Wow, it's been awhile. Taking care of a tiny human really does take up the lion's share of one's time and energy. Back in May, I posted about struggling to dress my post-partum body. It was the biggest self-esteem issue I'd struggled with since giving birth. I'm happy to report that I took on that challenge like it was my own damn summer Olympics, and I'm pretty stoked about my new look.
I'm sharing some pictures and ideas here, so that if you or some rad lady you know is working through this too, it might help:
- For awhile (maybe indefinitely, but at least awhile) after giving birth, you're probably going to be an apple shape. Embrace it! Now is the time for tops and dresses with killer drape, but more form-fitting pants and leggings, and banishing ruthless waistbands.
- Go up a size (or two, or four!) and don't stress. I'm a size up in pants and I give zero fucks. My tummy is slowly getting smaller actually, as I nurse and return to exercise, but I'm giving it plenty of time, and honestly, it's fine. I have embraced it.
- Wear things with a lot of stretch that can accommodate your fluctuating shape. You will change a lot. I love jersey dresses for their versatility. If you get some in solids, you can wear them with different layers and accessories to make different combinations. This photo below was taken when I was ~3 months post-partum, and have more of a tummy than I do now. I like that it worked for me then, but also works for me now.
- Make sure everything works for nursing. When I go to work, I don't have to worry so much about this (private pumping room, a godsend! I can just take my top off, put on my hands-free pumping bra - an amazing invention - and not stress about it). However, out and and about, I love Milk Nursingwear's tops and dresses. They make it so easy to nurse discretely. I hate nursing covers in principle and execution, but I'm not an exhibitionist either.
- Capsule Wardrobe. I can't say this enough. I have 3 pairs of stretchy jeans, 2 cardigans, a bunch of tops, and a couple dresses that are on HEAVY rotation. It makes a difference. I can mix and match because everything goes with everything else, I have less laundry to do, and it's all machine washable in case baby spits up.
- Most of all, acknowledge that you've been through a major journey lady. You made a whole human being, and carried it for 9 whole months. And now you have to care for that cute little nugget! Be proud you're getting yourself dressed at all!