Spring may be hiding this year, but (if it knows what’s good for it) summer will be here before we know it. That means beach days galore! This year, I have the pleasure of being pregnant (I mean really pregnant like I’m due in the beginning of August pregnant) for the summer fun. Watch out whales in the sea, you’ve got some competition! Just kidding. I actually have never felt sexier in my skin than I do while pregnant. There’s just something about that ginormous growing belly that really gives me confidence in my curves. Crazy, right? Here’s my dilemma: flattering maternity clothes and, more specifically, maternity swimwear.

I might not get out much as a pregnant mom to a toddler, but everywhere I go (looking at you, Target) markets maternity swimwear in a way that makes me feel like the world is saying “Nope. You’re a mom now. No more of that midriff showing. We don’t want to see that mom chub. Think of the children!!”  Know what I mean? I know you do. I know you’ve seen those “tankinis” that match those “adorable” skirt bottoms. What is with those things? Let’s all roll our eyes together.

I know, I know. Not everyone views their growing, pregnant, bodies as “sexy”. Not everyone wants to bare their bellies and flaunt their stuff for the world to see. It just doesn’t make them comfortable. I totally get it. I get that pregnancy is different for every woman. Pregnancy comes with a whole slew of fun new experiences completely separate from the growing belly (hemorrhoids, weird hair growth, and stretch marks anyone?) so some women would rather not have it all on display like that. Hey man, you do you.

I also know, though, that the world is changing and evolving every second. What was once deemed “inappropriate” is now being encouraged, albeit subtly. I’m here for it. Just because your belly is bigger than it once was, is riddled with stretch marks, and you have a stray hair coming out of your neck doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate your body like the actual miracle it is. So, why can’t these big clothing companies and corporations that sell us our clothes celebrate them, too? These large corporations seem to not have gotten the memo that we’re rapidly approaching an age of self-love. Strange. I would think corporate America would love memos. Memos seem like such a corporate thing. I digress.

What’s so hard about letting women love their bodies? It’s not like pregnancy isn’t hard enough, am I right? It’s not like we don’t have to give up almost every part of ourselves in order to GROW an actual human being from SCRATCH. It’s not like we don’t spend close to ten months puking, sobbing, and peeing constantly. It’s not like our entire lives and everything we know aren’t about to do a complete 180 in a matter of no time at all. The LEAST these corporations could do is give us a break and cut us some slack. The least these corporations could do is extend just a bit of sensitivity to us preggos.

Whew. 1, 2, 3…breathe.

Anyway, if my point in all of this hasn’t been clear thus far, pregnant women need better maternity swimwear options. So what if we want to flaunt what our mamas (and, let’s be honest, our unborn children) have given us?? Let us do it in peace! It has become my mission to find swimsuit options that don’t make me feel like I’m joining a nunnery or going amish. Not breaking the bank is a major plus, too. Mama’s gotta eat, you know.

Okay, so I went on a search that lasted way too long but, hey, I had to be thorough!! I’m excited to share what I found because I think these options are really going to change the game for the beach ready mama to be. I asked different expectant moms which suits make them feel sexy in their skin. I dove deep into the world of the wide web (as scary as that sounds) and found different options from all across the globe. I jumped down the Amazon rabbit hole and came across maternity swimwear that can arrive tomorrow if you so wish. Are ya ready?

Before we get to the links, I just wanted to share with you the limits that I gave myself. In case you didn’t know, online shopping is dangerous and it’s terribly easy to spend way more money than you could ever see yourself spending. Shocking, right??? I mean, I found swimsuits upwards of $800. Eight. Hundred. Dollars. For something that you’ll sweat in, swim in, and (if we’re being really and truly honest) probably pee in when you’re too lazy to walk all the way back to the house from the beach. Come on, you know you’ve done it. Just me? Yikes.

So, I wanted to find some good options for the everyday mamas. You know the ones. The ones who want to feel good about themselves but also spend their days in sweatpants, hair tied, chillin’ with no makeup on. Not so much the mamas that can afford to pee in the ocean while wearing an eight hundred dollar swimsuit. No offense if you’re that mama, mama. You do you, too!!! Woo! I set the spending limit at $100/swimsuit, but even that just seemed too much. So, I really tried to stay in the under $50 neighborhood, which was not always easy. You’ve heard about the pink tax? There’s definitely a double pink line tax.

Okay, for real now, you ready? Let’s go. (Pro tip, just in case you’re not technologically inclined: click the red and follow the link!)

Starting with one of the more modest options I liked, this swimsuit checks off in all of the right categories: cute and affordable. With sizes ranging from small to large (pretty standard sizing across the board), this bathing suit is special because it’s one of those dress styles. A dress style that I didn’t hate! What?? Right off the bat?? InSANE! The best part?? If you don’t like the dress look, you can TIE it to the side so that it creates a cute little-knotted detail. Priced at an acceptable, though just a tad high, $59, it’s definitely a contender. To see for yourself, and to order if you like it, head on over to JoJo Maman Bebe.

