I started a maternity brand thinking that pregnant people needed cute dresses. They need way more than that.

Arianne sitting facing the camera

  • I started my own maternity brand after failing to find clothes to celebrate my own growing belly.
  • I quickly learned that parents need more than just comfortable clothes.
  • Now that parental leave is a mainstream discussion, it’s time to support parents.

After getting pregnant with my first daughter, I scoured stores looking for maternity clothing that felt comfortable and chic so I could get dressed and still feel like me, growing belly and all.

Instead, all I could find were hideous tentlike styles meant for “hiding the bump,” covering up any notion that I was experiencing the most magical shift possible. I wanted to celebrate. I wanted to honor my growing body with body-hugging dresses, breezy caftans, work-friendly button-downs, cool maternity jeans, striped T-shirts, cozy cashmere leggings, and more.

So I created the brand I wished for but couldn’t find anywhere.

Our team got to work designing everyday essentials like luxurious-but-practical leggings, cozy knits, bump-friendly dresses, and other styles to see our customers through all the transitions they were experiencing.

The result felt game-changing. We got so much positive feedback from celebrities, editors, and influencers who, like us, felt that finally they had cute, stylish pieces for their pregnancy.

Then their voices got louder.

Turns out parents need more than cute clothes

Women shared with us, in DMs and emails and in our stores, that while they needed these essentials for their pregnancy, they actually need a lot more than that.

The community around our brand started out of a love of fashion and a desire to look and feel like ourselves, but very quickly we saw that these people had just as many questions about lactation, relationships, navigating the hormones of the fourth trimester, and the back-to-work journey.

More than anything, as a woman and mother myself, I wanted to give them that community. I wanted our brand to stand for something bigger than the product, because this time of life is huge. Especially in 2021, a far different time than when we launched 10 years ago, pregnant women need support, flexibility, community, and permission to take care of themselves, which will allow them to take care of others.

Women also need to feel like perfection isn’t the standard, that the Instagram model of baby-rearing – with perfectly curated parenting moments in a muted filter – is entirely smoke and mirrors.

As paid family leave remains on the congressional chopping block, pregnant women and new parents need support and help.

It really does take a community to do this, but many of us live far from our own parents and families. Since starting Hatch, I’ve learned that we must create our own support systems filled with friends, neighbors, fellow parents at the school drop-off, online mom groups – whoever can help share in the joy and burden of raising children today, whether in real life or in a quiet, late-night place to share.

Support looks different for everyone

I’ve learned that women need to feel that they’re a part of something bigger than themselves, that they can connect with others in what they’re going through – because we’ve all been there.

From relationship struggles to questions about what’s considered “normal” in their pregnancies, they need to feel heard, understood, and a bit reassured, because, yes, it is, in fact, all good – or, even if it’s not, yes, it’s totally normal, and, yes, everything’s going to be OK eventually.

I hope we’re helping create that conversation and shift the messaging around pregnancy and new parenthood to one of acceptance and openness.

Our customers need it; women around the world need it. Even in our own offices, made up largely of women and new mothers, we need it, too.

I hope that we’re serving women with what they need: leggings and nursing bras and that perfect dress when nothing fits and you need to look fabulous, but also a place where they can feel heard and understood without judgment – just support and love.

Ariane Goldman is the founder and CEO of Hatch, a maternity brand that’s been worn by pregnant people including Meghan Markle, Ashley Graham, Amy Schumer, Jessica Alba, Anne Hathaway, and Kate Hudson.

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