Congratulations on your amazing achievement!
For nine months you have nurtured and now given birth to another human being.
But your body is not an elastic band and won’t simply bounce back into the shape it was before you fell pregnant.
It can take up to six weeks alone for your uterus to return to its normal size.
Therefore setting high expectations that your tummy will resume its pre-pregnant state within a few days of giving birth simply isn’t realistic. It can take from 9 months to 2 years for your body to recover after giving birth.
You may be feeling very emotional after giving birth, don’t become disillusioned about your body shape. Focus instead on your beautiful baby and allowing your body time to recover.
While you may be looking at your wardrobe in despair, let me give you a few tips and suggestions about how to be a yummy mummy rather than a slummy mummy!
1. Don’t Ditch Them!
This applies to your maternity clothes as much as your pre-pregnancy wardrobe.
Treat your maternity wardrobe like a comfort blanket immediately after giving birth! Jersey tops, leggings, elasticated waistlines are your new best friends.
Don’t have a massive pre-pregnancy clothing clear out for at least a year. I know like you have the time and energy at the moment!
You may find that items you were wearing in your last five weeks before giving birth are too big almost immediately. Either put these away for next time or get rid of them!
2. Fabrics, Colours And Prints
It may be stating the obvious but focus on easy care fabrics. You don’t need the additional work of caring for delicates or hand wash items.
Prints are always a good idea! You can pretend that the unidentifiable splodge of something regurgitated on your top is actually part of the pattern!
Now for colour, it may be tempting to wear black, for its slimming effect on your body.
Sleepless nights will take their toll on your complexion and you may look pale. Black will accentuate your tired look, as it’s very draining.
Alternatives to black are dark grey (charcoal or anthracite) or dark blue as alternative neutrals. These have softer tones and will not make you so tired and drawn.
3. Dress To Take Attention Away From Your Belly
A new mum friend of mine phoned me in floods of tears the other day.
Her mum had offered to babysit so she could join another friend for coffee.
The lady in front of them in the queue turned round, smiled and asked my friend when she was due. Needless to say she was really upset that a stranger thought she was still pregnant.
Luckily I was able to give her some advice:
- Wear long line jackets, gilets, knitwear undone to create a vertical line down your body which will make you look taller
- A printed top will help to take attention away from your belly.
- Wearing a statement necklace will take attention away from your tummy
- Wear a jacket open – it creates vertical lines and will make you look taller
4. Taking Shape
The idea of Shapewear may not be enticing when you’ve just given birth and your body is tender and painful. But modern designs mean you can select different levels of control.
Shapewear can also help to boost your confidence about your body image.
There’s no reason why you can’t wear Shapewear shortly after a C-section but be aware that the area may be a bit tender.
Just be careful if you find yourself sweating as moisture building up round the healing area may encourage bacteria to breed.
5. Flats Are Your Friends!
In my last post about dressing when you’re pregnant I covered the flats v heels debate.
As much as you might be rushing to get back into your heels, your feet and ankles will still be swollen for a couple of weeks.
Being tired may mean you are clumsy. A sprained ankle on top of what your body has gone through probably isn’t a good idea.
It’s advisable to wait until the swelling’s gone down, before you start to wear heels. It may also be a good idea to stick to low or mid-height heels at least for a while!
6. Bling Bling!
I’m not suggesting that you wear lots of necklaces, earrings and scarves when you are with your baby.
You might get away with it for a while, but equally if you’re breastfeeding you don’t need the distraction!
But come the stage when your baby is attracted to bright shiny objects and loose dangly bits they can stuff in their mouths, jewllery and scarves are not a good plan!
However, if you’re on a night off or having a bit of ‘me time’ accessories are an easy way to lift your look, adding sparkle and glam.
7. Bag It Up
One accessory that will be really useful for you and your baby is a fabulous new big bag!
Mums wave goodbye to small handbags the day they give birth.
A friend of mine wanted to buy his wife a present to celebrate the birth of their first baby.
I suggested that he bought her a big designer day bag. He looked at me as though I was nuts but he did take my advice!
He admitted afterwards that it was the best present he’d ever bought her. His wife was so ecstatic with his gift!
Hopefully this post has given you some ideas about how you can make your wardrobe work for you and the new arrival in your life!
It’s important that you retain your sense of identity and remember that while you have a dependent baby you still need to look after yourself.
I was chatting to a young mum today who had her third baby six months ago.
The other two children are both under five. She has returned to work each time after having children and plans to do the same when her six month old is a year.
She looked incredible and she shared her secret with me.
She and her husband work their lives so that she can get to the gym three times a week. It’s her only bit of ‘me time’.
But it enables her to retain her identity and cope with the stress of having three children in quick succession! It’s also helped her body image.
Would you like some help putting together a Post Partum Capsule Wardrobe? Why not download a copy of my FREE Guide Be Yummy Not Slummy!