Welcome Guest Blogger Kimberly Bass of Style Me
There is quite possibly no time that yields such awkward fruit from the female body as puberty, and its equally perplexing step-sister known to us as “postpartum’.
Both involve massive fluctuations in hormone levels, weight, and mood.
And sleep? What is that?
All of these things in succession can leave even the best of us in a haze.
You suddenly have this beautiful bundle of magic snuggled into your arms – and you find that you could stare at this loveliest of creations for hours!
Yet when you look in the mirror at your own image, you see little but the remnants of what you once were and you suddenly become very aware that everything has shifted. Everything has changed.
You can feel it, in that moment, can’t you?
Your self-esteem plummets more quickly than the temperature during a Minnesota Winter.
But here is the truth of the matter Ladies:
Pregnancy is a ten-month journey in – not merely nine as is often quoted. And contrary to what every pop-culture magazine obsessed with celebrities “six weeks and she’s back to her pre-baby body” headlines would have you believe, if you want to do it well and in good health? It will take at least that long to get back to “normal”. And even then, it might well be a new normal for you!
Welcome to “Dressing for the “Fourth Trimester”: A Postpartum Style Guide .
So the question is, how do you get over the hurdles of dressing yourself at this point in your ever-evolving journey?
First, lets start by naming the hurdles.
For most (if not all) of the lovely mamas I have spoken to in the days and weeks following giving birth, their biggest style hurdles were all the same:
There. You said it. It’s out there. And now that you have named and can visualize the hurdles… it is time to jump over them. Rest-assured, it is not so difficult as you might think!
Here are a few quick tips and encouragements for dressing that post-partum (AMAZING! MIRACLE MAKING) body of yours.
1. Make Yourself a Priority. As women, especially as mamas, we frequently put our needs dead last. But listen up: you matter. You are the queen of your castle! And you cannot serve your “royal subjects” well, if you are not taking care of YOU. You must start by saying – out loud if necessary – that you are a priority in your home. “They” can and will survive for 15-30 minutes without you, I promise! And I guarantee that investment in you will pay high dividends. You’ll feel better ABOUT you, therefore will be giving of yourself from a surplus rather than a deficit! “They” will notice your elevated mood, and will be happier for it!
2. Stay Comfortable. It has always been a shame to me that there is a specific clothing genre dedicated to the weeks and months leading up to having a baby. I know for myself, one of the biggest shocks post-delivery was to find out that I still looked quite pregnant. So allow me to stage a bit of a clothing mutiny: just because you have given birth to the baby, does not mean you have to box up and store away all of your maternity clothes. Not yet anyway! The same clothes that gave you great comfort during pregnancy can be used as transitional pieces during your post-partum days as well (read: elastic waste-bands are still your best friend for the time being)!
If the maternity clothes don’t seem to fit the bill (or the belly in this case), then just purchase some simple basics. Think leggings, yoga pants, and maxi skirts.
Pair these items with equally simple tops. Tunic length shirts, flow-y blouses, or short dresses go a long way to put you in the realm of both comfort and style when paired with your comfortable bottoms.
3. Take a step back emotionally. Yes. I know. Easier said than done. We’ve all been there. Hormones. Hormones. And more hormones. Does anyone really know if those little buggers are friend or foe? Most of us in post-partum would likely say foe. And that’s… just… honest.
So take a deep breath, and remind yourself of what an amazing thing your body just did.
Now? Another breath. Cuz’ its time to get dressed.
We as women can so quickly surrender to self-sabotage. Give yourself a lot of grace in this season, my friends. Issues of clothing and style are emotionally based no matter when the choice is being made. Now that you have acquired a few good staple pieces to get you through this transitional phase, try setting your outfit out the night before. This takes very little time and effort, but saves you the feeling of being utterly lost in your closet and rushed on top of it, the following day.
4. Functionality. There are things that your body now facilitates that require a certain amount of utilitarian re-purposing within your wardrobe (read: you now have liquid shooting out of more holes in your body than you previously even knew existed. ) The good news is that many mainstream and budget conscious stores now offer nursing tops and bras at a very affordable price-point. (H&M, Old Navy, The Gap, and Target to name a few). In the vein of keeping everything as simple as possible for you in this season, think basics. A plain black or white nursing tank, when paired with yoga pants or a maxi skirt and topped off with a simple cardigan will go a long way in giving you a look that is complete and pulled together without breaking the bank or requiring a lot of time to be invested.
The bottom line is this:
You are amazing.
Your body just performed one of life’s most amazing things.
Be kind to yourself. Don’t freak out! You don’t have to “wait until you lose all the pregnancy pounds” to feel good again. You can, and deserve, to feel great right now, right where you and that miracle-making body of yours is at.
And as has rung true throughout the ages…
“When mama is happy, everyone is happy!”
For more help or information on Style Me’s services (including a special Postpartum Style Consultation) visit me at Style Me
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What is your favorite go to postpartum piece?