Well we’re eight weeks into postpartum life and while the minutes can drag on, the weeks certainly do fly by… The body is this crazy, wonderful, frustrating, beautiful thing. After months of creating this lovely little human, it can be very difficult to wait while our bodies adjust back to a (new?) norm. Postpartum clothing and body image are an interesting topic – no this won’t be another heavy post, but it’s worth starting a conversation…
My mom continually told me during my pregnancy that it takes the same amount of time to lose the pregnancy weight as it took to put it on – nine months. She also reminded me that after birth, I would have to eventually settle back into my previous lifestyle if I really wanted that to happen.
Up until the final weeks of pregnancy, my daily intake of calories and my consistent workout routine didn’t change all that much. I ate slightly bigger portions or an extra snack toward the end but nothing crazy. By week 39 (maybe 38?), however, I decided an extra cookie or so was worth lugging that big old stomach around all day!
My Body Just After Delivery
In those first few weeks after delivery, I started to see my body returning to its pre-baby shape. I wasn’t working out – just short walks when I could as I was so worn out from interrupted, sleepless nights and trying to breastfeed (a physical and emotional toll – read my low supply breastfeeding story here). And while I didn’t have the energy, my doctor and especially my husband were adamant about no working out or exertion for six weeks!
If you’re nursing or pumping your body is constantly creating food for your little one, so there’s a lot of calorie burning that happens passively. It’s great for helping get some weight off, but it’s also exhausting and calorie-burning needs calories which can be hard to stay on top of those first few weeks.
During those first few weeks, I lost baby weight pretty quickly. After a few weeks, I actually realized that part of that was probably inadequate calorie intake. If you’ve had a newborn, you know structured meals are a dream seldom achieved without the help of friends and family… and even then.
Postpartum Clothing Reality Check
So anyway, my body got back to it’s pre-baby shape (not size) within two weeks, I’d say. I still had some extra business in my tummy – no surprise there. I stupidly tried to get back into my boyfriends jeans at this point only to laugh and remember that I put on a decent amount more weight than just my son and his temporary home. My extra weight required extra support after all!
Even now at 8 weeks, I can get my boyfriend jeans on, but not comfortably and they certainly don’t fit like boyfriend jeans! Hello awkwardly shaped skinny jeans.
Besides your body shape and size not being what it was for a while, if you’re breastfeeding (nursing or pumping), you need some easy chest access. All of these combine to make postpartum clothing options limited. Because I assume I’ll get back into my regular clothes within the next few months (by year’s end), I don’t want to buy tons of clothing to fit my current body…
What I’m Really Wearing These Days
So the real story behind the facade of being a new mom and a fashion blogger is that I’m living in the same pair or two of jeans. My top selection is a bit larger, but that’s primarily because I’m at home most days, so I can just adjust my top as needed to pump. And I have one breastfeeding dress that a dear friend who recently stopped breastfeeding gave me!
At the end of my pregnancy, I was in about two dresses day in and out. My immediate postpartum life was much different. I’m getting into my tops fairly easily, but all my jeans are still vacuum packed away. The new mom guilt is an incredibly real thing, so if you see new moms on social media looking fly and fabulous – know that it’s probably a show and we’re all in the same ensemble day in and day out (hopefully without too much breast milk or spit up on it!)