I like to think of myself as a pretty confident person, so I don’t usually worry about being "swimsuit-ready" for the summer. Although certain areas of my body are flabbier than others, I'm comfortable in my own skin, and that means not caring that I don’t have a tiny waistline. For this reason, my bathing suit of choice has always been a bikini.
When I got pregnant, however, my confidence wavered a bit. During my second trimester, a bunch of my friends arranged a surprise baby shower for me in San Diego, and we spent some time in the hot tub and pool. (Don't worry — I didn't stay submerged for too long.) The only swimsuit I had was a bikini, and even though they all thought I looked cute in it, I certainly didn't agree. The bandeau top barely covered my ginormous boobs, and the bottom kept rolling down beneath my bump. When my friends decided to get out of the water, I was relieved.
After I gave birth, I thought I'd be ready to don my bikini, just like old times. But I still didn't feel great about my body. Apart from the fact that none of my bikini tops would provide enough support for my milk-engorged breasts, I wasn’t prepared to learn how to breastfeed in them. The probability of me flashing unsuspecting beachgoers was extremely high. Furthermore, considering I'd had a c-section delivery, I wasn’t emotionally prepared to be in a two-piece. I felt like I needed to wear something that provided more coverage. Thus began the search for the perfect postpartum one-piece swimsuit.
My search wasn't that exhaustive. Like most new moms who barely have enough time to brush their hair or change their poop-stained shirt, I only had the time and energy to check out one website: Amazon. I also had very specific prerequisites for the suit. I knew I wanted to find a classic, retro design. It needed to have excellent support for my breasts, as well as straps that would allow me to breastfeed without hassle. Lastly, it needed to look super cute as well as flattering on my post-pregnant body.
This retro-style one-piece monokini by Cocoship, which is currently priced at $22.99, satisfied all my requirements, and more. I knew I would buy it from the moment I saw it. It had a vintage cut and design, one that I thought befitted a 32-year-old mom. The ruching on the torso was forgiving, which was important due to the fact that my belly had recently housed an 8-pound infant.
I’d always wanted to wear a retro swimsuit, but I didn't know if I could pull it off.
The halter top design was convenient as well, because from my own experience, most halter top suits stand up on their own even when you have the straps undone, which was important for breastfeeding purposes. Cocoship also provided large sizes, so I was confident that I would be able to find one that had ample cuppage. And the red cherries on black pattern? Classy and super adorable.
I was so excited when it finally arrived. I’d always wanted to wear a retro swimsuit, but I didn't know if I could pull it off. I immediately tried it on and did a sort of fashion show for my husband. He whipped out his camera and took this photo of me, which I considered a very good sign.
On a more serious note, the swimsuit helped me regain my confidence. It made me love my postpartum body for what it was: pudgy in certain places, but loved by my baby. I didn’t care if it took me forever to get rid of my pregnancy weight. Wearing this swimsuit allowed me to enjoy going to the beach, which is one of my favorite pastimes, with my child, and that’s what truly mattered.
I consider this swimsuit one of my most successful postpartum purchases. I’ve gotten multiple compliments on it, even from women who haven’t recently gone through childbirth. Since giving birth, I’ve made this piece my primary suit and only used one of my other bikinis when this swimsuit was still wet from previous wear.
Bikinis are sexy and easy to pack, sure, but since buying this 1950s-style swimsuit, I’ve realized that the one-piece design is definitely more secure and maybe even baby-yank-proof. Besides, it comes in other pretty designs and colors, so I don’t have to feel like I’m sacrificing form for function. In fact, for the upcoming beach season, I feel like I'll probably need to arm myself with more of these one-pieces.