Each and every year we get a bunch of reader questions that center around maternity winter coats. Are they worth the money? Are there any non-maternity options that work? Anything affordable? It's a toughie. So I went right to the experts: our readers.
Here's what our very experienced readers recommended over & over & over again (and in some cases, with pics to prove it!).
1. Try A Cape, Poncho or a Swingy Coat
This was, hands-down, our reader's most-recommended option (and also what I did with both pregnancies). At first blush, it doesn't sound all that great - how much swing is needed? And a cape? Really? Is it warm enough?
But here's the thing: Pregnant Mamas get hot. As reader Erin pointed out: I just wore a poncho, I was too hot to wear a real coat - the best part of being preggers!
I agree. Typically, I'll need a sweater in anything less than 82 degrees. Yet while pregnant? This is what I wore - even in WINTER:
I also had a 3/4 sleeve wool swing coat (that you can see here) for colder days, and I'd layer with a sweater underneath. Long gloves were paired with the 3/4 sleeve coat.
But really, any coat with a bit of swing might get you through. Go ahead and let your belly peek out! For example, reader Paula was still using her pre-pregnancy coat in her last trimester: My nonmaternity coat still buttons right above my baby belly - and I'm due in 3 weeks. With pregnancy I'm naturally so warm... and I always cover my neck to keep from getting cold.
Even a pea coat might be swingy enough. Reader Sheena "just buttoned as many buttons as I could on my wool peacoat. Eventually I was down to just the top button, but so goes it!"
This option makes sense for Mamas who hate to burn their hard-earned dollars on something that won't go the distance. Reader Samantha "refused to buy a maternity coat (seemed like a waste as this is our last baby), so I found a swing coat at Macy's. It's a perfect cut, and plenty of room around my growing belly. Plus, it will work for me even after the baby arrives (due in April)."
So. If you happen to be in the market for a winter coat, it might make sense to buy one that will work for pregnancy, post-partum, baby-wearing, and beyond! Try a non-maternity swing coat like Samantha...or find a cape. Nicole chose "a cape from Isabella Oliver with gloves, scarf and hat or a larger peacoat. I was always so hot- this worked!" Good choice, Nicole. Even maternity capes can have a life post-pregnancy. (Isabella Oliver no longer makes a cape, but I'm loving Hatch's.)
As examples, I've found three capes/ponchos that would look gorgeous whether you are pregnant, baby-wearing, or headed to the office post-partum: