Imagine you're an expectant celebrity mom, eight months pregnant with a big belly and swollen ankles, but the paparazzi are following your every move so walking around in a smock and sensible shoes -- like the rest of us -- just won't do. Luckily, the baby boom in Hollywood has prompted another boom of sorts: maternity clothes offered from top designers.
"There have always been pregnant women in Hollywood but more people are interested in what they're wearing and buying. … I think the designers took note of that," said Kim Gundy, editor of CelebrityPregnancy.com.
Gundy's Web site, part of the SheKnows network, posts photos of pregnant celebrities and information about which designer clothes they're wearing.
"The designers thought, 'Oh, we should expand into maternity because people will pay more money to look good and being pregnant is kind of a trendy thing right now' if you can believe it," said Gundy.
Actress and singer Jennifer Lopez recently commissioned Roberto Cavalli, one of her favorite designers, to design maternity wear for her tour while she was pregnant with twins. Halle Berry got friends like Giorgio Armani to retrofit some designer duds to fit her expanding midsection. But not everyone has the cash for special order so off-the-rack offerings for burgeoning belly bumps have grown too.
The celebrity gossip magazines are full of photos of pregnant celebrities wearing designer clothing.
A third-trimester Tori Spelling was spotted wearing a baby-doll Akiko dress. Gwen Stefani has been photographed in some funky leopard print styles. A very pregnant Jessica Alba walking out of her baby shower was recently a featured shot on CelebrityPregnancy.com. Alba's belly showed through her clingy, long, black Isabella Oliver gown.
"All of the celebrities, Marcia Cross, Jessica Alba, Isla Fisher, all wore Isabella Oliver. That's definitely one brand they like and we see a lot of them wearing A Pea in the Pod too," said Gundy.
A pregnant Angelina Jolie has been sporting some long bohemian-style maxi dresses too. That's no coincidence, according to A Pea in the Pod president Rebecca Matthias.
"Long dresses are in," said Matthias. "And now instead of baby-doll and trapeze dresses it's about fitted styles and belts. Pregnant women want to look like everybody else. Whatever is hot in fashion is hot for us too."
A Pea in the Pod has dressed pregnant actresses from Kate Winslet to Cate Blanchett.
"Sometimes we find out they're pregnant before anyone else," said Matthias.
The collection includes in-house designs as well as clothing from a host of well-known designers like Cynthia Rowley and Diane von Furstenberg -- - better known for their evening wear than maternity wear.
It wasn't always this way. Not so long ago, maternity wear was more frumpy than fashionable.
Few, if any, designers deigned to design for pregnant women. But in 1982, Matthias started the brand that would become A Pea in the Pod. And in 1997, clothing designer Liz Lange opened upscale maternity-wear boutiques in New York and Beverly Hills. Now you can even find chic, but cheap, maternity wear at Target. Even The Gap and Old Navy have maternity collections.
These days hip moms-to-be don't even have to give up their designer denim.