Best maternity swimwear 2023: Swimsuits, tankinis and bikinis for pregnancy and postpartum – The Independent

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These swimwear staples will accommodate your bump for pregnancy (and postpartum holidays)
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The perfect swimwear needs to offer support as well as room for your bump and body to grow
It comes as no surprise that one of JoJo Maman Bébé’s swimwear pieces is our favourite of the mix – maternity wear is the brand’s bread and butter, and we are so grateful for its collection.
This swimsuit is a must-have, as it not only feels supportive but looks seriously stylish and flatters your growing curves. We felt really comfortable and confident wearing this while swimming lengths and meeting other mums in aquanatal classes.
We were pleasantly surprised that this fun style of swimsuit was featured in New Look’s maternity swimwear range. We hadn’t seen many one shoulder, ruffle or gingham designs elsewhere that catered to maternity sizes.
Who says maternity swimwear can’t be sexy? Let us introduce you to the new LBD of the swimsuit drawer. You’re welcome.
We absolutely adored Seraphine’s tie-back swimsuit range for its chic design and luxurious silky comfort. Available in nautical navy and white or khaki, the dark colours are super flattering for boosting confidence while showing off your glorious new curves.
This bikini is comfortable and practical, while offering a pop of bright red to make you look and feel good as you grow. Wearing a bikini while pregnant wasn’t something we imagined to be flattering, but we were pleasantly surprised by how stretchy the ribbed fabric was and loved that the comfy bottoms covered all of our modesty.
Say hello to your new postpartum swimwear staple. If you are looking for tummy coverage and nursing support, this classic one-piece should be at the top of your shopping list.
Finding a postpartum swimsuit that is flattering and stylish isn’t easy to come by but this Asos one-piece in a rust colourway perfectly fits the bill.
This ecru textured one-piece from high-street stalwart Next offers comfortable bust support that fits just like a sports bra and gives you reassurance that nothing will fall out while swimming. For mums-to-be who often need a tall or petite fit, these straps may not be suitable, as they are not adjustable.
Finding high-waisted bikini bottoms can be hard, especially if you don’t want a high-rise leg or thong design. That’s why we loved these bikini bottoms – they offer full bum coverage and sit in line with your hip bone, so you don’t have to worry about unneccessary skin on show.
Another top pick from the Asos Design collection is the peach gloss swimsuit, which brings some glam to any beach look. We loved this halterneck one-piece for an instant confidence boost because of the luxury soft satin feel on your skin. The bum coverage is more revealing than other swimwear we tested but it doesn’t cut into skin, as the soft material has a subtle stretch.
The post-birth transition of swapping comfies and loose-fitting clothes for more revealing attire can feel very alien. Flaunting your bump in pregnancy was exciting and always such a proud moment, but we know the feeling of being reluctant to get your recovering postnatal body out in all its glory. And yes, it is glorious for having grown and birthed a baby! Don’t ever forget that.
Swimwear shopping is never easy, and with the added factor of a growing bump, you’ll find it even harder to find the perfect swimsuit or bikini for your next dip in the pool.
Adapting to your ever-changing body means even more factors (on top of style and boosting body confidence) need to be ticked off your swimsuit wish list. The perfect maternity swimwear needs to support those bigger boobs (without underwire, for baby’s comfort) while providing room for your bump and body to continue growing – look out for adjustable straps, ruching and flexible fabric.
When carrying out our beachwear shopping, we were pleased to see there were more retailers offering maternity swimwear collections than we expected – and the styles weren’t just plain and boring. We found it easy to swap underwire for alternative bump-safe bust support and to replace our pre-pregnancy skimpy bikinis with comfortable – yet stylish – swimming costumes and tankinis made to grow with your body shape and let you show off your bump.
We’ve also taken careful cosideration when testing postnatal swimwear options to boost body confidence after birth, make nursing easier and flatter your body in all the right places. So, if you’ve got a family beach holiday already booked after birth or you’re getting prepared to join in with baby’s first swim sessions, we’ve tracked down the best swimsuits and bikinis to complement your postpartum body.
When reviewing these swimsuits and bikinis, we tested that pieces offered coverage and support in all the right places while swimming or moving around in aquanatal classes; compared materials for comfort over bumps; rated how confident we felt, and timed how fast we could relieve our bladder!
We’ve chatted to fellow mums and mums-to-be to find out what key factors they look for in maternity and postpartum swimwear, as well as researching the top-sellers from a range of retailers to assist in our selection for review.
Whether you’re swimming lengths, relaxing at a spa on a babymoon, or just trying to top up your tan in the spare time you have before baby arrives, here are our top picks of the best maternity and postpartum swimwear pieces available to buy online from high-street, independent and sustainable brands.
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It comes as no surprise that one of JoJo Maman Bébé’s swimwear pieces is our favourite of the mix – maternity wear is the brand’s bread and butter, and we are so grateful for its collection.
