Those who read RMF will know that family content will now have a new home over on RMS on a Monday and Wednesday afternoon. Frivolity and prettiness will resume as normal on weekday mornings with your daily dose of the usual RMS content with bonus posts twice a week focussing on all things family.
I found dressing after my first pregnancy slightly easier than I did dressing for pregnancy itself. My expectations of what was going to fit/flatter were significantly low so anything that looked half decent was obviously a massive plus.
Facing the same post pregnancy wardrobe dilemmas again in a few weeks I feel more equipped to make less mistakes, what with the knowledge that comes with experience and the fact that there is more inspiration available online than there was even four years ago.
Of course my choices and indeed my body – and the way it changed/progressed after nine months of growing a human will be different to your body type and your progression as things start to move back to how they were before. For the record, I don’t think anyone can necessarily say they ever do return to their pre-pregnancy self, at least not 100% – and that’s not always a negative either. I know a lot of women that have discovered new exercise regimes and have developed an improved attitude towards their diet and general well being which has meant that they feel the healthiest and strongest they ever have since becoming a Mum. It really doesn’t have to be all doom, gloom and accepting the fact that you might never feel sexy again, never mind how many supposedly well-meaning folks tell you this is the case.
How you feel about your body is mostly mindset, and making the effort to look after such a powerful and frankly amazing piece of equipment – you made an entire new PERSON, give yourself some time to heal and then treat it with the respect it deserves.
High Waisted Forever
I had an elective c-section with my first daughter, and I am having the same again with my second (as requested yes I will absolutely share my experience soon). Due to the surgery and associated scar I was aware that I wouldn’t be able to wear anything that could potentially irritate the incision area for quite some time. And that I was more prone to water retention and swelling than those that would experience a vaginal birth.
I practically lived in high-waisted leggings for the first few weeks after Mabel was born, they were comfortable, practical and gave me a sense of abdominal and back support. I had several pairs from both Zara and Topshop – they were so great I kept them should I fall pregnant again however, these Topshop pointe design are very similar, a thicker material is definitely more flattering and supportive.
I’ve also just invested in this pair with stripes and I’m hoping I can pull off the whole athlesuire vibe.
Some months after pregnancy I discovered high waisted pleather skirts, again they “pull you in” and if you choose an A-line style, they skim your bum and hips rather than emphasising any lumps and bumps. I have bought some lovely ones from New Look – a bargain at £19.99 and as they were so cheap, I have bought a size bigger than my normal size and my normal size. I’m not pressuring myself to lose the extra pounds I’ve gained in any kind of short time period, and for twenty quid I figured I could still attempt to wear something very “me” in the interim period before my body is well on the way to recovery. I have both the Mink and the Coral.
Loose (but not baggy) Knitwear
With regards the leggings mentioned above, and with the high-waisted leather look skirts, I will obviously not be pairing these with a tight vest top or anything remotely clingy. Instead I favour soft/fine knit jumpers that don’t emphasise your middle yet paired with something more form fitting on the lower half of your body, don’t look frumpy or shapeless.
I’m also loving the long colour block knit from Oasis, the colours are beaut and I figure it will be perfect for covering the wide back and flesh-over-your-bra situation that can still be evident many months after you give birth (or at least they were in my case).
The Swing And/Or Drop Waist Dress
I think swing style dresses work with tights or without, ankle boots or flats – they are universally flattering and especially so when your tummy is wobbly/bloated and you don’t want to draw attention to it. I think ASOS has a really excellent selection of lengths, colours and prints right now, I have the trumpet sleeve design which is only £15. It comes in both black and red and for those who are blessed in the height department, it is also available in their TALL range.
The Vera Moda Navy Floral print drop waist dress is very pretty indeed and would work with a knee/over the knee boot for these colder months.
The Postpartum Corset/Girdle
Three weeks after my c-section I wore a medical grade Bellefit postpartum girdle – this is an FDA registered medical device. I was approved to wear it by my consultant, and so amazing was the back and abdominal support (particularly because my diastasis recti was so evident) that this time around I will ask my consultant if I am able to wear it sooner. There is no denying that the corset has a positive aesthetic effect on your stomach by helping to flatten loose skin however, this is an added bonus to the fact that it made me “feel” really good. At the time I had to order the girdle from America but now they are available on Amazon UK. I wore mine for at least 16 hours a day, I didn’t find it in the least bit uncomfortable but it is very important you get the right size, I started with a Small and purchased an Extra Small once I felt the Small was no longer offering enough compression.
To reiterate, this is a medical grade compression garment to aid with the recovery of your body after birth – applicable to both a cesarian or vaginal delivery. Please do not purchase one just because I think they are amazing, you must discuss using a garment such as this with your doctor/consultant/midwife to see if this is a viable option for you.
I wonder whether personally I just tried the wrong things by the wrong brands, I found shape wear in general to be uncomfortable and even though it would help to disguise one area, another area would then be emphasised. The high waisted knickers in particular – I just found they pushed the loose skin up underneath your boobs so you would have this weird roll of skin underneath your bra (!)
The all-in-one bodies with built in bras that I thought would prevent this didn’t really work for me either as they just didn’t fit very well in general. I would be really interested in some shape wear recommended in the comments box below if you found pieces that worked for you.
After I finished wearing my compression garment I wore a tight fitting vest under most things, these were also useful for breast feeding as you can roll them down and pull your other top up – the dress I mentioned above by ASOS, I wouldn’t necessarily wear it with a strapless bra, I would flash the straps of a colourful vest (with regular /nursing bra underneath) because….why not?
I think it’s really important to be realistic about the fact your body will feel quite alien for some time after birth, this is perfectly normal. As I said, you created a whole person and it took nine months to do so, it is perfectly reasonable to expect your body to take that amount of time (and then some) to recover.
That newborn bubble is such a precious and wonderful time that this is what you will focus on – promise.
I personally found dressing to emphasise the areas you do like is the key to not taking time (that you probably can’t afford) in the morning to figure out what to wear. For me I’ve always liked my shoulders, they were not effected by my first pregnancy and don’t appear to be this time either. With leggings/a pleather skirt on the bottom, opaque tights and a slouchy off-the-shoulder jumper or T-shirt I was generally good to go.
Do let me know your recommendations and please do include any recent postpartum purchase links in the comments section below!