The Robe That I Did Not Take Off After Giving Birth
Let’s be very, very honest about this — pregnancy and childbirth change your body. Regardless of what tabloid headlines about celebrities’ post-baby bodies and Instagram #fitspo posts might tell you, the reality is that your body’s going to look and feel a little different after having kids — which means your clothes will probably look and feel different, too. Luckily, you don’t have to wear your maternity jeans and your partner’s ratty old college sweatshirts forever (unless you want to!). Mom Jeans is Romper’s guide to helping you figure out your postpartum wardrobe during the first few months postpartum and beyond.
The moment I attempted to sit up in my hospital bed after giving birth, I knew that nothing would ever be the same. My exact reaction was 😲. In my perfectly packed hospital bag was an outfit to wear once I got all cleaned up. I tossed that outfit aside and pulled out the robe that I had planned on wearing during delivery (I ended up not being in the mood during those 30 hours of labor to wear anything at all). I slipped it on and the rest is history — from that moment forward I never took that robe off.
The last thing I wanted in those first few weeks postpartum was to feel uncomfortable or to be squeezed in any way. All I wanted was for the lady bits to feel free, to breathe, to heal. The difficulty was trying to figure out how to make that happen without being naked. I mean, I wanted to be covered up and not let it all hang out, but also to be able to attempt nursing and pumping fairly easily.
Enter my magical nursing robe.
Pink Blush Delivery/Nursing Maternity Robe, $44, Pink Blush
You may think, what? Wear a nursing robe all day and night? YES. It helps that they come in all kinds of beautiful colors and patterns, and are so incredibly soft, but the fact of the matter is simple. Those early days are full of 3 a.m. feedings, horrid early pumping sessions, aching everywhere, 10-step trips to the bathroom, snuggles, and constant exhaustion, and this robe fits every single one of those situations. Plus a thousand more.
And that, to me, is magical.
When my husband basically had to force me to take it off for a wash, it was agreed that he would order me three more — I guess he didn’t want to battle me and my hormones every single time to get it washed. I don’t blame him! I wouldn’t want to battle my hormonal rage either.
There’s something else special about my trusty nursing robe. It comes in "plus" sizes. I’m talking all the way up to a big, beautiful 3X, baby! And I know what you’re thinking once again. “Oh, but I’m sure the plus sizes have limited colors and patterns compared to your standard XS-L sizes.” No! There is no difference! I checked. I’m a hawk about that stuff. You can actually find just the same amount of beautiful colors and patterns as the smaller sizes. And sometimes (wait for it) … even more than the standard sizes! Please don’t faint, I warned you it would be magical.
After I gave birth, I remember looking in the mirror and wondering what had just happened. I didn’t recognize myself.
There are so many things to worry about when you return home with a newborn, the last thing any hormonal mama wants to add to the list is feeling more uncomfortable than necessary. For instance, I was completely unaware that I would end up having major OCD about washing my hands 27,000 times a day. So not only were my lady bits feeling the burn, my hands were starting to look like I had been working in construction with the way they were drying out and peeling. I started using Jergens Hydrating Coconut Moisturizer ($6 at Target) after every quick hand wash and the difference was unreal.
Sure, feeling uncomfortable is pretty "normal" as the body goes through an intense amount of whiplash from creating life and somehow bringing that life out of the body into this world, but it’s totally possible to give it comfort in tiny little forms like a simple nursing robe.
After I gave birth, I remember looking in the mirror and wondering what had just happened. I didn’t recognize myself. The thoughts ran wild and I really did try and be optimistic about what the next few weeks and months would be like for my body. I couldn’t have been happier to discover the robe that gave me both comfort and made me remember how beautiful and incredible my body is for bringing me the greatest gift I had ever received.
I still think back and smile about the fact that a simple, pretty robe brought me so much comfort, allowing me to cherish those special moments as I got to know my daughter.
Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.