WAIST LININGS—It is better not to make dresses and waists with waist linings which would have to be altered from time to time. Instead you should wear a brassiere that supports you figure and keeps it neat and trim. A brassiere should not be worn at all snug, for it must not compress the figure or prevent its development. Surplice brassieres are excellent, for they adjust themselves each time they are put on. Or you can use the fitted brassiere with under-arm seams laced with elastic cord which can be let out when necessary.
COATS, CAPES, SUITS—For the street a long coat or a cape is usually better than a suit. For some seasons suit styles are excellent for maternity wear. The coat should not be close fitting. It should have plenty of width at the waistline, and if necessary it should be cut with extra width allowed on the front edge of each front so that it will not become too small.
MATERIALS AND COLORS—It is advisable to choose materials that are as light in weight as possible especially for coats and street dresses. As far as possible wear the light-weight silks and satins even in Winter in your dresses. Get the necessary warmth from your underwear and your wraps. Coats and wraps of course must be warm for cold weather, but you can choose materials that are warm and light.
Do not choose loud or light colors for maternity use. The quiet colors are less noticeable and the dark colors make you look small. Avoid anything with large figures or conspicuous stripes, checks or plaids. In Summer you will want to wear white and light colors during hot weather, because they are cooler than dark colors, but in other seasons the dark colors are more practical for the street. Use light colors for the house.
CORSETS—As soon as you find that you need them get the best maternity corsets that you can afford. The muscles of the abdomen require additional support at this time and if you wear poor corsets or go without corsets altogether you run the risk of getting permanently out of shape and perhaps losing your figure altogether even after the baby is born. If you keep well corseted the chances are that your figure will come back to its original lines.
With your corsets you must wear hose supporters. A round garter is very dangerous, for it checks the circulation and might induce varicose veins.
SHOES—Your shoes should have flat, rather low heels so that you will not run the risk of turning your ankles and getting a fall. In wet or slippery weather be sure to wear rubbers. If you fall or wrench yourself you might bring on a miscarriage.
LINGERIE AND UNDERWEAR—For maternity wear you mil probably need lingerie at least two sizes larger than the underwear you ordinarily use. Instead of petticoats it is advisable to wear princess slips, for the weight rests on the shoulders instead of at the waistline. If you use combination drawers and corset cover you must allow extra length in the lower part in cutting them. Slash the pattern just below the hip and separate the pieces about three inches before you cut your material. In your envelope chemises you will need extra length at the end of the tab. Make a three-inch allowance on the tab in cutting. Nightgowns should open down the front.
In Winter wear wool or part wool union suits, and many doctors advise long sleeves and drawers that come to the ankle. It is very important to keep the body an even warmth. If you take cold at this time it is likely to go to the kidneys and cause trouble later.
You should place yourself under the care of a good physician as soon as possible and follow his advice in regard to exercises, diet, etc. Under normal conditions a certain amount of exercise is very desirable. It keeps you in good general condition.
You ought never to lift heavy things, or reach up for anything that might strain you. Violent exercises of course are taboo.
ALL baby clothes should be white, and as fine and dainty as possible. Pale shades of baby pink and blue can he used for ribbons on dresses and caps, for linings in lingerie caps and for the linings of Summer coats of batiste, handkerchief linen and crêpe de Chine.