What to Expect When You’re (Tall and) Expecting.

Hello Leggy Lovelies!

So my little madam is six weeks old today (yesterday by the time I’ve had a chance to post this), and I’m grabbing those rare moments of quietude as she snoozes in her moses basket next to me to check in and see how you’re all doing. For those who didn’t see my Facebook and Twitter update, Matilda May Schofield arrived into the world on 27th October 2014 at 11.31am. And she is brill.

I could throw every cliché at you and mean it; the love is overwhelming, your life changes beyond recognition, you’ll never sleep again, you won’t EVER stop worrying. They’re all true, and yet still nothing quite prepares you for you how challenging, tiring and ruddy amazing motherhood is (another cliché in itself perhaps).

From today I’m going to be easing myself back into blogging, and hoping to post a bit more routinely now that I’m on maternity leave. I’ve also started a new Instagram account to fill in the gaps between postings. Admittedly, most of the entries so far are photos of Matilda looking cute, but there will be grown-up outfit shots (some without vomit) and other tall-relevant material landing shortly! I would love it if you could add me to your list of people to follow by heading here.

I realise All the Tall things has been quite preoccupied with tall maternity style of late, but I’ll now be returning to my usual outfit updates, and details of where us non-expectant peeps can find long-length clothing (with perhaps a few of Matilda’s snazzier outfits thrown in for good measure!).

But before that, I wanted to share one last post with an emphasis on motherhood; with all my thoughts about dressing a bump when you’re tall, the interesting quirks of tall pregnancy, and a little bit about nursing. This is by no means a conclusive list, nor is it a “one size fits all” story for tall women (we all know that no such things exists), but this has been my experience. And if you have been through the process of pregnancy, labour and feeding your baby and feel like you’ve got something to add/ query/ downright disagree with, then please do add your twopence in the comments below. 🙂

Tall women have easier labours.

At least, that’s what the research says, and what my midwife seemed to think. And while there will be many tall women who still don’t have the easiest of times, (probably reading this with gritted teeth… sorry) I was definitely evidence of the rule. I actually enjoyed my labour. Yup. Call me mental/masochistic, but I LOVED it.

I’m not saying I would choose to push a head out of my frou-frou every day of the week, but I can’t recall a more exhilarating or rewarding experience.

For those planning a baby in the future, I can’t recommend hypnobirthing enough. I used to listen to a cd regularly, and while I never really bought into the idea that I was actually being hypnotised, continuously listening to the affirmations gave me the confidence to believe that I was capable of getting through it. And if you’re lucky enough to get into the birthing pool, don’t hesitate.

Sidenote: This picture may seem like a massive overshare to some, but to those of you who have been reading my blog for a while, you may realise why I just love it to bits. Three years ago life was a bit bleak with Tim’s brain tumour surgery, and now he’s healthy and happy and our baby girl just arrived into the world looking like an absolute GANGSTA. Life can suddenly get amazing again and this photo proves that to me. 

Tall women often have smaller bumps.

I was told all the way along that my bump was too small, and that it wasn’t measuring in line with the length of my pregnancy. Which freaked me out BIG TIME. But as the ultrasound lady reassured me when I was sent for a growth scan, there is plenty of room for the baby under your ribcage so often your bump doesn’t grow too far outwards. She’d seen a lot of tall women sent for growth scans unnecessarily. It’s also a proportions thing. (If you’re tall and lucky enough to have been blessed with a mahoosive, beautiful bump, I’m sure you carried it off splendidly).

You don’t need to spend a fortune on new clothes.

Unless you want to that is… and far be it from me to stop you shopping. Assign a section of your wardrobe to your pre-pregnancy clothes that still fit you. You might be surprised how many do (thanks in large to the point I make above). I realised that a few clothes I’d consigned to the back of the wardrobe because I’d once gotten bored of them/ was never in the mood for wearing stretchy body con, actually looked different and preferable when pregnant. If I did invest in new clothes, they tended to be loose fitting shirts or kimonos that I could wear post pregnancy too. The dress below was an old ASOS number that had enough give to (just about!) get me to my last day of pregnancy. Matilda popped out the day after this photo was taken.

