Conceal Carry During Pregnancy | The Second Trimester

A few months ago I wrote about conceal carry during the first trimester. The shift from first to second trimester was a slow one. For the first few weeks I didn’t notice much of a difference, but as the weeks progress I am feeling more and more pregnant. Not only are my feelings changing, but so is my body, and with it, my ability to carry in more conventional ways. With that, here are some of the considerations I, a pregnant conceal carrier, have had to make in my second trimester of pregnancy.

General Discomfort and Conceal Carry During Pregnancy, Second Trimester

I have been blessed with a relatively mild pregnancy so far. Mild symptoms, no major complications, but I have not been immune to the discomforts pregnancy brings.

Shortness of Breath

The biggest inconvenience so far has been shortness of breath. My uterus is about the size of a soccer ball now, and I can tell that my organs are shifting upward. Gone are the days I can go up and down stairs or walk into the grocery store without huffing and puffing. As a result I am allowing for more breaks and slower movements. Going to the gym is still a regular part of my weekly routine, but my cardiovascular endurance is still suffering.


Compression socks and a rubber wedding band have helped me keep swelling in my hands and feet down.

Going into the summer two things I am trying to be conscious of are my water intake, and staying as cool as possible. This past week the temperatures in the desert started getting above 90 degrees. Higher temperatures make it harder to keep my hands and feet from swelling. While some swelling of the hands, feet, and legs is not usually of concern, it can be uncomfortable. Just another mild discomfort pregnancy brings, and another thing to be self-conscious about.

Bloating and Slowed Digestion

I always assumed that after you started getting a defined baby bump that the bloating would, for the most part, go away. I was wrong! The difference between my bump first thing in the morning, and how it looks right before bed is amazing. Getting dressed in the morning has me thinking more about future comfort than it used to. The bloating caused by the continued slowing of my digestive system makes my stomach extra sensitive, especially after eating.

How does this general discomfort fit into conceal carry? General discomfort can affect your interest in adding a firearm to your person, will impact your situational awareness, and ability to fight. This leads us into self defense considerations for the second trimester.

Self Defense Considerations and Conceal Carry During Pregnancy, Second Trimester

As I mentioned above, some of the general discomforts pregnancy brings can most certainly impact your ability to defend yourself. Being out of breath will impact your ability to flee, or manage breathing when in a fight. Swollen hands can impact your grip, and swollen legs and feet can hurt to run on. Bloating can force you to move a firearm off your waist band, and can slow you down if you choose to flee.

Two months before becoming pregnant, and 29 weeks pregnant.

You also need to be aware of your shifting center of gravity. At around 19/20 weeks I began to feel incredibly off balance at the gym. Around this time I made the conscious decision that I need to make my movements more intentional, and move more slowly to avoid a fall. Any fall in pregnancy should send you to the doctor to be checked out. My first choice in a defensive situation is to GTFO if it is safe and feasible for me to do so.

Changing Plans

Now that I am further along, this is looking a little different. I am adjusting by planning on going to my tools more quickly, and having my hands on them earlier. Recently in Target I got weird vibes from a man that was near some back aisles with me. In the past I would have checked out and sorted my things before grabbing my pepper spray and entering the parking lot. However, knowing that I have more limitations I grabbed my pepper spray as I made my way to check out, and I kept my eye out for the strange man. This isn't to say you should be paranoid or unnecessarily escalatory, but your physical limitations will likely change your tactics. Staging your equipment can help cut down on deployment times.

Maternity Clothing and Conceal Carry

Like most women’s clothing, maternity clothing is not the most conducive to conceal carry. Partly due to clothing being made to grow with your bump.

Maternity Pants

The style of pant you choose will determine how and where you can conceal carry. In 2024 there are two styles of maternity pant. High rising fabric that goes over your bump, and a stretchy low-rise waist that sits below your bump. There are pros and cons to each style of maternity pant, you will need to decide what makes you feel most comfortable.

I prefer the maternity jeans that have a fabric band of fabric that I wear over my bump. Comfy, but not great for AIWB.

A big issue with maternity pants is they do not have belt loops. Not that wearing a belt would be a comfortable experience as your waist expands. No belt loops means you might not be able to carry along your waist (appendix, behind the hip, strong side, etc.). There are options that allow you to carry on your torso independent from your waist such as the PHLster Enigma, Mastermind Tactics Covert Belt, and the Comfort Concealment Belt. These may be an option if you wear low-rise maternity pants, but in general I would discourage use of these products, and would instead encourage you to consider alternate carry locations.