Before reviewing the two-piece, we definitely didn’t expect a tankini to come out on top, as we had rarely worn this type of swimwear pre-pregnancy. But, trust us, it’s a total game changer, because it means you can see to your regularly bursting bladder so much faster than you can in a one-piece.
The comfortable – and super stretchy – high-rise tankini bottoms support your bump with a soft hug and the loose-fitting tankini top creates the aesthetic that you are actually wearing a swimming costume. This means, until you are really about to pop, you have no skin on show and the subtle ruching on the side allows the top to comfortably stretch as your bump grows.
Your first public outing in a swimsuit while pregnant is always a nervous one but we instantly felt a boost of confidence when we tested this in an aquanatal class. We were greeted with compliments from other mums-to-be about the tankini’s stylish blue polka dot print, meaning we stood out for all the right reasons.
The lightly padded plunge neckline is super flattering with easily adjustable straps to help you get the perfect fit (and support you while swimming). We loved the full bum coverage, which meant there were no awkward wedgies in public. We were also surprised that the tankini top stayed snug against our body while swimming and moving around, so there was no added frustration to keep pulling it down like we expected with a tankini.
The stellar all-rounder is a great choice for different body types, whether you’re relaxing on a babymoon or diving into the deep end. It’s a firm favourite that we’ll certainly be keeping in our swim kit post-baby, too.
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This swimsuit is a must-have, as it not only feels supportive but looks seriously stylish and flatters your growing curves. We felt really comfortable and confident wearing this while swimming lengths and meeting other mums in aquanatal classes.
This swimsuit gives a really flattering fit with a more revealing – but comfortable – coverage on the bottom, plus optional padded cups and adjustable straps to allow you to tailor your bust support.
We were impressed by the modern scoop neckline and cute keyhole design, which gives the swimsuit some extra flair and added sexiness for a babymoon. The stylish leopard-print pattern and dark flattering colours are the perfect combo for style-conscious mums.
Thanks to the clever chlorine-resistant fabric, not only does it prevent the colour and pattern from fading, it stretches and adapts to complement you fluctuating body shape, meaning it has all the flexibility and longevity to see you from your first trimester to postpartum holidays.
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We were pleasantly surprised that this fun style of swimsuit was featured in New Look’s maternity swimwear range. We hadn’t seen many one shoulder, ruffle or gingham designs elsewhere that catered to maternity sizes.
The cute gingham look makes this costume the perfect poolside outfit for relaxing at a babymoon spa in spring and summer months. The optional padded bust support and ruching at the side complemented our boobs and bump as they grew throughout the trimesters.
If you’re seeking a sunbed for a spot of tanning in the garden this summer, you’ll like the versitility of turning it into a strapless one-piece to avoid any awkward tan lines, while enjoying the one shoulder strap for some flattering coverage the rest of the time. It also looked super cute paired with a sarong or high-waisted shorts to lounge about in the sunshine.
While the costume was a little tight to pull on (there are no adjustable straps), the ruching supported our bump nicely for a snug and secure fit. The swimsuit covers your bottom half modestly but offers a cheekier cut than full-coverage briefs.
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Who says maternity swimwear can’t be sexy? Let us introduce you to the new LBD of the swimsuit drawer. You’re welcome.
Chanelling classic and glamour while keeping you secure and comfortable, we couldn’t wait to show off this black halterneck swimsuit at the pool. The one-piece has clearly been designed with fluctuating bodies in mind, and comes complete with ruched sides and bump-shaped tummy band that offers plenty of room for your belly to grow.
The plunge halterneck, low back and cheekier cut makes for a more fashion-forward poolside look without putting your modesty on display. The fabric is soft and thick, to help avoid any see-through mishaps and it’s helpfully easy to get on and off for speedy bathroom trips.
The only downfall with this swimsuit is, because its design includes a bump-shaped tummy, your first trimester might feel a little spacious and baggy in the water and it does mean this one-piece won’t be as flattering as others postpartum.
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We absolutely adored Seraphine’s tie-back swimsuit range for its chic design and luxurious silky comfort. Available in nautical navy and white or khaki, the dark colours are super flattering for boosting confidence while showing off your glorious new curves.
The gentle side ruching is designed with your bump in mind, offering comfortable stretching as you grow through the trimesters, while the adjustable thick straps give you flexible bust support. The glamorous crossover neckline and trendy self-tie bow adds a splash of elegance to your poolside look, prooving your new maternity wardrobe doesn’t have to sacrifice on style. We felt like mermaids in the water, thanks to the gentle, silky fabric lining of the swimsuit, which ensured there were no see-through mishaps and our bumps were constantly comforted with a soft hug.
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This bikini is comfortable and practical, while offering a pop of bright red to make you look and feel good as you grow. Wearing a bikini while pregnant wasn’t something we imagined to be flattering, but we were pleasantly surprised by how stretchy the ribbed fabric was and loved that the comfy bottoms covered all of our modesty.
The thick-strapped matching bikini top had a strong band under the bust to help you feel supported in the water. We loved wearing this set for both swimming and aquanatal classes, as we felt snug, generously covered and could quickly nip to the toilet without undergoing the stress of trying to get out of a one-piece in a hurry.
