Courtesy of Allison Cooper

The Skinny Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Ad failed to load

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.

Accepting my post-pregnancy body is hands-down one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s something that I still work on every single day. During my first pregnancy, I was 20 years old, so I managed to bounce back quickly. In fact, I dropped about ten extra pounds and somehow managed to be thinner than even during my high school years. Postpartum looked good on me.

But with my second pregnancy, I’m 8 months postpartum, and I'm still struggling to get rid of my extra weight. I was expecting the weight loss to happen quicker than it, so every day it gets a little harder to look in the mirror. One day, however, I found some magical skinny jeans that put everything into perspective.

Ad failed to load
Courtesy of Allison Cooper

After giving birth to my daughter in August, I tried to be kinder to myself and more accepting of how my body had changed. But that didn't make it any easier to get used to my extra weight. My usually skinny legs were carrying extra weight in the thighs, and my butt looked like it was out of control. I couldn’t squeeze into my pre-baby jeans, so I'd stand in front of my bedroom mirror and jump and twist until it felt like I had made some progress, only to not be able to button them when I got them pulled up to my waist.

“Just buy new jeans," my husband would say to me, over and over again. He loved the extra curves that pregnancy had given me, so he was more than happy for me to just give up and keep everything where it was at.

Ad failed to load
As I buttoned them up and zipped them on, I felt an instant boost of confidence. I even found myself making excuses to run errands or pick up our son from the bus stop in the afternoon when it was my husband’s turn, just because I wanted to put them on and show them off.

“No, I am going to lose this weight," I told him. "And then we’re going to have a closet filled with jeans that are too big. I’ll just keep working at it.” In the meantime, I'd just reach for my mom leggings.

It was hard for me to accept that I couldn't wear jeans yet, especially considering how much of a style staple they had been in my pre-baby wardrobe. I’m on the shorter side and I've always carried my extra weight in my stomach, so in my attempt to balance myself out, I always opted for skinny jeans to lengthen my legs, with a waistband thick enough to make my waist look thin. It was my signature style item.

Ad failed to load
Courtesy of Allison Cooper

A few months later, I found myself enjoying a lovely Tuesday afternoon. My husband was off work, and he encouraged me to get out and do something for myself. So I went to barre class, stopped for a green juice, and got a pedicure. Just as I was walking back to the subway, I passed by American Eagle Outfitters. They were advertising a “buy one get one 50% off" denim sale, and all I could think about was my husband saying, “Just buy new jeans." So I finally decided that I would.

Yes, I did have to go up one pant size. But looking and feeling so great in jeans for the first time in my entire life made me realize just how stupid it was to care about the size tag.
Ad failed to load

After what seemed like hours, I finally decided on a fit that I liked: the classic American Eagle jeggings (see below). I bought them in both colors that they carried in store: a lighter wash, and a darker one. They were, to borrow a phrase from LulaRoe lovers, buttery soft and stretchy, and every single part of my body felt wonderful in them.

I began wearing my skinny jeans everywhere I went. As I buttoned them up and zipped them on, I felt an instant boost of confidence. I even found myself making excuses to run errands or pick up our son from the bus stop in the afternoon when it was my husband’s turn, just because I wanted to put them on and show them off. They fit so well that I didn’t even need to layer on my SPANX camisoles underneath to hide my love handles. Eagle
Ad failed to load

Classic American Eagle Jeggings, $30, American Eagle Outfitters

Having these skinny jeans in my closet reignited my desire to dress stylish again, instead of just sticking to my mom leggings and tunics. I really began to love mixing and layering prints and solids, the way I did before my pregnancy. Yes, I did have to go up one pant size. But looking and feeling so great in jeans for the first time in my entire life made me realize just how stupid it was to care about the size tag. It made me realize how I'd put way too much pressure on myself all these years to live my life according to these numbers, when it was more important for me to find something that actually made me feel comfortable.  

There are many obstacles that we have to overcome as new moms, and yes, finding the perfect pair of skinny jeans is definitely one of them. But sometimes the stars align and you can find a pair of skinny jeans that not only make you feel like a million bucks, but saves you during a time in your life when you need them the most.  

Ad failed to load
Ad failed to load
Must Reads

21 Moms Share The Most Surprising Part About Having A C-Section

Honestly, I don't think we, as a culture, talk about C-sections nearly enough, especially considering so many mothers experience them. And because of a number of factors, the little we do talk about it always seems to be a familiar narrative: "It's n…
By Jamie Kenney

13 Yummy Instant Pot Recipes To Make Under 30 Minutes

An Instant Pot seems to be the must-have appliance in every kitchen these days. If you are anything like me and never knew the beauty of a Instant Pot, you are about to have your life changed. Basically, you put some ingredients into a pot, set the t…
By Kristin Manna

9 Things The First Six Months Of Motherhood Will Teach You About Your Baby

Personally, the first six months of motherhood was a mixed bag. I learned some harsh lessons about myself that made taking care of my baby seem overwhelming. For example, I was clueless, and no amount of research could help me feel like anything but …
By Steph Montgomery

