WHERE did you get THAT?
Let’s just say I made a lot of women jealous over the holidays – well, women who have been through pregnancy before.
Back in November I was chatting with a friend about how hard it was to find a jacket that fits during pregnancy. After posting a cry for help on Facebook, searching through the second-hand store, and putting some of my own jackets under duress, I was running out of options. Not only was I looking for something that would fit over my belly, but something that I could also feel good in. I was on a quest to keep up my outdoor lifestyle (to some degree) and felt that having the right gear would keep me extra motivated. At the very least I wanted to stay warm and avoid having my zipper undo from the bottom up…again.
Then my friend told me about Make My Belly Fit, a company based in Montreal, Canada. I checked it out as soon as I got home and wrote to the company right away. I now had a solution to my problem.
Make My Belly Fit makes an insert (called BBfit) that expands any jacket to make room for a growing belly, and (how handy is this?) a baby afterwards. If being used during pregnancy, a series of snaps keeps the top of the panel snug, while the rest of it fans out to make space. The BBfit ($35 CAD) is made of black, stretchy softshell material, while the “Winnipeg” Warmth Insert ($15 CAD) adds a fleece liner for harsher temperatures. Add on the Zip Adapters ($10-$15 CAD) your jacket requires and, voila, you have created your very own maternity jacket.
To order, you simply send the company all of the specifications of your jacket zippers using their online order form so that they can send you the right one. Check out their instructional videos for some extra help!
What I love about this product:
- Make My Belly Fit allows a pregnant woman to feel a bit of normalcy. It feels good to be in your own clothing.
- It is easy to use and rather stylish.
- Husbands can keep their jackets. (Check out the story behind the company).
- If you get your hands on one early and use it as soon as you start running out of room in your jacket, you really get your money’s worth.
- You can expand the life of the product by using it for baby-carrying. Also, your partner can use it, so long as the zippers are compatible.
I couple things to consider:
- The BBfit is made of water and wind resistant material, but even with the Warmth Insert I could feel the wind coming in through the panel on particularly cold, windy days. We’re talking really cold and windy, though, and it is fine most of the time. But, perhaps a more windproof treatment would do the trick.
- The panel is too long for my jacket, so I have a two-inch section that hangs out the top of my jacket. I can see how it would be difficult for Make My Belly Fit to customize these panels even further, so it’s not a big deal. I simply tuck it in prior to snapping it up and that works.
- Considering the price of each individual component and the life of the product, it would be neat for this company to consider a rental program. Because the zippers need to correspond to a jacket perfectly, it may be difficult for me to find someone who can use it afterwards.
Overall, I think Make My Belly Fit has done an incredible job of creating a product that really fulfills a need. Some women who saw mine jokingly said they’d consider having another child just so that they could use the product. I believe this shows just how women feel about finding jackets to wear through pregnancy.
I’d give it a 4.5/5!
Thanks to Make My Belly Fit for discounting the BBfit, Warmth Insert and Zip Adapters so that I could give this product a try.
UPDATE from Make My Belly Fit:
We took heed to your comments and have since (this month) launched a whole new design. The base panel is completely wind proof (even without the fleece layer) and made from two layers of softshell. It passes the “stick it over your mouth and try to blow through it” test. Even more exciting though is the unique combination of zip parts that we’ve used. Last winter we found four types of zips to be the most popular and so we came up with a single panel that would work for all four; no zip adapter required meaning no extra cost for most customers and a good chance they’ll be able to use it on more than one jacket.
The simplicity of the new design also means customers can order online right away, providing that their jacket has at least one slider with VISLON and 5VS on the back. The criteria is as simple as that! No need to submit any zip information.
We do of course still offer custom adapters for all other YKK zips through our updated website ( www.makemybellyfit.com).