We’ve talked about when you should start buying maternity clothes and what makes breastfeeding clothes special – but about the clothing you wear in the in between time during that forth trimester transition from pregnant to not.
The period immediately after giving birth can vary depending on your birthing experience and your body. For some pregnant people, their bodies take time to shift back into a new normal. It can take 6-8 weeks for the uterus to shrink back to it’s original size. That’s why we see baby bumps on new parents as they emerge from the hospital. Their body is doing important work to bring everything back into place, but they’ll still look and feel 6 months pregnant.
Pregnancy is very physically demanding on the body. The rib cage expands and opens up (which might be why your bras don’t fit), your hips shift and prepare for birth, and you feel new weight and pressure on your feet, sometimes flattening and enlarging a half size or more.
Be gentle with your body after birthing your babies. It may take time to return, or it may find itself a new normal.
What to wear immediately after giving birth?
If you’re packing your hospital bags and trying to decide what to wear home, consider an outfit you felt most comfortable in around 6 months pregnant. Your breasts will be tender and/or swollen, your uterus will still be large and in charge, and your perineum will be sore/bruised/swollen – if you had a c-section, you’ll be caring for an incision.
Many new parents opt to wear a loose flowy dress home from the hospital, or their most comfortable pair of high waisted pants with a simple shirt.
Avoid things that put too much pressure on the vulva or the low belly (incision) and opt for clothing that can fit a belly comfortably. The hospital will give you mesh undies that do a good job of bringing it all together. You can also opt for a higher waist underwear with a wide band for comfort. Boxer briefs can be a phenomenal choice.
Post-Partum Wardrobe Essentials
The post-partum period is often characterized by the extension of your maternity wardrobe, but some items may be too big or overstretched after 9 months of growing a baby. You will most likely fit clothing from when you were about 6 months pregnant, or about a size a bigger than pre-pregnancy. For many new parents, this awkward stage is one of feeling too big for normal clothes and too small for maternity.
Some parents find comfort in their maternity clothes during this time. The vast majority of clothing brands designing maternity clothes do so with the intention of ensuring their pieces can be versatile immediately after birth. The same goes for breastfeeding clothes – they are often designed to help you feel comfortable in your changing body.
Many post-partum bodies also breastfeed, but not all post-partum bodies. There are some specific items on this list of essentials that are most important to parents who need access to the breasts for pumping or feeding. If you are not breastfeeding, focus on finding clothes that fit your changing body. You will still have moments of breast engorgement and protruding bellies that deserve to be comfortable
A Nursing Tank Top
The Nursing Tank Top or Nursing Cami – this is the most highly suggest must-have essential for post-partum bodies from our followers and shoppers at Nest & Sprout Maternity.
This classic tank top makes access to breastfeeding a breeze while giving your breasts a little support, and without the worry of your changing band size (yes, because it is a few weeks before your rib cage settles into a comfortable size).
If you are not breastfeeding, you may still find that a supportive cami or sports bra is a good choice for you as your breasts and rib cage change shape.
Layering Pieces – loose shirts, cardigans, sweaters, shawls, scarves, hoodies. Take your pick at your fashion preference for layering.
Layering is a phenomenal way to dress post-partum for numerous reasons: you can quickly adapt to changing temperatures (hot flashes), you can remove an item of clothing that is soiled thanks to you baby or you and offers a wide array of hiding and snuggling capabilities for the ultimate post-partum body comfort
Oversize Tops & Button Up Shirts
Oversized Tops & Button Up Shirts – seek out your favourite oversized items for a comfortable fit post-birth. Button up shirts can be a great way to provide access to your body when needed (whether it’s feeding or kangaroo care), and flowy shirts can help you feel comfortable as your body continues to heal post-birth
Dresses or Rompers
4. Dresses or Rompers – sometimes you just don’t want anything touching your belly and the answer is a dress. Dresses and rompers can bring you the comfort of pajamas but the sophistication like you could go for dinner and feel like a super adult ready to take on the day
Comfortable pants – whether that’s a pair of looser fitting joggers or a compression style legging/pant, a pair of comfortable bottoms is a must. If you had a c-section, you’ll likely want to opt for a higher waisted pant that sits above your belly and does not rub along that low incision. If you had a vaginal birth, you may find yourself gravitating to looser fitting joggers that don’t add pressure to the swollen vulva. Most maternity pants are built to adapt to post-partum bodies, including the design of the LYNX leggings, and many of the different joggers we carry.