Issues with Waistband Conceal Carry While Pregnant

Concealing along your waist is going to be more difficult in pregnancy. It doesn't matter if you use an Enigma or not, it is just going to be more difficult. As your belly grows it becomes more "peak" and less "valley". This expansion makes it more difficult to find space to hide the gun, and you are more likely to have a gun shaped tumor jutting off your waist.  Additionally, your tummy will be getting pretty firm and putting pressure on it will start to be very uncomfortable.

For my own personal comfort, I chose to wear the Enigma fairly high on my waist versus lower. It is awkward to clear concealment and wedge my hand into the tight waistband with my pregnant belly.

One of the biggest draws to these "gimmicks" is that you are able to carry independent from your waist band. The above products might be an option if you chose to wear low-rise maternity pants, but not if you get high rising maternity pants. Deep concealment can be a great option, but the design of maternity pants does not lend itself to deep concealment. The fabric over the belly is stretchy like leggings which is great for growing bellies, but not for getting your hands into your pants quickly. There is also a lot of distance you have to cover to access your firearm. A growing bump can get in the way of a proper drawstroke.

The pregnant conceal carrier is going to have to make decisions about her wardrobe and consider how that might affect her ability to conceal carry. If carrying IWB or along your waist is becoming too difficult, it might be time to consider alternative carry locations.

Maternity Shirts

Maternity shirts come with more variety than maternity pants, only some of which will be conducive with conceal carry. There are 3 styles that come to the top of my head when thinking about the maternity shirts I've seen at the store, and styles I have purchased.

The first are shirts that have ruching along the sides to accentuate the baby bump. The majority of maternity shirts I have found are like this. I absolutely love how comfortable they are, and the ruching will allow the bump to continue growing without needing to buy new clothes as I get further along. On the downside, these are pretty form fitting shirts. If I wasn't hiding a gun in my boobs, you would easily be able to see a gun tumor in this style shirt.

Maternity shirts with ruching are by and far the most common style of maternity shirt. While very comfortable for a growing belly, not great for conceal carrying along the waistband.

Better Choices

The second style, which is trending in Summer 2024, are peplum tops. The peplum top has been a long time favorite of maternity wear, but is also a popular non-maternity choice this summer. Peplum tops are great for conceal carrying if you aren't pregnant because the waist isn't accentuated. It'll be hit or miss if this works depending on your bump size, but this is a pretty decent style to go for.

Finally, a lot more women, myself included, are buying oversized or "boyfriend" style shirts for their maternity wardrobe. There are a lot of great options, and none are super form fitting on your waist. You might be able to hide a gun in a shirt like this, but it will also heavily depend on your bump size and how oversized the shirt really is. The excess material here is something you'll need to familiarize yourself with. You don't want to foul your draw in an emergency because you never practiced in your new shirt.

My Preferred Ways to Conceal Carry During the Second Trimester

If you are struggling to carry IWB and are needing options on how to conceal carry in the second trimester, this is the section you need to read. Below are the two ways I have been conceal carrying since I found out I was expecting. I was also carrying like this before I became pregnant, so there was less of a learning curve, but don't let learning a new skill deter you. It's important you stay armed, and these are two ways you might be able to do so as your pregnancy progresses.


I am not shy about my love and support of the Flashbang. I more often than not conceal carried in one before becoming pregnant. There is a lot to love for the pregnant conceal carrier as well. If you are adamant that you will only carry on body, the Flashbang is an amazing choice. The drawstroke is not much different than it would be if you carried AIWB before pregnancy, you just bring the shirt up higher. With practice you might only add a second or less to your drawstroke. It's easy to unholster the gun and get into a normal sequence of presentation.

Limitations with the Flashbang During Pregnancy

While I adore the Flashbang, there are some limitations you should be aware of. First, you will be limited to a smaller gun. I have always carried a Smith & Wesson 351PD or similar in it. My husband and I both trust our lives, and our unborn baby's life, with .22 magnum, but you will need to make your own decision around that. I also wouldn't trust that my growing breasts will become big enough to allow for a larger gun. At most we would recommend carrying nothing bigger than a P365 due to size and weight considerations.

