By Ruth Hanley
Six Tips for Dressing Your Body after Baby Arrives
One day, you pull on your favorite maternity clothes, glance lovingly at your baby sleeping next to you, and realize that it’s been a month since your baby was born! Though you’re no longer pregnant, you still might not fit comfortably into your pre-pregnancy clothes just yet. Most moms are too busy with the amazing, exhausting work of caring for their newborn to think too long about what will fit comfortably on their new curves. If it’s time to pack away the maternity clothes, but you’re not back to your regular size just yet, here are some ideas to help you easily and inexpensively find something comfortable to wear.
1. Embrace Your Shape
When you shop, make sure you are buying clothes for your body as it is rather than what you want it to be. Go ahead and invest in a pair of jeans that look awesome on you right now, not in six months. Invest in a few shirts in amazing colors and fit the body you have right now. Your body will continue to change and most moms find that their size decreases in a few months, but in the meantime, show some love to your current shape and it will show in your style.
2. Find the Perfect Pair of Pants
Once you find pants that fit well, the rest will seem easy. Assign someone to babysit while you shop for pants, even if they just come along and hold the baby while you hit the dressing room. One mom says, “Be sure to take someone with you who will be honest about what looks good.” Go to a store with lots of different fits or brands to find out what works for your body. Make fit come first so that you can concentrate on the work of caring for a newborn, rather than having to worry about pulling up a pair of constantly sagging jeans.
3. Give ‘Em the Old Razzle-Dazzle
Wear all those bright, pretty colors that you love, and don’t be afraid to stand out. It helps to find shirts that fit loosely in front, or have a pattern to them, if you feel sensitive about your midsection. Shirts that are tight, shiny, or any solid color may highlight curves that you don’t want to accentuate. You can also wear a long fitted tank top underneath your shirts to smooth the line and cover your midsection if your shirt rides up. Wearing colors that you love and experimenting with patterns will help you remember to celebrate your body as it is right now.
4. Don’t Break the Bank
Money is usually a bit tight at this time and you don’t know how long you will be your current size. However, there are ways to buy clothes without spending too much. One way is to shop consignment stores, which carry clothes for much less than retail stores. You also have the option of bringing in your old clothes in exchange for credit at the store. Brigitte, mom of two says, “Consignment shopping also helps at the time when you have lots of spit up and spills. After both my kids were born, I shopped my entire wardrobe at consignment stores.” Consignment stores are a great resource for clothes you don’t plan to wear forever.
5. No Time? Mail Yourself a Wardrobe!
Once you know the size and brands that fit your body, you can shop clearance items online and never have to leave the house to shop. Lisa, mom of two, shares that she bought several items at an online consignment store. “I got great deals on items to get me through the first few months when I didn’t have time to go out shopping for myself.” In this day and age, there are many online resources to take advantage of as a new mom and make your shopping trips easier. Knowing a company has an easy return policy helps too, when you’re still finding out what fits best.
6. Your Greatest Accessory
Wear your baby! Wearing your baby in a carrier makes your little one feel protected and secure. Try on a few different types of carriers with your baby and pick the one that works best and fits comfortably. Learn how to put it on and take it off and get comfortable with it. The closeness between you and your baby will be beneficial, and yes, it all fits right over that extra baby weight!
Some of the body changes you go through after you have a baby are temporary. Some changes are for keeps. Own your own body image and be confident in yourself, because you are beautiful, life-giving, strong, and more than just your body. Take time to appreciate how your life has been indelibly changed in ways you never could have dreamed. You are a mom! Own it. You are soft, comforting, beautiful, tired, and amazing.
Ruth Hanley is the mom of two girls and has had to look for in-between stage clothing twice. She believes that the way a mom smiles when she interacts with her baby is her most beautiful feature.