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Keep warm with maternity outerwear

When should you get maternity outerwear?

Maternity outerwear, including coats and jackets, are essential for ensuring that pregnant women are comfortable and protected when heading outdoors during the cooler months and potentially frigid winters.

It's wise to wait until right before the season to choose a maternity coat or jacket so you have a better idea of how you're growing and what size you will need. That said, in most cases, you can go with your usual pre-pregnancy size in the maternity equivalent and take advantage of features like removable panels so the coat grows with you.

What time of year it will be during the latter parts of your pregnancy will help determine whether you need a thicker jacket to function as a maternity winter coat, like a parka or puffer, a thinner maternity jacket like a raincoat or windbreaker, or both.

What maternity outerwear is available?

Choose from the most common types of outerwear in maternity styles, like polyester lined and filled puffer jackets and fur, down, or feather-filled parkas of varying lengths, from those that sit at your thigh to ones that fall down below your knees. For warmer weather, there are thin, lightweight raincoats and windbreakers made of material like nylon. Maternity trench coats offer a dressier look.

Maternity jackets come in various colours, from basic black, khaki, and navy to beige, light pink, bright red, and eggshell, and sizes from extra small up to extra-large. As noted, they usually correspond with your regular sizing, so if you're normally a woman's medium, a medium maternity coat will probably fit.

A versatile feature of maternity jackets is removable panels that allow you to adjust the fit as your belly grows, and even keep wearing it after pregnancy.

What should you look for in maternity outerwear?

Make sure that it will fit. In most cases, the same size maternity equivalent should work, especially if the outerwear has removable panels. But if you are gaining a lot of weight, you might be more comfortably going up a size.

Get a waterproof jacket that provides sufficient protection for the season, from the cold, rain, wind, or all of the above. Take into consideration that pregnancy also tends to make women feel warmer than usual so you might not need a thick or long coat to get through a mild winter. Depending on when you'll be in the second and third trimesters, it might be useful to get both a thicker and thinner jacket to accommodate the changing weather.

A hood is always handy in any type of coat; a removable hood is even better in case it gets in the way of comfort during warmer days. A jacket that is machine-washable is a plus.

Look for a relaxed fit that isn't too tight and that's lightweight since you'll already be carrying around extra pounds as it is. Kangaroo pockets with large open spaces for keeping your hands warm, or carrying around items, can be useful.