Fed up with the poor choice of clothes to wear while pregnant, Moseley mum Amanda Rees took matters into her own hands and launched a new range herself. Zoe Chamberlain reports.
Amanda Rees suffered post-natal depression after the birth of her daughter Grace eight years ago.
She puts it down to losing her confidence and sense of identity during and after she was pregnant – and much to do with the clothes she wore at the time.
She has now launched her own maternity wear company from her home in Moseley, which she believes will help women feel great about themselves both during and after pregnancy.
“I felt I lost my sense of identity,” says Amanda, aged 40, whose daughters are Grace, eight and Neave, four.
“I couldn’t find outfits I liked so I just wore baggy clothes all the time.
“As a result, I didn’t think about what I ate and so, long after I had given birth, I remained a size 14 to 16 rather than the size 10 to 12 I’d always been before.
“I was in complete denial, pretending everything was fine.
“People tell you it should be the happiest time of your life but I just felt shattered, snappy and lonely.”
Eventually Amanda talked to her husband Keri, aged 40 and a lawyer, and, over time, they worked through it as a couple.
She says: “Keri was so supportive and we talked about it a lot. I’m not sure everyone would have put up with it the way he did but he was brilliant.
“And gradually, life began to get easier.
“He helped me to make more time to get to the gym and to look at what I was eating.
“I started to lose the baby weight and take more interest in how I looked.
“I started to feel a bit more like the old me.”
They left a gap of four years before having their daughter Neave.
But Amanda found pregnancy a totally different experience this time.
“Keri said I looked beautiful being pregnant and that I should show it off by wearing nice clothes,” she says.
“I went to London and bought nice, well-fitting maternity clothes, which helped me retain my self-identity and confidence.
“It’s so much nicer to get a maternity top that fits well rather than buying a top two sizes too big for yourself.
“If I’d done this when I was pregnant with Grace, I don’t think I’d have suffered post-natal depression.
“This time I felt pretty, feminine and confident rather than just a blob.
“I had a really lovely time, which is just how pregnancy should feel.”
Amanda took redundancy from her job as a lawyer in October 2009, and launched Bumpalicious Maternity a year later as a way of bringing the maternity wear she had enjoyed to Birmingham.
She says: “I like making pregnant women feel good.
“I choose clothes then have them altered to make them unique to the brand.
“By selling the clothes online, I sell them cheaper than the boutiques in London as I don’t have the overheads.
“The ranges are so well designed that women want to wear them after they’ve had the baby rather than rushing to try and squeeze back into their old clothes.
“I chose the name Bumpalicious because I thought it conjured up the idea of delicious pregnancy.
“Pregnancy can be such a lovely time and, although it doesn’t necessarily feel it at the time, it’s over in a blink so women should make the most of it.
“I was nervous about setting up my own business but I felt if I didn’t do it now I’d regret in years to come.
“I feel completely different now to how I did eight years ago when I had Grace.
“I’m proud of what I’ve done. It’s nice to discover a different side to yourself. I don’t miss being a lawyer.
“Having children really changes your perspective on things. I hope that running my own business will make me a good role model for my girls in the future.”