Updated for 2019!
Finding postpartum clothes that “work” can be tricky. You have this new body that just went through the totally crazy, somewhat traumatizing and amazing experience of childbirth, and now you’re stuck trying to figure out how to dress it. When figuring out what to wear postpartum, the first thing you need to keep in mind is give yourself grace. Wearing postpartum pants, loose shirts and whatever’s comfortable is OKAY.
MOST POPULAR ITEMS IN THIS POST:
Zella Leggings | Belly Bandit Compression & Nursing Tank | Cake Nursing Bras
RELATED: Dressing the Bump | Maternity Brands Changing the Game | The Ultimate Maternity Jeans Review
It’s kind of like being in limbo, because honestly, it takes a while to get back to where you were pre-baby, therefore all of the clothes you wore then will still either not fit or just not fit right or how you remember.
My biggest piece of advice for postpartum fashion? Give yourself grace. Remember that it took you 9 months to grow this beautiful baby, and so you will not just bounce right back to that pre-baby body immediately, as nice as that would be. ;) Right after childbirth, your body will still look about 6 months pregnant. Each day after, the belly will slowly shrink bit by bit, naturally, as it heals and your uterus shrinks, but you’ll still have a little pooch, maybe some saggy skin, your thighs will still be wider and you will likely not be able to squeeze into your skinny jeans quite yet. So instead of being upset about this, accept it and dress accordingly.
And that’s what today’s post is all about: dressing the postpartum body. Because it ain’t easy, but it can be done in more than just pajamas and sweats. I promise. And here’s how.
Postpartum clothes that you’ll actually want to wear:
Leggings. These are your best friends right now, as they likely were throughout your pregnancy, as well. The stretchier the waist, the better, as your days are probably filled with nursing a newborn around the clock, and thus you need to be as comfortable as possible. I still love to wear my maternity leggings (these and these), and also am obsessed with these support leggings from blanqi, as they hold everything in and are high-waisted and just perfect for nursing without flashing any belly! Plus, a simple pair of black leggings goes with literally everything, and makes it possible to still look cute and put-together while staying comfortable at the same time.
Love: these, these and these.
Check out my new for 2019 Ultimate Maternity Jeans Review post!
Maternity jeans. Yes, you can, and probably will want to, still wear those maternity jeans! Don’t even try to fit into your pre-baby jeans for a few weeks at least after childbirth. Maternity jeans are something I never wore my first pregnancy (because, ew, right?)- HA! My mind was blown when I finally tried them on during my second pregnancy. Game. Changer. And I’m still wearing them, because, hi. They are so comfortable.
Love: these these and these.
RELATED: 45 Baby Registry Must Haves
Loose tops/ Nursing tops. For easy access to the boob. Let’s be honest (if you’re breastfeeding), everything you wear postpartum must pass the “easy access” test. Loose, flowy tops are my favorite. I’m also a HUGE fan of nursing tops- I don’t think they’re necessary (as they do tend to be pricier) but they really do make life so much easier (the zippers are everything!)- and there are some REALLY cute options these days! My favorite nursing-friendly brands are Loyal Hana, Bun Maternity and Ingrid and Isabel.
Love: this one, this one and this one.
Along the same lines, off-the-shoulder tops are great for nursing, too, and are also nice and loose so that you feel comfortable in your postpartum body and can nurse easily! I’m loving this, this and this!
I love peplum as it’s so naturally forgiving in the way it’s cut. Perfect for a bump and even better for postpartum. Peplum tops are also great because they don’t really stretch out to work with your body size, so they’re not all stretched out when you get back to a smaller body size.
I love this one (bonus points for easy nursing access)!
Button downs. I love a good button down top (or dress!), as they are cute and comfy, but also super easy to nurse in! Just unbutton the first few buttons and you’re good to go.
Love: this, this and this.
Nursing bras. Invest in a few good quality ones- my favorites are Cake Maternity and Bravado Design– and switch off between them. Comfort is key here again, so stay away from underwire. I also love these bras to sleep in- bonus! They’re super affordable. And don’t forget working out (when you’re ready, of course!)! Love this sports bra.
Top Picks: this one & this one.
Belly Bandit. I used this waist trainer on and off since being home from the hospital, and I love the support that it offers. The material is soft and it’s easy to wear, plus it feels like a warm hug and just kind of sucks everything in. I probably wear it a few hours a day, since I don’t like wearing it when I’m nursing Baby Girl, as it would interfere with skin-to-skin time, and I definitely feel a bit tighter each time I take it off, so I would recommend it to anyone for postpartum! That feeling of tightness to your soft stomach is definitely a nice little confidence booster!
