Maternity clothes were one of the elements of pregnancy I’d been trying to put off for as long as possible (other than a couple of exceptions); the prices can be astronomical, I’m vertically challenged, most shops don’t even stock their maternity ranges in store and quite frankly, clothes shopping can be depressing enough when you’re not putting weight on as it is.
Other than a few essentials such as underwear (seriously, get them early and you’ll feel the benefits), I’d avoided most ranges until this month when I did a bulk order on H&M and then popped in store to see if I could locate a bump band and ended up walking out with quite a few items.
I’d made some enquiries previously, knowing I’d need to attend an important work event and possibly a wedding where I’d need to make more of an effort and stores such as Next and M&S told me that you can only access their maternity ranges online (though for ease of returns in Next, you can get them ordered to store and ask to try them on when you collect).
I found it really odd that most stores, particularly those bigger high street names, didn’t cater for this market. Disposable income for your own clothes isn’t exactly at the top of your list when you have a huge list of things baby needs, so to have to buy items in multiple sizes to try to find the right fit just didn’t seem like an option.
I know this sounds contradictory considering my online H&M order mentioned above, but I had a 10% off code and free delivery so didn’t feel like I had too much to lose if I guessed sizes correctly (for some reason H&M use the sizings S, M, L and XL rather than 10, 12, 14 etc). I found that some of my order didn’t fit but luckily they made returns so easy in-store, I received my refund swiftly.
Then, on my search for a bump band to help with my ligament pain, I picked up a few other items such as comfy joggers for Pilates, nursing tops and leggings with bump support.
All of the maternity clothes I’ve bought that cover my top half are suitable for nursing so I’m hoping that they’ll last a lot longer than the next few months and they won’t feel like too much of a wasted expense – I have 2 dresses, 2 t-shirts, 2 vests, 2 pairs of leggings with bump support, 1 pair of joggers with bump support and 1 pair of nursing pyjamas, as well as necessary underwear which should (in theory) last me until I lose enough weight for them to become too big for me post birth.
When I’ve been buying items for myself (and Mini to a degree), I’ve become increasingly interested in investment pieces. Items that are more sustainable (which is helped my H&M’s conscious range) and provide good value for money at a time where in all honesty, money is tight.
So, what have I learnt about maternity clothes so far? Some stores make it really difficult to access their ranges but other stores will have your back and it’s very much worth investing in a few key items to stay as comfortable as possible while your body supports the growing life inside you.
I know we can often feel as though we’re no longer a priority for ourselves but at the same time, our bodies are under quite a bit of pressure and we have to know when to give ourselves a break. That’s what I’m learning anyway!
This week I’m joining the #MaternityMondays linky, if you click the button below it should direct you to other pregnancy and baby related posts.