Maternity fashion in China

I’m 20 weeks pregnant so a few weeks ago I had to start looking for maternity clothes because my pants didn’t fit anymore. I went to a few malls and couldn’t find much (lots of baby clothes but almost nothing for expectant mothers) so I turned my attention to Taobao. Afterwards I found out that there are several maternity shops in the fancy new Suzhou Center mall but, anyway, I’m only going to wear these clothes for a limited time and Taobao is way cheaper! There is only one little problem though… the style of the clothes.

If you look for maternity clothes in western websites, you have a wide range of styles to choose. There are a lot of very pretty dresses, some of them even sexy, and also tight t-shirts that hug your bump. In Taobao, though, I almost didn’t find anything like that; there was only one shop selling “European style maternity clothes”. The rest of the shops sell only one style… the “cute teenage mama style” with loose dresses and big t-shirts. Let’s have a look at some of the Taobao maternity basics!

– The anti-radiation apron

This is a piece of clothing that I have never seen in Spain or in western countries. According to Chinese, things like mobile phones and microwaves emit radiation and you need to wear a special apron when you are pregnant to protect the baby. I only have a problem with this belief: Even if this cloth “stops” the radiation from entering your belly, shouldn’t you cover ALL of your exposed skin? I mean, radiation can also enter through your face or hands and then reach your bump. A Google search tells me that in 2011, Chinese media already published that these so-called anti-radiation clothes don’t work and can in fact increment the radiation absorption! Unfortunately, they are still widely seen on the streets and there are thousands of shops selling them on Taobao. Apart from being a scam, they are hideous and very expensive. The only advantage they have is that everybody will know that you are pregnant and they will offer you a seat in public transportation (if they look up from their phones, that is).

Can this shirt be any uglier? I don’t think it can. And for “only” 469 RMB! That is 75 USD!!!!


There’s also this other version, a belly band. It looks like plastic so it must be “great” to wear it when it’s hot. And why do they use western models for this shit? No westerner wears this!


– The overalls

A friend mentioned that many pregnant women in China choose to wear overalls. Fashion considerations apart (I personally don’t like them), isn’t this piece the most uncomfortable thing you can wear to go outside? What happens if you need to go to the toilet (which you will, once per hour)? Public toilets sometimes don’t even have a hook to hang your purse and the floor is usually not too clean. I can totally see the straps of the overalls touching the floor and soaking who knows what…


– The cutesy dresses

I guess these are fine if you are a 14 year old expectant mum, but I can’t really see myself wearing them.


– The pyjamas

These past weeks, when I’ve been several times to the hospital for check-ups, I’ve seen several heavily pregnant women and also women who had recently given birth wearing pyjamas. I understand this might be the most comfortable option when you are very uncomfortable, but I hope I don’t get to this point.

Would you dare to be seen in public wearing this? Chinese women have no problem at all.


I hope I don’t have to wear any of these things, but if my bump gets too big and my looser shirts don’t fit, I might need to cave in! Or order from foreign websites… What I did get for the moment were maternity leggings in Uniqlo and they are the softest and most comfortable thing ever! I might wear them even when I don’t need them anymore, haha.

Would you wear any of these maternity basics if you were pregnant?