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Our Co-Founder Answers Your Burning Questions On Maternity Wear

When it comes to maternity wear, many questions for newly expectant mothers come to mind. For some, the idea of buying new clothes for temporary wear may seem futile and unsustainable. If they’re only for temporary wear, what are the benefits? Are there alternatives to buying maternity wear, and will these pieces be wearable after pregnancy?

It’s common to have questions like the above, and unfortunately there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Pregnancy is a unique experience, and for some, the need to find maternity clothing can come as early as 6 weeks. The body undergoes significant changes during pregnancy, and these changes make it difficult to find clothes that fit and flatter, as well as offer comfort and support.

Yes, maternity wear is designed to accommodate these changes, but not everyone wants to invest in maternity wear. The alternative is usually to wear baggy, oversized items like baggy tees, oversized denim and loose dresses. For some, this usually means foregoing style to prioritise comfort. This is why Bamboo Body has designed maternity clothing that fits and flatters without compromising on style. Our pieces are designed to grow with you, and can be worn both during and after pregnancy!

The truth is, there's no right or wrong answer when it comes to maternity wear. The key is to find what works for you and your body. If you're unsure about whether or not to invest in maternity clothes, we asked our founder Amanda a few questions about maternity clothing so that you can feel confident in your purchase!

Tell us about yourself

My name is Amanda Naess, I co-founded Bamboo Body with my sister Elouise in 2006. Before we launched Bamboo Body I owned a maternity wear store in Brisbane. It was while working here that I saw the importance of classic flattering styles in breathable comfortable fabrics were important to pregnant ladies, especially here in Brisbane where it can be brutally hot while pregnant. Bamboo Body was born from listening to my in-store customers, and soon we had the demand to expand our range to be a label for everybody, pregnant or not. I started these businesses before starting my family, and I now have two children aged 14 and 10.

When should you start buying maternity clothes?

The best time to buy maternity clothes is as soon as your regular clothes are starting to feel restrictive or too tight. For me, this was as early as 6 weeks pregnant. It's best not to try and suffer with uncomfortable ill fitting or oversized clothes. It can do wonders for your mental health to spoil yourself with some comfortable clothes that fit well and allow your body to grow and change while keeping your sense of style. If you leave it until later in your pregnancy, you will kick yourself for suffering so long!

What should you look for when buying maternity clothes?

The clothing you wear when you are pregnant often gets a real workout. The number of outfits you have available to wear is a lot smaller generally so it's important to invest in good quality pieces that will wash and wear well. Selecting versatile pieces that can be mixed and matched and dressed up or down for the occasion means you get the most out of your clothing and takes the headache away from thinking of what to wear each day.

Breathable fabric is important as it is common to feel hot and sweaty during pregnancy due to increased blood flow. Also, opt for fabric that has stretch! Your body goes through amazing changes, it can be hard to believe just how big you will get, but you will be thankful for some stretch room.

Why do you think bamboo clothing is good for maternity wear?

Bamboo clothing is soft against the skin, is breathable and absorbs sweat. The stretch in the fabric means the clothing will grow with you and adjust to your shape. Bamboo Body maternity clothes can also be worn post pregnancy, so they're a great investment for the new stage of your life. The versatility of our designs means you can lounge in comfort at home and be visitor ready or fit to pop to the shops if need be without having to change. It's also important to have easy care fabrics. When you are tired and busy (and if you're like me, extra clumsy!), having easy to care fabrics that can be washed easily in the washing machine, can be worn again the next day and don't require a trip to the laundromat or special care becomes very important. I owned a beautiful silk maternity shirt that quickly looked very tired because I didn't have the time or energy to care for it properly.

What is recommended not to wear during pregnancy?

It's not recommended to wear a conventional underwire bra during pregnancy. The shape of the breast changes a lot during pregnancy as you prepare for breastfeeding, and stiff underwire bras not specifically designed for maternity wear are often the wrong shape and can cut into the breast tissue and be very uncomfortable. It's really important to be professionally fitted for a maternity bra during your pregnancy to allow these changes to comfortably take place, and to give the best support to your breast tissue. The best base for a good maternity outfit always starts with the right supportive underwear!

I also recommend wearing flat, comfortable supportive shoes. I was very sad to say goodbye to my high heels, but heels place extra pressure on your back as your centre of gravity changes, and the extra weight you will be carrying places even more pressure on your feet. My shoe size actually increased by a whole size during pregnancy due to the softening of ligaments caused by the surge of hormones that prepare you for giving birth.  

What would you recommend wearing to hide your bump?

During the earlier stages of pregnancy, you may not have shared your pregnancy news with friends or your workplace but still need to stay comfortable. There can be an awkward in-between stage where your old clothing does not fit, however your bump does not yet look like a proper baby bump. In these stages I would recommend our more flowing styles such as Adele Dress, Liv Top, Samara Dress, Leanne Tunic, Eadie Tee, Relax Singlet, and the Catherine Dress. My favourite when pregnant with my son was the Swing Dress, so cool and floaty in the heat!

What would you recommend wearing to show your bump?

Once you have a noticeable bump and it's obvious that you are pregnant, it's lovely to show off your curves. Any of our ruched styles (Ruched Tank Dress, Ruched Tees & Singlets, Jasper Dress, Selena Dress, 3/4 Sleeve Dress) have plenty of growing room and show off your shape.

Are maternity clothes really necessary?

As someone who is petite I found that buying larger sizes in regular designs just doesn't work. Regular clothing in a larger size also increase in size across the shoulders and other areas of your body that don't grow during pregnancy, leaving you looking like your clothes just don't fit properly! Having nothing to wear can be stressful and make getting ready for your day a chore. The feeling of "I have nothing to wear' adds a complication to your day. Also when your body is going through such big changes, it's essential to feel good about yourself. Ill fitting clothing can leave you feeling quite depressed about the way you look. It's important to maintain your sense of style and identity while you go through these immense changes. But at the end of the day, it's also about feeling comfortable! Your body will ache and expand, you may retain fluid during the day and also sweat more, so maternity clothing in breathable fabrics that is designed to grow with you becomes so important.

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