As a pregnant woman who’s just a few short weeks from her due date, I’m very much looking forward to the arrival of my baby. I’m also very much looking forward to not being pregnant anymore. While I know postpartum life is very demanding of me, and my body, I'm still excited to start getting back to my old self and my old clothes. Plus, I wholeheartedly believe there are things you don’t have to do when you dress yourself postpartum, and that makes the entire post-baby period all the more easier to enjoy.
New moms have enough on their minds, and most of it's far more important than trying to keep up with trends or remember the so-called rules of fashion. I could not even keep the days of the week straight when we brought my first baby home, so the chances of making any sort of grand style statements were pretty slim to absolutely zero. Actually, the chances me of having any sort of style were pretty slim in those days, and I don't think there's a damn thing wrong with that.
So regardless of how much effort you normally put into your clothes, you’ve got some flexibility during the postpartum period when you're adjusting to additional physical changes, childbirth recovery, and life with a tiny human being. By “flexibility,” of course, I mean with how you dress yourself postpartum, not actual physical flexibility because, hello, you’re recovering. Here’s a few things you definitely don’t have to do:
Give Up Maternity Clothes Immediately
Confession: I have some maternity clothes that I will probably never give up, because they don’t actually look like maternity clothes. Yes, of course they'll be in heavier rotation during those first few postpartum months, but who says they have to go away completely?
Quickly Go Back To Your Regular Clothes
Speaking of our bodies changing shape, as excited as I am to get back to some of my regular clothes, I know it’s going to take at least a few months (especially if this recovery is anything like my first one) before my pre-baby clothes are in any way, shape, or form comfortable.
Since I’m not a celebrity and no magazine covers await my post-baby body, I’m going to give myself time lots of time and not rush to pull out all my old favorites, tempting as it may be.
I have a love/hate relationship with my sweatpants. I mean, it’s like 85 percent love and 15 percent hate. I very much enjoy feeling comfortable and cozy, but I also dislike feeling frumpy.
However, I’m preparing to be extra forgiving during my postpartum period because my body will have just made and delivered a baby, and hello, elastic waistbands are pretty much a requirement.
Ignore Your Personal Style
Of course, if you want to get back into your favorite clothes, or if expressing your personal style means something to you that it clearly doesn’t mean to me, you don’t need my (or anyone else's) permission.
In fact, if that is the case and you can't wait to pull out your signature clothes that make you feel like you, please feel free to send style tips my way.
Immediately Go Shopping
Unless one of my friends has a wedding to attend or a job interview or something that required a dress code, I’d probably warn against a post-baby shopping trip. I waited six months to buy new jeans when I was postpartum, and even that wasn’t long enough since my body was still changing. If you can make do with what you have, I'd suggest holding out as long as possible.
You Don’t Even Have To Dress Yourself, Really
One of the best parts about maternity leave, I found, was that you don’t have to leave the house very often. And, one of the best parts about not leaving the house, is not having to put on pants.
I spent many a day hanging out with my newborn in my pajamas, or in my most casual of clothes, and I have zero regrets about it.
Give Back Your Partner’s Clothes Right Away
I’ve adopted a number of my spouse’s shirts (for sleeping), coats (because none of mine zip over my belly) and sweats (for existing). Yes, while I know that I’ll eventually need to return than to him, I’m not in a huge hurry. They’re more comfortable, but they also give me warm those awesome warm and fuzzy feelings, like when I’d borrow his hoodies in college.
Feel Weird About Any Of Your Clothing Choices
Unless, of course, your clothes include questionable slogans that advocate the injuring of puppies or banning coffee, or claim the Backstreet Boys are overrated. I think as long as you’re avoiding those themes, you’re golden.