4 Black Moms on Their Personal Style Evolution While Pregnant

Anifa Mvuemba, Naomi Osaka, Telsha Anderson-Boone, and Hannah Bronfman open up about the complex relationship between body and style.

How we dress is intricately tied to how we feel, move, and process in this world. And for Black women, that world can be as rife with terror, anxiety, and uncertainty as it is with joy. But when you have a passion for fashion, that ardent love doesn’t falter — even when your body changes. When motherhood comes into play, however, a sartorial shift may be inevitable; from pregnancy to postpartum to lifestyle changes, clothing has to align with the newest eras in that parent’s life, not the other way around. For Maternal Mental Health Month, InStyle speaks to four expecting mothers — designer Anifa Mvuemba, Olympian Naomi Osaka, fashion buyer Telsha Anderson-Boone, and wellness advocate Hannah Bronfman — about how their style has evolved, and how they feel about those changes.

Anifa Mvuemba

Fashion Designer of Hanifa

On Shifting Priorities:

When I found out I was pregnant, my priorities definitely shifted. I’ve always been driven by my career — and even claim Hanifa as my first baby — but this pregnancy has opened my eyes to the beauty of bringing life into the world and becoming a mother. I imagine once she’s here, my priorities will shift even more, but my vision and purpose have always been greater than me. And now I know that on the deepest level.

On Her Changing Style:

Pregnancy has made me much more time conscious for sure: I’m constantly thinking about how to maximize my time. I’m also a lot more aware of the fit and the feel of the clothes I wear, which has changed my style as well as my approach to design. I love clothes that show off the beauty of a woman’s figure and give her confidence, especially in accentuating my bump. At the same time, I value comfort right now, which has helped influence some of our newer designs like the comfort collection I wore for my maternity shoot (it was perfect timing!).

On Her Support System:

I actually have a lot of mom friends in my circle and my sister (who I work alongside with) on this journey with me, which has been extremely helpful when it comes to support. The most helpful advice given to me during my pregnancy was to give myself a lot of grace and not to feel bad when I just need to stop and slow down a bit.

Telsha Anderson-Boone

Owner and Fashion Buyer of t.a. 

On Her Changing Style:

I've been lucky enough to still fit into the majority of my closet since I typically dress "oversize," but I have added a few pieces from HATCH. For me, I've always looked for pieces that have a renewed outlook towards luxury living, and now I do the same with a touch of comfort. More specifically, pieces that can stand alone and fit a variety of bodily transitions.

On Balancing Work with Motherhood:

[My outlook on my career] has been "Go, go, go!" non-stop, and now I'm ready for a manageable shift. I'm ready to fill my Black son with as much love and knowledge as he'll take. Of course, we'll educate him on what's happening around him and allow him to formulate his own perspective. I'm looking forward to meeting my son, watching him grow, and helping him navigate life in whatever capacity he requires. I'm ready for a full night's sleep! But I'll miss the kicks.

Naomi Osaka

Athlete, Entrepreneur, Mental Health Advocate

On Keeping Healthy:

I have always been one to care about what I put into my body; as an athlete that’s been important to training and performance but when you are pregnant it’s even more important. I’m making sure I eat well and ensure what I put on my skin is equally as safe as what I put into my body.

On Her Changing Style (or Lack Thereof):

My style hasn’t really changed much since being pregnant as I was never someone who wore uncomfortable or restrictive clothing. If anything it allowed me to embrace my casual yet fashion forward style and allowed me to wear more of the items from my Nike Collection as well as even wear some of my sleepwear out in public. When you are pregnant, really anything goes, even a cute silky robe as a jacket.

Hannah Bronfman

Angel Investor, Author, Wellness Expert

On How Her Second Pregnancy Is Different Than Her First:

I’ve done everything differently this time around. There was a pandemic last time [I was pregnant] and I didn’t have access to anything. All communication with my community was virtual — this is completely different. For most people, my pregnancy now is “normal” and the pandemic pregnancy was a movie out of a sci-fi film, so I’m just happy to have access to things again. My support has been large, which I’m so grateful for. My husband, friends, my team, my doula and midwives, and my acupuncturist are who I rely on during this time. Dealing with a toddler and a baby will definitely be a different scenario than we are used to, but I’m excited for it and we will adjust!

On Her New Approach to Fashion:

My style is so different now versus the first pregnancy, but it’s also a different season and, again, no longer a pandemic. Considering Rihanna walked so we could run, I have really embraced my belly being out.

On Being a Black Mom:

As a pregnant Black woman with a significant following on social media, I have been able to use my platform to shed a light on the Black maternal health crisis in a real way. It’s something I talk about when I’m not pregnant and should be talked about by everyone, not just Black women. I would say that it is a part of my job and life to be an active advocate.

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