by Claire Fabb of Stylebyyellowbutton.comHaving a baby is a truly magical, exciting time. Watching your body change to grow another tiny human being inside of you is a miracle. So much is celebrated about pregnancy and birth but what about after you have the baby? Your gift to the world doesn’t just pop out and your body pop back to the way it was. (for most mere mortals anyway). Life changes dramatically as does your body and you need to accommodate for both. My business is styling and many of my clients come to Yellow Button when they have had a lifestyle shift and want solutions on how to dress for these new occasions. A baby? Yes that’s just one of them. How do you dress for a post – baby body? How do you accommodate it and still look stylish, not frumpy and as though you really have everything together (which we all know you do!)? A post baby body is a time when you need to be gentle on yourself. Set yourself real expectations on what you can wear and don’t force yourself to fit into your pre-baby clothes too soon. Comfort is key.
It’s been 11 years this week since I had my second daughter Milla and following the births of both of my girls I most certainly didn’t snap back into shape stepping out of the hospital. I was kind to myself and dressed comfortably and casually to accommodate my new shape.
The best experience is the experience of those who have most recently had their children. 11 years is a fair amount of time so I asked some new mothers how they felt once their babies were born and the best solutions for the post – baby bodies.
Emily Gribble is a mother of 4. She’s one of those incredible people who once she puts her mind to something, she does it. 4 children, represented Australia in a triathlon in the US just a year after having her fourth, she’s incredibly determined in the goals she sets. Being realistic about the post baby body she most definitely was and her helpful hints included “wearing a fitted undergarment (think Spanks) under your clothes for the first six months or longer depending on how effective you are finding it. I liked the ones that are briefs but pull up to just under your breasts. Post baby it’s nice to have a few new things to wear if you can but you don’t want to spend too much as your size will change a lot as you begin to exercise again.” A pregnancy essential, maternity jeans are not just for the baby bump. They come in handy post birth too. Emily says, “Maternity jeans are amazing post baby for a while as you can’t tell you are still in maternity clothes, buy yourself a new top to go with them and you will be feeling great and especially if you are feeding remember those with buttons or are loose fitting are easy to manoeuvre and comfortable.”
Alessandra Eddy is a new mother to gorgeous Paloma who is 4 months old. Alessandra is right there in the gloriously tired zone, not to mention she’s on the cusp of launching her new company Luna Atelier (luxury tailored silk sleepwear) How has she found the experience of post pregnancy?
“In terms of post-baby body so many women put pressure on themselves to bounce back in a hot minute. I think that if it takes 9+months to change your body in pregnancy, shouldn’t it take around the same time to get your body back to how it was?
I was lucky/fortunate that I didn’t put on a lot of weight (I thought that I would have). When I was pregnant I craved substantial foods such as pasta, sandwiches, pizzas etc. I ate when I was hungry but didn’t gorge on junk.
As I’m breastfeeding you are often hungry (they say it’s like running a marathon…) and I’m still eating the substantial foods like pasta and my favourite muesli cookies.
My main tip would be to take the pressure off trying to get back too fast too soon and just relax; the weight will come off as it naturally should. Also, I am always constantly on the go, working as well as building a new brand, looking after our home and of course I have Paloma with me all the time. Getting out in the sun for a walk with her is fantastic and instantly you feel human (after broken sleep…). During my pregnancy I lived in Bassike elastic- waist pants, they are so comfortable and non-pregnant women wear them so you don’t feel like a minority. I had them in my wardrobe so thankfully just added a few colours to the mix and still wear them today.”
Celina Gregory is our regular mindfulness contributor on stylebyyellowbutton.com for all things wellbeing. She’s always a great advisor and is also a mum to 3 gorgeous boys. Her advice? “My best friend during and after pregnancy was comfortable maternity jeans, that I could not only wear while pregnant but post baby, and if I’m totally honest I still have a pair and still wear them occasionally and get comments on them! No-one would ever know they were maternity. There are such great options now”. A post baby body doesn’t just include clothes, it comes with other challenges (the joys of being a woman!). When it came to her body she says “I ate whatever I wanted while pregnant so I did put on a decent amount of weight. I regretted this after when trying to get my body back, but I always had lots of milk for my babies which helped keep them content and sleep well, so I think that’s the most important thing. To get my weight back I found cutting out carbs, sugar and cheeses really helped. Soups are great too. I also don’t drink alcohol regularly which helps as wine has so much sugar. During my first pregnancy I did pre-natal yoga which was lovely, but with subsequent pregnancies, this isn’t as easy unless you have lots of help. I tried to do some Yoga after baby at home using my favourite Hatha Yoga YouTube clip which is really gentle and I also have a Pilate’s reformer at home. I personally find doing light exercise at home is the easiest as I have three kids and find it hard to get out to classes”.
Some wonderful wardrobe pieces to add when your body is changing are those skirts, dresses or trousers that don’t have a restrictive waistband. Think of a thick jersey or elastic bonded pieces. Gathered waistbands which give movement. There are beautiful and fashionable pieces that you can wear straight after having your baby that you can still wear when your body gets back to normal. As Emily mentioned, Spanx or similar brands are great for giving those smooth lines underneath your outfits. I also suggest thin strapped singlet tops for a bit of extra length and handy when you have to bend over to tend to baby (or pick things off the floor). Even as a modesty layer these come in very handy.
Some great general advice all mothers love as we all have different life responsibilities, hence the reason a support network is so important. My personal tip? If you’re offered help, don’t be too proud to take it. If someone offers you to take your baby for a walk – do something for you. Don’t do housework. Celina’s advice on a general balance “I found all of my babies loved routine and that it was essential to keep them calm and content. This is also handy when your partner or a babysitter needs to care for them too. The most important thing for sanity is getting sleep, so focusing on getting my babies fed well and in a settled sleeping routine were definitely my priorities!”.
Seed Boater Hat
Just reading this takes me back to a time when my girls were just babies. Now I just love watching them blossom into beautiful young ladies. It’s true what they say. Time flies by in a blink of an eye. Enjoy every minute.