Hello friends … this might be the longest time I’ve been away from the blog! The past few weeks as a new parent have been a blur. I haven’t logged online much but am slowly getting back into a rhythm (my posting schedule will be sporadic, so subscribe here for new post alerts). I have a speaking event soon and it felt so good to put on some styles that I haven’t worn in a long time. I love a good bow blouse and pump and wanted to show these pieces styled for an office vs. casually:
There was a lot of discussion in my recent Instagram post around how showing skinny jeans may be unrealistic or inconsiderate of other postpartum moms. If there’s one thing I learned from this wonderful community it’s that pregnancy and postpartum is different for EVERY woman, and I hope we can embrace and celebrate that instead of compare or judge. Also, physical change is just one facet of the postpartum journey. These few weeks have been a roller coaster for me with feelings of the most intense love and joy, but also physical pain, exhaustion, guilt, and daily tears thanks to postpartum hormones. My body may look like it “recovered” in some photos, but it’s not the same and I’m okay with that because it grew, birthed, and provides nourishment for my child.
For fellow new moms easing back into your personal style, here’s some things that helped me:
Try a postpartum compression girdle
I was super skeptical about compression girdles, but using one over time has been helping me with recovery. (Update: I prefer this one and sized up to a S/M.) I didn’t realize how loose-hanging my belly area would be postpartum, to the point where things would flop around uncomfortably with every movement. Wearing this girdle makes everyday actions like sitting, sneezing, getting up, and walking around feel more “supported” for me.
The hospital gave me a compression band with just 1 large velcro panel (which fit terribly), whereas the 3 veclro panels on this one lets you better adjust the fit and curvature. The boning in the backside provides additional support and helps me with posture, especially when sitting. The size S just barely fit me initially, but I believe the key is to wrap and secure these very snugly around loose skin. The material is breathable but thicker and will show through fitted garments (it’s not slinky like Spanx), so I mainly just wear this at home. In hindsight, I wish I had ordered this to start wearing at the hospital instead of the free one they provide!
Bring the maternity band back out
These stretchy maternity bellabands (I got sz 1) were pants savers back in my first and second trimesters. I had stored them away, before realizing how useful they can be postpartum for easing into my old pants! Before my girdle arrived, I was also just wearing these bands by themselves and to bed for comfortable, gentle compression around the midsection.
Treat yourself to flattering jeans (in a new size, if necessary)
Stretchy high-waisted jeans are not only flattering, but can provide similar midsection support as a postpartum compression girdle. I cannot fit into my old ones (and haven’t been able to lose any more weight after week 1 postpartum), so purchased a new pair in a bigger size to accommodate my current body.
Outfit fit and sizing notes:
Express jeans: Express’ “high waisted ankle legging jeans” cut is one of my longtime favorites. “Ankle” indicates a more cropped length than usual, and “legging” indicates a stretchier denim fabric. I find these to be TTS. Size 00 short in this cut usually fit me well pre-pregnancy, and one size up fits me currently. The cropped inseam on a 0 Short measures 23″ in the front and 24″ in the back (high-low style).
Ann Taylor top: nicely draping blouse that is TTS for the brand. I took my usual size in this with a little room to spare.
Ann Taylor pumps: I love that these show a little toe cleavage (which I know is personal preference) but find the pointed toe area to run a bit narrow. If you have wider feet perhaps try half a size up.
Ann Taylor knit pencil skirt: AT bottoms run big in my opinion compared to other brands. I used to get their bottoms altered at the waist pre-pregnancy but this same size now fits better on me postpartum. This skirt is made of a very stretchy thicker knit with a tweedy texture, and I love the just-below-the-knee length. It’s fully lined in a lighter stretchy knit, and has a wide elasticized waistband. When lying flat and un-stretched, size xxs petite measures: 13.25″ across the waist, 15.5″ across the hips, 22.75″ length.