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How to Save on Maternity Clothes: 7 Easy Ways

written by Jen Brady  |  updated April 11, 2022
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What should your maternity wardrobe cost? Finding cheap maternity clothes isn’t always the greenest (or cheapest) way to go. Here’s how to save on maternity clothes and also keep it eco-friendly. Let’s dig in.

1. The Belly Band: A Maternity Must-Have

Ingrid & Isabel Bellaband Basic | Original Maternity Belly Band | For Pregnancy

The belly band is by far my favorite maternity accessory and worth the price.

Why? As your belly grows, pants will get a little tighter. If you can’t quite get them buttoned, wear the band over them and they will appear smooth and breathing will be easy.

This will help your current wardrobe last longer, allowing you to spend less on maternity clothes.

In addition, the belly band is designed to support the lower back and abdomen during pregnancy.

Another perk — wear it after pregnancy for support, as you take the much-needed time to adjust back to your size.

The original Ingrid & Isabel Bellaband really holds up. I had one that was passed down from a friend and I then passed it along. So, 3+ pregnancies, many washings and it still held its shape.

Buy new or find at your local consignment shop.

2. Bra Extenders: Save on Bras

Brah! Extenders: 2 Hook Bra Back Extender 3 pack (White, Beige, Black) 2Hook for bra bands...

Your chest will gradually grow right along with your pregnant belly.

Just like belly bands, bra extenders will also lengthen the life of your clothing — which means keeping you in your favorite bras a bit longer.

Contrary to popular belief, you may not even need a new cup size.

Bra extenders may be enough, saving you big bucks for the nursing bras you’ll eventually need.

Check out the video — they’re super easy to use.

3. The Pregnancy Rubber Band Trick: Make Your Pants Last Longer

How to Do the Pregnancy Rubber Band Trick:

Ah, I know I have a few too many hair ties somewhere in my home. A rubber band will work too, but hair ties are a bit softer on your bare belly.

The hair tie maternity trick allows your non-maternity pants to last a little longer — maybe even through the entire pregnancy, depending on how you carry your baby.

It’s perfect to use postnatal as well.

Total Time Needed:

1

Minute

Total Cost:

30 pennies

USD

Required Tools:

Your Hands.

Things Needed?

Hair tie or rubber band.

how to pregnancy rubber band trick step 1

Step 1

Loop one side around the button.

how to pregnancy rubber band trick step 2

Step 2

Thread the hair tie through the hole of your unbuttoned pants.

how to pregnancy rubber band trick step 3

Step 3

Loop that around onto the pants button.

how to pregnancy rubber band trick step 4

Step 4

Zip or don’t zip, depending on your comfort level.

how to pregnancy rubber band trick step 5

Step 5

You’re done! Optional: pair with a belly band to smooth out the look of your pants.

Check out the quick how-to video of the maternity hair tie technique.

4. Organic Washable Nursing Pads

Organic Washable Breast Pads 8 Pack | Reusable Nursing Pads for Breastfeeding with Carry Bag

You may not think you will need nursing pads until after baby arrives, but your body may have a different plan.

Be prepared and stock up on organic washable nursing pads before your due date.

There’s no need to buy disposable and, did you know some disposable pads contain plastic backing that can actually harm your breast or cause a yeast infection? Yuck.

The Kindred Bravely organic bamboo nursing pads provide a nice contoured fit with three layers: a soft 100% organic viscose derived from bamboo; a middle absorbing microfiber layer; and a waterproof back layer. It’s the perfect combination and still very thin.

They come in a 4-pair pack: get two packs for your pregnancy and nursing days. Your leaky boobs will thank you.

PSSST! Get 20% off at Kindred Bravely with code GREENBABYDEAL (first-time customers).

Join the FREE PREGNANCY CHALLENGE and say bye-bye to harsh chemicals & toxins.
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5. Shop Your Closet and Save

closet of clothes how to save on maternity clothes
Thanks Becca McHaffie for the photo.

Don’t forget about your own closet!

Long stretchy tops, big sweaters, and cute skirts with an elastic top can work wonders throughout your pregnancy.

Big comfy t-shirts are great for bedtime and around the house.

Don’t be shy: shop your spouse’s, friend’s and family’s closets too.

6. Buy Used and Save Big on Maternity Clothes

woman wearing used maternity how to save money
Thanks Becca McHaffie for the photo.

Huge money saver: don’t buy new maternity clothes.

Just like baby clothes, maternity clothes are rarely worn for long. Oftentimes at consignment and thrift stores, the tags are even still on them.

Find your local thrift store at TheThriftShopper.com, or do a local search online with “maternity consignment + (your zip code)”.

My fave online shop is thredUP. Their clothing descriptions are very accurate. They also save your size and preferences once you start a free account.

And there’s always a discount: Use Honey. Forget trying to look up coupon codes. Use Honey and it’ll find the best usable codes when you go to checkout. I’ve saved hundreds.

7. Buy Your Maternity Wardrobe in Bulk

If you aren’t too picky, your best maternity deal is going to be on Craigslist or eBay.

Here’s a money-saving trick: search for “maternity lot + (your size)”. Also, try putting in the season.

You can find some super deals this way. Then, just resell or donate afterward.

When Should I Start Wearing Maternity Clothes?

Most will start wearing maternity clothes in the middle of their second trimester — about week 15 to week 20.

That said, every pregnancy is different, so go by how you feel. If you’re carrying a bit lower, you’ll most likely need a lower adjustment sooner.

If you’re carrying higher as I did with my first pregnancy, (not my second ha), you could potentially get away with the rubber band trick, belly bands and stretchy skirts for many months.

How Much Does the Average Person Spend on Maternity Clothes?

Vox estimates a person could spend almost $500 on average per pregnancy on maternity clothes.

I believe it, considering by 2023, the global maternity wear market is valued at 7 billion U.S. dollars.

But for me? No way, not this frugal gal.

How to Save on Maternity Clothes Summary

Here’s a breakdown and total estimated cost of a maternity wardrobe if you use my tips above:

Belly Band$20
Bra Extenders$8
Hair Ties$5
Organic Reusable Nursing Pads$20
Closet ShoppingFREE
Buy Used / In Bulk$70
Total Maternity Wardrobe Cost$123

The total average cost for your maternity wardrobe could be $123. Now that’s a deal.

That’s all there is to it, mamas. Congrats on taking one more easy step toward living a safer greener life for you and baby.

Ready for more? Take the FREE Pregnancy Challenge or check out all the natural baby registry must-haves here.

Peace love & baby kicks.

Care to share?


Jen Brady author crunchy mama illustrationToday Parenting Team Contributor

About the Author

Jen Brady — Chief Green Mama
Mom of two. Wife of one. Holistic nutritional consultant. Amateur biohacker. Guide of the Green Yourself Pregnancy Challenge. Author of the Green Your Baby Registry Guide.

I'm wild about pregnancy and babies (in a sane way) and I need to steer you away from harsh chemicals and hormone disruptors. Stick with me to keep it lean and green.