Postpartum Fashion Continued
Wraps. Kimonos, cardigans, ponchos, jackets, are all perfect layering pieces when dressing for postpartum. Bonus? They can be the perfect wrap for nursing discreetly, too!
Love: this, this, this, this and this.
Any dress that isn’t form-fitting is perfect. It slips on easily, since your getting ready time these days is definitely lessened ;) and it’s comfortable and not form-fitting, so you can feel comfortable in your own skin! Bonus if it’s nursing-friendly, too!
Love: this one, this one, this one & this one. Anthropologie is GREAT for this kind of dress!
Tunics. This tunic is one of my very favorites, to wear pre-baby, during pregnancy and after! I love a tunic, since it’s easy to lift for nursing and also covers the bum to pair perfectly with leggings!
Dark colors. Not only are they slimming, but dark colors also are super easy to quickly spot clean in the sink after being spit up on. ;) A win-win, really.
RELATED: Must Have Baby Items
Dressing the bump was arguably more fun, but talking about postpartum clothes and whatt o wear postpartum was just as fun- if not slightly more challenging. And remember, if you make it out of pj’s even just a few times a week, that’s a victory in and of itself.
Be kind to yourself. Be in awe of all that your incredible body has gone through and is capable of! You housed a soul! You birthed that soul! And now you are keeping that precious soul alive! Go you. You win at everything.
Ally @ Homespun Runner
I love this post! Thank you so much for sharing :) I struggled hard with this after I had Rylee. I got really down on myself because all I saw some days was this awkward person trying to look good in clothes that didn’t fit at all. I had no idea what to do with myself. You are so cute and adorable, I love it! :)
Aww yay, I’m so glad this post is helpful!! :) And I totally relate- it’s weird and hard to try to dress this new body that doesn’t even feel like your own. I totally get that!
Natalie @ Never Serious Blog
YES YES YES! Been waiting for this post from you. I placed a massive online shopping order last week of looser tees and a few dresses because I have NO clue if any of my pre-baby clothes will fit. The hardest part now is not being able to try them on, lol! This giant bump is not exactly accommodating. Of course you ROCK postpartum style! :)
YAY, I’m so glad you love the post!! :) And your baby is the CUTEST, you are totally rocking motherhood yourself, girl.
THANK YOU! This is so very helpful! Looking forward to dressing my postpartum body now!
Aww yay, I’m so happy to hear that!!!
Thank you for this post. I had my baby boy January 1 and have been struggling with my post baby body. It is nice to know that I’m not alone :)
Aw I am so happy you found this post helpful!! Thank you so much and please share with your mama friends! :)
I love this post! Such an important reminder to be kind to yourself after baby. Because…you brought a HUMAN into the world! :)
YES!!! Amen to that! So glad you love the post!
Great post, Katie! Definitely bookmarking this for when that time comes for me. :)
Awesome!! Thanks so much, girl!
I haven’t been out of leggings since my baby girl was born a month ago. Love all of these tips!
Haha YES. Leggings are LIFE.
Not a mama, so nothing to say to this post really – but, love that first photo of you and your beautiful Sophie girl. Makes my heart smile.
Aww thanks sweet friend!
Thank you!!! I was in serious need for suggestions and these are fabulous. I will be dressing better as soon as the UPS man arrives.
YAYYYY that’s so great to hear!! :) Makes me happy! I’m glad I could help, Mama!
Thanks for the awesome post. I’m pregnant with my first baby. Where did you get the teal dress you’re wearing with the floral kimono? Thank you!
Some good points here for those who aren’t breastfeeding, but where are the v-neck shirts/dresses and other easy access tops like hoodies for nursing moms? I’m not trying to be negative, but that dress would not be suitable for nursing at all unless you want everyone seeing your undergarments. I’m having my third in November and have nursed her older siblings each over a year and a half so just giving some tips.
You must have not read the entire post- like the section that says “Loose tops/ Nursing tops” or the “Button downs” section, all great for nursing. Also, “Wraps. Kimonos, cardigans, ponchos, jackets, are all perfect layering pieces when dressing for postpartum. Bonus? They can be the perfect wrap for nursing discreetly, too!” Lots of tips for nursing mamas, as I too nursed my babies! Sounds like you have lots of experience as well! Best of luck on your third!
Great tips! Checking out the leggings from Gap now.
Hi, thanks for this post. I’ve been really struggling with finding clothes that fit since having my second baby 5 weeks ago. This post has been really helpful in getting me to give myself some time for things to get back in shape. I wanted to get back into my pre-baby clothes straight away, and this helped to consolidate the idea that it’s probably unrealistic right now.
Yes, be kind to yourself and give yourself grace! I’m so glad you found this post helpful!