Maternity Swimwear

Features to look out for in a maternity bathing suit

Many women dread swimsuit shopping at the best of times, let alone when they have a baby in their belly. With extra bumps, bulges and a general bloated feeling that you can't seem to shake, one look in the dressing room mirror can leave you feeling worse than all your pregnancy discomforts combined. If you count yourself among this crowd, some helpful shopping tips may be all you need to make the trip to the swimsuit store -- and even leave happy! Learn what kinds of maternity styles are out there, how to get the effect you're after and what kind of suit will keep you comfortable through your pregnancy.

A Maternity Swimsuit Should Suit Your Body

Different women deal with the changes of pregnancy differently: some choose to flaunt their beautiful curves, while others are a little shy about their new form. Particularly daring moms-to-be might enjoy the classic bikini, as maternity bikini swimwear is fairly easy to find, easier to fit and a breeze to move around in. On the other hand, a growing belly can challenge even the most confident self-image, which is why a full-coverage style with rusching around the tummy is one of the most popular maternity swimwear designs out there. Luckily, there's a maternity swimsuit for both sides and everything in between.

If you can't summon the courage to don a bikini but a full piece feels more constricting than comfortable, go for the happy medium. The tankini is a popular style for moms-to-be, as it provides the freedom of movement that you'd expect from a bikini with the coverage of a one-piece. Look for rusching around the middle to accommodate a growing belly and molded cups for good bust support. You also have an opportunity to personalize your look: match dark bottoms with a colorful top to minimize hips and emphasize your bump and breasts, or mix up the colors according to the season's trends to showcase your fashion sense. Like maternity underwear, you'll find that low-cut bottoms sit nicely under the belly and the wider the straps of the top, the more comfortable you'll be.

Womens Maternity Swimwear to Avoid

Although you may be tempted to find the cheapest option, there are reasons to shell out a few extra dollars for your maternity bathing suit. For one, if swimming is your exercise of choice, you'll want a suit that can keep up with you; a cheap version is liable to tear, wear down or stretch out well before you're ready to toss it aside. Secondly, a cheap suit probably won't offer enough support where you need it most, and that can leave you sore and unsure of yourself. Although there's no reason to buy the most expensive suit on the rack just because of the price, do keep in mind that you get what you pay for.

Basic fashion rules for regular swimwear apply to maternity swimwear, as well. Wild patterns and assorted colors tend to emphasize every dimension of your form, while dark, monochromatic styles will lend a slimming effect. It's generally a good idea to avoid thin, flimsy straps -- look for wider, adjustable straps to get the best fit. As for neckline, a strapless style will only make you look rounder, so opt for a halter neck style to draw attention away from the stomach and up to the bust instead. If you're not sure how a suit looks, ask for an honest opinion from the sales clerk, or else bring along a friend who won't hold back the truth. In the end, any style that sits comfortably on your body and helps you feel confident in your new form is the best one for you.