Despite the common idea that once the baby is out, you can basically go back to wearing normal clothes – this is so not the case.
Often, as new mothers prepare for the baby to be born, the maternity clothing aspect is sorted and they’re looking forward to putting their old jeans on again – but as many first time mothers don’t realise, there’s a little limbo land between childbirth and your body healing that can require you to have some post baby style tips up your sleeve. So this week I wanted to share with you what to wear post baby so you can focus on resting, looking decent for friend and family visits and getting back into the swing of things.
Post pregnancy, your body takes about 6-10 weeks for the uterus to get back to its normal size, meaning that despite your little boy or girl being wrapped up in that gorgeous bunny rug- you’re likely to still be asked ‘When’s the due date?’ ‘Is this your first?’ and ‘I bet you can’t wait to have a baby, can you?!’ when on the inside you’re thinking ‘THE AUDACITY OF SOME PEOPLE.’
BOOBS, BUMS & BELLIES – WHAT TO WEAR POSTPARTUM
While you may be tempted to get yourself a nursing bra straight away, you are always best waiting a few weeks to let your breasts fluctuate. This isn’t so your boobs can hoisted up and look fabulous all the time, this is so that your bra fits comfortably enough and doesn’t cause you to waste your hard earned money on nursing bras (which can be pricey!). Keep in mind that your boobs will leak and you’ll need a few spare bras, the best option between birth and nursing bras is to get some stretchy, flexible crop style bras that are easy on and off.
Your lower belly is going to be sore if you’ve had a c-section, some nurses will recommend c-section recovery high waisted underwear and this is very useful, particularly because the waist bands of regular pants, skirts and dresses can irritate your stitches. Look for looser fit tops and dresses and avoid hip belts, at all costs.
For comfortable postpartum pants options, tracksuit pants (not too chic, I know) and thick leggings (NOT JEGGINGS) are great options. You can actually get some really great and inexpensive ones from places like Bonds & Kmart. These look particularly stylish if you add a tee, a funky scarf, a denim jacket and some sneakers will work. You want things with lots of stretch in them and room to move comfortably. If they’ve got stretch, they’ll fit you better as your stomach starts to return to its normal size.
Know That The ‘Celebrity Postpartum Spring-Back’ Effect Is Unrealistic.
Sure, some people have faster deflating uterus, big deal- they can’t write that on their LinkedIn profile. Slow and steady wins the race and remember that just because Miranda Kerr’s post baby body looks like she gave birth to an m&m, doesn’t mean you should be setting those standards for yourself. Chrissy Tegan recently spoke up about the unrealistic mindset women who have recently given birth have when it comes to not looking like their usual selves after child birth.
We have all the help we could ever need to be able to shed everything. We have nutritionists, we have dietitians, we have trainers, we have our own schedules, we have nannies. We have people who make it possible for us to get back into shape. But nobody should feel like that’s normal, or like that’s realistic.
What If You Have To Get Back Into Work/Have Social Commitments Soon After?
As someone who hasn’t been through this personally, I’ve got to say that the women who can jump back into work (especially if you own your own business, are a single mother or don’t have the ability to take the time off) are such strong women. I’ve helped style clients who have had to go back to work quite soon after childbirth and it’s hard- particularly if you work a corporate job as postpartum clothes brands don’t seem to be a thing.
What I can tell you is that these are a few essentials I rely upon when dressing clients who have just had a baby:
Postpartum Work Clothing Essentials:
- Shift Dresses
- Maternity Wrap Dresses
- Slip Dresses (For underneath, these will provide extra protection for leaking.)
- Waterfall cardigans
- Thick Black High Waisted Leggings (they can look like work pants)
- A Classic Men’s Shirt: Styled with accessories and ballet flats and you can wear them again!
- Patterned Tops (Patterns can disguise leaks)
- Matching Scarves (To cover up stains on plain items.)
- Chest Height Accessories (To bring attention to your fabulous face.)
- Vest / gilet (These will help create layers and draw attention away from your lower stomach- this can help you feel more comfortable if you have a sagging stomach.)
- Longer Style Tops (Perfect For Layering)
Fabric Don’ts: Silk, Satin, Taffeta, Wool
Do’s: 100% Cotton, Elastane, Jersey, Polyester, Chiffon
What To Wear Postpartum Tips: Layering
Two cardigans of different lengths can help to elongate your body and disguise your midsection. The perfect laying balance can be found when you wear a long length cardigan over a regular length top with pants, or when you wear a cropped cardigan over a longer style top with pants. If you have carried more weight in your backside during pregnancy, the second option will be the most flattering for you. If you want to read up more about layering, here’s my post about that style secret!
If you have any questions relating to what to wear postpartum, get in touch. As you may have noticed there’s a brand spanking new category called ‘Maternity’ which is still in its early days but is bound to be bursting with information soon. It will be covering maternity, postpartum and nursing for those of you who need a stylist’s touch during this new and exciting time of your life.