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Maternity Fashion - Creating Layered Looks

Maternity fashion: Layered looks

It's perfectly normal to experience changeable body temperatures during pregnancy. One minute you're hot and peeling off clothing, the next you're layering up with cardigans and coats! The reason for your constantly changing temperature is the fluctuating hormone levels in your body during pregnancy, which increase blood flow to your skin and boost your body's metabolism by about 20%, generating more body heat. In fact, during pregnancy, a woman's body temperature rises to about 37.8 degrees Celsius, slightly higher than normal body temperature.

The easiest way to deal with the change in your body temperature during pregnancy is to layer your clothing, creating your outfit from the inside out and allowing you to peel off or pile on several layers to match your environment.

Thinking about what you will need for both indoors and outdoors, start with a bottom layer similar to what you would wear in summer; a lightweight singlet or a cool T-shirt. Follow this with a long-sleeved shirt and a sweater, then a jacket or coat if needed, enabling you to shed some of the layers when you start warming up.

A smart but simple maternity dress ideal for the office in a solid colour, paired with a long-sleeved top or cardigan, allows you to peel off layers when you start to overheat, but still looks good underneath. If you need to wear tights or leggings, ensure you're comfortable about taking them off when you're feeling hot. Carry an oversized handbag with you, as it's handy for storing all those extra layers you're shedding or adding on!

Stick to natural materials like lightweight cotton, as it's breathable but will still keep you toasty. Experiment a little; combine stylish floral prints with solid fashion colours. Mix and match layers, building on what you already own by adding pieces to create interesting combinations of outfits.

Boob tubes and belly bands are also versatile and useful pieces to layer, and they will take you through pregnancy, post-baby, and breastfeeding, as they hold your jeans up, cover your bump, suck in your saggy bits, and hide your bare skin when feeding!

Breastfeeding is another time when layering will serve you well, as your body temperature will fluctuate, especially in the beginning when your hormones are still regulating themselves and you may find yourself peeling off clothing because you feel like you're experiencing a heat wave in the middle of winter! Invest in some good-quality breastfeeding-friendly singlets or tank tops, which you can wear beneath a long-sleeved top or jumper for easy breastfeeding access.

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