Maternity Corset (1908)
One of the hard things in Norway is finding maternity clothes as there are not many speciality stores for maternity wear. However, quite often you can find a maternity section in the regular stores – at the moment H&M has a maternity line in store. I don’t know how long it will last as I have seen other maternity lines from stores, like Kappahl, disappear. A good place to always find maternity clothes is the baby store Reflex, although the clothes are more expensive.
If you are on a budget (like me) go to the plus size sections of Kappahl and H&M. They have a lot more options than usual maternity sections. Usually you will wear your maternity clothes for nearly two seasons – the season leading up to your birth and the season after birth – so it is important to buy clothes that will do you for all of that time. Therefore, I think it is best to buy normal plus size clothes that will expand and contract – like skirts with elastic waistbands or peasant tops – so you can wear them after birth also. It’s a lot nicer than having to wearing clothes with kangaroo pouches in the front when you don’t have a need for it any more.
The other good thing about the regular stores is that you can buy clothes on sale. I must say, I am a regular at the ‘salg’ section. (I still can’t get used to the ‘expensiveness’ of things in Norway but quite often, when I work it out, clothes on sale in Norway are generally three times cheaper than oz!) Most often you can by clothes up to 80% off on the sales racks. There is always a good selection of ‘bigger’ clothes on the rack too – great for pregnancy. When my clothes are only 5o kroner each it doesn’t bother me so much knowing I will only wear them for six months and then have to give them away. The trick to buying the ‘nicer/trendier’ looking clothes is to just pop into the stores regularly and scan over the sale racks. When you see something you like – buy it ;D. This means you can buy clothes as you go for your growing body (which is very handy because sometimes you don’t know what shape or what size will fit at certain growth stages.)
Leggings are very good for both before and after pregnancy (and they always seem to be in style for wearing under dresses or coats in Norway). Leggings are a good cover up if you can’t reach your legs to shave any more…lol. And since it is not good for pregnant women to wear tight pantihose or stockings (as they don’t let the blood flow properly), you can buy leggings a couple of sizes up.
Peasant shirts are also popular in Norway and they have a perfect base to go over your belly. I like wearing t-shirts and buy from the guys sections at stores as I’m a bit of a tom-boy. I make sure to buy shirts I know Moose would like so he can wear them after me.
In the winter I have found it hard to buy jackets that cover my belly without getting a giant size. I therefore buy a size that fits me over the shoulders but would still not cover my belly – that way I will be able to still wear it after I’ve had the baby. Then I just wear a jumper or thick skivvy underneath to cover my belly. (Your belly keeps you warm anyway – just like having a hot water bottle with you all the time.) some women also wear a belly belt which give extra warmth. Also, just add a good thick scarf that hangs down the front.
The hardest things to work with are shoes as your feet are likely to get bigger or swell. Shoes are very important especially in Winter for safety. I already had these good winter boots that have the sock inserts. When my feet got bigger I just took out the inserts and wore just my thick woollen socks. It worked perfectly. I could also add studs to the bottom of the boots when it got very icy. In summer, stores like obs! sell cheap plastic sand shoes that are good for the beach or park. If you buy them a little looser than normal then you can grow into them…lol.
When buying bras to fit my growing body I buy good support nursing bras. That way I can save money because I wear them before birth and after birth. (You will need more bras than you think. When my breasts get too big and in the way I wear bras to bed to sleep more comfortably. And of course it is good to do this while you are nursing so you can put breast pads in to stop you from leaking all over the bed.)
I like to help out the environment whenever I can and buying recycled clothes is one of the top ways of being green. It makes sense if you are only going to be wearing clothes for six months. If you are getting bigger in Spring then you can capitalise on the flea season. (Alta is a junk collectors paradise!) Spring cleaning starts after the snow melts and people donate hordes of stuff – all their ‘good’ junk – to schools that resell to raise money. The funny thing about Norwegians is they never give anything away to charity unless it is good enough to still keep! Schools advertise their trash and treasure days at shopping centres and around the neighbourhood. These markets are a great place to find a bargain to fit your growing belly. You’d be amazed at how much perfectly good clothes Norwegians throw/give away. You are certainly guaranteed to find a bargain – you just have to be early as good things go fast.
Of course, there are the regular second-hand stores/charities but I have never found these to be as good as flea markets or regular stores. Another thing I have done to save money on maternity clothes is to buy them from another country. I guess you could buy them online, but I prefer to go to London, Prague or even Sweden, because I like to try before I buy – what better reason for a weekender than to buy clothes! I went to London earlier this year and found some really cute maternity clothes. Of course, it is only safe to travel by air in your 2nd trimester, so you are restricted to a three month period. But it is really nice to be able to ‘get out’ while you still can, before you have a little one clinging to your leg for the next five years.
If you have any tips on how to keep a budget when buying maternity clothes in Norway, feel free to share.
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