9 Tips to Find a Great Maternity Swimsuit

  |   By Laurie Shapiro

Whether you're planning a babymoon this summer, or just looking forward to lounging poolside, you'll want to invest in a great maternity swimsuit.

While you can certainly get by with a traditional bikini style, most expecting mothers will need more coverage and support as they get further along into their pregnancy. Here are nine tips to to find a great maternity swimsuit that makes you feel fabulous through your pregnancy and beyond.

1.  Keep your sense of style.

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If you're bold and trendy, don't feel like you need to cover up. Lots of women are thrilled at the opportunity to show off their baby bumps. If you go for a bikini, look for tops that offer plenty of support and bottoms that are cut lower in the front to sit under your growing tummy. This flirty, ruffled maternity bikini has a bra sized top, comfortably fitting up to an E cup.

Find a Great Maternity SwimsuitCache Coeur Salsa Maternity Bikini
via Cache Coeur Lingerie

2. Versatility keeps it fresh.

Separates are a great idea when shopping for maternity swimwear. They allow you to mix and match so you can change you look with your mood or your activity. This great maternity bikini from Eva Alexander is reversible, so you can get a couple different looks out of one set! The halter style top is supportive and fully adjustable, and the bottoms are comfortable and sporty.

Find a Great Maternity SwimsuitEva Alexander "London" Reversible Maternity Bikini
via Nordstrom

3. The tankini is your friend.

Not quite brave enough to wear a bikini that last trimester? The tankini will be your new best friend. You can lift it up to tan your belly or wear it down to show a peek of skin. The maternity tankini will look great throughout the pregnancy and beyond to those post-partum months when you'll want some coverage. Look for a suit that has room to grow without being tent-like. You'll want a gentle flare to the fabric or ruched styling on the sides to accommodate your changing shape. This nautical inspired tankini set features an adjustable halter tie that is removable for sunbathing and sassy side-tie bottoms.

Find a Great Maternity SwimsuitMaternal America "Cheryl" 2-Piece Maternity Tankini
via Figure 8 Maternity

4. Quality is king.

You'll want a maternity bathing suit that hugs your curves in all the right places. Strong stitching and fabric with a lot of give will help you feel confident and comfortable throughout your pregnancy. Look for nylon/spandex fabrics that have 4-way stretch. This ensures your suit can accommodate your 9 month belly time and again with fabric that recovers between wears. This fashion-forward maternity tankini is both stylish and stretchy!

Find a Great Maternity SwimsuitA Pea in the Pod Maternity Tankini
via Destination Maternity

5. Support is sexy.

As your belly changes, so will your boobs! Be prepared for your breasts to grow at least one or more cup sizes (or even more!) throughout your pregnancy. While it's fun to flaunt your newfound cleavage, you'll want to make sure your bust gets the support it needs to look it's sexiest. Look for tops that have built in shelf bras or molded cups. Wide, adjustable straps let you customize fit. You'll strut your stuff in this plunge-cut maternity swimsuit that shows off your curves.

Find a Great Maternity SwimsuitCache Coeur "Calypso" Maternity Bathingsuit
via Figure 8 Maternity

6. Consider how much you want to spend.

While most of the suits in the post are under $80, some maternity bathing suits can set you back $120 or more. If you're budget minded (and who isn't with baby on the way), there are lots of very affordable options. This super cute one-piece in vibrant cobalt blue has a built-in wireless bandeau top and a flirty ruffle (and it's only $30!).

Find a Great Maternity SwimsuitMotherhood Maternity Ruffled Maternity Swimsuit
via Destination Maternity

7. Buy early, but not too early

Start shopping for your new suit in the second trimester, when you're showing enough to get a sense of fit, but still have plenty of time to enjoy your purchase. Itching to try on styles in anticipation of a special get-away? Often maternity stores will have a prosthetic belly you can use to try on suits (which is great fun!).

8. Consider your activity level.

Want to simply sunbathe? Then you can get away with skimpy bikinis or plunging necklines. Planning on swimming laps or chasing toddlers around the pool? You'll want a no-frills maternity swimsuit that keeps you covered while you're on the move. This one-piece suit is sweetly retro with its dotted print yet has a supportive bust, wide criss-cross straps, and a modest bottom.

Find a Great Maternity SwimsuitMotherhood Maternity One Piece Swimsuit
via Destination Maternity

9. Beyond the belly - will you wear it after baby?

Most of these maternity swimsuits will work well after baby is born to camouflage postpartum tummy. With cups that are made with stretchy spandex, you'll even be able to nurse baby in a pinch (albeit a little awkwardly). If you're considering nursing frequently while poolside, you will want to choose a bathing suit that has nursing access. Sadly, this market is really underserved and there aren't a lot of stylish nursing swimsuits available out there. One standout is this versatile one-piece that has adjustable ruching, convertible straps, and a nursing overlap for discreet nursing (just pull up the bodice panel to nurse baby).

Find a Great Maternity SwimsuitBoob Safari Fast Food Nursing Swimsuit
via Figure 8 Maternity

Do you plan on wearing a maternity swimsuit (or have you in the past)? What brands or style features do you like or have worked well for you?

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