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WHATEVER HAPPENED TO MATERNITY GOWNS? By Mazi Nnamdi Nwigwe

Have you noticed lately that maternity gowns have gone, not only out of fashion, but also practically out of existence?

Who still remembers amongst us, the oldies, those days of yore when a mother-to-be, a pregnant lady, walked by with grace and gaity, clad in her delicate looking maternity gown?

So elegant was any woman in a maternity gown. Maternity gowns were so adored and admired that a newly married maiden proudly announced to the world that she had become pregnant by merely wearing a maternity  gown, even when she had only just confirmed that fact at her doctor’s.

Maternity gowns came in all colours, in all fabrics and in all designs, but all of them in one proclamatory shape of free flowing cone that says “my baby is there!”

But what do we see nowadays?

Take a look around you and you will invariably see our young prospective mothers whose protruding bellies are doing battle with their normal dressing gowns.

Some look so strait jacketed that you almost hear the innocent tenant in the womb complaining of suffocation.

Some fashion-conscious but fashionless ones even force their trousers unto themselves in their eighth month of pregnancy.

If they knew anything about fashion, they would already be aware that there are also trousers, actually slacks, suitable for the pregnant woman.

Where are the husbands of these women who make pregnancy look like they are serving a punishment?

Don’t they see that their women look unnaturally ugly and slovenly in those tight dresses they once admired when their stomachs were yet flat?

The sight of a very beautiful woman, heavy with pregnancy and looking squeezed into a dress that ought to be stored away until after weaning her baby, is particularly disgusting, if not exactly nauseating.

Is it the economy and the hard times that should be blamed for our modern women’s disinclination to buy and wear maternity gowns in their season of maternity?

The answer is of course “No.” It is a question of one not knowing one’s real needs and priorities.

Take a good look at the next pregnant woman you encounter in the street struggling to pull down her tight gown that is shrinking up to give relief to the big belly. Before you pity her, look at her shoes.

You bet the ill-fitting shoes cost more than a maternity gown of superior quality. Rather that adorn  herself in low-sole or flat shoes, she goes for high heels and hardly ever thinks of the health implications of what she is doing, until trouble comes.

No mater the price of a good pair of cotton maternity gowns, it is more economical at the end of the day because, you can preserve them well enough to serve you in the next two pregnancies.

The wrong shoes you choose to wear at higher prices could lead to a fall or a strain to your waist and heels, an eventuality that one should not contemplate during pregnancy.

This is a clarion call to our mothers and mothers-to be-to restore grace and elegance to pregnancy.

Go back to the old fashioned free flowing maternity gowns that usually announce you as a mother-on-the way with a whole human life inside your blessed womb.

Treat the innocent creature ensconsed therein with all the delicacy and sensitivity it reachly deserves.

This you fail to do when you go ahead wearing in the third trimester dresses that you wore in your first weeks of confirmation of your conception.

A maternity gown enhances the dignity, elegance, beauty and personality of the woman wearing it

She commands instant respect from even her seniors. Above everything, an appropriately clad “woman in season” is an epitome of creation itself.

The uniqueness of a woman is her ability to bring into the world a new life.

It is a gift from God and our women should not debase their special status through irreverent, inappropriate and indecent dressing.

Force-fitting the big belly sheltering the baby into tight gowns, blouses and even trousers, rather than in elegant, free-flowing maternity gowns is an assault to a decent eye, and a desecration of the dignity of womanhood.

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