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The Terrible Twos: Accepting Your Baby Bump In the Second Trimester

Updated: Jul 30, 2019

The Terrible Twos: Accepting Your Baby Bump In the Second Trimester

A moment of clarity comes in many forms. My moment came by way of Marc Jacobs.

It was the renowned fourth of July blowout sale at the Salvation Army and I had to discover for myself if finding a six-slot toaster, vintage Cabbage Patch lamps and a little black dress all under 5 dollars in one building was true or mere town folklore. This was not just any thrift store, but the largest Salvation Army in the county, the god of all thrift stores. I was stepping onto holy ground.

I walked through the marked racks, passing Plus Size, Large, Medium, and proudly made my way to the remote island of Small. There I politely shoved and coyly cut in front of slower moving shoppers, seizing all things silky and chiffon like in my path. The window of opportunity to find severe markdowns was narrowing with every passing moment, and I would not be stifled by the geriatric pace of those around me.

The funhouse-like mirrors and fading aromas of toe jam and air freshener of the fitting rooms could not dissuade me as I darted into the first dressing room in sight. Among my many finds was a Marc Jacobs silk blouse that seemed tailored for my petite frame. The blouse and I made an electric connection on the racks that day, and I was determined to bring it home. As I pulled it over my head and over my chest, I got short of breath and my boobs looked as though they had been freshly clobbered. Nothing a little trouble shooting couldn’t fix! I wiggled, shifted and did a little jig in my fitting room. When I looked in the mirror again, to my horror both sides of my coveted blouse had completely ripped open, exposing my billowy flesh. This was surely a fluke, as we all know designer sizes run small. But as I pulled the rest of my tops over my head and along my chest, I felt the same lightheadedness as each top cut off my circulation and lightly tore along my chest.

It would take another 2 hours of trying on a series of small tops and repeated near asphyxiation before I could admit to myself that I was no longer a size small. My body had changed, but I refused to change with it. Along the way I ignored the subtle cues and created outlandish excuses for my changing body that made perfect sense in my own mind. “My pants shrunk in the dryer, 4 sizes to be exact…that’s why they don’t fit right anymore” was one of my favorites. You might say that I was delusional.

Marc Jacobs and my subsequent clobbered breasts provided a profound moment of clarity for me and my changing body. In that moment of clarity, I decided to start changing with my body, accepting it for what it was rather than punishing it for what it could no longer be.

Similarly, my pregnant friends have described going through moments like these during the second trimester when their baby bumps began to take over. As they clung to the former glory of their smaller sizes, the inevitable moment of clarity would always strike around 4 months in. This forced them to come to terms with their changing bodies, accepting and celebrating them for what they had become instead of punishing them for what they could no longer be.

It’s a disorienting feeling to no longer recognize your body and to suddenly be forced to dress it in a completely new way. But the reality is our bodies will likely be a host of different sizes throughout our lives, and learning to accept and adapt to these changes is invaluable. Maternity is just one of many opportunities to learn this lesson.

I get that this isn’t easy as you are tormented by hormones, strange swelling, and what feels like eternal nausea while having to make these adjustments. But I promise you that it will be worth it.

So in the spirit of celebrating and accepting a changing body, let's go over some great style options that will grow with your changing body through the second trimester.

Kat wearing high maxi skirt during 2nd trimester

Trimester 2, Option 1: Maxi Skirt

A maxi skirt conjures feelings of whimsy and fun while effortlessly making you feel like a Bohemian Queen in the process. This versatile skirt is defined as any full-length skirt that sits just above the ankles. If you have a maxi skirt in your closet, you are in luck - no need to rush to the maternity section just yet. The maxi’s built-in elastic band will grow with you during your second trimester and its voluminous skirt will bring balance to your growing bump. I have paired this bold Ikat skirt with an oversized yellow boxy top. Boxy tops sit just above the hips and generously pull several inches away from the body, giving you and your little one room to grow.

To tuck or not to tuck? That is the question you must ask yourself when paring a maxi skirt with any top. When it comes to the second trimester, I recommend tucking in. Tucking a top into a maxi skirt creates a defined waist and polished look, celebrating your baby bump while still being reminded of the fact that you have an incredible waist.

Kat wearing belted scarf during 2nd trimester

Trimester 2, Option 2: The Scarf

I find scarves to be one of the most comforting style staples ever created. For all the anxiety that surrounded outgrowing our favorite “blankies” as toddlers, the scarf seems to stylishly fill the void in our adult years. When it comes to the second trimester, the scarf offers infinite possibilities to style your growing bump. For this look, take a rectangular scarf that is anywhere from 50-65 inches in length and drape the scarf on the back of your neck so that the ends hang evenly in front. Then, with the ends of the scarf resting just above your waist, buckle a thin belt on the narrowest part of your waist. This look paired with a neutral cotton jersey stretch top underneath easily showcases your bump while highlighting a gorgeous feminine waistline.

Kat wearing tunic top during 2nd trimester

Trimester 2, Option 3: Tunic Top

When you are craving more than what a dress or maxi skirt can offer, the tunic top is sure to satisfy. The tunic is a generously cut, knee-length top that comes away from the waist and leg line. Simply pair a structured tunic top with a pair of leggings and you have achieved comfort and structure in one ensemble. When choosing a tunic, a V-neck line is ideal in that it will elongate your neck and draw attention towards your face and neckline. To achieve a similar look to mine, select a tunic that is a darker, neutral color with a simple and understated pattern. The dark color will serve to slenderize, and the slight pattern will add a bit of distraction to the belly line. As your belly grows in the second trimester, the ample room of the tunic will grow with you.

The Terrible Twos

Trimester Two brings with it a new set of style challenges as your Baby Bump starts coming out of hiding and into the world to be seen. Expecting mothers can expect a transition from disguising the Baby Bump to accepting and celebrating that their bodies have changed for the next 6 months. While this transition may feel terrible at times, it brings a certain kind of freedom – freedom to learn how to love your body regardless of its shape. And since our bodies inevitably will change throughout our lives, learning this lesson now puts you ahead of the curve. With your Trimester 2 style options in place, you don’t have to rush out to the maternity section just yet. Some creative re-purposing of items you may already own will keep your style going through months 4 through 6.

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Oct 16, 2018

Hey Sara! Thanks for reading, hope the tips are useful!


Oct 16, 2018

Love this photo and the tips, thanks Kat!


Oct 13, 2018

Hey Kelsey! Great question. So when it comes to scarves for the third trimester, I highly recommend light weight materials like linen and cotton. Materials like these pair the best with and offset the volume of a growing belly. I would avoid thicker materials like the traditional blanket scarf that is made of wool, as it will add bulk to to your frame. Hope this helps!


Oct 13, 2018

So do all scarves work with the second look? I'm wondering if certain materials work better than others.


Oct 12, 2018

Hey Meryl, you are correct :), that shirt never made its way across the belly, it didn't stand a chance :0. Thanks for reading!!

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