Postpartum Clothes: Finding Flattering Clothes for Any Body Type
Considering the amazing feat of having a baby, it’s not surprising that our bodies take some time after delivery to return to their pre-pregnancy state. In fact, for most women, it will take a minimum of six months to lose the weight they gained during pregnancy.
Don’t let this worry you; after all, the changes in your body are evidence of the wonderful and natural process you and your child have experienced together.
Changes to the size and shape of your body during and after pregnancy will almost certainly make it difficult for you to wear some of your past wardrobe staples. This might make dressing yourself difficult during the first few months of motherhood.
But don’t worry, mama – with some guidance and creative outfit-planning, you’ll realize that you have far more outfit options than you might think! Don’t let the prospect of choosing postpartum outfits stress you out.
In our guide below, you’ll find plenty of ideas to make dressing your post-baby body a breeze.
There Is No Right or Wrong Way To Dress After Pregnancy
When it comes to postpartum fashion, the most important thing to remember is that how you feel is what’s most important. Perhaps you can’t wait to wear fancy, feminine outfits again after months of staying at home.
Maybe you want to maximize comfort, and couldn’t care less about style – or, maybe, you fall somewhere between those two outlooks. Ultimately, you deserve the freedom to dress however feels right. Be creative, and find what works for you!
When you’re busy falling into the rhythm of new motherhood, recovering from delivery, and bonding with your little one, you’ll likely have less time available to spend thinking about fashion. Luckily, we’ve compiled this guide to make choosing outfits a little easier.
Balancing Comfort, Functionality, and Style
Your body has just accomplished an amazing feat, and continues to do incredible things every day as you care for your little one.
You can maximize your wellbeing and that of your child by supporting your own body’s needs. That means taking time for self-care practices like exercising, staying hydrated, and wearing comfortable clothes.
After delivery, you may notice that the muscles of your abdomen are weakened after being stretched during pregnancy. Wearing clothing with flexible support can be helpful and provide increased comfort.
Look for high-waisted leggings or even shapewear for added support. However, make sure not to constrict your abdomen too tightly. Postpartum clothing should offer support without being confining.
It’s also common to experience breast soreness during the months after delivery, especially as you adjust to nursing or wait for your milk supply to decrease if using formula. Look for supportive bras without wires and without thin straps that could cut into your skin for optimal comfort.
Being a mom is a full-time job. Dressing in clothing that makes your daily tasks and activities even easier will help you care for your little one with ease.
If you are nursing, make sure to wear clothing that allows your little one easy access to your breast. Button-down shirts and dresses are wonderful for this purpose. You might also find that wrap-style shirts and dresses work well for you and your little one.
If you are concerned about nursing in public, take comfort in the fact that making careful clothing selections can help you maintain a sense of modesty and privacy while nursing. Long, loose, and flowy shirts and tunics can be great for moms who want to breastfeed subtly.
Alternatively, you can get creative and add a scarf to your outfit for use as a privacy shield while nursing.
Another thing to consider, whether you nurse or use formula, is the need to carry all of your baby supplies wherever you go. The necessity of toting diapers, creams, and bottles around with you doesn’t need to compromise your personal style!
A large tote-style bag or fashionable backpack can be a great, subtle substitute for a diaper bag.
It’s important to remember that your personal style doesn’t have to fall by the wayside in the hectic months after your baby is born. Many moms don’t feel like themselves for several months after the birth of their child.
This is a relatively common phenomenon, and may have various causes. If this sounds like your experience, don’t fret; there are steps you can take to help yourself feel at home in your own skin again and rediscover your personality.
If you are interested in fashion, rediscovering or developing your personal style is a great way to aid this process.
Even though many of your pre-baby staple pieces may not fit for a few months at least, you can still dress like yourself after birth! Using your favorite accessories is a great way to dress up any outfit with a touch of personal flair. It’s a good idea also to wear some of your maternity clothes for at least the first few months postpartum.
This will allow you to stretch your wardrobe farther while shopping less and help you stay comfortable.
You may want to also invest in some new clothing items to flatter your figure and revamp your sense of style. Shopping can be challenging, however, especially when you’re searching for clothing to fit a body that may feel unfamiliar.
