Baby advice: What to wear

May 22, 2008 at 8:41 am | Posted in little bug, Uncategorized | 8 Comments
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And…I’m back! My blogging mini-vacation is over, and it’s time to get back to some real, serious posting.  Such as this one, a version of which I have emailed to several pregnant friends, who have encouraged me to post it on my blog in the hopes of, you know, enlightening the masses.  The topic was what to wear after having a baby, and, specifically, “Do I really have to buy a hideous nursing bra?  Do I really have to keep wearing maternity clothes?  Does it matter?”  The answer is maybe, no, yes.  I discovered after some trial and error — as I did with everything pregnancy and baby related — that having a post-baby “uniform” is key, for several reasons.  First, since I was not one of those “I fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans the day I left the hospital!” type of new moms, NOTHING I used to wear fit.  For months.  And some things (mostly tops) may never do so again.  So if you buy yourself a new uniform of sorts, you stop longing for your old clothes.  Second, you have to change your clothes about as often as you change the baby’s.  You will be covered with milk, spit-up, poop, and Starbucks.  And hopefully also a little wine.  So you don’t want to go through the whole “what to put on?” dilemma ten times a day.  Finally, you feel pretty gross for awhile.  Even if you take the baby for a walk or even eventually make it to the gym later in the day, getting up and showering first thing wakes you up and makes you feel like a real person.  Then, you put on your new clothes and you feel pretty good!  Anyway, for what it’s worth, here’s my post-baby uniform (a variation of which I’m still wearing!)

1. Nursing bras are hideous. By all means buy one, but I thought they looked awful under a shirt and are annoying to use.  Also, I didn’t like my stomach showing when I lifted up my shirt to nurse (I bought some of those “nursing tops” that they sell at Gap Maternity and the like, but they were also pretty unflattering, and had supposedly easy to open clasps that never actually stayed clasped.  More on this in a minute.)  Instead, I found these tanks by Glamourmoms:  These ones with the lace at the bottom are a bit longer than the other ones they sell (I tried them all!), so I like them in particular because I’m not only long-waisted but because it was even more insurance that my stomach would never see the light of day.  I bought several in white and black and wore them under everything.  They are suprisingly supportive (I definitely had a large nursing, um, bosom…), and I liked the way there was just enough spandex to keep everything covered and secure.  The straps were much easier to use than any nursing bra, too.  Some of my friends with less, um, bosom employed the same strategy (tanks, not nursing bras) with just regular old Gap tanks and just pulled them aside.  At first, I sometimes wore a regular nursing bra under these tanks when I was going out somewhere (it wasn’t that hard to unclasp the tank and then the bra underneath), but eventually the nursing bra got tossed. 

2.  OK, so you have your nursing coverage.  But what to do about a top?  The nice thing about the tanks is that even if you are wearing a regular t-shirt, you can be pretty discreet when lifting up the shirt to nurse (i.e., your fleshy stomach doesn’t show!).  But I found a better solution to the whole “nursing top” thing (a marketing gimmick! Which I fell for hook line and sinker, and then tossed the nursing tops about two weeks in because they just scream, “I’m nursing! I’m frumpy!”).  Old Navy makes deep v-neck t-shirts which are great because you just pull the v-neck part down and to the side a bit when feeding.  Moreover, they are (1) cheap and (2) a bit ruched and thus super-flattering.  They are form fitting without being tight — which is just what you need post-baby.  I bought a bunch in white and black — wearing them with the appropriately coordinated Glamourmoms top — and then one or two fun colors.  I bought size L for after the baby, and have since gone back and gotten size M just to wear all the time now because I love them so much.

3.  Pants are a problem.  You can wear your maternity jeans for awhile, but that’s kind of depressing.  You can also wear your black yoga pants, which of course is a great option.  But what if you want to look a bit cuter?  Again, Old Navy has some suprisingly cute and flattering capris (for all of the elastic and draw strings involved) with a low-riding, elastic waist.  I also bought some Gap jeans two sizes larger that I knew I’d wear only for a (relatively) short while, but it was nice to wear regular jeans (as opposed to maternity). 

So, there you have it:  black and white tanks to go under black and white t’s, to wear with khaki and white capris.  All machine washable!  I’d put one of these combinations on daily with a bright-colored button down cardigan (worn unbuttoned, of course), and then flip flops or cute ballet flats.  (Note: if you have a summer baby, be warned:  your feet do not go back to normal for a few weeks! I was particularly shocked and horrified by this discovery…)  If it’s winter, you can still do this but with maybe a heavier sweater and more reliance on the jeans and nice yoga pants.  But ballet flats can do wonders!  So can a shower and a cute non-diaper-bag-looking diaper bag. 

My whole point is:  it’s nice to prepare yourself with this sort of outfit because it saves you the angst of feeling like you look horrible not only because you’re exhausted, leaking milk, hormonal, etc. etc., but because you can’t fit into either your old clothes and don’t want to wear your huge maternity clothes.  You have some cute things ready to go.  It took me a good five or six months to figure this out, having bought and not worn a variety of nursing tanks, too-big tops (which you don’t really feel all that great in, either…) and pants, etc.  And most important, I think that these clothes are flattering enough while being forgiving that you can enjoy these first few months without being anxious about getting your “old-self” back. 

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