Not only does maternity wear have a bit of an image problem (lycra, jersey or body-con anyone?) but so too does maternity lingerie. After falling pregnant with number two, a quick online search left me feeling deflated. And I mean that figuratively because my chest was doing quite the opposite. I came across very little in the market that wouldn’t leave me feeling frumpy or self-conscious. I mean, how many women do you know that feel good in beige spandex?
One of the first changes you notice in your body during pregnancy is the size of your boobs. Whatever your starting size, they grow—often dramatically—and investing in good, quality, supportive underwear is a hard purchase to justify when the options are just so fugly. Yes I want comfort, but no I absolutely do not want unflattering. Adding a little hint of lace to an unlined, wide-strapped crop top is not going to make me feel sexy.
I know, I’m being very negative, so let’s get real for a minute. Maternity and feeding bras absolutely have a purpose—they accommodate your changing body, and comfort and convenience is key. Underwire will no longer have a place in your wardrobe but that doesn’t mean you want flat, squished or pointy boobs. Regardless of accepting and celebrating your changing body, pretty underwear is just one of those things that can make you feel so much better about yourself.
Well my fellow lady friends, I am here to tell you that there are two brands you need to know about pre and post-partum (and you’ll also be pleased to know, they offer every day lingerie as well once you require it). I sat down with founders and designers Juliette Harkness and Emma Nelson of new kid on the block Juem and Helene Morris of coveted brand Lonely to find out more about their must-have maternity ranges.
Featuring a 'pull-aside' design this bra is perfect for those middle of the night feeds. This nursing bra is double lined at the front and has room for breast pads.
What inspired the launch of Juem?
We launched Juem in July 2018. Emma and I both being mothers ourselves, we struggled to find maternity bras that felt like a ‘normal bra’. We wanted to create underwear that was designed to make you feel confident in a time of such great change. Our pieces are designed by women for women—and keeping our designs minimalistic, refined and focused on comfort and confidence is our highest priority.
What was most important to you when designing the range?
We wanted to create something a little different—maternity underwear that felt like you’re actually not wearing maternity underwear but your favourite bra and undies. We considered easy feeding styles that offered support, comfort and enough coverage without going overboard on any of these elements.
What can we expect from Juem?
We currently have two maternity specific bras in three colourways and an additional two everyday bras, along with matching briefs. We are launching a premium collection at the beginning of the year which includes new styles and new colours—we want ensure we’re continually evolving with our women.
Our products are a cotton/elastane blend for the ultimate in comfort and we offer a range of finishes—from pull aside to clips, adjustable shoulder straps and fixed straps, so our women can find a fit that they love best.
What's the most important thing to consider when purchasing bras during pregnancy?
Your breasts will fluctuate once your milk comes in, look for a bra that will accommodate this. Wireless is a great option as it allows for growth and stretch and you want to look for comfortable, easy-opening clasps that will make you feel beautiful.
Why should women purchase Juem? What makes you different?
We believe that Juem designs for the unconditional woman —a woman who wants comfort without compromising aesthetics.
This soft cup bra features a maternity clip at the top of the frame which can be easily unfastened with one hand when feeding.
When did you realise there was a gap in the market for maternity lingerie? What was the inspiration for the addition of the maternity category to your already successful Lonely brand?
As a working mother of three I've experienced the frustration of trying to find a stylish, functional bra during pregnancy and feeding. We simply wanted to create the most beautiful & comfortable underwear for motherhood that our customers would love.
What was most important to you when designing the maternity offering?
That our designs didn’t compromise on function, but still fit into your lifestyle with no compromise on personal taste. Supreme comfort is always top of mind.
What do you think Lonely girls want when looking for maternity lingerie?
To feel good in lingerie that they actually want to wear.
What can we expect from Lonely?
We offer two styles to suit needs during different stages