One thing I really struggled to find while packing for our Australia babymoon was maternity hiking/outdoors gear - I didn't want to just buy oversized regular gear that won't fit once Nug is here, so here are my favourite maternity pieces that I'd love to recommend, plus some brilliant accessories.
Disclosure: Some of these clothes were gifted in order for me to review them and some I bought myself, but as always, all opinions are my own and honest - I just wanted to pass on some recommendations for fellow pregnant travellers!
Maternity fleece by Mother and Nature
While searching for comfortable maternity outdoor wear I came across Mother and Nature, a fab British brand that makes beautiful maternity clothes designed to grow with your bump on all your adventures, including this gorgeously soft maternity fleece - I love the expandable side zips (see photos below) which means I can make the fleece bigger as my bump grows, and then smaller again once Nug is hiking with us next year!
The fleece is so cosy, but beautifully thin and easy to roll up in my rucksack. I wore it on the plane, while waiting for the sun to rise at Uluru, in the evenings in Sydney (we visited in September so days were cool and breezy) and on the Great Ocean Road where the weather was decidedly more British and fresh than Tropical Queensland where we had just flown down from! I've also taken the fleece camping in our van conversion in the UK, it's perfect for that first cup of tea on chilly campsite mornings and for sitting round the fire at night.
Maternity hiking trousers by Mountain Warehouse
We love Mountain Warehouse for outdoor gear - we have their hiking boots, their half zip micro fleeces and it's also where we got our big backpacks for our trip around Vietnam and Cambodia. I had a look at their Maternity line and was really impressed by their Maternity Hiker Stretch Womens trousers - even better for 5 foot shorties like me, they come in a short length!
The hiking trousers are a comfortable, light canvas-like material which is quick drying and also offers UPF 50+ sun protection. They're really versatile - I used them as windproof trousers for breezy coastal walks, in rainforest to avoid bug bites and they were also cool enough to use for sun protection as I walked the Uluru base trail!
The maternity hiking trousers have a soft, ribbed over bump panel which is really stretchy and comfortable. It can be tightened or loosened by an elastic strap with a button, so the trousers can grow with your belly and be worn as soon as your bump pops (I got these at about 3 months pregnant when my tummy was still pretty flat, and even on the smallest setting the over bump panel was a bit baggy, but once you have more of a bump to fill them out they look great)!
Accessories I'd recommend for travelling while pregnant:
Compression socks by Not Your Grandmas
If you've read my guide to second trimester travel, you'll know that wearing flight socks or compression socks is relly important in pregnancy. as my midwife likes to keep reminding me, pregnancy is thrombotic condition (meaning something that puts you at higher risk of blood clots and deep vein thrombosis), so for flights of 4 hours plus, you should be wearing anti DVT socks.
However! I was adamant that I wouldn't be wearing grundy beige "granny socks" on my babymoon, and my search for "snazzy flight socks" led me to Not Your Grandmas. They have loads of fab, fun designs from flowers to sharks to dinosaurs - mine are the Space socks. They're really comfortable, soft and stay up well, as well as being nicely tight and squeezy.
Not Your Grandmas has an Instagram page run by founder Hannah where she often posts discount codes and new designs along with educational posts about living with chronic illness.
UV protective brolly from the Stick and Cane Shop
Another pregnancy symptom I've had to keep an eye on is overheating - walking around in the blazing sunshine can make me feel overwhelmed pretty quickly, so as well as a sun hat (see below), an umbrella with added UPF 50+ protection is fantastic for keeping the sun off.
This little brolly folds up small enough to be handbag size, but is also big enough when open to cover my head, shoulders and upper back. It made such a difference while walking around Sydney and Brisbane when the sun was beating down, and I also took it to Uluru in case the sun got intense while I was walking the base trail.
The beautiful colourful pattern is called Madden Fruit by William Morris and as well as having added UVF 50+ protection it also works as a normal umbrella in rain!
Wide brimmed hat with UV protection from Mountain Warehouse
As we already said, avoiding sunburn and overheating in pregnancy is really important. Choose a wide brimmed hat to keep the sun off your face, neck and shoulders - in this photo I'm wearing this one from Mountain Warehouse which has added protective 50+ UPF to block radiation from the sun. It's really lightweight and is squashable for easy packing, plus it has an adjustable chin strap for windy weather/boat trips.
UPF 50+ Rash Vest
Pregnant skin burns more easily than non pregnant skin, especially where it is stretched like across my bump and boobs. Because of this, I wasn't that fussed about getting a suntan in Australia - not only is the sun very intense down under, but constantly reapplying factor 50 to my much larger body is BORING!
While I was on the beach I wore a UPF 50+ rash vest to keep the sun's UV rays off my skin. I love rash vests. They're super stretchy, quick drying and an absolute lifesaver for protecting my shoulders and back when I'm snorkelling.
Pin this blog for later!