Being a mama myself, I know and understand all too well the highs and lows, challenges, and triumphs that come with the territory of motherhood. This is why I created my lifestyle brand, Myrtle&Flossie, to assist mamas on the continued journey of motherhood, addressing and speaking to the 4th-trimester lifestyle through fashion, products, and information.
In addition to being a mommy in the trenches, I have over 20 years experience in the New York fashion world as a professional model, 4 years as a certified PPD (Postpartum Doula), and 2 years as a 4th-trimester support specialist brand ambassador for APIP (A Pea In The Pod Maternity).
Keep in mind that it takes 9-10 months for your body to get to where it is creating a baby, so be patient while it finds its way back and it may settle in a different spot than where it started. Some doctors estimate it takes 6-10 weeks just for your uterus to get back to pre-pregnancy size, let alone the rest of your bits and pieces.
Here are my top easy "put on and go " styles to dress your new or mama body in transition:
So you have just had a baby and brought his/her home and now what? You may have mustered up enough energy to leave the house and take the baby out for the first time, but what do you wear? How do you dress your new mom body? What styles and silhouettes would look the best and flattering as you adjust to the "new normal" of being a mama and your body is in transition?
Or maybe you are a veteran mama with a few big or little ones in tow and haven't quite gotten back to yourself or your sense of style and need a little boost.
For me when I was going through my initial 4th trimester *postpartum* stage ... and once you have a baby, you are always in the 4th trimester... I leaned towards styles that were durable and could wear multiple ways to get as many outfit options as possible. Definitely, during the 1-3 months after giving birth, you want to invest in styles and pieces you can wear now, during, and beyond the bump. Styles like that would be cardigans, nursing and/or seamless tanks, some type of leggings (preferably compression), bodysuits, pullovers, v-neck tees, nursing tops/dresses, stretch jersey, flowly, sweater knit fabrics.
Find A Good Stretch
One of the best key essential must-have items post-baby is a great pair of leggings! Something made of stretch cotton, Ponte, nylon, or matte jersey knit fabrics. You want to look for high-waisted, control top, compression, and sliming in the leg to create long lines, minimize the appearance of mama muffin top, support achy joints post-birth, and give you overall clean lines to wear with a variety of sweaters, tops, blouses, and cardigans.
For the fall wintertime, a nice pair of compression fleeced lined leggings with booties, white tee-shirt, cardigan wrap, and/or chunky sweater is the perfect comfy cozy casual chic look to step out and conquer the day looking and feeling your best.
Seamless tanks can be your best friend and another 4th trimester must-have. They are super stretchy, totally nursing-friendly and multi-purposeful. Nursing tanks usually come in a variety of basic and bold colors, thin straps, and made of a blend of stretch and some compression fabrics. Another great feature is the cost, most seamless tanks are super affordable making it easy to get several and go.
I know we all at times have been out somewhere and seen that woman with a few little ones in tow + a newborn baby and her stomach is as flat as a board and we are all like how is that possible? Especially celebrity moms who tend to recover much faster after having multiple children.
For celebrities, you can definitely chalk that up to them being able to afford and having an amazing team of top-notch professionals and supportive products to aid in the recovering and transitioning seamlessly back into their prior lives, not skipping a beat.
However, you don't have to be a celebrity to achieve "bounce back" – everyday mamas can look good and feel great with the assistance of certain post-baby products. I have listed some of my favorites that have been tried, tested, and received the mom stamp of approval below. Investing in some of these products during the 4th trimester can really help mama on the road to recovery quicker, helping her to adjust and embrace her new mom body.
• Bekung Belly Wraps Traditionally a long piece of unbleached muslin cloth, most times hand-dyed for color that mamas use to wrap their bellies in knot stacks either by themselves or with assistance, providing back support, in addition, to help flatten the tummy post-baby. See an example here.
• Belly Bandit A medically approved abdominal band with a certain amount of stretch and Velcro closure to help support the back, shrink the tummy, and aids in helping to realign the uterus and cervix, especially if used while breastfeeding. See an example here.
• Bounce Back Compression Leggings As stated above in the "good stretch" section, having a great pair of leggings is a must-have during the 4th-trimester journey, especially ones that help control, minimize, stay in place and smooth mama's undercarriage a.k.a pouch. In addition to fashion and comfort, there are leggings designed specifically to wear during the postpartum stage. See an example here.
Whether you decide to or commit to breastfeeding, nursing and investing in a good maternity bra is essential and a big part of the 4th-trimester journey. Having a great fitting bra can and will make a huge difference in supporting your decision to breastfeed and being comfortable.
Quick tips to look for when choosing your maternity/nursing bras:
• Get professionally fitted. Being measured by a maternity or 4th-trimester support specialist to know accurately your current size is key and off to a good start. Here at Myrtle&Flossie, we offer free bra fittings during and post-pregnancy. For fitting consultations, contact me here.
• Buy a bra that fits you well in the cup. Usually, one boob is larger than the other, and you still want to make sure you are filling out the majority of cups especially for proper support. Invest in brands known for style, comfort, and support. Sure they may cost a bit more, however, it's worth it in the long run because you will own one good bra you can wear during and after baby.
• Wait a little time after delivery before you jump right back into a standard bra. Don't fit into cup specific bras immediately post-birth because your breast fluctuates in size all throughout pregnancy and during the nursing stage.
• Lastly, be realistic, consider your wardrobe and what type of clothing and styles you will be wearing a lot. Make sure the tops you get provide "easy access" to allow for you to pump and nurse baby with ease.
It's important to feel good about yourself and, most importantly, take care of yourself. You are probably sleep-deprived, everything you do takes twice as long as it used to, and you’ve got some wicked postpartum hormones running rampant through your body. Be patient, gentle, and loving YOU mama.
Remember when mommy is ok, everyone is ok, and moms need to invest in themselves so they may continue to invest in others. If you can get dressed in the morning (whatever time that may be) and feel good about how you look, tackling the day will be that much easier.