Dressing your best can be a tricky task in general, and it's definitely no cake walk when you're pregnant.
That's why we tapped 9-month pregnant freelance writer and beauty/style expert Andrea Arterbery -- co-founder of Galmazons Blog and contributor to The New York Times, WWD, Allure, YAHOO!, Glamour.com and ESSENCE -- to share the highs and lows of dressing your bump, while remaining utterly chic. Check out what she had to say in the post and slideshow below.
Alright, so let me begin by saying that if you’ve never been pregnant before, it’s not all rainbows, unicorns and confetti like you might think it is. (Or at least, I, with my super overactive imagination, thought that it would be.) I won’t go into the crazy long list of things that may happen to your body while carrying a baby -- you know, the mood changes, extreme heartburn, indigestion, and the fact that you forget pretty much everything, despite the fact that you wrote yourself 8 million reminders ... the list goes on and on.
Also, add in that you can never really compare yourself to the next pregnant lady because it’s true when the doctor tells you that every woman’s body is different. With that said, please remember that these are just my personal thoughts and experiences while pregnant and in no way shape or form am I pretending that what I say goes. However, I have found that amongst my pregnant friends, they’re always looking for style & beauty tips and it’s been something that I’ve loved sharing. So, I just wanted to put out some of my particular issues and how I alleviate them in the hopes that maybe I can help someone else out there experiencing the same. Because you know, sharing is definitely caring--especially when it comes to pregnancy. Here are my top three style and beauty issues and how I worked to alleviate them.
#1: Absolutely nothing in my closet fits and I don’t have tons of money to spend on expensive maternity clothes. I will go ahead and admit that I’ve been pretty much all belly and boobs throughout my entire pregnancy. Luckily, the bulk of my pregnancy has also been throughout the warm summer months. Never one to really wear dresses, I found that these quickly became my best friends. From maxi to strapless, I couldn’t get enough of them. I hit up Old Navy, the plus size section of Forever 21 and H&M for some cheap finds. If there were ever a dress I found that didn’t quite fit, I’d use a skinny belt to make it better fit around my (non existent) waist. Another trick is to pair that too short dress with a pair of plain black leggings so it looks like you’re doing some tunic-and-pants action. Also, don’t be afraid to throw on a jacket to jazz up the look. I depended heavily on my black tuxedo and denim jackets from The Limited.
#2: What are these explosions on my (what used to be flawless) skin?! Being the former Beauty Editor that I am, this is what drove me the craziest. I’m genetically blessed to have really great skin and would only get the occasional zit when it was time for my period. However, 9 months of pregnancy quickly changed all of that. From my face to my back, it seemed I could never keep up with the breakouts on my skin. I depended heavily on Pro-Activ to help alleviate body acne (make sure you check in with your doctor first to make sure it’s ok for you to use); drink tons of water (that old trick works regardless of pregnancy!); and got a facial at least once every two months. (If you have no time or extra money for the facials, you can always use great drug store masks from brands such as Olay.)
#3: My ankles are a swollen mess and I can’t wear heels but I still want to wear cute shoes. While I was not so lucky in the morning sickness category (I literally threw up for about 5 months straight of my pregnancy), I was lucky in that I was able to rock heels for so long. I know that a lot of women don’t wear heels much even when they’re not pregnant, but I wore them all the time pre-pregnancy so I was super sad at the idea of having to give them up. Now that I’m only a few weeks out from delivery date, my ankles have just started to swell up now and again so I’ve given up them until my baby’s arrival. However, in the interim, I’ve been rocking flats. Payless has a plethora of really cute ones at really great prices and I also love the patterned flats available from Steve Madden.
Follow Andrea on Twitter at @Arterbery.
Here's a look at some of Andrea's most stylish pregnancy looks. What are some of your pregnancy style and beauty secrets? Share them in the comments section below!