Worry not, mama – we’ve compiled this list of postpartum clothing suggestions to make the process easier.
For A Soft Belly
It may be disappointing to learn that your belly doesn’t automatically deflate after birth. In fact, your tummy will likely take several weeks to reduce in size after delivery and might take six months or more to return to its pre-baby state.
There are exercises you can do to support this process if you are interested. However, there’s nothing to hide about a baby-bearing belly – it’s a badge of motherhood!
When choosing clothes to accommodate your new belly, loose and flowy tops can be an asset.
Choose tunics and blouses with peplum or elastic detailing to give your body more shape and define your waist. Even if your belly is a little bigger than it used to be, cinching a flowy top with a belt will do wonders to define your waist.
For bottoms, you may find that high-waisted pants – from jeans to leggings – are the most comfortable option, offering extra support just where you need it. There are postpartum girdles available from maternity brands that provide additional structure for your recovering abdominal muscles.
However, if constriction creates any discomfort for your tummy, steer clear and instead opt for loose, flowy pants, which will give your belly some extra breathing room.
For Nursing Mamas
Button-up or wrap-style shirts and dresses are a great choice for mamas who need to give their little ones access to their lunch. In addition, you may find that choosing a lactation-friendly bra makes your life easier!
When nursing, bear in mind that your breasts will be larger than they were pre-baby. You may need to purchase loose tops and larger bras to wear during the months you spend nursing.
However, remember that when you eventually wean your child and stop nursing, your breasts will return to a size similar to their state before pregnancy – so certainly don’t get rid of your old bras and shirts!
For Active Mamas
Exercise is an essential part of postpartum self-care. Wondering what kinds of activewear will work best and flatter your post-baby bod?
Generally, high-waisted leggings and bike shorts are a great choice for bottoms. If you’re in search of extra support, compression shorts are a trendy and comfortable option as well. These pants will give added support to your torso and abdomen as you exercise to regain core strength.
On top, you’ll want to shop for sports bras that offer plenty of support. Some maternity brands offer sports bras designed specifically for nursing mamas. Wear flowy, lightweight shirts to keep yourself from overheating.
And don’t forget to hydrate while exercising – hydration is critically important while nursing your little one!
For Busy Mamas
We know you’ve got a lot on your plate as a new mom. Picking out an outfit every day shouldn’t be an additional source of stress. Building a cohesive, postpartum-friendly wardrobe is one way to minimize the time you spend on clothes.
To do this, you may want to build a postpartum capsule wardrobe. This strategy involves selecting a limited number of high-quality staple pieces in colors that are easy to mix and match. Neutrals are a safe bet for a color scheme, but don’t be afraid of color! A pop of brightness will add energy and color to your look, even on the days when you feel exhausted.
Your postpartum wardrobe should contain a variety of pieces for different occasions. Ideally, you’ll be able to reach into your closet and grab a put-together outfit within minutes.
Look for the following pieces to begin building your postpartum-friendly wardrobe:
- Loose, flowy tops
- Wrap jackets and scarves for nursing privacy and cold weather
- Supportive bras and shapewear for comfort
- High-waisted pants
- Comfortable, supportive shoes
- Loose, soft dresses
Once you have the basics, you can help your capsule wardrobe better reflect your own personal style by adding in accessories and a few of your favorite statement pieces. Then, you’re ready to parent in style!
Getting Dressed Shouldn’t Add Stress to Your Postpartum Life
At Greater Than, we know you may be feeling a little overwhelmed or stressed about what to wear postpartum. That’s why we want to provide ways you can enjoy getting dresses during every stage of your pregnancy – before and after.
With a new baby, you have enough on your mind.
Go easy on your body during these months, and take care of yourself. Dressing to flatter your postpartum body is one way to empower yourself to take on the world with your little one at your side.
With these tips, tricks, and strategies under your belt, you’re more than ready to get out there and do your thing!
Your body after pregnancy | BabyCentre UK
Exercise after pregnancy: How to get started | Mayo Clinic
Losing your identity after having a baby (and how to get it back) | Tommy's
Postpartum Exercise: What to Know About Exercising After Pregnancy | Houston Methodist On Health