Summer is coming. That means short shorts, barely there sundresses, and hanging by the pool drinking margaritas with your girls. Oh wait, you鈥檙e pregnant. So summer means elastic waistband shorts, tent-like sundresses, and virgin-ritas. Hey, it鈥檚 okay that you can鈥檛 exactly celebrate summer in your fave belly-baring bikini. Wait, yes you can. Being a soon-to-be mama shouldn鈥檛 make you run for a muumuu, and here鈥檚 why!

1. This is a special opp. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Well, maybe a twice or three times in a lifetime opp. In any case, having a baby belly is a special occasion 鈥 an occasion that makes it completely okay to show off鈥 your belly. Next year, you might feel like covering those stretch marks (we all have them). But this year, you can put that beautiful belly of yours on display. It鈥檚 not exactly an everyday occurrence.

2. Size doesn鈥檛 matter. Whether you look like an SI swimsuit model with an itsy bitsy basketball on your tummy or you鈥檝e gained weight absolutely everywhere, you鈥檙e positively glowing. As long as your doc thinks the weight gain is healthy, you鈥檙e good to go. And good to show. Don鈥檛 stress about your size. Really, there are so many more pregnancy issues to freak out about. Some of them may even be real! When it comes to showing off that bump of yours, remember: You鈥檙e pregnant and not just randomly gaining weight from hanging with your good friends Ben and Jerry too often. It鈥檚 time to let go of your body hang-ups and embrace your pregnant self. Right now.

3. Comfort is crucial. It鈥檚 hot out. Not just normal hot. It鈥檚 steam-shower, melt your mascara hot. Along with the crazy heat and hair-frizzing humidity, you鈥檙e pregnant. That adds on at least another 10 degrees. Or at least, that鈥檚 what it seems like. Hiding your overheated body underneath layers and layers of maternity-wear just won鈥檛 do. Comfort is key, and you need to feel cool immediately. Shed that extra fabric and let your bump breathe.

4. You鈥檙e in good company. Come on, you鈥檝e seen them. The superstar celebs who totally show off their bumps all of the time. They wear form-fitting gowns to awards shows and various events, bare it all in bikinis (even during the last trimester), and go almost topless under a form-fitting blazer. No one is snapping pics of you for a tabloid-ish website, but if some of the most paparazzi-tagged mamas can spotlight their baby bellies without feeling shy, you can too!

5. You鈥檝e got style, style, and more style. You just stumbled on the absolutely most fab sunny summer strappy dress. And it鈥檚 actually maternity-wear. Bonus! But it鈥檚 rather tight and does show off your growing bump. Yeah, so? If you鈥檙e all about the style, go ahead and put that belly-highlighting outfit on.

6. Psst! Everyone knows already. You鈥檙e eight months along. Guess what? We all know you鈥檙e preggo. Hiding behind a draping of heavy fabrics, chunky cardigans, and bulky dresses isn鈥檛 fooling anyone. Your pregnancy isn鈥檛 exactly a secret, and it shouldn鈥檛 be. Considering that everyone knows there鈥檚 a bump under that flowy sweater, you may as well shed it (the bulky wardrobe pieces, that is) and show it off.

7. It鈥檚 cute. Think about the last time you saw a mama-to-be. We鈥檙e not talking about you, in the mirror. Think back farther 鈥 to a time before you were the pregnant one. You saw that adorable belly bump and thought, 鈥淎ww! So sweet.鈥 Chances are you weren鈥檛 like, 鈥淲hoa! How could she show that belly? Yuck.鈥 No way. That baby bump is cute 鈥 on other pregnant women and on yourself.

8. There鈥檚 no reason not to. Well, that鈥檚 not entirely true. There are some situations where you鈥檒l want to cover up. You wouldn鈥檛 wear a crop top to your morning marketing meeting during your non-preggo days. So don鈥檛 break this dress code just because you鈥檝e got a baby in there. You also probably don鈥檛 want a ton of skin exposed on a frosty day, when you鈥檙e in the snow, or during any other cold time. Short of skirting social rules and worrying about the weather, you can be who you want to be and stop hiding that bump.

What鈥檚 your favorite maternity outfit? Share your answer and tweet us @BritandCo!

(Photo via Getty)