Before maternity chic became official, women spent a large part of their pregnancy camouflaging their bumps under huge tents or oversized clothes, and ended up looking like bag ladies. Today it’s all about preg-couture, or inventing ways to highlight your new assets- your bump for sure. And definitely your new curves, boobs, hair, skin – whatever looks better than before.
Soon after you cross your ‘look-I-am-still-the-same-size’ zone, which could take three to five months, your anatomy starts protesting. The first shrieks come from your breasts, which are obviously not too happy in the same old bras, however sexy they make you feel. Underwire, which was once the champion of the cleavage (especially for the small-busted), is now the enemy. Every time I wore one of my favourite La Senza bras, I felt breathless, almost in bondage. Sports bras were the next choice for comfort, but your breasts feel strangely vulnerable and unprotected under them.
Eventually, there comes a point when you give in to the ‘support bra’ – those clinically displayed, non-sexy, colourless gear (‘only black and white available,’ they will tell you). When you first look at them, you reel in shock. Which self-respecting woman of moderate style would wear them? They look like your grandmommy’s bras, cover most of your breasts and a large part of your chest. And cleavage? What cleavage? Ergo, you feel like a nun. But, like hell, they are comfortable and make your boobs feel secure and looked after again.
If you found support bras gauche, wait till you get to the nursing bra stage. These are fitted with torture straps (or so they appear to be) in front that allow you to release your boobs, one at a time, without having to undo the bra. I thought it was too much technology for a bra, but a few months later, when I was trying to balance a baby on my boob, prop up a feeding pillow and unhook a bra at the same time in order to nurse, I was thankful. I personally found them comfortable, but opinion seems to be divided on that.
(An excerpt from my book, “I’m Pregnant, Not Terminally Ill, You Idiot!“)