Enter the maternity section of any store underwear department and you’ll be met with bulging racks of hard, unforgiving cups, cumbersome clip systems and designs that seem altogether too large to ever go under your clothes. Essentially, the opposite of the sexy, sleek designs one rack over that used to be your MO. And why? If motherhood is meant to be beautiful, why is the underwear that caters for it so ugly? It was this line of thinking that inspired the Byron Bay-based (and decidedly non-maternity) maternity wear label
While you don’t need something that looks and feels like a medieval breastplate, you do need a bra that supports. Look for a wider back band, adjustable straps and room for breast pads — because at some point in your breastfeeding journey you’ll need breast pads to catch leaks and having bras that easily accommodates them is just one less thing to worry about. “Our bras accommodate breast pads, but they are not as full coverage as traditional maternity bras and don’t include a full layer of fabric at the sides to make the clips or buttons work.”
Having a baby requires a range of underwear. If you’re a high-waisted undies lover, you might find your favourites unwearable during pregnancy, while low-cut briefs are a no-go after birth, especially if you have a Caesarean. Emma’s recommendation? “Something soft, comfortable with plenty of flex and breathable with soft elastic so they don’t dig in.” Low cuts are great for that last trimester because they fit smoothly and comfortably under your bump, while high-waisted ones offer great coverage for postnatal.
“Look for something you feel good in,” says Emma. “Pre and post-natal dressing is tricky! I found I couldn’t wear the same things as I had previously because my body was such a different shape, so my best advice is to just roll with it, know that it’s not forever and find something that makes you feel good.” Just as a great blazer can make you feel professional and a blow-dry can make you feel like a bombshell, nice underwear can make you feel put together — especially when you’re seeing it every three hours to feed your baby. “We all go through such a big change physically and mentally when we have children, and it can become quite overwhelming. Something as simple as a nice pair of underwear can lift your mood, and when you’re a new mum or you’re about to be, it’s these subtle shifts in mood that have all the power.”