Essential maternity and nursing wear

When I discovered I was pregnant the first time I couldn’t wait to show off my bump. There are so many gorgeous maternity clothes out there for slobbing round the house, going out, work and after the baby is born if you choose to breastfeed.

So with that in mind I went a little crazy stocking up my maternity wardrobe the first time around. I hadn’t fully appreciated the fact that my bump wouldn’t actually kick in until week 20 but I made the most of the clothes anyway. Actually a lot of my buys are still worn now so I consider it money well spent as it means I was comfortable and felt good about myself.

I recycled a lot of the old stuff with my second pregnancy and was thrilled to pull out my old favourites. Although a lot of the brands bring out new designs throughout the year there are some classic staples that will never go out of style and are still for sale on their websites now, three years after I first started maternity wear shopping online.

Without a doubt my favourite brand is Seraphine. I love their beautiful designs which flatter your figure and every curve, including both the pregnancy-related and non-pregnancy-related ones. There material is lovely and soft. They have everything from stylish workwear to comfy workout gear. Their going out dresses include classic LBDs plus beautiful prints. It’s no wonder celebrities including the Duchess of Cambridge love these clothes. One dress, the knot front lavender blossom, sold out after Kate Middleton was spotted wearing it after the birth of Prince George back in 2013. Luckily it’s back in stock and included in my top 10 list below. I wore it to a wedding last year and absolutely loved it. So comfy but really dressy and feminine.

I put the Seraphine nursing shawl in my baby essentials list because it is so versatile. You can wear it during pregnancy as a poncho or scarf and then as a breastfeeding cover.

I also bought several tops from Seraphine that double up as nursing tops for after the baby arrives. My favourite was long line three quarter length sleeve top which I wore over leggings pretty much every other day. This outfit looked good for nipping out to the shops and was so comfy for resting in front of the TV (those were the days!).

I also love Isabella Oliver. Although this range is a little pricier – probably about £100 or just under for most dresses – their designs are classic and flattering. The T-shirt dress has ruching that flatters your bump and shows it off just right. Variations of the dress come with long sleeves and in a tank version. Celebs such as Halle Berry have been papped wearing one.

For jeans you cannot beat Topshop. They have a good choice of designs, both over and under bump, plus they are a great price. Mine were so comfy I didn’t want to give them up post pregnancy.

I really struggled to find a nursing bra that I liked and had to try a few dodgy ones. A lot of them are just plain ugly and look like something a granny would wear, no offence to grannies! In the end I really liked the Blooming Marvellous range at Mothercare. I had to go a size up from my usual but they fit nicely and look pretty.

My best value and hands down most practical purchase has been something that isn’t even classed as maternity or nursing wear. This has been a brilliant breastfeeding fashion hack for me so I thoroughly recommend it. Next does a range of spaghetti strap vest tops that are incredible for nursing. At just £5 they are a bargain. But more importantly they turn any top into a nursing top! Simply pop it on underneath then you can whip that top up and pull the vest top down and your tummy is still covered. This has been great for my confidence when out nursing in public. These tops come in a range of colours. They’re cut low enough to be invisible under most tops I pair them with.

For now the majority of my maternity wear has been packed away. I don’t know if I will have another baby, but I want to keep my gorgeous wardrobe staples just in case I can enjoy them again one day.

My 10 best maternity and nursing wear items:

Seraphine knot dress. £49


Seraphine blossom dress. £52


Seraphine latte long line popper nursing top. £39


Seraphine bamboo nursing shawl. £42


Seraphine Nautical tank top. £25


Seraphine leggings. £15


Topshop under bump maternity jeans. £40


Topshop oversized top. No longer in stock, but there are lots of similar styles to choose from.


Isabella Oliver t-shirt dress. £95


Next vest top. £5


What are your favourite maternity brands and clothes? I would love to hear your recommendations.


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