When you’re pregnant with your first baby, there’s so many choices to make. A huge part of preparing can be avoiding the toxins that you and your newest family member could be exposed to - in your environment, your food, and what you wear. If you’ve already made the transition to a sustainable lifestyle when it comes to the clothes you buy, you’re familiar with what to look out for. But pregnant bodies have their own sets of requirements and needs, and finding the right silhouette that makes you comfortable can be just as complicated as finding the right company that reflects your values.
As with any green shopping odyssey, the best place to start is with second hand. You may have some friends who have already gone through pregnancy, or you can make more mom friends through networking groups. Since some folks will have only worn their maternity wear through one pregnancy, there might be quite a lot of mileage left in those clothes. If none of your mom friends or network are your size, it can be challenging to find suitable clothes in your local vintage shop - but you can use neighborhood boards or thrifting websites. Sites like PoshMark might not have a specific maternity tab in their preset categories, but you can just plug it into the search bar and filter by size.
There are also a few easy hacks you can master without the need of a sewing machine if you aren’t quite ready to give your pre-pregnancy wardrobe a break. A classic waistband extender will work for early on, but then you’ll need something a little more robust. If you have a snug fitting shirt or sweater that comes to tunic length, it’ll be your best friend - you can use elastic to keep the fly of your pants from flopping open and pull this on to keep your silhouette tidy. Since your bra size will change at least a couple of times, you can perhaps skip buying some of those bras by purchasing a bra extender - they come in various colors and hook sets, either online or at craft stores. These are time-buyers, not meant to take you through all 9 months.Also, since not all pregnant bodies fill out the same way, you’ll want to determine dressing strategies dependent on whether you’re carrying high or low.
Once it comes time to invest in your baby bump capsule wardrobe, there are a few ethical specialty clothing lines available to you. Many of the eco-friendly clothing lines that specialize in clothing for pregnant bodies also build in features for nursing or other postpartum needs. This can really add value and wear time to make these investments worth the added costs that are involved when clothes are made ethically and sustainably.
Across many green and family blogs, the brand that is mentioned most often is Boob. A Swedish brand that sources 97% (by weight) sustainable fabric, Boob certifies all of their products using the Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX. This certification tests clothing to ensure that unhealthy chemicals or materials are not present and are safe to wear next to the skin. Boob makes tops, dresses, sleepwear, underwear and swimwear, as well as a few other categories - even jumpsuits. All of the clothing that covers the bust does double duty as maternity and nursing suitable clothing.
Though they carry a wide variety of conventionally-produced brands, Figure8 does offer a few organic selections on their site: USA-based Majamas bras and sleepwear, nursing and maternity tops and dresses by Singapore-based Mothers In Vogue, and Boob as well. Both Majamas and Mothers In Vogue have fairly opaque sustainability practices but do manufacture with natural, organic fibers.
There are some brands that are designing specifically for the curves of a growing belly, but there are also some shopping cheats you can use to make more options for yourself. Narrowing the search to ethical fashion lines already can provide few choices. Sustainable lines are often great sources for flowing dresses, stretchy knitwear and cozy cardigans - all excellent choices for a pregnant body. Plus you’ll be able to wear them as your body changes through breastfeeding and postpartum, meaning you’ll really have made a green investment. And try to remember through all your body’s present and future changes to celebrate it as the beautiful powerhouse it is!