A blog about the healthcare system, and culture, in Thailand in relation to getting pregnant, having a baby, pregnancy loss and miscarriage specifically here in The Land of Smiles.
I take the most likely of 'healthcare and lifestyle events', research them in the context of the western world and compare them to Thailand experiences.
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Wednesday, 18 January 2017
Knocked up....now what? Maternity Clothes in Bangkok
I'm 23 weeks pregnant and trying to squeeze into my non maternity dresses is making me look like
Ursula from the Little Mermaid
cue panic attack as I stare into my wardrobe.
I'm not an avid shopper (although my husband may say different) but I am quite good at keeping key pieces that do come out year after year and work with new trends.
I am super lucky that some forward thinking a few years ago meant that I purchased two bamboo maxi dresses from Zhai in Singapore. Not only are they proving to grow with me, the bamboo is super soft but they are also black (which is perfect for a country that is in one year of mourning).
So I had something relatively practical and smart to go out in.
They are perfect "in between" dresses, can be dressed up with some jewellery, but can also slouch around at home or by a pool chatting in them.
(Top Tip - at the moment I am loving jewellery from Maison de Siam, which has been set up by an English couple sourcing ethical handcrafted jewellery in Thailand and giving generoursly back to the community, currently only available in the UK, but contact them for more details)
Unfortunately (mostly for my husband) I have also given in to waste bands almost entirely - they are uncomfortable at the best of times but now they feel like they are a tourniquet around my poor babies neck, and my bladder!
I had slipped into a habit of sitting around at home in not much more than my knickers....not a good look!
Fortunately, as my husband pointed out, there are some great, very cheap, stretchy options in Thailand, that can be picked up at places like MBK very easily for THB300-400. I have to admit that the elastic at the top is not the most supportive so these are strictly my 'lounge around at home dresses', but I couldn't live without them, and they are a little more elegant than sitting around in my knickers!
Now, if you are just here to pick up some hints and tips on where to get summer maternity clothes in Bangkok, then please see the table below for a (hopefully) helpful list of where you can try to find clothes that will fit.
Please bear in mind though that even at their fattest, Thai girls are not born to the same proportions as many foreigners, so you may still find that arms are little too tight or waist lines a little too high, but then again an oversized cotton shirt is an oversized cotton shirt and can be dressed up or down, so you will always find some thing that works.
Now in the meantime, I had an emergency!
A trip back to the UK and a weekend in Finland in January.
Instead of my normal delight at wearing my skinny jeans, knee high boots and cashmere jumpers I entered a spiral of panic, all I could think about was how cold I would be wearing MBK summer dresses in the middle of winter back home!
So I asked around and was told that H&M in Central World has a maternity range, that is coincidentally useless for Thailand as it is mostly jeans and jumpers - hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah
So bump and I went shopping!
It transpires that the shop has less choice than the website but there was enough to get me started.
I choose to stick to key items, that would co-ordinate with my leather knee high boots or navy pumps.
For the plane I wanted to be comfy.
So I choose maternity joggers (THB999) and options for layering on the top
THB 500 (sale item)
THB200 (sale item)
Navy blue maternity jeans @ THB1,399 and cream and navy maternity jumper @ THB1,099
Navy blue maternity jeans @ THB1,399 and beige maternity jumper @ THB500 (sale item)
But this didn't solve every problem and most importantly my one and only winter coat was not going to co-operate and stretch around my expanding waist line.
A quick look on The Mummy Club, Thailand and I discovered that many people get their winter clothes from Uniqlo. Whilst they don't have a maternity range I hoped that by utilising the right shapes and sizes I could get away with some key pieces.
I was convinced that layering was the way to go, so I layered up two outer layers
Ultra light down vest @ THB990 (sale item)
Blocktech coat @ THB2,990
I also stocked up on thermal options for inner wear layering
Heattech extra warm turtle neck t shirt @ THB390 Heattech crew neck t-shirt @ THB390
and then treated myself to a "show off the bump" ribbed cotton stripped long dress @ THB790
and just as I was leaving the shop I saw this amazing bargain, that could hide an elephant under it let alone a baby bump!
Sweat 3/4 sleeve tunic @ THB590 (sale item) which I teamed with some Heattech tights in navy @ THB 290
I did also sneak back to H&M to buy a grey pair of maternity jeans from H&M to go with this green maternity jumper I had spotted.
So, I was confidently set up with maternity wear for heading back home...probably too set up, it just about fit in the suitcase!
UPDATE @ 1st February - it was all perfect. I honestly couldn't have taken a better wardrobe home with me. It all co-ordinated well and I was never cold. The down vest and blocktech combo were an immense success in Finland in particular.
UPDATE @ 28th February - even though Bangkok is considerably hotter than the UK or Finland in January, I am surprised to find myself wearing most of the clothes I purchased, with obviously a few wardrobe rematches.
The striped dress is great for showing off the bump and I love to wear it in the evening for meeting friends for dinner, when the air con can get a little chilly in restaurants. AND I LOVE LOVE LOVE maternity jeans - why oh why did no one tell me about these before. I wear them all the time with long vest tops, they give lovely support and hide the fact that I can no longer reach my legs to shave them!
Although I still live in my black maxi dresses and MBK specials, when I need to be super comfy at home!