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How to choose your maternity size?

At CARI we understand that fluctuating body changes can make it a little confusing when selecting a pregnancy size

Congratulations, what an exciting chapter in life – and now let the fun and chaos begin.

Possibly some of your first questions are ‘when will my pregnancy start to show’, and ‘when do I need to buy maternity clothes?’ And then, ‘how do pregnancy sizes work’?

First-time mums usually start to feel they are showing at around the 16 week mark, but for subsequent pregnancies it can often be earlier. Tummy and cleavage are where you feel it first, but it’s uniquely different for each of us


Maternity clothes are designed for the changing body. At CARI we understand it’s not just a growing bump, but there are so many other fluctuations to account for too. We always try to use fabrics with stretch, because comfort is key – or we design looser feminine fits that drape the body.


Did you know that during pregnancy you can fluctuate by approximately one clothing size from morning to evening because of fluid retention, especially in the final trimester or in the summer heat. This plays a big factor so we are a little more generous with our sizing range. Fluid retention can be uncomfortable in those final weeks.

Our approach is straightforward, just select your pre-pregnancy size using the chart below or if you need advice choosing for a particular fit, then please don’t hesitate to contact us on and we'll be delighted to help you.

As a general guide, please use this size chart below. Individual product pages do provide a general fit advice and well as exact clothing measurements so please do refer to those as the best indicator.

   X-Small Small Medium Large
UK 6-8 8-10 12-14 14-16
US 2-4 4-6 8-10 10-12
Germany 34-36 36-38 40-42 44
France 36-38 38-40 42-22 46
If you are expecting twins or multiple births, then it is recommended to go up a size to accommodate the larger bump.

How to choose your size postpartum?

Hard to imagine when you are in your third trimester, but within days of giving birth you will begin to get back to your normal size. Just as with pregnancy, it’s unique to everyone, but most women notice weight loss in the first week as you shed the retained fluids your body produced during pregnancy.
For breastfeeding tops and dresses, we understand that many new mums do feel a little self-conscious over their bodies in these first few weeks so mainly focus on looser fitting nursing tops and dresses. 

At CARI, we want to help you feel stylish and confident for this new chapter in life.