Even the most hardcore fashionista can have trouble bouncing back to her runway regalia after having a baby. Postpartum, your body is in an even more chaotic state than during pregnancy (if you can believe it). Take your hips, for example. Pushing a baby out causes your hip bones to expand even further. Those skinny jeans you used to love? There’s a chance they’ll never fit the same again. Then there’s all the “leaking” happening. So, yes, there are a few things you should know about your postpartum fashion routine.
After you give birth, your boobs will start to leak. Oh, and leak and leak and leak. Basically every time you hear the baby cry, or think about baby, or hold baby, there you'll be: leaking. You’re also going to be leaking a pretty substantial (but hopefully normal) amount of blood from your vagina. Remember all those months of periods you didn’t have while pregnant? Well, it’s back now. With a vengeance. Isn't the mom=life fun, you guys?
More things to take into account? You might have birth injuries or c-section scars that need healing. You’ll have trouble regulating your temperature. Thanks to hormones, you might not always be feeling super keen about your body. Once you start to take this all into account, you’ll realize there’s a path to take when making post-baby fashion decisions.
Your First Fashion Statement Will Be To Wear Ugly Hospital-Issued Mesh Underwear
You might have packed some cute panties in your hospital bag. Those won’t see the light of day for a few weeks, though (at least). Instead, you’ll be wearing the most gigantic pads you’ve ever seen, held in place by these giant mesh panties. That might be the first moment you realize fashion and newborns aren’t wholly compatible.
Stock Up On Black (Or Dark-Colored) Brief Or Boyshort Panties
After the first couple weeks, you can finally go back to underwear. If you’ve got a drawer full of thongs, though, you should probably just forget about them. You’ll want to wear black undies because you’re always going to end up bleeding out of your pads at least a little (especially at night). Briefs and "boy shorts" are probably the most comfortable styles, or really any old panties you don’t mind staining will do.
If You Can Get Nursing-Friendly Shirts, Definitely Do
If you plan to and are able to breastfeed, nursing tops are great. They won’t be cheap, but they will make your life easier. Try Milk Nursingwear for some pretty chic styles. I got all of mine through Mama Feels Good, an online shop with tons of funky designs (like aliens, owls, and trees). You can also opt to wear spaghetti tanks underneath other tops for a kind of make-shift nursing tee.
Even if You’re Not Nursing, You’ll Want To Stick To “Throw Away” Bras
Like I said before, your boobs are gonna leak no matter what. Even if you have issues with milk production, like I did, you’ll still be leaking something. And you know what? Breastmilk stains the hell out of your clothes. Your bras, included.
Sure, you might be using nursing pads to help absorb some but, just like your period pads, they aren’t infallible.
Robes Are A Goddess-Send
Robes will be your BFF once you’re home with your baby. You’ll want to have more than one if possible, since they’re likely to bear the brunt of spit ups, pee sprinkles, and any food you might spill on yourself because you’re dead tired. They will also keep your clothes a bit cleaner, meaning less laundry!
It’s Perfectly Acceptable To Wear The Same Thing For Days At A Time
New mamas don’t have time to do laundry two or three times a week. Rather, they don’t have time to do that for their own clothes since they’ll be up to their eyeballs in baby duds. So unless you’ve got a Cher-from-Clueless-sized wardrobe, just put on some fresh deodorant and see how long your shirts can last.
You’ll Want To Wear As Many Soft Fabrics As Possible
You know that really, really, really old, oversized shirt from your teen years that you refused to throw out no matter how many holes it got? Remember how soft it was? How comforting to wear? Yeah, you’re going to want to make sure you can find as many of these types of shirt (and even bottoms) as possible. Postpartum days are all about comfort.
Don’t Even Think About Wearing Jeans
Jeans are the devil after a baby. No lie. They are stiff (even when they aren’t), they're not flexible, and they may very well feel torturous against any stitches you might have to deal with. Just say no, my friends.
Get A Few Oversized Cardigans
Remember how I mentioned temperature changes? It’s the weirdest thing, but one minute you might be freezing and the next you’re soaked in sweat. Get a few oversized cardigans to help you stabilize your temp. They’re easy to put on and take off (many don’t even have buttons) and they hug you like an old friend.
Your Feet Are Bigger Now, So Stick To Slip-Ons
It’s gonna be a minute before you’re able to get back to your shoe collection. Honestly, there are some shoes you’ll never get to wear again. It sucks, but pregnancy very often expands our feet (mine grew a size). You won’t want to try stuffing them into your old sneakers or boots, much less heels. Get some house slippers, plus a few slip on sandals for going outdoors (or slip-on boots if it’s cold out).
Say Goodbye To Dangling Earrings For A While
I remember I refused to get rid of these at first. I love dangling earrings. However, once your curious tot pulls on them a few times, you’ll change your tune.
Sometimes You (Need To) Wear Stretchy Pants
Adopt the motto of Nacho Libre and stick to stretchy pants. It doesn’t mean you’re “one of those moms” now (and really, what the hell with the mom shaming?) It just means you don’t want to torture yourself by trying to fit into things that don’t want to go on your bod.
You (Probably) Won’t Care If You’re Matching Or Not
At the end of the day, you won’t give a damn what you’re wearing. Go a solid 56 hours without more than an hour of sleep a night, and you’ll see what I mean. Hang in there, new moms. Your postpartum fashion routine might not be the most stylish, but give it a few months and you can go back to your old ways, whether that’s Tom Ford or Target.