Maternity clothes have become more mainstream, as many clothing makers include them in their lines, and maternity clothes are more likely to match the current fashion trend.
"Maternity clothes are based on current trends seen on the catwalks," said Petra Bedford, chief executive of the online maternity clothing shop Mamarella. Therefore, a pregnant woman can remain true to her own sense of fashion.
"Women who liked wearing skinny jeans or tight mini dresses can continue to wear them while pregnant."
Wool dresses and wrap-arounds as well as tunics can be combined with comfortable leggings, leg-warmers and boots. A long cardigan also goes well over fitted trousers, said Rosanna Zanotti, a style consultant and personal shopper in Germany. An alternative is a tailored blazer paired with tightly fitting jeans and boots. It looks hip as opposed to motherly and frumpy.
Fashion experts also advise women who choose a full top to select fitted trousers to wear with it. "A pregnant woman should never go around with a sack on," said Zanotti. "Mothers-to-be can even wear a sexy dress."
But finding the right style during pregnancy is not just about dressing the same way before pregnancy. Women also want to proudly present their bellies. And pregnant women should also realise that a bit of cleavage is still appealing. Zanotti said on most pregnant women it is especially pretty.
Bedford recommends empire style tops, which are fitted from the shoulders over the chest. The style typically has a seam or band directly under the chest from which the material falls in pleats. This conveniently covers the growing belly for occasions when it might not be best to show off.
Fashion experts also say women don't need to immediately convert their wardrobes as soon as they find out they are pregnant.
"The belly gets large enough by the end of the third month that the woman no longer fits in her clothes," said Bedford, who is the mother of two children. Most women get through the other six months of their pregnancies with a few basic garments: A pair of jeans, a nightgown, various tops and bras. They don't have to pay a lot of money for a wardrobe they are going to need for just a few months.
Style consultants have nothing against a pregnant woman borrowing a shirt from her husband or boyfriend. That look is currently in style.
"Combined with a pretty belt it can look chic," said Zanotti.
Zanotti, the mother of three children herself, never bought any maternity clothes during her pregnancies.
"The jeans available today are all made of stretch fabric, which helps enormously," she said. As her belly grew, she put an elastic band over the buttonhole and attached another band meant to be seen over that.
These bands are available in a variety of colours and types, including stitching and appliques. They can be used as chic accessories, said Alexandra Wischnewski of the special online shop Bellybu. Current favourites are bands with buckles or rhinestones. Even women who aren't pregnant could wear them.