When you’re pregnant during summer, the heat can sometimes feel unbearable. Jumping into the pool for a dip is a great way to cool off and get some healthy exercise, but as your body changes, squeezing into your old suit can be difficult and less than discreet.
Maternity swimsuits are designed to fit your changing body comfortably, and the wide variety of options available means you don’t have to give up your personal style.
In this article:
What are the benefits of choosing a maternity swimsuit?
Early in pregnancy, your old swimsuit might work just fine. Once you hit your second trimester, however, your belly, breasts, and hips all begin to expand.
Just as you replace your traditional wardrobe with maternity clothes, a maternity swimsuit is an option that most moms prefer. Wondering why?
- Maternity swimsuits are designed to be comfortable and accommodate the expansion of your body during pregnancy
- They’re a bit more discreet, as many moms feel more comfortable displaying less of their bodies during this time
- Although you may fit into a non-maternity suit, it won’t regain its shape once you’ve given birth and may be too stretched out to wear
What are some popular styles of maternity swimsuits?
When it comes to maternity clothes, popular picks are the ones that are comfortable during wear and flattering to mom’s growing body.
Maternity swimwear is much the same, and most moms favor slimming, high-coverage picks that are discreet without being too tight. Curious about which styles are well-liked and why?
- Tankinis: They’re a two-piece pick that can still offer a lot of coverage, and the design makes it easy to accommodate a growing belly. The separate bottom offered by this style makes bathroom trips a lot more convenient – and these are frequent when you’re pregnant, so this is a biggie.
- Swimdress: This style combines a classic one-piece with extra fabric that offers coverage around the belly, butt and thighs. It’s very discreet, and it’s perfect for hiding areas moms may feel self-conscious about.
- One piece halter: Halter swimsuits are a classic design, but a one piece halter suit designed for maternity is great for offering overall support. It’s helpful for moms with large busts, offering a bit of lift that can help to alleviate back pain.
What are some qualities I should look for in a great maternity swimsuit?
- Room to grow: If it feels just a little tight in your second trimester, imagine how it will feel in your third! Maternity swimwear should leave room for you to expand, so keep that in mind in the dressing room.
- Bust support: When the cups overfloweth, it helps to have a suit that offers plenty of coverage and reduces some of your inevitable back pain.
- Leg openings: High cut leg openings can be uncomfortable and draw attention to your growing hips, so look for picks with openings cut below the hip or near the top of the thigh.
Related: The Best Maternity Underwear to Buy in 2021
Is it safe for moms to swim throughout pregnancy?
We have to give up a lot during pregnancy, but swimming is definitely on the okay list. In fact, it’s one of the best ways for pregnant women to exercise because it’s both cardiovascular and strength-building exercise minus the resistance that can make workouts unsafe for babies.
Swimming in a clean pool is always okay, but there are some instances where expectant moms should rethink their usual habits.
- In the hot tub: The hot temperatures and bacteria present in hot tubs and Jacuzzis isn’t healthy for expectant moms, and doctors directly advise against their use during pregnancy.
- On the diving board: Turn around, mama. The altitude and pressure changes caused by diving aren’t good for your baby, so that swan dive is going to have to wait until after your little cannonball is delivered.
- In natural bodies of water: Lakes, especially small ones that aren’t part of a park system, may contain parasites and bacteria that are dangerous to pregnant women. Public beaches are generally tested for water safety, but don’t assume — always double check to make sure it’s okay to be in the water.
Our top picks for the best maternity swimsuit
The PregO Maternity Women’s Dot Twist (check price on Amazon) is a classic tankini featuring a navy blue background with charming aqua polka dots. The flattering design has shirred sides that tie in cute bows at the bottom of the suit’s top.
Soft, sewn-in cups offer discreet bust support, and the wide straps adjust easily to make sure mom stays comfortable. The roll waist bottom featured here allows mom to wear the suit low in early pregnancy, rolling up the convenient maternity band as she grows.
You’ll love: The wide straps and roll waist bottom make it extra comfortable in later pregnancy
Best budget buy
The Halter Neck Maternity Tankini (check price on Amazon) combines the best of two worlds. The fashionable two-piece suit seen here has an ageless and universally flattering black and white polka dot pattern.
The shirred sides of the suit’s tank ensure the suit creates a flattering figure and remains comfortable throughout pregnancy. This ultra-soft pick features a built-in bra for support and side-tie bottoms that are easy to remove.
You’ll love: It combines the support of a halter suit with the flexibility of a tankini
Best plus size maternity swimsuit
Comfortable, stylish maternity clothes need to be accessible to everyone, so we’re really excited to see how adorable and well-made this plus-size maternity tankini is.
