I rented maternity clothes during my pregnancy using Motherhood Rental — here’s what it was like, and what you should know before trying it
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Clothing rental services are rising in popularity as many of us seek more sustainable and affordable ways to expand our closets. Motherhood Maternity and A Pea in the Pod, which are part of the same company, recently launched Motherhood Rental, a clothing subscription for all stages of pregnancy. And considering that none of us want to buy an entire new wardrobe for just a few months of wear, it makes for a perfect match.
I tried the $69 monthly Motherhood Rental subscription for two months at the start of my third trimester and found it helpful and convenient as my pregnant body experienced its most dramatic growth.
While I thought certain aspects left much to be desired, overall, Motherhood Rental offers strong value, and hopefully most issues I faced will be addressed as the service grows and matures.
How Motherhood Rental works
Motherhood Rental makes it simple to dress for every trimester of pregnancy by delivering unlimited boxes every month, each containing three pieces of clothing.
The collection is edited from A Pea in the Pod and Motherhood’s expansive maternity lines, updated weekly to add new and seasonal styles. A Pea in the Pod also features designers like Rachel Pally, 7 For All Mankind, Paige Denim, Splendid, and others. There’s a ton of dresses, denim, leggings, graphic tees, blouses, sweaters, coats, and more to choose from.
The way it works is that instead of just choosing three items to receive, you select eight items you like, and the service sends you three based on availability. You can request to prioritize certain styles as a must-have, but there’s no guarantee you’ll get them. When finished, simply return everything in the included pre-paid bag. You can swap out boxes as many times as you’d like, but it all has to be returned together.
You also have the option to keep anything at a discounted price. This is a great perk, especially for expensive designer clothes from A Pea in the Pod.
Each item is then laundered with both wet and dry cleaning and goes through a high-heat steam tunnel that is at least 240º F (CDC guidance provides that flu viruses are killed by heat above 167º F). There are no dyes or perfumes used, and Motherhood Rental promises each item is inspected three times after cleaning before being shipped.
Here’s what it’s like to use Motherhood Rental
I used Motherhood Rental for two months in the summer and fall, provided for free by the company for the purposes of review.
Each pregnancy is different, but my bump stayed relatively small until about 28 weeks when it seemed to pop overnight and continued to grow weekly.
This is about when I started my rental, so I found Motherhood Rental to be extremely useful. I was able to evolve what I wore as I needed it, with little commitment. Otherwise, I would have had to purchase several items to wear for just a few weeks or months. I’m glad I didn’t have to scramble for such a short-lived wardrobe.
It was easy to filter and identify styles I liked and wanted to place on my rack, and anywhere from five to nine new pieces were added each week for variety and seasonality.
Video: A clothing brand for people with disabilities (Reuters)
Here are some of the styles I loved most
I also liked this more fitted crew neck sweater, which hugged my belly nicely and went with everything from leggings to jeans or joggers. Most of the collection leans to every day, casual looks, though you’ll find workwear and dressier options, too.
Cons to consider
While highly practical, Motherhood Rental wasn’t always seamless. In two months, I was able to request five boxes. Of those, I wore a fraction of what I received.
This was not all Motherhood Rental’s fault — maternity sizing is challenging and subjective. It also requires a bit of trial and error, but because I couldn’t hold onto the one or two things I did like, it felt frustrating to send everything back to be able to try something else. I hope in the future that Motherhood allows you to hold onto the clothes you do like and swap out the ones you don’t.
And though shipping is free via USPS, it takes time. It took six days on average from receiving a notification that my next box was in the works until it actually arrived on my doorstep. Considering many boxes contained clothing I didn’t like and sent back, I often felt like I wasn’t able to get full use out of my subscription.
I also wish that I could actually pick what came in each box. This makes it pretty difficult to use Motherhood Rental for specific events since you can’t guarantee what you’ll receive, or when exactly it will arrive.
Finally, while you’ll be prompted to rate and review each item returned, Motherhood Rental is still too new to share that feedback from fellow renters. I’d love to see real-life pictures and notes on fit to help make decisions.
The bottom line
Motherhood Rental offers unrivaled access to a wide offering of maternity clothes for as little or as long as you’d like, which is incredibly useful considering how short-term pregnancy really is.
Even if you’re planning to have additional children in the near term, Motherhood Rental is an inexpensive way to discover your personal maternity style and try out items from popular lines and several designers, all tailored for pregnancy. And if you find something you love, you can purchase it at a discounted price.
It’s also more sustainable and environmentally friendly than purchasing a new wardrobe you may very well discard a few months later. If you can get past the cons I mentioned above, I highly recommend trying the service.
The monthly cost is low enough to try for a short period, and I look forward to seeing the additional styles added and further changes made as Motherhood Rental evolves and grows — not unlike a beautiful pregnancy bump itself.
This content was originally published here.