It’s open season. Bikini season that is. And if you’re pregnant, it’s also pregnant bikini photo season. Sure, it may not happen today, or even tomorrow. But some time during the next three months, you really should try putting a bikini on that growing belly and memorializing it for eternity.

Here are 5 reasons you should wear a bikini while pregnant this summer.

  1. It’s good for your self-esteem. For many of us, pregnancy is the first time we truly feel comfortable in our own (growing) skin. That baby in there boosts our body confidence and becomes the excuse we’ve been waiting for to let it all hang out, literally. It’s liberating, and your burgeoning belly is sexy. You, mama, are sexy (I mean, someone got you pregnant in the first place, right?). So if you’re on your way to the beach, climb into a bikini and flaunt your brand new curves.

  1. It’ll save you some money. We love maternity clothes, but when it comes to a bathing suit that you’ll probably wear just a handful of times (if that), well, you probably already own something. Whatever two-piece you have will totally cover what needs to be covered. And if you don’t, go treat yourself to a cheap string bikini. Yes, we said it. String. After all, when else during pregnancy can you get away with literally tying on 3 triangles of fabric and calling it an outfit? Head back up to #1 if you need a little pep talk before your big (um, we mean little) purchase.

  1. It’s good for everyone else. You know that scene in the movie where that girl walks into a party and the music stops and everyone turns and stares? That will be you when you are pregnant in a bikini. Inevitably, some jerk will say to the person next to them: “Did she really have to do that?” or “That’s a little much, don’t you think?” Ignore them. Those same people will also complain about you trying to breastfeed your starving, hysterical infant at a restaurant. And speaking of…

  1. It’s really good practice for being a mom. If you’re planning to breastfeed, there will be days when you’ll need to bare all (or at least your boobs) to nurse in public. Maybe you’ll be just a little more confident freeing those nipples when you remember how a few months back, you rocked your big belly in a bikini with no abandon. Even if you don’t breastfeed, a lot of motherhood is about doing what you feel is right for you, no matter who thinks it’s wrong -- kind of like wearing a string bikini at your mother-in-law’s country club.

  1. Everyone else is doing it. If it’s good enough for Anne, Karolina and Hilaria (and every other person who’s ever been pregnant on Instagram), it’s good enough for you.

Happy Pregnant Bikini Photo Season!

Photography of the beautiful Alexandra Thompson by Tara Michie.