Proper Clothing During Pregnancy

The kind of shoes you wear can affect your posture. During pregnancy, it is best to wear flat shoes with good support. High-heeled shoes thrust your body weight forward, putting strain on your lower back and on the ligaments of your hips and knees. You might also have difficulty maintaining your balance. Wearing high heels habitually causes the calf muscles to tighten into a knot and to actually become shorter. If you routinely wear high heels, wear progressively lower and lower heels to allow your calf muscles to stretch slowly.

You may find that support hose relieve your tired leg muscles and help prevent varicose veins. Avoid garters because they constrict circulation in the leg and cause varicose veins.

A good bra is important during pregnancy to provide support for your breasts as they increase in weight. This support will minimize upper backache as well as improve posture. If your breasts do not have support, the tissues will stretch and the breasts may sag. Select a maternity.nursing bra with wide, nonelastic straps that provides support during pregnancy and that can be used later while breastfeeding. (For tips on purchasing a maternity/nursing bra, see “How to Select a Nursing Bra“.)

Many women have found that maternity support helps backache and provides extra support to the abdomen. It is specially helpful for women carrying more than one baby. The support lifts the uterus up and may also help to relieve pelvic and bladder pressure. It encourages the pregnant woman to maintain good posture. A maternity support is not a girdle. It can be either a one-piece body suit or an abdominal support with or without straps that go over the shoulders. It is usually made of a washable spandex-type material.

The kind of panties you wear is also important. Cotton panties are preferable over nylon because the fabric absorbs moisture. This helps prevent irritation and infection. All your maternity clothing should be made of absorbent fabric that does not trap body heat. Pregnant women often feel warmer than non-pregnant individuals do, and clothing made from nonabsorbent fabrics such as polyesters hold onto body heat. Cotton clothes are more comfortable. Maternity clothing should also be loose fitting and allow for growth.