini also has the benefit of providing additional support to your tummy and lower back.

The Two-Piece. Many two-piece maternity swimsuits have a complimenting ‘tummy cover’ which provides some protection for your pregnant skin (which can be very sensitive to the sun) in addition to a covering for your belly, and a way to hide stretch marks if necessary. These two-piece maternity bathing suits provides a flattering and sliming look (well, as slimming as a pregnant woman in her third trimester CAN look). Many pregnant women find two-piece pregnancy bathing suits more comfortable in late in their second and into their third trimester because the tummy cover drapes over the tummy, instead of clinging to the tummy snuggly like a tankini or one-piece swimsuit does. These are favored as post-partum swimsuits as well, since the draping cover can hide your tummy until you are ready for the world to see it again, and the adjustable ties helps adjust your top if you're nursing - or not.

The Bikini. Yes, there are maternity bikinis for women who like to show their tummy in all its glory. The difference between a maternity bikini and a non-pregnancy bikini is the bikini bottoms are cut low in front and higher in the back, allowing for your growing tummy to grow over the front, while still providing full coverage in the back.

What to Look for in a Maternity Swimsuit

One of the biggest advantages of buying a maternity swimsuit is that the suit will ‘grow’ with you during your pregnancy. Two things to look for when shopping for a maternity swimsuit:

  1. Maternity top ties in the back. Back ties allow you to adjust the fit of your bustline to make sure it fits and you’re well covered, every time you put it on. Non-maternity swimsuits don’t allow for your ever-changing body shape during your pregnancy, and you can’t adjust as necessary for your increased bustline. Many maternity styles allow you to tie your maternity swimsuit at the neck, across your back, or both, so that you can adjust the fit of your swimsuit every time to allow for your expanding belly and bustline. I personally preferred the swimsuits that tied at both the neck and across the back, just because I was able to get a better fit, especially during the last two months of pregnancy. I was, however, carrying twins and my belly did get fairly large compared with everything else. Many pregnant women are perfectly happy and have great success with the halter-style maternity swimsuits.
  2. Maternity-cut bottoms. During your pregnancy, your tummy will grow faster and bigger than your backside (at least every pregnant woman hopes so!). Maternity bathing suit bottoms are specialty cut in the front to allow your tummy to grow ‘over’ the front of the bottoms, while being cut high enough in the back to allow full-coverage. A non-maternity swimsuit bottom will bunch up under your tummy, and ride lower in front than a bikini should. This will also cause the back of the swimsuit to wear lower over your bottom as well – unless you’re constantly adjusting the back of your swimsuit.

Maternity swimsuits, like all maternity apparel these days, are available in trendy, fun, classy styles, making swimming apparel a great way to express your personality through out your pregnancy. Maternity swimsuits are a pregnancy wardrobe essential if you plan on spending any time at the pool, beach, on a boat or anywhere a swimsuit is appropriate. The days of frumpy and ill-fitting maternity bathing suits is gone; purchasing a maternity swimsuit these days is another fun and creative way you can celebrate your pregnancy.

Additional Information and Articles:

Prenatal Water Exercises

Maternity Swimsuits