It goes without saying that pop star, style icon and self-professed bad girl Rihanna is redefining maternity dressing. Her pregnancy “reveal” photo shoot with partner and rapper A$AP Rocky, in which she wore a vintage hot pink Chanel jacket open to show her blinged-out baby bump, set the tone. It’s only got better. We’ve seen the singer re-wear her heart-shaped, fluffy, red Saint Laurent coat, the latex crop top and the aqua-blue Stella McCartney jumpsuit. But it especially includes the way RiRi has embraced the sexy dressing trend of recent seasons – from bodycon to cut-outs, mini skirts and more – wholeheartedly, and with child. Forget the days of a smock, grimly “mumsy” wrap dresses and dungarees – Rihanna, along with the likes of model and author Emily Ratajkowski , singer Cardi B (and let’s not forget actress Demi Moore posing nude while pregnant on the cover of Vanity Fair in 1991) is making maternity dressing sexy. Perhaps, though, you are reading this while with child, on the sofa, wearing what could only be described as an apron and googling whether it’s possible to die from heartburn. “So now I’m meant to be dressing sexily?” you might despair, looking at pictures of Ratajkowski in slinky black cut-out dresses and crop tops, model Ashley Graham in bodycon Fendi x Skims, rapper Cardi B in a leopard print bodysuit and Rihanna in a lingerie-inspired sheer black Dior dress. But that’s not really the point. For one thing, most of us do not look like Ratajkowski or Rihanna, being photographed is not part of our jobs, and we can only reliably count on a smattering of friends and family to “like” our pregnancy reveal post on Instagram. You don’t have to dress sexily – which itself means different things to different people – but we should celebrate women who refuse to let societal expectations around pregnancy and motherhood remain unchallenged. Expectant mothers aren’t suddenly rendered sexless and no longer interested in “trivial” things like fashion, and we don’t all like shapeless sacks. It’s inspiring to see women maintain their incredible, instantly recognisable sense of personal style as their body changes in unimaginable ways, because even Rihanna isn’t immune to the utter weirdness of pregnancy. As the singer recently told New York Post gossip column Page Six , feeling fashionable while pregnant can be a challenge. “Right now, being pregnant, some days you just feel like, ‘Ugh, I just want to lay here on this couch all day.’ But when you put on a little face and a little lipstick, you transform,” she said. “You put some clothes on, and it’s like, when you look good, you feel good. I’ve heard that for a very long time, but it’s true. It really can get you up off that couch and make you feel like a bad b****.” View this post on Instagram A post shared by SUMMER RACHEL WARREN (@summerrachelwarren) Rihanna’s sexy maternity style has influenced other women, including pregnant influencer Summer Rachel Warren, who told the New York Post she was inspired by the singer’s sexy, entirely RiRi maternity looks. “Wearing the same [sort of] clothes I wore pre-pregnancy is a major confidence boost,” she said. “My sexy style makes me feel empowered rather than ashamed of my body as it’s creating life.” And here’s the thing I’ve learned through two pregnancies and four years of motherhood: the last thing a pregnant woman needs is another opinion foisted upon them. Not when the guy at the bodega will tell you that you’re “very big”, or the world says you really ought to stop cradling your bump so much – and also you’re too big (or small, or round or high and are you having a “natural” birth?). Not when your ankles are swollen and you can’t tie your own shoelaces. It’s a liberating thing to see such famous women change the rules. The idea that a bump ought to be tucked away is really just a way of tucking women away, of putting them into boxes with a neat label. Holding on to your sense of identity is something many women can struggle with when they become a mother – I know I did. It’s no great stretch to think that what you wear can play a small part in this identity shift too. For one thing, as someone who also didn’t buy any “maternity” clothes (my budget did not stretch to vintage Chanel), I can attest I felt much better about the monumental changes happening to my body and life when I continued wearing variations of outfits I always wore. This included oversized shirts, loose, elasticised pants and loafers . Sure, I would have quite liked a ritual burning of them at the end – I was so beyond sick of wearing the same thing – but at least, in a time I did not feel like myself, I remained someone I recognised. That’s not to say everybody will enjoy pregnancy, or want to dress like they used to, or remotely feel like baring their bump in a latex crop top. The best piece of advice I’ve learned as a mother is something I read years ago, long before motherhood, in comedian, actor and director Amy Poehler’s book: “good for her, not for me”. This is applicable to everything from what you feed your child, your stance on the Snoo baby cot and television time, to how you get dressed. Motherhood will challenge and change everyone. Being more open-minded and less judgemental is better for us all. But surely, when it comes to Rihanna and her rule shattering, boss style, it really, truly is good for her and also, good for us?