Another limitation I have found is compatibility with nursing bras. Before pregnancy I only wore padded bras with underwire. As I have had to go up a cup size, I went ahead and bought a couple nursing bras to have on hand before baby comes. None of which have underwire. This is probably just something I will have to get use to, but carrying in the Flashbang with a wireless bra is uncomfortable for me. While messing around with one of my nursing bras the Flashbang fell out of my boobs. To be fair, I was taking both boobs out at once to show my husband my new bra, but if you are tandem feeding while currently pregnant, that will be something to be aware of. You will have to learn to manage your child in relation to the gun if feeding while wearing the Flashbang as well.

As a joke I tried to flash my husband with one of my new nursing bras and the Flashbang fell out. This is something I will need to consider once Baby is here and we start breastfeeding.

Finally, if your bump is high like mine, the grip of the gun can poke into the top of your tummy with the Flashbang. That can be minorly uncomfortable if you're going to be sitting a lot, which I do. It isn't a big enough issue for me to not carry in the Flashbang, but something to be aware of.

Off Body Carry

Off body carry is unnecessarily controversial, but another great way to conceal carry while pregnant. Before becoming pregnant I would occasionally carry in a fanny pack as I ran errands or took walks in the neighborhood. My husband also bought me a Gun Tote'n Mamas (GTM) purse for my birthday a few months ago and I have since been carrying in there occasionally. Off body carry is no more or less dangerous than strapping a gun onto your body. There are different considerations you have to make, but that doesn't make off body carry inherently dangerous.

Safe Methods of Off Body Carry

First, the gun has to have it's own, separate compartment with nothing else in it. In a fanny pack I had a dedicated gun section, and I put my keys and ID in another section. In the GTM purse there is a separate compartment for the gun.

Second, your gun needs to have the trigger covered. There are a lot of options available! Typically I just throw the revolver into one of my husband's pocket holsters and then put that into the purse or fanny pack. There are also fanny packs designed with conceal carry in mind. With those (when I carry the Glock 48) I attach my kydex holster to the inside of the fanny pack. Regardless, you need to find a way to keep the trigger protected while the gun is in it's pocket.

Finally, you need to be incredibly mindful of your purse or fanny pack. This mindfulness must start as soon as the gun is placed inside, until it returns to it's home at the end of your excursion. Your purse has become more valuable than it would be normally, so be aware as you are moving in public. Be aware for pickpockets, purse snatchers, etc. I won't be so dogmatic as to say, "you can never take your purse off if you are carrying a gun in there", because frankly that isn't true. If you are out make sure the strap goes across your body, if you're sitting put your leg through the strap. Also, don't let people dig around inside your purse. That is weird and invasive.

Limitations to Off Body Carry

There are limitations to carrying off body. The draw is not going to be fast, and it's going to be trickier to make sure you are drawing safely. Again, you need to decide what your priorities are. I draw a lot faster from the Flashbang than I do from the purse, so I tend to carry more in the Flashbang. But I like having the option to still carry as I adjust to my new body, so I will still carry off body.

I was able to attend Darryl Bolke's session on Off Body Carry at Revolver Round Up last year and I learned a lot. Darryl acknowledges that this isn't a fast draw option, but that there are many reasons why off body carry might be the best option. He also walked us through how to draw safely from our purse or fanny pack. First, unzip the gun pocket and get a good purchase. Next, with your open hand pull the fanny pack/purse away from the gun. Finally, build your grip and present the gun.

At the end of the day off body carry is a viable option if you are struggling to carry IWB or even in the Flashbang, don't let men online scare you out of it. The most important thing is making it home to your growing family, and we can all agree it is better to stay strapped than to get clapped. I'd hate to be the fool who is fucking around thinking the pregnant lady is willingly handing over her wallet, only to find out she was actually grabbing a gun.

Conclusion on Conceal Carry During Pregnancy, Second Trimester

You're one trimester closer to welcoming your little one! As your baby and belly grow so does the list of considerations you must make as a conceal carrier. It is okay if things have to look different than they did before you were pregnant. Re-assess how you will approach a fight if one finds you, consider changes to your wardrobe and how you can stay armed during pregnancy. At the end of the day, we want you and baby to make it home safely.

Conceal Carry During Pregnancy | The First Trimester

Conceal Carry During Pregnancy | Training and Classes

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About Ally Corless 35 Articles
Ally is a dog mom to two pups, enjoys cooking, and looking for lizards in her backyard. She dreams of running a fully sustainable homestead for when SHTF. Living zero waste is the ultimate goal.

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