By Devorah Ramey
[AKA the "Frum Fashion Maven." Visit her at www.frumfashionmaven.com]
10 Tips for Dressing Your Post Baby Body
After 9 plus months of pregnancy we eagerly await two events: the birth of the baby and then being able to wear non-maternity clothes again.
Thanks to the media’s obsession with fast shrinking celebrities, even observant women are under incredible pressure to return to normal in the blink of an eye. Sadly this pressure is often self-imposed.
I’m sure even Heidi Klum did not fit in her regular clothes straight out of the delivery room. So keep the “body image blues” at bay by dressing for post-partum comfort.
Having unrealistic expectations post partum can result in negative self image, insecurity and even depression. As a stylist I have seen two style camps : some women cope by shelving style for a few months and walking around in shapeless robes and the like while others walking around in obvious denial sporting “muffin tops," too tight items and other fashion faux pas.
The middle path involves awareness with a healthy dose of positive self talk and kindness.
Here are some tips to keep you looking and feeling great so you can focus on enjoying this special time in your life.
1) Be realistic. After delivery your belly will look about 5 months pregnant and won’t start to look normal until about 6 weeks (…. it takes time for your uterus to shrink to its pre pregnancy size)! Some people love bandaging the belly PP, a practice done in many cultures, I have done it with success B”H four times now and love a product called the belly bandit.
2) Dress comfortable. Start your postpartum wardrobe by creating a “home from the hospital” collection of loose fitting dresses. Try choosing dresses that are feminine, flowing and highly forgiving. Select beautiful colors that will brighten your mood. You want to look and feel presentable when visitors stop by to see the new baby, but also be comfortable for the first few weeks. For breast feeding and baby duty, I buy several deep v-necks to be layered over other tees, shells or blouses as a cheap alternative to nursing tops. Those elastic waist slinky skirts in different lengths add versatility and comfort. Clothing with details like ruching (pleating at the sides), empire waists and creative layering are all sure ways to hide the “baby fat”. Maxi dresses in dark “stain hiding” colors slim you and feel like a comfortable night gown. A loose draping cardigan works awesome and it gives you instant nursing coverage, I wear mine to run errands to avoid buying a nursing cover.
4) Color is your friend. Try to use vibrant colors and patterns! Patterns are great at hiding nursing “leakage” issues. Black is slimming and normally hides all stains (except those white cheesy baby reflux stains)! So try to keep it for bottoms. One big drawback of black is that it can make you look tired, so if you do wear it…. blush, mascara and gloss is a must.
* Money Saving TIP: Keep a good stain remover spray on hand as that yellow poopy residue is very hard to remove once set. Make your own solution for colors by mixing equal amounts of hydrogen peroxide and water in a spritz bottle. For whites use diluted bleach or oxy spray.
5) Keep accessories simple. Store any dangly earrings for now as even tiny babies can be grabby and has ve chalila can pull and injure your earlobe! Simple studs or pearls that go with everything will do for now.
6) Hair. Wear an easy care shaitel-do! Pony wigs are great … or anything you angel won’t yank …nothing is more tragic that a preventable infant induced bald patch on an expensive wig! Those prettied hair coverings are genius; paired with large sunglasses they add a classic “Jackie O” vibe.
7) Eyewear. Invest in good sunglasses, they make you look cool and hide signs of fatigue.
8) Upsize if needed. Be prepared for postpartum body changes and keep an open mind when trying on clothes. Regardless of weight gained or lost in the first couple of weeks, the uterus still takes upwards of 5 to 6 weeks to decrease in size, which means that clothes may fit you differently than before. You may need to go up or down in size, take favorite items to a tailor for small changes or simply start from scratch with fitted clothing. Don’t worry this phase will pass!
9) Feet. Resist the urge to climb on heels too soon and choose some dainty comfortable ballet flats to avoid injuries (as you ligaments are still soft)!!! Yours truly learned this lesson the hard way with her first child, by twisting her ankle while carrying B’H an empty car seat ….So give heels a rest for at least 6 weeks, and avoid carrying the baby on heels. : )
10) Undergarments. Don’t forget to change the size of your undergarments. Also investing some “shape wear” for Shabbat and special occasions – it will give you support, help smooth your silhouette and help with clothing fit.
By taking the time to look after yourself both inside and out, you can help yourself feel great, heal faster and really enjoy your baby.