The OUISISI Maternity Swimsuit (check price on Amazon) is styled like a swim dress and is extremely flattering to mom’s curves. The sky blue design has cute white polka dots, shirred sides with ties, and a fabric crisscross accent over the bust. The discreet bottoms also offer swim dress-style full coverage of the upper thighs without the frustration of a one-piece suit.
You’ll love: Moms can enjoy the full coverage of the swim dress style with the convenience of a tankini
Best adjustable options
Floral suits are feminine and classy. The wine red and pale leaves on this Floral Women’s Halter Maternity Tankini (check price on Amazon) pair perfectly with your pregnancy glow, and the suit offers excellent bust support with full tummy coverage and lots of room to grow.
The padded, wire-free bra and tie-side shirring mean this pick stays comfortable into the third trimester, offering a potential reduction in back strain, saving you from suits that are too tight or loose.
You’ll love: It’s stylish, girly, and offers lots of support and room to grow
One of the great things about swimsuit separates, whether you’re pregnant or not, is the ability to mix and match styles and designs you like. The Mermaid Maternity Boyshort Swim Bottom (check price on Amazon) is black, which makes it really easy to pair with the tank of your choice.
They have a roll down panel, so they’ll cover your belly completely if that’s what you’d prefer, and the shorts extend several inches beyond the hip.
You’ll love: No more getting stuck with a great top and bad bottoms, these go with everything
High-necked halter suits offer moms a lot of discretion. When your body’s changing faster than you can keep up, the Oceanlily Halter Maternity Bathing Suit (check price on Amazon) provides full front coverage as well as bust support.
Classic black bikini bottoms pair with a high-necked white halter tank that features fiery red-print with stippled white polka dots. This style is so cute, you’ll want to wear it even after the baby has arrived!
You’ll love: The high neck of the halter top, which offers moms a bit of extra coverage
Glow and grow
It’s hard to go wrong with the classics, and the Momo Maternity Swimsuit UPF 50 One Piece Halter (check price on Walmart) takes a time-tested style and adds features that make it great for expectant moms.
The sides and bust are both heavily shirred, which means that there’s lots of room for you to grow comfortably in this pick. The one-piece halter design is great at offering support, and it’s a tie-neck halter, so you can adjust it to the tension that’s needed.
You’ll love: It’s a classic black one-piece halter with lower hip cuts and lots of room for growth
Best tighten-up option
Not every mom wants to cover up during pregnancy, and there’s no reason they should have to! The slimming flattering cut with bright, splashy pink and blue floral design of the sweet MiYang Women’s Halter Floral Maternity Tankini Swimsuit (check price on eBay) will have all eyes on you at the beach, pool, or resort.
It features a built-in bra for support, side shirring to maintain its fit, and tie-side bottoms that rest just beneath your belly. It’s another best-of-both-worlds suit, and great for moms who are loving their pregnant body.
You’ll love: Has all the features of a great maternity swimsuit without cutting back on style
Classic black swimsuits flatter just about everyone, but the unique asymmetrical flounce front ruffle design of the Bhome Maternity Swimwear (check price on Amazon) is a standout for expectant moms.
It draws attention to mom’s shoulders and face, offering discreet bust coverage and support as well as wide, low leg openings for comfort. The shirred sides make it a great pick as the baby grows, and shoulder straps are adjustable, so there’s no risk of strain or discomfort.
You’ll love: The asymmetrical cut and ruffle, which draws attention away from your body with a feminine touch
The better fit
Tankinis are great pregnancy picks. It’s not just that they’re flattering – it’s that, as we grow, putting on and taking off clothes is a struggle, and one-piece suits can be rough. It’s also a time filled with frequent bathroom trips, so suits that can be removed quickly are a lifesaver.
The MiYang Women’s Black Maternity Tankini Set (check price on Amazon) features side shirring that offers your baby room to grow with tied sides that allow you to control the fit of the suit. The bust is lightly padded and supportive, and the tie-side bottoms break away easily.
You’ll love: Both the top and bottom have adjustable tie-sides, so you can be sure the suit won’t be too tight
Swim dresses are cute and flattering, offering a femme touch while neatly concealing the torso and upper legs. The Lover-Beauty Women’s Tankini Swimsuit (check price on Amazon) has a sassy style from the colorful zipper-striped bust to the draping black skirt.
The coverage on this suit feels comparable to a swing-skirted mini dress, and the loose skirt means there’s lots of room for your belly to grow without changing the look of the swimsuit; a common problem with maternity swim dresses.