These Photos Of North West Then & Now Will Take You On A Sweet Trip Down Memory Lane

When Kim Kardashian welcomed her first daughter, North West, with her husband, Kanye West, in 2013, her whole life was changed. The social media and reality TV star became a mom for the first time and her Instagram presence took a very adorable turn.…
By Casey Suglia

11 Photos You *Must* Take During The Last Days Of Your Pregnancy

During my first pregnancy, I took a photo each week to document my growing belly. I stopped around 36 weeks, though. I hated how I looked in those pictures, and didn't think I'd want to relive those moments. I was wrong. My second pregnancy was a dum…
By Steph Montgomery

This Is What It Means If Your Pregnancy Test Changes Overnight

The time between when a woman suspects she might be pregnant and when it is confirmed for sure is the longest of her life. Regardless of whether you are hoping for a positive or a negative result, the odds are good that you are sweating bullets when …
By Shannon Evans

6 Red Flags To Definitely Look Out For After Your Baby Falls

The first time my infant son tried to take a few steps, he tumbled and bumped his head on the coffee table. My blood turned to ice in my veins and I froze. There truly isn't anything quite like the feeling a parent gets when their little one gets hur…
By Sarah Bunton

These 9 Instant Pot Recipes Will Make Even The Pickiest Eater Happy At The Table

Like any parent, I've had my share of parenting hits and misses, but one of my favorite "wins" is my daughter's diverse palate. I don't even know if I can take credit for it, but I would like to think I had something to do with her love for lentils, …
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

Turns Out, Kim Kardashian's Favorite Mom Products Look A Lot Like Your Own Faves

Being a mom is really hard work, especially for the first few months, and Kim Kardashian West is no different in that regard. Now the mother of three, Kardashian says that there are a few products she just can't live without when it comes to raising …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Soda Might Hurt Your Fertility, Study Says, & Here's What You Can Do

Who doesn't love sugary drinks? I stopped drinking soda years ago, but I still love gulping down those fancy Starbucks coffee beverages. I don't have a big sweet tooth, but I am a sucker for sugar-sweetened beverages every now-and-then. Turns out, th…
By Annamarya Scaccia

10 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 30s

If you're like me, you evaluate the pros and cons of any major life decision. When my husband and I were considering starting a family, I thought about my career, education, and financial stability. I wanted to know how a pregnancy and childbirth wou…
By Steph Montgomery

This Woman Thought She Had An Eyelash Stuck In Her Eye. Then It Moved.

I'm not a person who is easily icked out. As a kid, I collected bugs and thought I was going to be an entomologist and asked Santa Claus for ant farms and nets to catch bees. I'm still super curious about anything that flies and crawls, which might s…
By Karen Fratti

5 Red Flags Your Toddler Isn't Eating Enough

Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters, at least in my experience. You offer mashed potatoes, they want french fries. You give them crackers, they scream for chips. It's frustrating, to be sure, but it's usually their way of vying for independence. It…
By Candace Ganger

35 Moms Share The Most Disgusting Things Their Husbands Do

I'm a human being who revels in challenges. I like when people present me with one, especially if they don't think I can meet or succeed it, and I like taking a challenge on, especially if it's unexpected. So when I aimed to uncover the most disgusti…
By Jamie Kenney

How Having Kids In Your 20s Affects You Later In Life

For parents, like myself, who had kids in their 20s, there are a number of questions that come to mind. When you're deciding what your future will look like, you'll likely consider what this means for your health, career, and more down the line. Thin…
By Tessa Shull

Study: Drinking Two Glasses Of Wine A Day Is Good For Your Mind — Here's Why

There’s more scientific proof that a daily drink or two isn't necessarily a bad thing and could have a place in an overall healthy lifestyle. A new study out of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) in New York found that — in mice, at le…
By Tiffany Thomas

8 "Mistakes" I'm Glad I Made During My First Pregnancy

As an adult, I've learned you never really stop hating being told what to do. When I was pregnant I was getting instructions at every turn, from doctors, relatives, and complete strangers on the subway. I would nod and smile but then go about making …
By Liza Wyles

Research Says Eating Carbs Can Lead To A Healthy Pregnancy, So Bring On The Pasta

In the world of me, no food is better than bread. I know it's supposed to be pretty terrible for you, high in calories, low in protein, and full of that modern-day demon, gluten... but guys, it's really yummy. Especially warm out of the oven, when th…
By Jen McGuire

These Photos Of Prince George Then & Now Will Give You Serious Baby Fever

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child in Spring 2018. With all of the excitement surrounding the new baby, it's easy to forget all of the good times that have already passed. The couple's eldest is already well into the sc…
By Azure Hall

This Is, Hands Down, The *Grossest* Thing Babies Do Inside The Womb

Your baby's life in the womb may be safe and warm, but it's also kind of grody. Seriously, the whole process of growing into a human being includes more than a few icky moments along the way. But this is the grossest thing babies do inside the womb b…
By Lindsay E. Mack