Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Human Environmental Science (MS)

Degree Level



General Human Environmental Sciences


Laurie Marie Mcalister Apple

Committee Member

Southward, Leigh

Second Committee Member

Schmitt, Abigail


Pregnancy physical changes, maternity wear, maternity wear fit


During pregnancy, women experience diverse physical body changes as the pregnancy progresses through different periods. It has been noted that anthropometric changes occur during pregnancy in a non-linear manner and can be measured using 3D body scanners at various stages of pregnancy. The changes are diverse, and impact pregnant women's garment fit differently as the pregnancy progresses through each trimester. Pregnant women have experience in dressing their pre-pregnant bodies in stylish garments and would similarly want to dress fashionably when pregnant. This has led to the need for garments that can accommodate body changes comfortably and fashionably without losing the body’s identity. While several studies have shown that bodily changes during pregnancy influence the garment fit of pregnant women, no documented research has evaluated the changes at different stages of pregnancy in relation to garment fit. The focus of the study was on whether physical body changes during pregnancy affect maternity wear fit, whether pregnant women perceive physical changes in relation to maternity wear fit, and whether maternity wear fit influences maternity wear purchasing. Therefore, the study aimed to answer the following research questions: (a) Do the physical changes at the bust, waist, and hip during trimesters one, two, or three influence the need for clothes to accommodate these changes? (b) Do the physical changes at the bust, waist, and hip in trimesters one, two, or three influence maternity wear fit? (c) Do pregnant women perceive maternity wear fit according to the physical changes? and (d) Does maternity wear fit influence maternity wear purchase? Lack of body scanning data prohibited the researcher from using the body scanning method. A survey was therefore used to collect data which was analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). The collected data proved valuable to the foundation of the research area.