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Friday, 15 June 2012

WIT's Baby Fridays: On the beach with a bump

Summer pregnancy? Beach bump? I can now say it's most definitely not as easy as it sounds. I have to be honest, I had the most depressing shopping experience the day before leaving for my holiday... I went to Top Shop before work thinking: "I'll grab a bikini or two in a couple of size bigger, something cheap and cheerful. Easy". Little did I know. If pregnancy didn't have an "enhancing effect" on your body, then you are more or less OK, but if like me you are suddenly dealing with size F/G rack... then you've got a problem. On top of that, the little T-shirt and skirt or shorts combo you would usually wear on holiday is now really not going to work: your waistline is gone and a lose fitted t-shirt with a low slung skirt just looks weird (I learnt that this week when looking in the mirror in horror). But, where there is a style pickle there is always a solution, so WIT comes to the rescue with a few tried and tested suggestions that you will hopefully find useful.  


There is a huge gap in the market for stylish and affordable swimwear (anyone?), however after a lot of changing room time I've managed to compile a little guide for the growing bump and, in my case, subsequent large breast scenario.  One-pieces are generally easier and have a flattering fit: I would opt for block colours (chicer), larger straps (hold up better) and squarer necklines (more flattering). I haven't found anything with in-built support that doesn't also have a plunging neckline effect, but ideally a non padded underwired top would be great. In this case a tighter overall fit that holds everything "in" does the job.

low cut  backs
thin/flimsy straps
loud prints
anything padded
look at sizes: if a 16 works, just go for it

Bikinis is where I found it tricky. A wide strap, good quality bandeau bikini top with side boing actually does wonders, it smooths out the rack and holds up surprisingly well. Briefs should have a wide back and by no means be tight, they look more flattering when worn a bit low on the hips just below the bump. I loved my Melissa Odabash bandeau bikini in black (it's the one I'm wearing in the pic above), I wish I had one in a couple of colours. Generally when you are in that changing room think about what will make you feel at ease and comfortable but also beautiful. You probably won't want anything that screams: "look at me!" so opt for subtle colours and a flattering fit on your figure, choose something that holds everything into place and won't make you feel conscious.

triangle or padded
thin/flimsy straps
large prints
again, look at sizes: if an 18 works, just go for i! 

My doctor advised me not to get a tan on the bump (not sure why, but I chose not to question). You can still wear a bikini, but I slathered SPF50 on my tummy and always covered it with a sarong when lying down. I really liked Ole Henriksen products and especially the SPF 50 this oil free sunscreen is light enough to wear under any daily moisturizer or make-up, and strong enough to protect from UV damage; for all skin types/anti-aging.

"Our entire product line is safe for pregnant women to use. Please be assured that our formulations are natural, but may not be suitable for all skin types. Ultimately, you should confirm with your doctor before using any new products while pregnant or nursing."

Protect the truth™ SPF 50+

I knew this from my mum so I'm very cautious of tanning whilst pregnant. She got dark spots on her her arms during her last pregnancy, this is because your skin is more reactive to melanin stimulation when you are pregnant. I made sure I used a high SPF at all time, wore a sun hat and sat under a beach umbrella at no-go hours. Also bring a t-shirt or a light cotton maxi dress if the sun gets too strong.

My dress is from COS but TOPSHOP has an identical one

I had totally underestimated how uncomfortable my regular beach towel on the sand can be when you are pregnant. You can't lie on your tummy and even on your back after a while gets uncomfortbale. Bring a little chair, maybe a cushion and don't forget a couple of extra sarongs to prop under your belly when lying on your side.


Anonymous said...

Freya is good for bigger sized bikinis. As someone who is 32 F and not pregnant, a big chest is such a pain! There are some nice bikinis out there though. Pregnancy really suits you!

Unknown said...

Ottimi consigli Laura, io ho trascorso tutta la mia gravidanza d'estate, ho partorito il 2 settembre, e quindi approvo. Anche io ho usato taglie grandissime per i bikini, ci ho speso il giusto e poi li ho buttati! Ed ero solita usare molto il pareo per coprire il pancione, non solo una buona crema solare protettiva!

SJP said...

You look lovely and carefree! I'm not pregnant but suffer from a similar dilema in that my chest is far larger than the rest of my body - very annoying, especially as some high street shops pair their bikinis together, so you can't chop and choose.

k said...

I just survived a week long holiday with a bump! I was thankful for our private pool....but when going to the beach I wore a bikini top a size up from H&M. It worked perfectly actually. I also had a long skirt and a tighter fitting tank top which I thought looked cute and I wore mostly everywhere :) I wasn't quite aware of the sun tan warnings so we'll see what happens there!

Brooke said...

Hi Laura,
I didn't realise that you were pregnant. SOOOOOOO happy for you! Congratulations - you look amazing :) Good luck with everything & am loving your blog

WIT said...

Thanks for all your tips, I should have done this post earlier... holidays are over for me now... Unfortunately no more sea views for another 12 months! x

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