You’ll love: Leaves room for your expanding belly, unlike some swim dresses which can be comfortable in the beginning but then become tight come the third trimester
As already mentioned, we have great feelings for swim separates. While the Motherhood Maternity Relaxed Fit Sleep Knit Shorts (check price on eBay) isn’t designed exclusively for swimming, it’s a great comfort pick for late pregnancy when you’re looking for more stretch and less cling.
These loose rayon shorts slip right on, with a pull-on closure to secure them, preventing you from slipping out of them in the pool.
The fold-over belly waistband offers coverage and comfort that grows with you, and, since they’re actually shorts, they have longer legs with wider, more comfortable openings.
You’ll love: Leaves room for your expanding belly, unlike some swim dresses, which might be comfortable enough in the beginning, yet become too tight in the third trimester
Fit for a day at the sea, the Momo Maternity Striped Bathing Suit (check price on Amazon) features a blue and white horizontal striped design that looks like a nautical number. The solid blue panels on the side are slimming, and the color extends right up to the wide, adjustable straps.
It’s a convenient and supportive two-piece that’s extra stylish and features cute, side shirring so your suit’s fit remains perfect.
You’ll love: The nautical stripes are fun, plus the slimming, solid color panels help you cut a nice figure poolside
Large bust support
One great thing about tankinis lies in mixing and matching tops and bottoms. Everyone’s body is different, and there are plenty of moms who are big on top while small on the bottom, or vice versa.
Large busted moms-to-be who struggle to find suits that are comfortable and discreet will love the Oceanlily Halter Maternity Bathing Suit Top (check price on Amazon), which features a high neck, shirred sides, and fixed soft cups that offer major bust support.
It’s stylish, discreet, comfortable, and can be paired with your favorite bottoms to create your own unique look.
You’ll love: Great for expectant moms with bigger busts, who often struggle to find support and coverage in swimsuit tops
Cute separates are often the answer for growing moms, whose bodies may be changing in different places at different rates. Oceanlily delivers here with their Twist Front Maternity Swimwear (check price on Amazon) featuring a black print tankini suit with a fun twisting-front accent.
You can create your own look by matching it with some stylish, comfy bottoms. Its thick straps are comfortable and easy to adjust, and there’s plenty of growing room for your comfort. Whether you wear it with a skirt, shorts, or a bikini bottom, this summery tank is red-hot.
You’ll love: Has thick, adjustable straps, offering extra support and comfort
Belly bands that fold up or down can be a lifesaver for expectant moms. It’s one way to make sure you’re not buying and re-buying maternity clothes as you grow, which can quickly get pricey.
The simple Oceanlily Over The Belly Maternity Swimwear Bottoms (check price on Amazon) can be folded up or down, depending on mom’s comfort or stage of pregnancy, and they’re basic enough to pair well with almost any swim top. They also have lower leg cutouts, which can add a little extra coverage to the upper thighs.
You’ll love: The belly band folds up or down, so it works throughout your whole pregnancy
Although some moms prefer to hide their belly during pregnancy, it’s also perfectly okay to give your baby some sun! The Summer Mae Ruffle Maternity Bikini Swimsuit (check price on Amazon) offers some extra coverage to the classic cut.
An off-the-shoulder flounce ruffle surrounds the bikini top, while the high-waisted bottoms extend to just below the belly button. It’s cute, beachy, and offers the security of shoulder straps, both for support and to prevent wardrobe malfunctions.
You’ll love: The off-the-shoulder ruffle design is adorable, and the presence of shoulder straps ensures your top stays put
Old school is super cool. Retro clothing and swimwear seem to be an evergreen trend, and the shirred-side COCOSHIP Women’s Retro High Waisted Bikini Bottom (check price on eBay) will look like they belong in the ’50s (in the best way!)
They’re flattering to your growing figure, plus sweetly simple, so they’ll look great with your favorite tankini or bikini top. The lower leg openings also offer some extra thigh and posterior coverage, making this pick a hit among plus-size moms.
You’ll love: The cute retro style includes shirred side panels that look slimming and offer room for baby to grow
And our winner is…
The best maternity clothes grow with you, stay comfortable, and help you keep your stylish flair. PregO’s Trendy Dot Twist Tankini (check price on Amazon) has the bust support and lift that halter swimwear offers with the convenience of a two-piece suit.
The side shirring is flattering to mom’s figure, plus it means her belly has lots of room to expand. Combine that with a fun polka dot pattern and a cute twisting fabric accent, and you’ve got a suit that really makes a splash.