For the matching bikini set, it does set you back a hefty £126 but you’ll be wearing this long after baby arrives, as the fabric cleverly shapeshifts to your body and covers all the right areas postpartum.
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Say hello to your new postpartum swimwear staple. If you are looking for tummy coverage and nursing support, this classic one-piece should be at the top of your shopping list.
We absolutely loved wearing this swimming costume to baby swim classes. It has been cleverly designed with a new mum in mind, which means you can be splashing about in the pool one minute (with your modesty intact) and the next, easily nursing your little one with the handy detachable boob straps for breast feeding.
The tummy control panel is exactly what you want post-birth for boosting confidence and helping you on your way to your pre-pregnancy figure. The swimsuit fits really well and hasn’t lost its shape after several wears.
Glam up your poolside look with a leopard-print midi sarong from New Look to complement the swimsuit with some added colour.
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Finding a postpartum swimsuit that is flattering and stylish isn’t easy to come by but this Asos one-piece in a rust colourway perfectly fits the bill.
We love the shirred fabric, which stretches all the way around your tummy and back as it adapts to your body shape. It will comfortably support your growing bump through the first trimester and be a go-to for flattering your tummy come postpartum days.
The straps are thin elastic string, so stretch to your height if you’re taller than average. If you are petite, you may prefer to tuck them in for a strapless look (and better tan lines).
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This ecru textured one-piece from high-street stalwart Next offers comfortable bust support that fits just like a sports bra and gives you reassurance that nothing will fall out while swimming. For mums-to-be who often need a tall or petite fit, these straps may not be suitable, as they are not adjustable.
As there is no ruching at the side either, the swimsuit can feel a little tight at first but a snug fit once pulled up. The swimsuit fits well for the first and second trimester but doesn’t stretch or complement your bump as well as other costumes we tested in during the third trimester.
What we love most about this swimsuit is that it can double up as a cute summer top to pair with maternity high-waist shorts or wide-leg floaty trousers on a hot day. The neutral ecru colour, soft ribbed fabric and thin straps mean it can multitask as an essential bodysuit in your wardrobe. We got our best use out of it by slipping it on under a leopard-print sarong and pairing with a straw hat to keep cool (and fashionable).
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Finding high-waisted bikini bottoms can be hard, especially if you don’t want a high-rise leg or thong design. That’s why we loved these bikini bottoms – they offer full bum coverage and sit in line with your hip bone, so you don’t have to worry about unneccessary skin on show.
These pants have nailed tummy coverage with a fit that actually covers your belly button and reaches your waist comfortably. The bottoms are flattering for mum tums with the right height to comfortably cover any stretch marks or scars. The belt is a lovely added touch to give the aesthetic of a slimmer waist.
We loved the triangle bikini top because it makes nursing hassle-free without the need to sacrifice style or unflatter your new, voluptuous boobs. Pair perfectly with a black or leopard print midi sarong to complement the stylish poolside look.
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Another top pick from the Asos Design collection is the peach gloss swimsuit, which brings some glam to any beach look. We loved this halterneck one-piece for an instant confidence boost because of the luxury soft satin feel on your skin. The bum coverage is more revealing than other swimwear we tested but it doesn’t cut into skin, as the soft material has a subtle stretch.
The ‘lettuce’ edged keyhole bust and peach colour brings some excitement into your poolside wardrobe. This sexy style will instantly boost your confidence on holiday.
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The post-birth transition of swapping comfies and loose-fitting clothes for more revealing attire can feel very alien. Flaunting your bump in pregnancy was exciting and always such a proud moment, but we know the feeling of being reluctant to get your recovering postnatal body out in all its glory. And yes, it is glorious for having grown and birthed a baby! Don’t ever forget that.
With the right swimwear and a reliable sarong, you’ll thank us for the boost of confidence you deserve on your first postnatal holiday or beach trip.
We love New Look’s midi length sarongs, which are available in black and leopard print. The dark colours aren’t too see-through and offer flattering coverage in all of the right places.
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These swimsuits definitely prove that opting for a maternity fit doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice on style just to flatter your new curves. JoJo Maman Bébé’s tankini wins by leaps and bounds, due to its flattering style, flexible fit and two-piece design, which makes bathroom breaks fast and hassle-free.
If it’s a one-piece you’re after, Marks and Spencer’s leopard-print swimming costume is our top pick. We loved wearing this for spa days and aquanatal classes. With material that feels luxurious but at a reasonable price, it’s such a great wardrobe addition to be worn well beyond baby’s due date.
For postnatal confidence, which is what every new mum needs on their first poolside outing after giving birth, we recommend New Look’s leopard-print bikini set, which is stylish and flattering for mum tums. Pair with a black or leopard midi sarong to complete the beach look for ultimate confidence and complimentary coverage in all the right places.
Ready to hit the beach? Don’t forget to grab our pick of the best sunscreens
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