Advice on choosing the perfect materntiy swimwear to suit your shape and make you feel beach and swimming pool fabulous!
Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise you can do during pregnancy (plus it makes a great 'getting back into shape after baby' exercise too) as it gently exercises all of the major muscle groups in your body without overstretching fragile joints and tendons and gives your heart a good workout to really get the blood pumping and oxygen and nutrients circulating. Add this to the fact that being submerged in water helps to support your bump, relieving back pain and making you feel weightless, and you're onto a winner - fantastic. However, the one problem that puts many women off swimming (or indeed taking a trip to the beach) is the fact that you have to strip down to minimal clothing to do it!
If you felt self conscious about your 'beach body' before you fell pregnant, looking like you are carrying a ball down the front of your bathing suit isn't likely to make you feel any better about baring (almost) all. However, as more and more clothing stores are becoming 'pregnancy friendly', the choice of maternity swimwear available is increasing and becoming more sophisticated so that it emphasises all the bits you want it too, hides all the bits you don't and grows with you throughout your pregnancy. There is a huge selection of maternity swim wear available so whether your style is sporty or St Tropez glam your sure to find a swimsuit that compliments your blossoming figure.
Maternity swimming costumes - Widely available, comfortable and incredibly forgiving, maternity swimsuits are made from stretch fabric that grow with you throughout your pregnancy and cover up any stretch marks you currently have adorning your bump! Look for styles with built in bust support and ruching at the sides and across the stomach that allows space to grow (and looks incredibly stylish in the meantime!). Halterneck or 'plunging' styles will help to minimise blooming busts and draw attention upwards towards your face and cleavage. While if you are very body conscious, maternity swimming costumes with a built in skirt or empire-dress feature (i.e. flare out from just underneath the bust) provide more coverage and also look really pretty. For added flexibility you could go for a maternity/nursing swimsuit with detachable straps designed to facilitate breastfeeding once baby arrives.
Maternity bikinis - For the bolder among you who love to show off your beautiful bump and get a tan on your tummy (if you are heading off to tropical climes) bikinis specifically designed to flatter and adapt to your pregnant shape are available. While maternity bikinis now come in all shapes and sizes, look for tops with built in support (halterneck varieties tend to be more comfortable than tiny triangles) and bottom halves that sit under your bump and have ruching at the sides.
Maternity tankinis - The ultimate 'best of both worlds' swimwear, tankinis allow you the flexibility to cover up when you need to (i.e. when taking a dip in your local pool) and expose your tummy when and if you'd like to. Comprising a long, vest-style top and bikini shorts tankinis make fantastic pregnancy swimwear. Again, look for styles with built in bust support, hipster bottoms and side ruching. Tankinis have the added flexibility of still being comfortable when your bump is really big as they can ride up a little across the stomach, plus you can wear the top half on its own, adding to your maternity wardrobe. Empire style tankinis are really stylish and are a life saver if you don't like to show off the shape of your body, or just prefer something that allows a little more air to circulate around your bump.
By choosing maternity swimwear that you feel comfortable in, that provides you with adequate support and room to grow, you should be sorted throughout your pregnancy and with the huge range of styles, colours and fits available you're bound to find a swimsuit that you feel beach fabulous in!
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