Express & Star

Cradling your baby bump is nothing new

So, poor Meghan is being popped at in the press for drawing attention to her burgeoning baby bump.

Meghan with her bump

The nasty-minded are saying that every revealing flick of the jacket and every tender cradling of the bulge is a way of drawing attention to Baby Sussex.

I don’t think, for one minute, she’s doing this, because, quite simply, she doesn’t need to.

Not only will her baby be eighth in line to the throne, but she’s a truly elegant woman – and we WANT to see both how the bump’s doing and how Meghan’s rocking maternity clothes. She doesn’t need to advertise her condition.

The whole commotion takes me back to the 80s and 90s and my own pregnancies.

Somewhere in my loft there’s an old suitcase containing a fluffy pink rabbit, a pile of hand-knitted matinee jackets and a dress that could have been worn by Princess Diana.

Not, let’s be clear, at her famous Testino photoshoot or during her dance with Wayne Sleep, but while pregnant.

Thanks to her being the style icon of ladies, like me, of a certain age, she is responsible for many of us looking like crocheted shepherdesses at our weddings and little fat sailors while expecting.

Although sentimentality gave me the presence of mind to archive my frock (it could never be called an outfit), the sight of brings me out in a giggle at how ludicrous I looked just as much it makes me want to wallow in pregnancy nostalgia. I know it was the fashion but really – voluminous swathes of shiny fabric topped with a white Peter Pan collar?

Had anyone else criticised my choice of maternity clothes at the time however, I would not have been happy. In my eyes, I could do no wrong. Orange and pink dungaree shorts? Nothing wrong with them. Trousers with a large adjustable panel for growth? Fine. Gingham smock with a zig-zag edge? Nothing better.

Nowadays maternity-wear doesn’t seem to be such a priority. We couldn’t just stretch out into our leggings and boyfriend-jackets as neither had been invented. When you start out in a ra-ra skirt it’s not so easy to transition.

We longed to get into our custom-bought pregnancy clothes because, without them, we just looked fat and porky.

Perhaps that’s why Meghan is thrusting out her belly, so we don’t think she’s been at the linguine.

I think if poor Meghan is cosseting her growing stomach more than any other expectant woman she doesn’t even know she’s doing it.

When I told my colleagues I was pregnant the first time one of them exclaimed “I knew you were, you kept putting your hands on your tummy!”.

I could have sworn on my newly bought, much-anticipated orange and pink dungarees I never had.