Fairbanks may be famous for its cold winters, friendly people, and unique way of life, but it is not known for its great shopping. Despite being a commercial hub for much of Alaska, Fairbanks does not have the variety of stores found in other places. Although you can normally find what you need locally, pregnant women in Fairbanks are stuck with an unusually slim number of places to shop for maternity wear.
Wal-Mart, Fred Meyer’s, and Sears in Fairbanks do not carry maternity items. The stores many Fairbanksans shop for their clothing do not have a maternity section available.
The Internet has a huge selection of maternity clothing that can be shipped to Fairbanks, but if you want to try your maternity clothing on before you buy, you have the options listed below:
Bellies and Babies – 775 Green Meadow Drive, Fairbanks, phone (907) 374-8717,
Located in the owner’s home off of Farmer’s Loop Road, the drive to Bellies and Babies is a nice trip into an Alaskan-style residential neighborhood. The shop is located close to The Plant Kingdom Greenhouse, making a trip to Bellies and Babies all the more interesting in the summer months. This store has a variety of new and consignment maternity wear, including formal attire and swimsuits. A full line of bellybands and maternity hosiery is available.
Bellies and babies is also Fairbanks’ authorized Medela retailer, so it is good to know where they are located before you are nursing and find yourself needing a replacement part for the high quality breast pumps.
I found Bellies and Babies to have the greatest variety of maternity clothing available in Fairbanks during 2010.
Blueberry Baby – 378 Old Chena Pump Road, Fairbanks, (907)374-2772
Blueberry Baby is the local green baby item store, with a selection of cloth diapers, organic baby wear, and reusable menstrual items for women. The back room has consignment clothing, with one full round rack of maternity clothing available. Selection varies, so you may want to keep checking as different clothing items come in routinely.
The new area of the store does have specialty bras, some of which are designed for pregnancy when a woman’s breasts undergo significant changes during pregnancy.
Cribs, Cradles, and Things – 1440 University Avenue South, (907) 452-5437
This store focuses on high-quality, brand name items for baby. They also have about half of one clothing rack dedicated to pregnant mom. There are a few very basic, go-with-everything pants styles and some long maternity t-shirts available here. Cribs, Cradles and Things also carries post-natal support bands, designed to help mom get her figure back after childbirth or a caesarean.
Old Navy – 413 Merhar Avenue, phone (907) 456-5300
This is the one mainstream box store in Fairbanks that carries maternity clothing. This particular store does not carry maternity swimwear. Maternity clothing arrives and is often quickly snatched up. If you like Old Navy style clothing, it will be worthwhile to find out when shipments arrive so you can look at items before they are gone. There are approximately four bars of clothing, and two stand alone racks for the maternity section of this store.
If you try on an item and like the fit but not the color, it is worth checking the stores website to see if you can order it in another color.
You can also try the various second hand thrift stores when looking for maternity items in Fairbanks. I found a gorgeous maternity sweater at Value Village. Selection is hit and miss, depending on donated items. When I checked again at Value Village two weeks after finding some great maternity items, there were no actual maternity items to be found in the store. I checked at Salvation Army as well that day, and found that both stores had placed full-size women’s clothing on the maternity racks to give the appearance of having any maternity clothing at all. I tried on some of the pants and tops to find out that full figure clothing does not fit a pregnant figure.