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The interview

CLEMMIE HOOPER:

Maternity
style icon

How do you make pregnancy stylish? Ask
super-chic midwife and blogger Clemmie
Hooper, mother of two girls and now pregnant with twins. Here, she talks about catching babies, being a mum and how to dress your bump

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Stay warm in style

“Scarves are brilliant because you can accessorise with a strong print and layer them up or down really easily. They’re also good once the baby has arrived”

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This time yesterday, I was hands and knees on the floor delivering a baby! Today is a bit more glamorous,” says Clemmie Hooper as she peruses a rail of M&S’s new maternity clothes. Dressed in her signature Breton top and slouchy black dungarees, the 30-year-old midwife greets me with a smile in the immaculate south-east London town house she shares with her husband, Simon, and two daughters Anya, eight, and Marnie, five. She might be 22 weeks pregnant (with twin girls, no less) but she’s still looking as cool as her pre-pregnant self, now so familiar to fans of her popular birthing blog, Gas & Air, and her 6,000-strong followers on Instagram.
Born in London, Clemmie knew her vocation early on and embarked on a three-year midwifery degree in Bristol as soon as she finished school. In her third year she met Simon, now her husband, and they moved in together. Shortly afterwards, she fell pregnant with her first child. “It was a bit of a shock,” she explains. “All my friends were starting amazing jobs and I was about to have a baby. We were like: ‘What are we going to do?’”

Happily, Clemmie soon found her groove – embarking on her career as an NHS midwife in south London when Anya was one. In 2011, she started her birthing blog after being persuaded by a writer friend. “I was doing a lot of home births and started working with couples throughout their pregnancy. I realised some women were feeling disempowered and terrified of birth. I remember thinking, this is terrible.” Clemmie’s blog, with its helpful advice – like what you really need to pack in your hospital bag (see the M&S checklist here) – and positive birth stories went about dispelling the myths and fear associated with childbirth.
Clemmie has a natural sense of style, which she has deftly adapted throughout her three pregnancies. Her top tips? “Just stay true to your style – don’t start having an image overhaul. You don’t need to buy a new wardrobe. Instead, pick a few key pieces – like some great maternity jeans, leggings and a few tops – that will last you during and after the pregnancy.”

This time yesterday, I was hands and knees on the floor delivering a baby! Today is a bit more glamorous,” says Clemmie Hooper as she peruses a rail of M&S’s new maternity clothes. Dressed in her signature Breton top and slouchy black dungarees, the 30-year-old midwife greets me with a smile in the immaculate south-east London town house she shares with her husband, Simon, and two daughters Anya, eight, and Marnie, five. She might be 22 weeks pregnant (with twin girls, no less) but she’s still looking as cool as her pre-pregnant self, now so familiar to fans of her popular birthing blog, Gas & Air, and her 6,000-strong followers on Instagram.

Born in London, Clemmie knew her vocation early on and embarked on a three-year midwifery degree in Bristol as soon as she finished school. In her third year she met Simon, now her husband, and they moved in together. Shortly afterwards, she fell pregnant with her first child. “It was a bit of a shock,” she explains. “All my friends were starting amazing jobs and I was

about to have a baby. We were like: ‘What are we going to do?’”

Happily, Clemmie soon found her groove – embarking on her career as an NHS midwife in south London when Anya was one. In 2011, she started her birthing blog after being persuaded by a writer friend. “I was doing a lot of home births and started working with couples throughout their pregnancy. I realised some women were feeling disempowered and terrified of birth. I remember thinking, this is terrible.” Clemmie’s blog, with its helpful advice – like what you really need to pack in your hospital bag (see the M&S checklist here) – and positive birth stories went about dispelling the myths and fear associated with childbirth.

Clemmie has a natural sense of style, which she has deftly adapted throughout her three pregnancies. Her top tips? “Just stay true to your style – don’t start having an image overhaul. You don’t need to buy a new wardrobe. Instead, pick a few key pieces – like some great maternity jeans, leggings and a few tops – that will last you during and after the pregnancy.”

PREGNANCY STYLE RULES

“Invest in two to three pairs of good maternity
jeans, including a skinny cut and a boyfriend
style – they go with everything”
“There’s no need to buy a special maternity
coat as you’ll probably overheat – a long
cardigan like this one is perfect”
“You can’t go wrong with a good Breton top.
This one is really soft and stretchy, so you can
wear it long or short”
“You can’t have enough pairs of leggings.
They’re great for every day and you can dress
them up with a smart top and low heels”
“Go for soft, natural fibres like cotton and
cashmere where possible – comfort is key and you
get much hotter than usual during pregnancy”
“It’s all about comfort. Invest in a good pair of flat
shoes; they will last you once you’ve had the baby
and you’re pacing the streets with the buggy”

Photographer: Eric Frideen / Interview: Maggie Davis

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