Postpartum wardrobe do’s and don’ts
The postpartum period can be among the most challenging in a woman’s life. As a new mom you must adapt to new, shifting responsibilities, all while your body is undergoing constant change and leaving you with nothing to wear. It’s inevitable you will need some new clothes during this time, but since you can only guess what lies ahead, picking out the right pieces can be tricky. With this in mind, we’ve compiled a couple of tips to help you get started:
Do: Look at the care label
When buying postpartum clothes for yourself the material composition is just as important as when you are picking out items for your baby. More than likely your newborn will spend countless hours napping against your chest or tummy, which means direct contact with your clothes. Moreover, research shows that some of the chemicals used to give fabrics antibacterial or moisture repelling properties can be absorbed through the skin (transdermally) by the body and even excreted with breast milk. So, opting for natural, preferably organic fibers, is always a good idea. Of course, it goes without saying, that anything that is not machine-washable will not get much wear during your postpartum period.
Don’t: Buy low quality pieces
It may be tempting to save on the temporary pieces that you may only wear for a couple of months, but keep in mind that you may end up wearing your postpartum items longer than anticipated. Not to mention, you will definitely end up washing them frequently. With the cheaper fabrics you will likely soon discover that items stop looking their best due to pilling and fading after only a couple wash cycles.
Do: Consider breast access
If you are planning on nursing or pumping, you will discover that many of your pre-pregnancy clothes do not have convenient nursing access. Chances are turtleneck sweaters and shift dresses will not be your go-to styles for some time. The good news is you do not have to limit yourself to specialized nursing clothes; there are plenty of regular items that will work great for nursing and pumping. Anything with buttons up the front is a no-brainer, but other styles which may work include deep V-necks or U-necks that you can pull down, and loose tunics that can be lifted up when needed.
Don’t: Limit yourself to one style
If a certain type of nursing access does not work well for you right now, don’t discount it forever. As your baby grows and your body changes, you may find things that were not as convenient in the beginning are becoming much more comfortable for you. For example, you may start leaning towards pull down access more as your baby gets bigger and prefers to nurse sitting up, and as your lactation settles and your breasts become softer. Or you might become more comfortable with lifting your shirt up for nursing as your post-pregnancy belly becomes more toned.
Do: Play with patterns
Picking out fabrics with fun patterns is an easy way to bring some fun and variety into your wardrobe without adding any extra maintenance. As a bonus, patterned fabric, especially the small busy patterns, do a good job of hiding stains and discoloration. So, if you are ever find yourself having a milk eruption during your Target run, people will be less likely to notice it when you are wearing a patterned shirt.
Don’t: Go overboard with decorative details
Buying a plain style with a fun detail, such as a ruffle, beading, or lace overlay may seem like an easy way to spice up your wardrobe. However, remember the extra ironing or steaming that it takes to maintain those nice details in good shape, and keep in mind that any tassel or rhinestone found on your shirt will inevitably make its way into your baby’s mouth.
Do: Take care of your feet
You may be doing a lot of walking in the upcoming months, and your feet may not be quite the size they were before pregnancy. Between those two facts it’s clear that finding a well-fitting pair of comfortable shoes is a priority. It’s a good idea to avoid high heels and laces for your day-to-day, but there are not many other limitations. Get a pair you really like, maybe in a bright color or a fun pattern.
Don’t: Get items that have no function
Accessories are an easy way to take an outfit to the next level. But, when leaving the house with a newborn and the thousand things they need for diaper changes, burping, napping, etc., it’s easy to forget the non-essential items you have so carefully planned for your outfit. To avoid this and still look stylish, make sure that the items you actually need to carry, such as the diaper bag or sunglasses, are top style picks. Another good accessory option is a circular jersey scarf that can multitask as a nursing or car seat cover.