I had noticed that the locals are crazy about kids and so the abundancy of toy shops as well as children's furniture shops came as no surprise. But I must say, I was relieved and happy to find quite a few places selling maternity clothes & gear as well.
I've listed places that are non-specialist as well as the proper maternity/ baby shops since this year's fashion (empire line and feminine dresses, tops and leggings) has made it a lot easier to wear larger sized non-maternity clothes... at least for the first few months!
MUMS, BABIES & TODDLERS:
Benetton in Agora shopping mall (Balcova) and Alsancak have a maternity corner with a selection of capri trousers, wrap around tops, t-shirts and cardigans as well as a larger selection of baby to toddler clothes.
Bostanli market: If you don't want to invest in maternity clothes, this is the place to go! Bargain track-suit bottoms, t-shirts and practical cotton shirts from 5-10 ytl. I also found some H&M maternity pants there for 15 ytl (pictured left), and saw at least 3 stalls selling baby clothes.
The thing with markets is that supply varies, so you have to go often. If you have "early birds" among your friends, ask them to let you know if they spot things of interest and try to go there the same day. (Bostanli market is on every Wednesday in Bostanli, Karsiyaka)
Mothercare: there are two of these, one in Karsiyaka in the Carrefour shopping centre, and one in Alsancak (pictured right, on Kültür Mah. 1386 Sk. 8/B, Tel. 0232.465.16.36 just off Mustafa Bey Caddesi. Where exactly? If you are standing with your back to Starbuck's, cross the road, walk away from the sea and take the first right. Mothercare is directly opposite Gloria Jean's Coffee one street up (parallel) from the one next to Mango.
The ground floor is full of clothing for toddlers and babies, but they also stock maternity bras, maternity nighties and some dresses. Go upstairs for the baby clothes and baby related gear (bath tubs, baby dressing gowns, muslin wipes, nursing bras & breast pads, sterilizers, prams, bump seat belts, nursing pillows, etc.)
N.B. you may "order" from the catalogues available in the shops.
Top-shop in Alsancak and Bornova Forum have very cute A-line dresses, cardigans and tops in a variety of designs and colors. Also the Alsancak shop has a very small selection of maternity clothes that can be handy for tops that are longer in the front, maternity trousers and maternity hosiery for wearing dresses until the weather warms up! Top-shop is not cheap, but definitely trendy!
Dr. Mustafabey Cad. N° 11/A Alsancak. Tel 0232.465.00.47 (Walking away from Starbucks and the Kordon towards "Bonjour" café on your left).
A small selection of maternity jeans, capri pants, skirts as well as dresses and tops.
Not far from there, walking towards the Hilton, go to BellaMom (check out their website for the map by clicking on Izmir) for jeans & jeans skirts, kaki skirts, t-shirts, cardigans and both funky and plain tops & t-shirts. The owners speak English, are friendly and helpful.
I especially liked their t-shirts with removable velcro months, as well as those stating "Coming soon", "Got Milk" or "it all started with a kiss".
Again not cheap but probably worth it if you're looking for a basic like a classical skirt or jeans that you'll be able to wear through your pregnancy.
Anyway, sometimes you just want to indulge yourself - pregnant or not! Plus if you're pregnant, soon you'll be focusing on baby clothes so enjoy shopping for yourself now.
BABIES & TODDLERS:
Finally, Next (in Bornova Forum) also has lovely baby and toddler clothes with sizes for small, medium and large newborns.
That's about all for now, but should I make a revolutionnary discovery I'll update this post.
As always, please don't hesitate to write in should you have questions or information of your own to share.