Chic and pregnant

Femy9, an exclusive store for maternity wear, has many options for moms-to-be and moms
Here is your opportunity to join the ranks of glamorous moms like Angelina Jolie, Catherine Zeta and Gwyneth Paltrow who celebrated their baby bumps with chic clothes that flaunted their pregnancy. Pregnancy is no longer synonymous with loose, shapeless sacks or oversized clothing! One of the reasons for the booming market in maternity wear. And why people like Mariam Zacharia are elated. She didn't have big hopes when she launched Femy9, a one-stop destination for maternity wear, at Devaswom Board Junction in the city. Just a few weeks into the launch, she says: “I never knew that there would be so many pregnant ladies around!”

Femy9, a play on the word ‘feminine' and the nine months of pregnancy, was born out of necessity. “My experience showed that there are little options when it comes to maternity wear. I'm buoyed by the response so far, especially from the Technopark crowd,” says Mariam, who was in Bahrain for 25 years, as an employee of Ogilvy and Mather.

“There you get lots of stuff to dress fashionably and comfortably even when a woman is pregnant. In fact, when I came home to Kerala for my delivery – some 20 years ago – I brought maternity gowns that were altered and used as kameez,” says Mariam, now a mother of two grown-up girls. Four years ago she started thinking about an outlet for maternity wear when she had to hunt for maternity dresses for her sister-in-law. “I would have bought stuff from Bahrain. But there you get dresses that are not made of cotton and have full sleeves, which make it uncomfortable in our climate. The other alternative is dresses that are favoured by Westerners – with gathers at the waist.

Then I decided to work on clothes suitable for Indian conditions and customers,” she says. Mariam put in nearly three years of “research” before she finally decided to open the store.

A wide range
Femy9 products include short tops/kurtis, kurtas, skirts and night wear. The collection has clothes for maternity wear and for the post-pregnancy period. The latter come with concealed openings – horizontal or vertical – for nursing.

“The tops are of cotton, that too soft cotton. I buy the material from Mumbai or Ahmedabad, as you don't get it here,” says Mariam. She then gives the designs to her production unit at Ernakulam. “I have a flair for designing. But, whenever I finalise a design I discuss it with a senior hand at my production unit who suggests where can they neatly stitch the openings easily,” she says.

The tops come in pretty shades and prints. In addition to everyday clothes for moms, Femy9 has glamorous clothes for moms-to-be and new moms. “They come with embellishments, but not the kind you find on usual party wear. In fact they are so soft that when you carry the baby, it wouldn't hurt the infant's soft skin,” says Mariam. Regular tops are priced Rs.600 and up.

The nightwear section is equally attractive with nighties and pyjama sets in soothing shades and designs.

The shop also has maternity products of mama & bebe brand, which Mariam sources from Mumbai. This include capris, jeans, pinafores in denim and twill, denim dungarees, T-shirts with/without openings for nursing, stretchable pants and the like.
All young moms should find the body pillow a great help. “Often, many pregnant ladies use at least three pillows when they sleep. This body pillow provides comfort during pregnancy and also while feeding the baby.

You can even use it for the baby as well,” she says. Feeding pillows, maternity innerwear, abdominal belts, breast pads/pumps and lotions to prevent stretch mark are also available here.

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