WON Landing Page OCT 2022

Concealing for Two: The Second Trimester

The second trimester is considered the “honeymoon phase” of pregnancy. Gone are the food and smell aversions, nausea and dizzy spells, and most moms typically feel great. Their bellies are starting to show, and increased blood levels in the body have taken on that beautiful pregnancy glow. What shape she takes on can be different from pregnancy to pregnancy. Carrying a baby high, low, wide, more internally, or popped out like a beach ball? Even if you haven’t felt the baby move yet, your concealed carry gun-baby is about to shift positions to make room for them. 

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As your belly grows, adjusting carry location, minimizing printing and mitigating other pregnancy symptoms pose new challenges. Prepare for the most significant changes for those carrying in the appendix or front of the body position. As your belly button moves farther away, your carry position will creep closer toward the strong side hip. Already a strong-side concealed carrier? Not much may need to change quite yet in terms of carrying location. How fast you expand will dictate how rapidly you make adjustments. How comfortable your body is through this process may also influence what holsters you utilize for on-body carry. 

Tatiana picking blueberries

As the belly goes from a bump to a bulge to a beach ball, say goodbye to pants with belt loops or structured waste bands. Welcome to a world of maternity apparel not designed to support the weight of a firearm. Conventional maternity wear has pros and cons in relation to concealed carry. Draping maternity tops are fashionable, readily available and provide excellent cover garment camouflage. Maternity pants, however, pose the biggest problem with less rigid and more elastic materials right in the area you need them most to support a gun. 

2nd Trimester Concealment Tips

1 MODIFY WHAT YOU HAVE: Modify an existing holster by changing the belt clip hardware to Ulti-Clips. This will allow you to secure the holstered gun directly to the pants or hem of your garment. The garment must be able to support the gun’s weight without compromising safe concealed carry standards or increasing printing.

Belly Band Holster

2. BELLY BANDS: Belly bands come in various shapes and sizes. Depending on your body and belly type, they can be game-changers offering an on-body carry solution and some belly support. When choosing a product, consider the width of the band itself, the pocket shape and structure designed to hold the gun, and if the pocket can receive and secure a pre-holstered firearm to increase overall safety. Vanity sizing is gone, girls – consult the sizing charts and utilize a measuring tape to see which size works for your new waistline and consider what you may need for room to grow.

second trimester Sporty Outfit Belly Band

3. Shooting Athleisure Wear: Though not explicitly meant for maternity, apparel brands like Dene Adams and Alexo Athletica have mamma-friendly, quality, gun-centric clothing designed with gun-ready waste bands. Depending on your body type and baby bump, these comfortable one-and-done pants, shorts, and capris are ready for multiple holsters and firearm options and look great!

alexo athletica shorts
Alexo Athletica

4. On-Body Holster: Perhaps the most innovative on-body holster that makes it possible for pregnant moms to carry is the PHLster Enigma. A highly personalize-able, body-mounted holster system, the Enigma can be paired with accessories for added comfort. Combine the Enigma with the elastic sport belt, the Levo Designs conventional Papoose, and the PHLster modular holster wedges to make wearing a firearm soft, stretchy and comfortable.

During the second trimester, a new form of “ouch” arrives: round ligament pain. How intensely a woman feels these literal growing pains can play a considerable role in concealed carry. The stretching of the ever-increasing uterus and regular body movements like standing up, rolling over in bed, bending over, stretching or reaching for objects can send sharp pains through a mom’s lower abdomen. Tenderness of the abdominal area or a feeling of persistent mild cramping also can happen. (Please note: if these symptoms are severe or concerning, CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR as soon as possible.) Applying any pressure to the abdomen can be very uncomfortable, and compressing a holstered firearm into an already tender tummy may prompt an early transition into off-body carry options. 

touching belly second trimester

To make matters even more interesting once you begin to show, family, friends and even complete strangers like to get “handsy.” Everyone suddenly wants to hug you and touch your belly. Under normal social circumstances, this level of physicality may or may not be a part of your lifestyle. This makes many pregnant women uncomfortable. They now have to be very mindful about how and where they are hugged and just how much they are willing to allow others to interact with their bodies. If you’re not a natural hugger, setting clear boundaries and being willing graciously to repel outstretched hands and arms is a must not only for your personal comfort but to prevent the inadvertent discovery of your carry gun. 

The difference in your body from week-to-week may seem small, but the big jumps from month-to-month are profound. The second trimester of pregnancy is a fantastic time to test-drive new concealment solutions. Don’t be afraid to change your mind about products, move or shift equipment as needed, or even change up what firearm you decide to carry. 

Read Concealing for Two: The First Trimester.

Visit Walther Arms for concealed-carry firearm options.

  • About The WON

    The Women's Outdoor News, aka The WON, features news, reviews and stories about women who are shooting, hunting, fishing and actively engaging in outdoor adventure. This publication is for women, by women.

     

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