In terms of clothes, nine months can feel like a very long time, covering several seasons. So even if you don't plan to kit yourself out in a whole maternity wardrobe, you'll need at least a few key items - not to mention some new underwear - to help you look and feel your best while pregnant.
Below are some addresses and brands to check out for:
With the range of maternity clothes on the market, you should be able to find items that suit your own personal style. Remember though that special maternity clothes are often more expensive than their non-maternity peers, so think about looking for non-maternity clothes that might be able to adapt to your expanding bump.
Think carefully about comfort too - many women find that in late pregnancy, waistbands (even on maternity clothes) can be unbearable, especially if you still have to be sitting at a desk, so you might want to favour looser, stretchier models. Read this article What to wear when you're pregnant (from the Channel 4 website) which includes some good tips.
Many H&M stores carry their 'Mama' maternity range, which usually has good basics including stretchy t-shirts (many of which can be used as breastfeeding tops after the birth) and jeans, office wear as well as more dressy items. Check the store locator to see if your local store stocks maternity clothes.
Some branches of Belgium's well-loved department store have maternity departments stocking the brand Noppies.
Various locations in Brussels and across Belgium. Maternity wear also available via the Esprit webshop.
All Prémaman shops carry maternity wear, many also stocking underwear. Several addresses in Brussels and across Belgium.
Various locations in Brussels and across Belgium. Maternity wear also available via the C&A webshop.
Mothercare - website
There are currently two Mothercare shops in Belgium (both in Brussels) that stock small collections of maternity clothes and underwear.
You can find a great selection of the most popular brands of maternity wear (including swimwear and underwear) - well-loved Belgian maternity brand Fragile, Queen Mum, Noppies, 7 for all mankind, mama-licious, Esprit Maternity, Queen Mu and Mit Mat Mama, Sara, Menonove, Pomkin, Belly Button, and many more - in many maternity boutiques. Here are a few popular boutiques:
Bella Belli - website
Several locations in Belgium including 60 Rue Dansaert, 1000 Brussels
- Tutti e Due - website
129 Bondgenotenlaan, 3000 Leuven
Kangarou - un ventre pour deux - website
47 Weiveldlaan, 1930 Zaventem
359 Chaussée de Louvain, 5004 Bouge (Namur)
Neuf Mois Belle - website
Chaussée de Ninove 247, 1700 Dilbeek
Boobs n' Burps - website and webshop
157 Itterbeeksebaan, 1701 Dilbeek
20 Gijzelaarsstraat, 2000 Antwerpen
Although it can be nice to try before you buy, depending on where you live, how busy you are and how you feel about shopping, online shopping may be for you! As well as the webshops mentioned above, here are some other online retailers you might like to check out (and that deliver to Belgium):
Isabella Oliver - webshop
Famous for her stretchy, jersey garments, Isabella Oliver has become a cult maternity brand offering understated style. While on the expensive side, quality is good and many items will still look great even after your pregnancy.
next - webshop
Popular UK brand combining fashion and reasonable prices. Good for jeans!
Mamas n papas - webshop
Trendy, affordable maternity clothes, including swimwear and underwear.
Whether you're trying to keep down the cost, thinking about the environment, or just are not inspired by what you find new, buying second-hand maternity clothes may be an option.
Brussels Childbirth Trust (BCT) Nearly New Sale
Held twice a year, the BCT Nearly New Sale has a maternity clothes section where you can find some great bargains (while also hunting for baby items you might need). Everything is in ‘nearly new’ condition, as the name suggests. Also open to non-members. See the BCT website for details of the next sale
If you shop wisely, you can find great bargains on gently used maternity clothes. There is much more on offer on the UK ebay site, though not all sellers will be happy to post internationally (though it's often worth asking).
Other Belgian and European second-hand sites, e.g. www.2ememain.be, www.petitesannonces.be, www.preloved.co.uk (in the UK), www.tweedehands.nl (in the Netherlands) - these kind of sites can be good for finding 'bundles' of second-hand maternity clothes (and other baby items).
During your pregnancy, you bra size may increase by a cup or two - and you will probably get even larger after your baby is born. Although some experts recommend waiting until the last month of pregnancy to get properly fitted for a breastfeeding bra, you probably won't want to wait that long, so some intermediary maternity / breastfeeding bras may well be needed much earlier.
Note: maternity bras usually do not have drop-down cups and so are not suitable for breastfeeding.
Here are some good addresses for maternity / breastfeeding underwear:
Boobs n' Burps - website and webshop
Itterbeeksebaan 157, 1701 Dilbeek and Gijzelaarsstraat 20, 2000 Antwerpen
Boutique specialising in all things breastfeeding, with bras from well-known and trusted maternity brands including Anita, Boob, Amoralia and Bravado. Measuring service available.