It’s worth buying a few staples to see you through though.

Invest in a few maternity-specific bits that you can accessorize cheaply or wear with your existing bits n bobs.

Jeans: I bought two pairs of maternity jeans which saw me all the way through my pregnancy. My fave were by Mamalicious, £35. Their 34 inch leg was long enough for me (I’m usually a 36 incher) and skinnier than most maternity styles on the market.

[2nd Baby Edit: ASOS now does my favourite Tall Ridley jeans in a maternity style… great if you prefer a super skinny leg.]

Bump band: Asos, £8. This was particularly useful for giving a bit of coverage in the earlier months, when I could still squeeze into my jeans but needed to undo the zip.

Feeding Vests: If you’re planning on breastfeeding*, these are great for layering under baggy t-shirts and shirts. I LOVE the Emma Jane longer length feeding vest (£25) so much that I’ve bought four and rotate them with all my outfits. For nighttime, I love the slightly cosier (but also super long) seamless nursing cami (£39) by Amoralia.

I was probably quite lucky in that I did most of my heavily pregnant months over the summer, and therefore didn’t need to look for a coat. I’d have probably worn my existing ones open and layered up with jumpers and chunky scarves, but do let me know if you’ve come across a decent maternity style coat that works for tall women.

Buying dresses is EASIER when you’re pregnant.

Yup, I did mean to say that. A lot of people may scoff at this thought, but I genuinely loved dressing my bump and found it a lot easier than previously in the frock department. Because a lot of maternity dresses cast an empire line shape from underneath the boobs, I didn’t have to worry about waistlines being in the right place.

I also wore a lot more of the stretchy, bodycon styles than I’d ever have been comfortable with wearing previously. I was never much of a tummy flaunter pre-pregnancy (and I highly doubt I will be post pregnancy either!).

You will never be more glad of your long limbs than when you’re feeding a baby.

Whether you feed by breast or bottle, once your fussy baby is finally latched and in position for a long feed, you will be so glad you can reach that half empty box of chocolates, the glass of water when you’re gasping for it and the remote control on the other side of the coffee table.

Your baby might actually NOT be massive.

When I first fell pregnant, a lot of people told me to expect a really big baby. Matilda was 7lbs 8oz. Pretty average. (This might have also contributed to the fabulous labour part). But she’s exactly the same weight that I was when I was born, and we all know what happened there. Incidentally she does have very big feet and quite long legs, and she’s already outgrown a fair amount of her baby grows, so she’s headed in the right direction at least.

Your Feet May Grow

Yup, sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but your annoyingly big feet might just get bigger. Mine swelled a little in the last two weeks and I ended up borrowing my husband’s converse (sexy). Thankfully they should shrink back to normal size (normal for us, anyway) a week or two postpartum. A cheap pair of large-size flip-flops would also do if you’re pregnant in the summer and find yourself with bigger-than-usual feet.

Asos is just freakin brilliant.

I got so many bits from its maternity section (including a super sparkly dress for my friend’s wedding, below). So affordable and on trend in a world where maternity clothing just isn’t.  Check the heights of the models where they are listed too; the main one is 5’11 which proved very useful. 

[2nd Baby Edit: If you search “Tall Maternity” on ASOS you’ll now find a dedicated range of long-length maternity wear.]

So those are my experiences of tall pregnancy, and I would LOVE to hear your thoughts.

And lastly, how the blinking heck have you all been?

L (and M) xx

*If you’re planning on breastfeeding at London’s Claridges Hotel, please don’t bother with a vest top and just get your whole tit out.

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39 Responses to What to Expect When You’re (Tall and) Expecting.

  1. Huge congrats on Matilda :-). As a Mum to now two boys I haven’t got much time to post lol, but I agree with most of the above (not the easy labour lol; both mind were relatively long, and my second baby was back to back!). And, yes, I found dressing far easier when I was pregnant. Wish they had a Mamalucious for non-pregnant women! X

    • allthetallthings

      Aaw I hope it’s all going really well for you Ali. Two lovely boys! You must have your hands full. I’ve got six nephews and no nieces so Matilda is a step towards redressing the balance! xx

  2. Congratulations again you looked amazing pregnant much better than I did.

    I measured small for both of my pregnancies too, its really scares you. Doctors need to realise its not one size fits all.

