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Savannah Guthrie: Tackling the divisive issue of... maternity fashion? Really???

Savannah Guthrie opens up about her experience with maternity fashion.
/ Source: TODAY

Maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised, but boy, one of the most unexpected aspects of pregnancy is how strongly some people feel about what an expecting woman should wear. Of course, pregnant or not, when your job means that you are on television every day, folks definitely feel free to comment on what you’re wearing. I may not always love that, but I get it. It comes with the territory and I am used to it. But I guess everything is bigger during pregnancy, including the commentary on your looks. People are weighing in more than ever — and sometimes quite, shall we say, candidly — about what a mother to be should and shouldn’t wear during those long 40 weeks.

Growing...growing... maternity wear has been a surprisingly hot topic of debate.Samantha Okazaki / TODAY

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The good news is, most people are really, really kind — and for that, I say THANK YOU! Because when you’re expanding to the point that you weigh more than every one of your co-workers, when your legs sprout cankles and your face breaks out like a teenager — it is so nice to hear a kind and encouraging word. So from the bottom of my heart — thank you, thank you, thank you!!

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On the flip side, for those who feel the need to air their critiques in sharp or explicit terms… um, all I will say is, thank you for your feedback??? I did have to laugh (so as not to cry) when one commenter said I was wearing “tight” clothes to “flaunt” my pregnancy. First of all, at 8.5 months pregnant, there is really no hiding that ever-expanding belly. Wearing a loose muumuu is just not going to do the trick. And believe me, I haven’t worn anything tight in months. What I try to do is find stretchy, elastic fabric that I hope will fit whatever shape I have left (and from a wallet perspective, hopefully keeps stretching through pregnancy so I can wear a dress more than once!!)

This stretchy dress from Zara has been a pregnancy favorite. You may have seen me wear it a few times....Samantha Okazaki / TODAY
Here it is again, at an event honoring the fantastic Natalie Morales!TODAY

Anyway, I bring the subject up because we did a segment on pregnancy fashions. The good news: “pregnancy fashion” is no longer an oxymoron. It is nice that pregnant women have a lot more choices than they did in the old ginormous blouse days. (See Exhibit A.)

Exhibit A: Ah, those were the days: remember when maternity clothes looked like doll clothes? Actually, these gals look good in their tent shirts, but that's probably because, well, they do not appear to be pregnant.TODAY

Our story looked at how maternity styles have changed over the years, and it seems, when it comes to maternity tastes, there may be a generational divide. My mom says when she was pregnant, women tended to wear giant shirts or dresses that were meant to conceal the belly. Pregnancy was something to hide. (If you are rail thin with a cute little bump, this still might be a look that works. But for the rest of us, a more fitted look tends to be much more flattering, so that you still look like a person as opposed to, say, a tent.)

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But then the trend changed to a celebration of the baby bump. One of my earliest memories is seeing my cousin in a bright yellow bikini when she was about seven months pregnant. She looked FABULOUS, mind you, and was justifiably seeking relief in the pool from the hot Arizona sun, but to my 6-year-old eyes the sight of a real pregnant belly was a total shocker! It has been emblazoned in my memory ever since.

I just want to give a big old cheer to all the women who are creating life, currently hot-flashing their way through the summer AND trying to maintain their sense of comfort and self-confidence at the same time. It’s not always easy to pull off, and they deserve our support and love. And if you want to see some gorgeous expecting ladies, see Exhibits B, C, D, and E, below: our models in the fashion segment . They are all TODAY show producers, who I can tell you firsthand are working incredibly hard and looking incredibly beautiful at the same time.

TODAY producer Allison Berger, also due in August.Samantha Okazaki / TODAY
Amy Danford, TODAY production manager, is five months pregnant.Samantha Okazaki / TODAY
TODAY show producers Missy Dunlop and Lindsay Sobel Dyner, also eight months pregnant. Yes, there must be something in the water around here....TODAY

RELATED: 'Look for the love': Savannah's ready to deal with pregnancy wardrobe critics