Mamma mia!

Fragile graphic print dress in mint and lime , €149

Mother-to-be Pippa O'Connor is the new celebrity model for Irish maternity range Nelo, but she is only beginning to wear pregnancy clothes – even though she is expecting her first baby in April.

Slim to start with, Pippa's bump was barely showing when she went to try on the clothes in the Clarendon Street store. However, she was intrigued by how the dresses would look later in her pregnancy, so she tried on a five-month bump.

"I know, I do look small, but I'm probably going to wake up one morning and have a big bump, so I want to get organised now," Pippa said.

She had the offer of loads of bits and pieces from her sister Susanna, who had a baby last year, but the Nelo range is all about shape, emphasising the glorious silhouette of women in waiting. There's smart office wear and occasion wear too.

Pippa looked good in 7 For All Mankind jeans twinned with edgy tops and a pencil skirt in camel.

However, it was the Ooh Mama range, exclusive to Nelo Maternity, which caught the model's eye. The bestseller, in heavy jersey, has a flattering satin tie in jewel shades.

Other brands in store include Olian, Love2Wait and Fragile, and Nelo has stores in Clarendon Street, Dublin, and Roches Street, Limerick. See www.nelomaternity.com.

Siobhan Byrne, better known as celebrity trainer and 'Fit' columnist Mrs BodyByrne, is barely showing, even at four months pregnant.

"I don't intend going out and buying lots of maternity clothes. I'm training in my Puma tops, which are really comfortable, and I got a lovely pair of yoga pants from Mothercare," she adds.

"I find leggings really comfortable – so if I was to buy one thing, it would be jersey leggings from www.isabellaoliver.com. They're the ones that Jennifer Garner and Shakira wore."

'Xposé' producer Debbie O'Donnell, who is almost six months pregnant with her second child, says: "It's easy to lose your sense of individual style when you're pregnant, especially when your shape is changing so much."

"When I had Marcus five years ago, I threw my maternity clothes out straight after, so this time I'm starting from scratch again," she explains. "My TV3 colleague Sybil Mulcahy gave me some of her maternity dresses for work, which is great, but I find maternity clothes quite depressing. Most high-street shops have no maternity sections at all."

Debbie tries to maintain the same style while she's pregnant.

"The first time I was pregnant, I splashed out on a pair of Victoria Beckham jeans. When I brought them home, I hated them. I realised the jeans brands that you may like are not always the same in their pregnancy version," she explains.

"I really like Topshop's skinny Leigh denims; they are exactly the same as their non-maternity counterparts.

"I'm living in Zara as it has a great selection of tops and shirts that skim over the body," she continues. "I have a lovely Massimo Dutti cape/jumper that also hides a multitude."

As for work clothes, Debbie says: "The best website for formal work-wear is www.isabellaoliver.com."



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