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I waited a few months to write this post, because I needed a few months to figure things out myself! Dressing the bump was challenging, but I think that dressing the post-partum body is even more difficult (at least, emotionally I found it to be quite a bit more challenging!).
The thing is, you're not entirely sure what you're working with. You're not pregnant, but you're not *you* again, either. Your boobs are constantly changing sizes (and honestly, neither of them are the same size as the other!), your stomach is 2nd trimester size one day, and almost flat again the next, and your hips are big! But also shrinking... but how much they'll shrink, and how fast they'll shrink, well that's anybody's guess!
For the first few days, I just wore my sweats from pregnancy and rotated between two nursing tanks because I was so tired and sore that I didn't leave the sofa/bed area at all, but as things got better and I was able to go on walks again, wearing sweats and no bra made me feel gross, and not at all like a human, let alone the human that was *me*. So I went shopping, and here's what I've learned:
1) BUY SOME PANTS THAT FIT
Before Evie, I lived in cute jeans and shorts. After Evie, there was no way in *%^& I was fitting these hips into those bottoms (TBH, there still isn't). But I felt so gross only having sweatpants. It just wasn't me. I finally caved and picked up a pair of shorts at Target, which felt, and looked, amazing on, but devastated me with their size: 2 above what I wore pre-baby. Weeks later, they were too big, but I learned my lesson: I went to Express and snagged three pairs of shorts that I LOVE, in a size just one up from my pre-pregnancy size. Will this be my new size? No idea. But I can tell you that buying something I love in a size that fits me right now makes me feel a million times better than those sweatpants did.
2) EMBRACE RELAXED TOPS
As mentioned above, one day my belly is almost mine again, and the next it looks like I'm 5 months pregnant. I've started wearing loose tees, tanks, OTS tops.. you name it... and just doing a half-tuck or tying a knot for some interest. It's cute and works every day, regardless of what this crazy body decides.
3) CREATIVE LINGERIE
This is mainly for my BF and Pumping moms, but you can free the nipple when you need to without wearing nursing bras and tops. I've started wearing bralettes from Victoria's Secret, because they're cute, give me enough support (currently a C cup on one side an an A on the other... yay), and provide easy access when I need to feed Evie. It doesn't hurt that they're only $20 each, either! I try to remember, with tops and bras, if I can easily get at a boob, it's a go ;-)
4) BUY LOTS OF SHOES
This one is a bit silly, but it has been one of my favorite things: Shoes fit, look good, and can elevate any outfit. I've picked up several (I think we're at 5?) pairs of new shoes since Evie's arrival, and I love that they always look good and make me feel good.
Remember, the most important thing is that you look and feel amazing.
Because you are, Mama. You are.