    • allthetallthings

      Thanks Helen, I’m sure you looked super beaut. My bump seemed to decrease in size sometimes depending on where she was sitting… just to freak me out a little bit more! x

  3. Well done L & M! That was a top blog post and a really helpful summary of what bits you might need/not need!
    I have to say I’m 5’11” and had an ‘easy’ labour at home with a 7lb 12oz babba. The whole thing was 5 hours from start to finish and I couldn’t have hoped for anything better.
    Unfortunately when I was preggers asos hadn’t launched their maternity range (barely even a tall section to speak of) so I’m glad the leggy lovelies can get some really nice stuff which isn’t too expensive too.
    Babies are bloody brilliant – I’m glad you’ve got the balance between blogging and being a mum

    • allthetallthings

      Thanks Fran. Yeah, mine progressed quite quickly too. I got to the hospital at 9am and she was born at 11.31. Not exactly “easy” but a great deal better than I’d expected! x

  4. Huge congratulations on the birth of your beautiful daughter. My second daughter was born six months ago and was the same birth weight as your little Matilda. I wish I had looked as half as glam during my pregnancy! It really suited you.
    I can completely relate to your emotions about life turning itself around and becoming perfect. My eldest daughter (4 yrs old) finished 18 months of chemo for a brain tumour just six days before her baby sister was born. It had been her only wish throughout to treatment, to have a baby sister, so she was over the moon. It was a very special time.
    Wishing you and your new little family a very peaceful (well as much as it can be with a new baby) and magical Christmas. Xx

    • allthetallthings

      Oh Sam how incredibly lovely, this made me cry. What an amazing Christmas you’re going to have. Wishing you and your girls all the good health and happiness in the world xxxx

  5. I love this post! Congratulations on the birth of your baby girl

  6. Hey Laura and Matilda!
    Love this blog!! I have been waiting for your next one I love them to bits! So glad ur back!! Xxx

  7. Ah yay! Glad to be back 🙂 x

  8. Congratulations!!! I love your bubba’s name, and she’s a beauty… I’ll be excited to go for my next pregnancy (my ‘bubba’ is 4 now!).

    I’m inspired by your birthing experience too. I’d tried hypnobirthing, but was inconsistent so it didn’t really work for me (in addition to other stresses on the birthing day), but I’m really excited to be more committed to it next time – it’s good stuff.

    I’ve loved your pregnancy posts though I wasn’t pregnant, and it’s great to see a post from you again – but if you’re AWOL, we know who’s getting your attention (and it’s all good).

    • Thanks hun.

      I wouldn’t say I was hugely consistent about hypnobirthing; I used to listen to it maybe once a week during the day and a couple of times a week at night.

      I didn’t use it on the actual day… firstly, no time, and secondly, I think I would have wanted to murder the woman on tape! But it definitely helps with your breathing exercises and to keep you feeling focused and positive as you head towards the birth xx

  9. Congratulations, Matilda is beautiful, and you are just glowing! Lovely clothing tips, and glad to know you found hypnobirthing useful, as I am practicing daily for Baby Cruz’s arrival this spring. I’m lucky to have a doctor who is pretty tall herself, so no freak-outs on size.

    Here in Spain I’ve found H&M to be the best for maternity wear, but I love perusing your pregnancy posts for style inspiration!

  10. Matilda is super-cute!

    That’s so interesting about tall women and labour- I’m off to look it up. Yes to the easy labour (1hr 40 of active labour, no pain relief- although I wouldn’t actually recommend labouring that fast, it was a bit worrying), yes to measuring small for dates (although they didn’t actually send me for a growth scan) and my baby was TINY- 5lb 10 oz- so perhaps she was a bit small. She’s 50th centile now so regularly gets referred to as ‘petite’ in our family of giants. I never developed a waddle either, unlike some shorter friends.

