Fact: Many postpartum bodies are squishy, dimpled and stretched. Your body may not look the way it did before you had children. You may feel that your belly button is deeper, your stomach isn’t as taught, your waist isn’t as whittled and your breasts feel engorged or deflated.
This may be difficult albeit excruciating for you to accept.
You may feel you’re somehow imperfect and you may feel that way for quite sometime. It’s tough to feel trapped in your body and it’s even more frustrating to know that you won’t have your body back tomorrow, the next day or the day after.
However, you made a human. And that is amazing. Holy moly you have this tiny adorable little person that didn’t exist before you created it and it’s mind boggling to think that you created something so perfect.
One does not negate the other. They both exist at the exact same time. It’s a hard reality to face. But it’s normal. You’re not alone. In fact, Ashlee Wells Jackson, has created a photographic series entitled the Fourth Trimester Bodies Project to show women exactly what their bodies look like after birth, breast feeding and childcare. And it’s beautiful.
Now just because you know other women face the same challenges doesn’t necessarily make it any easier for you to accept that your clothing doesn’t fit you the way it once did. Even if you can get back into the same size clothing that you did before pregnancy doesn’t mean they fit you the same way. It adds insult to injury. So what can you do about it?
Find clothing that works for your current shape (and no, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to do it, either).
Here are the easiest solutions for your body post baby.
1) If clothes don’t fit you any longer, quit beating yourself up saying you’ll fit into them. Hermit crabs don’t beat themselves up because they have to change shells. They move onto a new shell. Shed the old. If it doesn’t fit, donate it or send it to a consignment shop to make some money off your duds.
2) Ask yourself:
- Is this color flattering? If it is, keep it. If not, get rid of it. A simple rule of thumb: jewel tones look good on everyone. Black looks good on everyone except women with warm tones.
- Do I have other items that I will wear this with or specific outfits in mind? If you can’t wear it more than once, get rid of it.
- Will I actually reach for this item and wear it? If not, toss it. If you’re not wearing it because you need to mend it and you know you’re not going to get around to it, toss it.
3) Assess your budget. How much can you afford to spend on new clothes? Let’s say you have $400 extra over three months. That’s plenty. Shop what you can afford. There’s no shame in purchasing items at consignment shops or thrift stores.
4) Make a list of what you need. Stick to the list. If you have nothing else in your closet, this is all you need.
- Two well fitted bras: 1 in black, 1 in beige
- 4 sweaters
- 7 t-shirts
- 4 coats
- 2 tops for every skirt you have and pant
- 4 pants, 4 skirts
- 5 dresses
- 4 jeans
Least amount of money you can anticipate paying: bras $120, sweaters $20, t-shirts $35, coats $64, pants $32, skirts $30, dresses $50, jeans $40
Grand total: $390
Put aside $32.50 aside each week. If you have less money the goal won’t change, but the timeline will. Adjust it according to your budget. Don’t feel forced into paying for everything all at once. It’s frustrating to go through a transformation and it takes time.
Purchase one item at a time if necessary.
Start with the bras, t shirts and jeans. You’ll wear them every day.
Buy plain t-shirts. The best way to find a t-shirt that hides your tummy is to find one that’s tighter on your breasts. Shirts that hit you at the shirt tail are perfect to conceal your tummy. Look for wide open necklines or v-necks.
Buy darker jeans with a little stretch. Wide leg jeans hide fuller thighs and a fuller rear end.
Low waisted jeans one size too big will help hide your tummy. Don’t squeeze into them or you’ll give yourself a double butt. Follow the same rules for trousers and get them in darker washes.
Can’t afford 4 coats? Try one trench coat.
Need to find a skirt that works? Low slung waists, sarongs and rouched fronts will be your best friend.
Are five dresses too daunting? Find one wrap dress.
And that’s how you get rid of your post baby woes for less than $390 in less than 12 weeks.