When I was pregnant with my first child, I must admit I gave little to no thought about my postpartum body and wardrobe. Sure it would take a little time but I should go straight back to wearing my pre-pregnancy clothing pronto. That. Did. Not. Happen. In fact, the outfit I packed to wear home from the hospital was pre-pregnancy sweat pants and matching hoodie, it was stretchy so it should have worked. Wrong again. Let’s just say it was an uncomfortable ride home with a muffin top so big it was more like a 7-layer wedding cake. After I was home, I was determined not to wear maternity clothes. To me that felt like admitting there was something wrong with me. At that time style resources for new moms were limited and I had few friends with babies yet so my mind was filled by media images. Women who were red-carpet ready hours after popping a kid out. This is not reality mamas – and that’s okay. Thankfully I learned some things before I had my second child and I wore home maternity leggings, a loose shirt and a maternity cardigan. I may have looked a little rough around the edges but I felt a million times better than I had the first time around.
The postpartum period is different for everyone. Everyone’s bodies are different. My best advice for postpartum moms; cut yourself some slack – okay a lot of slack, give yourself the gift of time and comfort, invest in a few pieces of postpartum clothing and use your neutral maternity pieces until you can comfortably fit back into your pre-pregnancy clothing. I know it can be frustrating to buy things when you still have baby weight you want to lose and organs that are slowly working their way back into position but trust me – you deserve to feel good about yourself now. Not in 6 weeks, not in 3 months, not in 9 months or a year but now. You can always pass them on to a friend when finished, like a sisterhood of traveling afterbirth clothes.
I have put together five looks for postpartum moms. Feel fabulous about yourself while being prepared and comfortable. Thank you to my fellow Madison Moms Blog writers for sharing with me some of their favorite items to add to these looks!
This is a great casual look that is stylish and chic enough to wear out yet comfy enough to wear in for resting and healing. It’s hard to go wrong with an outfit that feels like pajamas but looks modern and put together. Printed soft pants are on trend right now which is perfect for postpartum life. Men’s button down shirts are great for postpartum comfort (so feel free to raid your husband’s closet), they are loose and the buttons make them perfect for nursing and/or skin to skin contact with baby. A practical and roomy diaper bag is perfect for making trips out of the house easier – don’t forget a travel mug with some coffee or hot tea to keep you cozy (and caffeinated). Teething necklaces are a fun way to add a great pop of color to an outfit and as the baby gets older they’ll love playing with and chomping on it. A scarf that can double as a nursing cover is another fun and practical way to add a pop of color. Top it all off with a messy bun for the perfect stylish yet low effort look.
Here’s a perfect look for nursing moms. Some ways to feel stylish and fun but still comfortable with the (all-important) easy boob access. Even if you’re not nursing this is a great look to feel fabulous postpartum. Elastic insert jeans are genius – you can wear them in the first trimester or two then they make the perfect postpartum jeans that look like “regular” jeans. Another pant option is to retro fit some pre-pregancy jeans with elastic bands or a Bellaband. Ballet flats are still my favorite way to class up any outfit or add fun detail. A good ring sling will let you wear your baby and nurse them right in the sling. Don’t forget cute sunglasses to hide dark circles and a cute cap to cover crusty hair. Ps. The sneaky nurser title doesn’t imply anyone should have to hide that they are nursing but simply a stylish look that doesn’t scream “milk factory” and gives you easy access and comfort.
This look is perfect for hitting a yoga class, grabbing coffee or lunch with a friend or maybe even easing back into a workout routine. Leggings are quite possibly the most perfect postpartum clothing item. They are completely versatile – dress them up or down. Tunics are comfy enough for a good tree pose but dressy enough for any situation – not to mention they don’t hug to the middle section of the body that may still need a little extra space. Always throw on a comfy scarf, you can use it to wipe spit up, cover up spit up or even as a nursing cover if needed. Tossing a compact diaper changing kit into a large duffle is perfect way to consolidate bags for outings. A nursing sports bra is a comfy must. Finish it off with a denim jacket – a timeless look. Looks great even when unbuttoned (I wore mine for quite awhile postpartum before I could button it up again).
Leaving your little one for the first night out can feel monumental. Torn between not wanting to leave the baby and giddy excitement at the idea of a grown-up night on the town (even if it does end at 8:30pm). This is a fantastic look for a night out. I love this nursing dress because it’s pretty and elegant, you would never know it’s a nursing dress. A wrap style dress also works great for a nursing dress. Even with the baby at home you may need to pump or nurse right before leaving or right when returning and you’ll want to be prepared. Another great idea is to have a little hand pump in your bag just in case you need a quick pump while your out – mamas gotta pump when they gotta pump! A pashmina makes a great coat or jacket. I know my dress coat never fit during pregnancy or at least six months postpartum. A custom name necklace is a fun way to keep your little one with you even when you are apart. Wedges are a comfy way to add style and a little height to your look. Finish it all off with some lipstick – instant confidence.
At some point after having a baby many of us have to get back in the saddle. It may be an office, a store or a school but whatever your career you’ll need to look good, be prepared and still feel comfortable. This look is a great way to create a dressy, work appropriate outfit out of wardrobe staples. A maxi dress is the perfect postpartum piece. Polish it up with a blazer, like a denim jacket it looks great even unbuttoned. Add some fun bling and tall boots for instant confidence boosters. For nursing moms a good travel pump and a pumping bra is a must have. Now a days we all have access to tons of digital photos on our smart phones, tablets and laptops but there is nothing like having a framed picture of your cutie pie staring you in the face everyday when you’re apart. It helped me when I went back to the office after having my oldest. Sometimes it’s the little things that make the transitions easier, that is why I love this mug. What a great way to start the day and cheer yourself on (even if you feel like climbing in the crib with your little one and staying all day). Don’t forget to pack yourself a lunch – mamas need to eat too!
*To find items in the five looks above, click on the images to be taken to the sources.
Postpartum life can be rough but hang in there mama, it gets easier and better. You’ll get through it…in fact I bet you’ll rock it!