    I found it easier to dress being pregnant- the bump breaking up that long expanse of body…

    No the hypnobirthing. I didn’t have time to hypno anything 😉

  11. Congratulations! Matilda is beautiful <3

    I nodded along to most of your post. I mostly lived in dresses and leggings because they were comfier. Favourite dress for work was from mamalicious. I had a very neat bump in both my pregnancies (I'm 5'10) and one was just under 10lb and one just over! X

    • allthetallthings

      Wowzas. Matilda is not quite 11b yet and I wouldn’t fancy pushing her back through again! Well done you! Yes, dresses are always a good shout… suspect I’d be wearing the same stuff if I was pregnant in the winter, just with leggings or tights 🙂 xx

  12. Congrats! I’m just visiting your blog for the first time and I had multiple “ahha!” moments reading the above! During my entire pregnancy people kept saying “you sure don’t look __ # of weeks along–are you sure you’re due that soon?” Um, yeah, I’m sure. Happy to find out it’s a tall thing. Also had an easy labor and a very normal sized baby (7 lbs 2 oz) after countless predictions of a “HUGE” baby (despite the aforementioned small bump).

  13. Congrats on the gorgeous hub.
    I hope your feet do go back to normal – mine did not. Am a full size or even size and a half larger after two kids than I was before.
    I agree with you about dressing a pregnant bod though. Figure hugging tops and leggings made things actually much simpler 🙂

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  15. I’m 180cm mum to 3 boys. First pregnancy my bump was pretty small, I was all love handles and boobs. 2nd and 3rd pregnancies I was all bump. My stomach muscles surrendered early both times. By the end of the 3rd the bump was nearly down around my knees!
    My feet de-swelled back to normal the first 2 times but #3 (4 months old as I type) has left me a whole size bigger. I need a new shoe wardrobe…
    1st labour was a horror 23hours ending in emergency c-section. Next 2 were elective c. All 8 pounder babies. I think it is an issue with head size (and apparently shoulder width) not weight.
    I am struggling to find clothes long enough but a big part of that problem is being XL/size 16 and 32GG as well as tall. I just need so much more fabric 😉

    I had great success with jeans from https://www.tallmaternitystore.co.uk/ (Mummy Long Legs) although they were a bit too bootcut (so I sewed them narrower). An over bump that was almost too long was so deliciously comfortable (and I preferred overbump maybe because of past c sections?)
    Good luck with your little lady I hope she learns to stand proudly tall. And to you, keep up the blog and look after your spine (childrearing is all near/on the ground and that is just that much further away for us)

  16. Just happened on this site. I’m 21 weeks pregnant and 6’0. Finding clothes is a pain when I’m thin, pregnant and tall…. Ugh what a mess. Thanks for all the advice. I also find that I (in general) wear a lot of boots to cover my too short trousers. Also, not maternity specifically but PZI jeans make jeans for tall women with curvy hips. I’ve worn them up til now using a hair tie and my belly band. Curious, what’s the comment about forgoing the vest and getting your whole tit out about lol?!!

  17. I’m 5’11 and 21 weeks pregnant… here we go!
    Thanks for sharing, this was a great read for me! People keep telling me that I do not look pregnant yet… would love to know when your bump really starting showing, and your height!

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  21. This post is very reassuring for a tall expectant mum, with constant “small bump” comments. Thank you

  22. Thank you for this post! I just had a doctors appointment and they told me I was measuring 7 weeks behind and scheduled me for a growth scan. I am 5″11 so this was very reassuring to me.

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  26. I know this is years late and probably won’t be read, but I wanted to say thank you for providing some reassurance! I’m 5’11, 20 weeks tomorrow and people will NOT stop commenting on how small my bump is, how I’m not properly showing, am I worried about it etc. I’ve become really panicky about it leading up to my 20 week ultrasound. Seeing anecdotal evidence that us tall ladies, especially those of us who were pretty fit pre-pregnancy, might just look smaller is really reassuring.

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