try these on for size:
what to buy and finding the perfect fit

As you'd expect, your body is going to change shape in all sorts of amazing ways during your pregnancy, and this is absolutely something to embrace and enjoy.

We understand that all women (and their bumps) are different so our maternity clothing is designed to include all sorts of clever little features that will give you a flawless fit at each and every stage of your pregnancy and after your little bundle of joy is born. Our handy guide will help you understand how to measure for a bra and other pieces of maternity wear, as well as advise you on when and what to buy.


getting maternity clothes to fit

maternity clothing sizes: how do they work?

The short answer is “the same as standard clothing sizes”. If you were a size 8 before you became pregnant, then you’ll fit into a size 8 maternity garment. Likewise, if you were a size medium, any medium item of maternity wear should fit you.

pregnant woman wearing maternity lingerie holding her bump

measuring: how to do it

When you’re buying maternity or nursing bras, you should be fitted by one of our bra fit specialists in store for the perfect fit[1].

You should be measured in not one, not two, but three places when you're figuring out your size for maternity clothes. You can probably guess exactly where:

  • your bust – take a tape measure and measure around your bust at the fullest point
  • your waist/bump circumference – do the same for your waist at its fullest point
  • your lower hip – measure your lower hip at the fullest point, around 20cm below your waist

Once you’ve taken your measurements, you can check them against our maternity size guide:

measurements shown are in cm's

measurement types size converter matrix
uk size 8 10 12 14 16 18 20
european size 36 38 40 42 44 46 48
dual size guide S M L XL
full bust (pre-pregnancy) 82 87 92 97 102 107 112
full bust 86 91 96 101 106 111 116
dual size bust 86-91 96-101 106-113 111-116
waist (pre-pregnancy) 64.5 69.5 74.5 79.5 84.5 89.5 94.5
bump circumference (early stages - 3rd trimester) 87 - 96 96 - 101 97 - 106 102 - 111 107 - 116 112 - 121 117 - 126
low hip (pre-pregnancy) 93 98 103 108 113 118 123
dual size hip 93 - 98 103 - 108 113 - 118 118 - 123
thigh 52 55 57.5 61 64 67 70

measurements shown are in cm's

inside leg
short 76
regular 81
long 86
mothercare bra band size
inches 32 34 36 38 40 42 44 46
cm 70 75 80 85 90 95 100 105
cup size
size A B C D DD E F G
inches 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
cm 10 - 12 13 - 15 15 - 17 18 - 20 20 - 22 23 - 25 26 - 28 28 - 30

maternity clothes: when to buy?

Your beautiful bump probably won’t start showing until your second trimester – anytime from week 12 – but our maternity wear is designed to grow with you so there's no harm in planning your maternity wardrobe nice and early, especially as you don't know how much time or energy you'll have for shopping later on in your pregnancy.

Some useful tips to bear in mind:

  • sizes can vary slightly between brands – if you’re unsure then feel free to ask a member of staff or speak to us online. Our staff can give you all the advice you need
  • the power of layers – as your hormones get to work, your body temperature may go up and down a few times over the course of the day. Wearing layers means you take clothes off or put more on accordingly, keeping you comfortable
  • be adventurous – your body is changing, so shapes and styles which you may not have previously considered may be your most flattering fit now!
pregnant woman stroking her bump
two pregnant women in fashionable maternity dresses

maternity garments: what to buy

  • maternity dresses >> a super-stretchy nursing dress is perfect at every stage of your pregnancy and beyond
  • nursing tops – nursing tops are designed with nursing clips and feature layering for discreet breastfeeding
  • maternity tops >> crafted with ruching, layers and pleats for your growing bump and can be worn after your little one arrives
  • maternity jeans >> maternity jeans are specially designed for a sleek look and ultimate comfort with extra stretch which allows them to grow with your bump. They are available in both over the bump and under the bump styles
  • maternity lingerie >> wire-free bras that are well fitted will give you the right support and are comfortable too. Under the bump briefs are shaped to sit comfortably under your growing bump. Made from soft fabrics, choose from mum to be, nursing and sleep ranges
  • maternity hosiery - with a special tummy panel that expands and grows with your bump for a comfortable fit
  • maternity nightwear >> made from cotton rich fabrics to keep your body temperature regulated and designed to fit you during and after your pregnancy. All our nightwear is designed with easy feeding in mind and can be worn during and after pregnancy

maternity clothing: why mothercare?

  • our C-section briefs designed using non-irritating yarns, with smooth surfaces that will not catch on stitches. And with gentle support where you need it most
  • our under the bump briefs are shaped to sit comfortably under your growing bump
  • our nursing bras are made with breathable fabrics and have extra support for when you are feeding. They have drop clips and retainer straps so that the bra strap stays in place even when feeding. They are made with breathable fabrics and have enclosed inner cup seams for extra comfort and help reduce irritation
  • our maternity bras have a deeper front with wider straps and brush back elastics to be gentle against the skin
  • our sleeping bras help you feel more comfortable whilst sleeping whilst still being easy to nurse at night with cross over design or nursing clips
  • our maternity hosiery has a special tummy panel that expands and grows with your bump
  • selected jeans styles have a seam-free bump band for a sleek look, extra stretch and comfort
  • all our nightwear is designed with easy feeding in mind and can be worn during and after pregnancy
  • our hosiery has a special tummy panel that expands and grow with your bump for a comfortable fit
  • our 100 denier tights have wider waistbands and an expanding panel that will sit over the bump for maximum comfort
  • our maternity swimwear accommodates a growing bump with ruching in the side seams for a more flattering fit

References

[1]. Jhoanna Robledo Wade, Maternity and Nursing Bras 101, BabyCentre, January 2019