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Melissa Heuser describes her first experience shopping for maternity clothes as an “emergency.” At six weeks pregnant, the first-time mom-to-be and certified prenatal personal trainer could no longer fit into her favorite pair of jeans. “I was so uncomfortable and then the panic set in: My body is changing quickly and it’s out of my control!” she recalls.
Heuser, shown here at 17 weeks, is now more at ease with her changing shape. “Once I started wearing maternity clothes, my confidence began to grow and I felt less self-conscious,” she says. Heuser shops for brand names she recognizes as well as what she considers “smart buys,” or those items she can also wear after the baby arrives. “I don’t want to hide my belly, so I look for fitted pieces,” she says.
On a recent shopping trip in Los Angeles, the expectant mom was happy to see her favorite brand of prepregnancy denim outfitted with a stretchy fabric band to accommodate her growing belly. At a second maternity boutique, Heuser was thrilled to find the perfect little black dress for her new shape, saying, “It hugs in all the right places!”