The female body is amazing and giving birth is the most beautiful experience. I wouldn’t trade my stretch marks or loose skin for the world now that I’ve had my babies. Our babies are such a gift and I feel amazed that my body can grow and nourish a human being and I never want to take that for granted. If I’m being honest though, it’s hard to go from having a super tight cute baby bump, where fitted clothes look adorable and everything feels so good, to immediately having lots of loose skin, a poochy stomach, hair falling out and hormones all over the map. Having a baby is an emotional rollercoaster and I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t cried while trying to find something to wear that made me feel good.
During my first pregnancy, I didn’t want to spend the money to buy new postpartum clothes. But, when I was looking at a closet full of clothes that didn’t fit the way I’d hoped, I learned that the best thing for my mental and emotional health and the best “push present” I could give myself was a few new items that wouldn’t make me dread getting dressed each day. I mean, hey, I grew a human being, I can probably indulge in some new pants!
Now that I’ve had two babies, I’ve found some go-to staples that have made my postpartum and nursing season so much better!
Here are my top five must-haves clothing items for postpartum and nursing moms.
1. Comfortable Nursing Bras
My favorite everyday nursing bra is the Bravado Seamless Body Silk Nursing Bra. I LOVE this bra for nursing because I can wear it day and night. When I’m not nursing or pregnant, I usually wear underwire bras during the day for support, and like to sleep in stretchy sports bras because they are so comfy, so I was pleasantly surprised to be able to find a nursing bra that was comfortable enough to sleep in at night and also had enough support for around the house (and even family on walks around the neighborhood) during the day. This time around, I got three. One to wear, one to wash and a backup in case of spit up, and it’s been so nice to basically live in these nursing bras full time.
While I’m in a nursing season, I try to keep underwire bras to a minimum to avoid clogged ducts, but I do love the additional support when I’m out of the house for only a few hours at a time. For when we’re out and about, on a date, at church, at a meeting etc. I love the Bravado Belle Underwire Nursing Bra because it provides extra lift and support but is still comfortable.
2. Loose-Fitting Button Down Tops
The first few weeks and months of postpartum life, loose-fitting anything is my best friend, especially if it can also be cute and comfortable. I’ve found that tops specifically made to be “nursing friendly” with lift-up flaps and things like that aren’t always my favorite look, so instead I like to find “regular” clothes that work with nursing. I discovered these loose-fitting button down tops with a soft waffle texture look great with leggings or jeans (maternity and regular!), have a generous amount of room in the stomach (thank goodness!), a flattering tail and make nursing a breeze. The tie-up style specifically helps make it look like there’s less stomach than there is. I found these V-Neck Button Downs on Amazon and I can’t get enough of them. They have long sleeve, short sleeve and tank top versions, so they work in all seasons and so many cute colors. I think I ordered like FIVE different colors because I loved them so much and I LIVED in them the first few weeks of newborn life. Now that I’ve mentioned it, you’ll probably notice them in almost ALL of our early photos with Emily!
3. High Waisted Leggings
I LIVE in high waisted leggings all the time now, and they especially make me feel SO much better during the postpartum season. A good pair helps me feel way more secure in the lower belly region, and also just generally helps hold everything in and feel tighter, while still being extremely comfortable. My favorite brands are Beyond Yoga and Lululemon because they are SO flattering and they have such a soft, buttery almost skin-like feel to them. They’re pricey (and you know how much I love shopping consignment and finding good deals) but I literally wear them every day and they are so worth it.
My top three high waisted leggings are:
1. Beyond Yoga Space Dye – The “Spacedye” marled prints are my fave!
2. Lululemon Align – I mostly live in the black ones, but there are some great color options here too!
3. Amazon Knockoffs – The Colorfulkoala Women’s Brushed Buttery Soft High Waisted Leggings Full Length Yoga Pants- These are a fraction of the price and actually really great! I have two pairs. I can still tell the difference in the way they feel, but the look is almost identical to the Lululemon Align pants and they’re a seriously great option if you don’t want to break the bank!
4. Oversized Tanks, T-Shirts and Sweaters
My other favorite postpartum trick is to simply buy loose-fitting tanks or t-shirts that are a size or two up from my normal size and tie the bottom of the shirt or tank into a knot. The longer the shirt is, the more generous the fit will be when it’s tied up. It creates the same illusion in the stomach that the tie-up shirts above do and is such a quick, easy, casual look. When I need to nurse, I can quickly untie the knot and there’s plenty of room for baby under the shirt, then just retie the knot. I’ve found after trial and error that v-necks are my favorite because they help visually break up my extra large nursing chest, or shirts that I can wear off one should for the same reason. Oversized sweaters are also my best friend when the weather is cool enough! I’m so glad those are in right now!
5. Wrap Dresses and Surplice Necklines
When it comes to leaving the house for church or date night, wrap dresses and shift dresses are my favorite. Again, I usually stay away from clothes that are specifically labeled “nursing friendly” because for the most part, they’re either a lot more expensive or have extra flaps and things that I don’t love. I’ve found regular wrap dresses and shift dresses are great for postpartum because they flow away from the midsection, and as long as they’re v-neck or surplice neckline are usually nursing friendly too. Wrap dresses have especially been my favorite because the wrap part up top makes it easy to nurse!
I wore them both before I got pregnant with Emily, and was also able to comfortably wear them about two weeks after she was born!
Bonus: Finding these things second hand!
We’ve talked about our love for consignment shopping many times, but I just thought it was worth mentioning one more time here. Postpartum is one of the only times in my life I pay full retail prices for clothes because I think it’s so worth it to have items that make me feel good in a time that is so exhausting emotionally and physically. However, whenever I *can* find an item or two second-hand, I’m all for it! I love to shop at local consignment stores and my favorite online consignment store is Thred Up because the search features are pretty dang amazing. You can seriously filter by dress style (so I can just click the “wrap dress” box or the “shift dress” box) and can even specify the colors and size you want to browse! You can even save $10 off your first order by using this link!
If you’re looking for direct links to my go-to nursing-friendly postpartum outfits, you can click here!