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Pregnant in Beirut: Real Advice From 9-Months Pregnant Rola

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10 Questions on Maternity-Wear, Buying Bras & Getting Dressed

Meet Rola, she is one of our really close friends here in Beirut, and we love this very pregnant mommy to shreds. We've basically accompanied her throughout the journey of her pregnancy, and can't wait for the day to meet the little munchkin (in fact she's due this week!).

We nudged Rola to do this feature for us (actually we kind of bullied her into it) because she's really just fantastic at saying everything like it is - in other words mommys-to-be, you can really take what she's saying to heart.

So here is what she has to say, enjoy and don't forget to add your comments or questions in the boxes below.

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1. Buying a new (bigger) bra is usually the first maternity-specific item that a pregnant woman will buy. Is there any specific advice about what type of bra a pregnant woman should consider? Or avoid?

I would suggest getting something that is really soft against the skin and not too lacey. Key point is comfort when it comes to such an essential. You’re going to be so uncomfortable throughout the pregnancy that any extra bit of comfort will be welcome.

2. What’s your favorite maternity store in Beirut? Or what are the ones you actually know? (If any)

To put it mildly, there are no maternity stores in Beirut despite those that claim to be. I did visit one that proved to be a life savior for just two reasons: Basic pregnancy shorts, and pregnancy tights. The tights (2 cotton ones in black and grey and one faux-leather in black) were the best thing that happened to me this pregnancy. I would just put them on with a long sweater, tunic, or white oversized shirt and basically you get the idea of how “varied” my style would be! But the main thing is that it was the only thing that would make me comfortable as they had high waists that fit below the bust and made room for the growing belly (the store is called Formes Future Maman and is in Clemenceau).

3. What do you do if there are no cool/good maternity store options? Do you buy oversized clothes from regular stores or online?

I was sorely tempted to buy things online but the only online store that I had heard of would not deliver to Lebanon. I also didn’t feel that I wanted to spend money on pregnancy outfits. For tops and shirts, I would just buy items that were two or three sizes bigger.

4. When you do buy maternity-like clothes from regular stores, what are the 3-5 most essential pieces every pregnant woman has to buy?

To me it was crisp white shirts that I could pair with a vest, and loose and short dresses.

5. Are there online stores that you’ve tried and recommend buying maternity clothes from and shipping them to Beirut?

None that I can remember at the moment.

6. What’s the best part about dressing up when you’re preggers?

Dreaming about dressing up when the nine months are over! Seriously though, I think pregnancy is a time where fashion takes a secondary role to all the other hormones and emotions your body is going through.

7. What’s the crappiest part about dressing up when you’re preggers?

Feeling disproportionate. I am now 9 months in and feel like a watermelon perched on two straws!

8. Did your feet get swollen throughout the pregnancy? Does that mean you have to buy bigger size shoes?

Thankfully, they did not! Can you imagine how much more negative I would have sounded by now if they had… Being able to wear the same shoes was and is a blessing I suppose. Putting on nice heels could sometimes cure that fashion itch.

9. Where can pregnant ladies buy breastfeeding bras from? Are there any post-pregnancy items that they need to consider buying while still pregnant?

You can buy from Zahar Lingerie, Hatab, Mama’s and Papa’s, Oysho, etc… There’s no lack in this department.

10. Any other advice about maternity-wear for the all fist time pregnant ladies out there?

Pregnancy is such a whirlwind of ups and downs that I think worrying about how fashionable you look in the midst of all of it can only be frustrating. Looking good will definitely put your spirits up but I wouldn’t go get a new maternity trousseau..make do with high street brands that you wouldn’t mind throwing out or not using later! Also, if you can get away with it wear short shorts and short dresses, they’ll make you feel feminine and comfortable!

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A team of writers constantly on the hunt for everything and anything there is to know about local fashion.

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