Image credit: JoJo Maman Bebe

The next swimsuit I found shocked me, AGAIN. It’s got a definite “tankini” vibe but the approach is way more modern and, dare I say, hipster. In a sweet peach color, it definitely checks off in the “cute” category. At $23, it most DEFINITELY checks off in the “affordable” category. Plus, it qualifies for free shipping and returns. Yes, please!!! Only downfall? Sizing is limited. And I don’t even mean “just kind of” limited. I mean, it’s only available in sizes 4, 6, and 8. Yeah. That’s definitely super limited. If your body falls into those three sizes, head over to ASOS and order away!!

How ya doing so far? Love either of those? No? Well, keep on trucking through this list. We’re not done yet!

The third swimsuit that I really liked comes in two colors (black and white). The funky take on the classic one-piece makes me swoon! Think: pom poms. Whaaat? Did I just say that? Sure did!!! Without going crazy, this swimsuit blends the classic and boho. You could wear it anywhere without blushing and, also, without feeling like you’re an 89-year-old grandma. Win-win!! Let’s definitely put a check for the “cute” category. Price, you ask? An attractive $20! What! Yep! It’s currently on sale. And when it’s not? It’s still a cool $30. Either way, the price checks out and I am in LOVE! Head on over to boohoo and see for yourself!

image credit: boohoo.com

Swimsuit numero cuatro is simple but sexy. Totally black, this little number has a strappy back that will make you say “ooh la la”! Or, at least that’s what I said as I was making a snazzy little check mark next to the word “cute”. It costs $35, which is all good in this mama’s book (and bank account)! Want to know the best part? No, really, it is the BEST part. This swimsuit is SUPER size inclusive. I’m talking cup sizes that go all the way up to “I”. Yep! There might not be an “i” in team, but there is certainly an “i” in “this goes all the way up to i”. DOUBLE SWOON! Need to see for yourself? Head back over to ASOS and get the party started!!

Bathing suit number five changes things up a bit as it’s the first bikini to make the list! Woooohooo! We’re getting crazy here, guys. Try to keep up! Checking off in the “cute” category, this two-piece comes with a halter style neckline, padded cups, and (my favorite part) an adjustable waistline. You read that right!!! It can grow as your belly grows and that is SUPER important, especially if you plan to wear it all summer long. Price of this bikini comes out to $65 which, yes, is a tad pricey. However, you only need one as your body changes and grows so I think it’s pretty worth it! I mean, if you ask me. Which you did, just by reading this article. Cool! Sizes range from XS to XL. If you’re interested, journey over to Seraphine and order away.

Image credit: Seraphine

My mantra this summer? “Eat. Sleep. Beach. Repeat”. Short. Simple. To the point. Love it. Where’d I learn such a perfect mantra? Well, from bathing suit number 6, of course!!!! This fun little number is a screen printed one piece from Destination Maternity that combines cuteness (check!), affordability at under $40 (check!), and quip to make a perfect concoction. Don’t discount the picture that Destination Maternity uses. It doesn’t look like the model is pregnant, which initially threw me off. Why use someone who’s not obviously pregnant to model a swimsuit meant for pregnancy?? You’ve got me. But, the site checks out. It’s definitely from Destination Maternity, so I guess we have to take the chance. Sizes range from small to extra large. Sweet!

Okay, so while bathing suit number seven isn’t really what I’d call “sexy” or, I mean, really even that flattering unless you’re on the smaller size of the women’s maternity size spectrum, it struck my fancy because of an amazing feature. Ready for this? SPF 50 is woven into the material! Um, I don’t know about you, but for me this is HUGE. I’m talking about really huge.

Look, I’m not skinny by any means, but I might take the chance on this bikini just for that! I’m pale. Super pale. Ghostly pale. Shine a light on me and see through me, kind of pale. Really. Pale. Being really pale means that the sun and I have a really complicated relationship. While I love to soak in the beautiful vitamin D (especially after it seems we’re at the tail end of this eternal winter), I burn super easily. Which means I always, always, have to limit my time in the sun. Limiting time in the direct sunlight is pretty good advice in general, but this issue severely limits my time in the sun. For that reason alone, I’m going to order this swimsuit. Want to take the chance with me? Go to Amazon and order this totally innovative bathing suit! Also, I just found out that this brand has a whole line of skin protecting swimwear!

image credit: Momo Maternity

Okay, mamas, that marks the end of my journey so far. There were plenty of amazing options on that little list of mine, but I really feel like the hunt for sexy maternity swimwear is going to be ongoing. If anything, because now I’m invested…in more ways than one. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been pregnant for 6 seconds or 6 months, mamas. You deserve to feel your best, especially at such a vulnerable time of your life. Being pregnant in the summer doesn’t mean you have to hide your body. In fact, it’s the opposite. Put that baby belly on full blast! Show the world! Blind them with your bump! You are unstoppable. You are beautiful. You’re a goddess. Grow that baby and strut your stuff at the same time, and don’t forget the sunscreen!

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