As the temperatures start to drop, deciding what outerwear options are best can be stressful for a pregnant or new mom. Some moms opt to layer rather than purchase a maternity winter coat or jacket extender, but if you live in a climate with extremely low temperatures, that probably won’t cut it. So which route should you go – a maternity coat or a jacket extender?
Maternity Winter Coat or Jacket Extender: Which is Best for You?
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Maternity coats are available at many retailers who carry a maternity line, and they are often A-line shaped to allow room for your growing belly. If you will spend most of the winter pregnant, treat yourself to a maternity winter coat; they are stylish and will fit comfortably throughout your pregnancy.
If you have plans to babywear once your little one arrives, you might want to consider a jacket extender rather than a maternity coat. Jacket extenders attach to your current non-maternity coat, and in most cases, they are reversible to accommodate a baby carrier. Some of them are rather expensive, but since you will use the extender for up to two winter seasons (depending on how long you baby wear), it may be worth it.
Now that you know the benefits of each option, this list of top-rated products is a good place to start as you decide what’s right for you.
- Kokoala. A Canadian-owned and operated company, Kokoala offers several options for a jacket extender, enabling you to keep your current coat. Offerings range from a lightweight original extender for $86 CAD up to a deluxe long extender for $119 CAD. They even have a fleece extender just for babywearing for $40 CAD. You can purchase in boutique retail locations around Canada and the US or online; if you choose the latter, you get free shipping with a purchase of $120 or more.
- MakeMyBellyFit. Created in 2010 by a dad and mom (who now have 3 kids), BellyFit is a relatively inexpensive option at $52 USD for the extender itself, and another $5 USD if you need a zip adapter (the website has a form to help you determine if you need one). They also offer a warmth layer for $14 USD. You can order online and receive free shipping in Canada for orders over $70, or take a peek at the store locations in Canada and the US (with a couple of European locations thrown in for good measure).
- Amauti. These beautiful lightweight winter jackets are available in both Canada and the US and are custom-made for each buyer, utilizing your unique measurements and body proportions. The design includes a babywearing “pouch” (for lack of a better word) on the back which will securely hold your baby. These jackets are not inexpensive at $450 CAD, however they are made using an exclusive Inuit pattern and are absolutely beautiful. Payment is required in full before fabrication, and contact information is included on the website if you wish to order custom sashes for your Amauti.
- BellyCoat. If you’re looking for a jacket extender that will grow with your belly, this may be the one for you. BellyCoat offers an extender for $89.99 CAD, an extender + extension for $104.99 CAD (purchased together), and the extender + extension upside down for babywearing. They also offer free shipping in Canada for orders over $99.
- M-coat. If you’d rather have a new coat than just a jacket extender, this is the Cadillac of maternity coats. A lightweight jacket shell retails for $195 CAD, whereas the heavy parkas range from $350-$495 CAD. That said, you may never need another coat; the panel can be positioned to make an A-line coat while pregnant, reversed to accommodate babywearing, or removed altogether for a stylish non-maternity coat. Retail shops are available, and you can also purchase online.
- Extendher. This jacket extender clips on to any zippered article of clothing. It can be inverted once the baby is born to allow for hands-free babywearing. Prices range from $89.99 USD for the lightweight version to $139.99 USD for the polar version. The website offers free shipping in the US for orders over $100. Extendher is also available on Amazon.
- Motherhood Maternity Modern Eternity 3-in-1 Puffer Coat. At $139.98 USD, this is the most reasonably priced coat, and it includes a removable and reversible panel to allow for babywearing or use post-maternity. The reviews share that this coat is both stylish and comfortable; you can’t go wrong with this less-expensive option.
At such a wonderfully exciting time in your life, you want to make sure you are comfortable and warm, and selecting a maternity winter coat or extender that allows you versatility is a great way to go.