Living near the South Downs in Sussex, I love to explore the countryside both in the summer or winter months. So when I fell pregnant (with twins!), I thought I would just squeeze into my usual The North Face jacket.

As I got bigger (and bigger) I realised it wasn't going to be as easy as I first thought.

For a few months it was fine, first just adjusting the pull cords, then only using the velcro, and finally leaving the front of the jacket open. That wasn't going to be ideal with winter coming though, so you can imagine my disappointment that there seemed to be so little in the way of outdoor and active maternity wear available.

Fitness during pregnancy is now acknowledged as being very positive for the health of both mother and baby. NCT, the UK's largest charity for parents, see walking and spending time outdoors as hugely beneficial. I didn't want to have to put my feet up and sit it out!

My begging requests to the big outdoor retailers turned up nothing. No one had any suggestions of brands to research, or any idea of where else I could look. A few questions posted on forum websites showed the same result - there's nothing around except for those yoga maternity pants beloved by yummy mummy finess addicts worldwide!

Over in the US and Canada, outdoorsy pregnant women appear to be better catered for. Dedicated outdoor maternity brands such as Mountain Mama, Ingrid & Isabel, and Modern Eternity all offer ranges.

But in the UK? Nothing. It's hard enough to find a normal maternity jacket and only a handful of shops keep any products in store at all.

Or that's what I thought before seeing news of Mother & Nature's launch in October 2015. Talk about good timing!

The Mother & Nature range is the brainchild of Lancashire mum Sam Jenkins, who put together the UK's first outdoor maternity range after struggling with exactly the same issues as me herself. Her clothes had stopped fitting and there weren't any suitable alternatives!

The range includes a waterproof jacket, walking trousers and fleeces, and comes in a few different colours, perfect for continuing your outdoor lifestyle when pregnant.

So how do they fare?

The great thing about this range is that it will grow with you. The various sizes will fit most women and the unique zipping side panels allow the jacket to fit any pregnant bump, and expand as you need it to - even with a twin belly!

When baby is born, zipping the panels back down sends the clothing back to its original size, and you can carry on wearing it. It still looks flattering on a post-pregnancy body (I had a friend try!), and that's a real bonus considering you don't want to spend out a lot of money on something to last you only a few months.

The M&N jacket (RRP £135, but currently on sale at £95) comes in two colours purple or green. Sam has plans to expand the colour range in time, but actually both of the colours are quite flattering.

Manufactured using a two-layer polyester membrane, with sealed seams, the jacket is rated as 5000mm waterproof and conforms to BS EN342:2003 class 3 (the best) for protection against rain - giving you great protection from the weather.

At 800g, it's not necessarily the lightest jacket available, but it's ideally suited to walking and other pregnancy-safe outdoor pursuits, as well as a spot of shopping! (Something all us pregnant women need to do!)

The outer layer is breathable and has a mesh lining to keeps you cool and comfortable. The useful packaway hood adds to its flexibility and the pull cords at either side which can be tightened in two places around the bottom giving you extra shape and style - something I found I was conscious of with my growing bump!

Overall the jacket is a big step forward in a market with no alternatives. It'd make a great addition to any mother-to-be's wardrobe and, unlike all your other maternity clothes, it won't need to be thrown out after 9 months.

It's also lovely to be able to support a proper British-made brand.

Okay, so it doesn't have the features I'm used to with my TNF 3-in-1, but it would hardly be fair to expect that of a new brand - try finding another jacket that does! Pit zips would have been nice, as would a wider choice of colours, but dryness and warmth are the bigger priority and the pockets and fit are both good.

I did also try the waterproof maternity trousers (£49 down from £70). It's a personal preference, but I prefer 'over the bump' trousers rather than these 'under' ones and, as a result, I don't think I'll get much wear out of them for the moment. I do think they'll be more useful and a better fit post-pregnancy though.

With a smaller singleton bump I don't think you'd necessarily have the same issues as me. The build quality and general style is still very good I must say - and the expandable panels are again cleverly designed.

The jacket has become a wardrobe staple!


At last some outdoor-focused maternity wear! Waterproof, breathable and with clever adjustable panels.


Would like to see more colour choices and an over-the-bump option for the waterproof trousers.

Recommended Use

All pregnant women who love the outdoors, for during and post-pregnancy.

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