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London's best maternity shops
Being a mother-to-be in London needn't be an uncomfortable frump fest. With some shopping around, it can be a chic and enjoyable experience. We round up the best pregnancy and maternity shops and services in London
The girl who doesn’t want to wave a wistful goodbye to street style should head to American Apparel where she’ll find lots of slouchy jersey styles that fit effortlessly over one’s bump. Check out the ‘Yo Mama!’ section on the website, where you’ll find the brand’s signature cotton spandex jersey leggings at £22 and jersey bandeau dresses for £28. Most styles are available in the usual rainbow of American Apparel shades.
Blossom Mother & Child
Pieces by Sonia Rykiel, See by Chloé and Temperley are cherry-picked to flatter the full-frontal look, with Blossom’s own affordable line sharing the rails.
This handy device, available in black and white, is a few inches thick and helps cover and lift your bump – meaning you can wear some pre-pregnancy tops or trousers (it hides open buttons!). £16.99 each, plus £2.50 postage and packaging.
Elle Macpherson Intimates
The model-cum-designer has created a practical and stylish range of maternity bras including the La Mere nursing bra, £34, and Maternelle non-underwired drop cup bra, £32 online and at John Lewis. You are likely to go up at least one cup size once you’ve given birth so try to get measured as close to your due date a possible to ensure the best fit.
A one-stop shop for sensible maternity basics (and ‘Baby on Board’ button badges). Keep an eye out for European brands including Queen Mum, Belly Button and Hot Milk.
As chic and stylish as maternity wear can get, Isabella Oliver provides a range of elegant dresses – including its dreamy belle époque wedding frock – as well as a range of wrap tops, designer maternity jeans and gorgeous funnel neck jackets.
Affordable styles mirroring the in-store trends such as graphic-print jersey tops, figure-hugging summer frocks in bright floral prints and the best-selling Baxter jeans in maternity styles (with stretchy waist bands).
Brilliant online maternity shop selling a wide range of designer looks at reasonable prices. Seraphine is not only good for office wear and party clothes but also everyday smart-casual items, including its miraculous, award-winning maternity jeans which this tester lived in throughout her pregnancy.
0870 609 2602/www.seraphine.com
The vastly improved fashion website now has a surprisingly strong range of maternitywear – 164 styles at the last count including chic rose-print shift dresses, designer jeans and scoop neck vests in juicy shades from just £8.
Chinti & Parker
So eco-conscious it hurts, brand new babywear label Chinti & Parker use 100 per cent organic cotton, certified by GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standards) via a fair trade cooperative from the Tamil Nadu region of Southern India, and creates knitwear in Dorset via a team of local women knitters. Tough morals aside, Chinti & Parker’s collection is sweetly simple, super-soft (using Italian ‘Loro Piana’ cashmere) and ever-so-slightly posh. Their accompanying debut womenswear collection is out soon, too.
Avoid manmade chemicals and opt for natural and organic products from stretch-mark-busting body oils to luxurious moisturisers. Here are three of the best we’ve tested…
Ligne St Barth
Originating on the Caribbean island of St Barth, this fragrant and natural body range includes a divine avocado oil, rich in vitamins A and E, which can be used all over the hair and body. From £26.36.
Mama Mio’s award-winning Tummy Rub Stretch Mark Oil, £22.50, contains omega oils and is absorbed into the skin quickly. The team says this is the best body oil around thanks to an impressive 15 years of trialling.
These gorgeously indulgent beauty products, all carefully obtained from sustainable sources in the Amazon, incorporate indigenous ingredients such as brazil nut and guarana – the Aromatic All Natural Body Lotion and Organic Aromatherapy Shower Lotion are perfect for mothers-to-be.
Working from her home in Bow, Frances Newman has long been a favourite among Time Out staff. With more than 28 years’ experience as an acupuncturist, Newman treats everything from asthma to fertility problems but she also treats mothers-to-be at key times throughout their pregnancies and can even help turn stubborn breech babies using moxa candles at 36 weeks.
Initial 90-minute session, £65. Call 8980 0219.
Based in Highbury, counselling psychotherapist Dr Mary Harris has almost 30 years’ experience treating people with a variety of issues including addictions, anxiety, phobias and depression. Her UCL degree in clinical hypnotherapy also means she is adept at helping women prepare for childbirth through hypnotherapy – she recommends around four 50-minute sessions in the run-up to the big day.
Hypnotherapy £80 per session, psychotherapy £60 per session (7288 firstname.lastname@example.org).
The National Childcare Trust hosts antenatal classes, social events and baby clothes and toy sales among many other things. Membership is a good way to meet other mums- and dads-to-be in your area so you are in touch with a network of other people going through the same thing. Help and support is offered on everything from birth plans to breast feeding. Recommended.
0870 770 3236/www.nctpregnancyandbabycare.com
Yoga is a calming way of exercising during pregnancy and you’d struggle to find a better class than at Triyoga. Try Nadia Narain’s 90-minute classes on Thursdays and Saturdays, which combine gentle but powerful yoga poses, relaxation techniques and an opportunity to sing and dance with your unborn child. It may sound a little out-there but even for the most cynical mums-to-be it’s a chance to feel not only more bonded with your baby but more supple and prepared for birth.
Triyoga, 6 Erskine Rd, Primrose Hill, NW3 3AJ (7483 3344/www.triyoga.co.uk/www.nadia narain.com). Chalk Farm tube. Pregnancy yoga with Nadia Narain 11.45am-1.15pm Thur, 12.45-2.15pm Sat.
Alchemy spiritual healing
Pregnancy can be a time of soul-searching and moments of anxiety so a session with Ra J Ansems at Camden yoga centre Alchemy can be an enlightening experience. A trained physiotherapist, Ansems uses kinesiology (muscle testing to find out problem areas) with Reiki, healing and a little psychic channelling to help ‘clear the physical, emotional, chemical and energetic bodies of unwanted baggage’. This tester, who was told her baby was a dancer from Chicago in a former life, floated out the therapy room in a near zombie-like state. Strictly for the open-minded.
Alchemy, Unit 101, Stables Market, Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8AH (7267 6188/www.alchemycentre.co.uk). Chalk Farm tube.
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This is a really useful article! The standard high-street really lacks good maternity stuff. If you are tired are trawling the shops I have found Notonthehighstreet and www.lulibelle.co.uk have some really different things
I am just back from a w-e looking for maternity clothes. Here where to go (please note that not all the stores has got the maternity dept): - PRETTY PREGNANT in kings road. Essentially is ESPRIT branded stuff. Good choice for jeans (if you are not very tall) - HARRODS (BUT the maternity dept is only 10 sq meters, and the clothes are quite expensive.. true religion, mission, and only few items under 100 pd) - GAP: the one in regents street beside selfridges has more stuff and better displaied. Good choice for jeans, average price, and nice clothes! - TOPSHOP in oxford circus: small dept, topshop style and price. - MAMAS&PAPAS: regent street in front of Apple. Very few things, no good for jeans, average price. - H&M in regent street in fornt of Apple. Small dept but good for cheap jeans ans some basic stuff. H&M style and price.
I don't know why H&M maternity doesn't show up in this list i got all my basics and my trousers from there and they fit amazingly, and so cheap!!