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Body changes in new mothers encompass many areas over an extended period of time, and often there are expectations that can be challenging to overcome. From seeing the way motherhood and pregnancy is portrayed on television and in magazines to navigating the comments that come from well-meaning but misguided friends and family members, the way we view our bodies both during and after pregnancy can create lasting body image issues. That’s why it’s so important to have clothing that fits well, keeps you comfortable, and boosts your confidence so you can focus on this time with your new baby. During the 12 weeks post-delivery–often called the 4th trimester–you’ll want to find flattering, comfy clothing that doesn’t break your budget.
The good news is, you don’t have to buy a whole new wardrobe. Investing in a few well-made pieces will help get you through this time in comfort and style so you can enjoy all those precious moments with your baby. These pieces will help you manage everything from breastfeeding to navigating wellness checkups with ease.
Here are a few things to consider as you navigate the last stages of your pregnancy:
Your body will take time to recover
After delivery, it can take several months for the body to recover fully. Your uterus needs time to shrink back to its original size, and your hormones will likely fluctuate. If you’re breastfeeding, your breasts will grow and may become firm to the point of pain; it’s important to talk to your doctor if you’re experiencing pain that doesn’t lessen during feedings. Breastfeeding can also often make you feel hungry, thirsty, and tired, so it’s crucial to stay hydrated and eat protein-packed snacks during the day.
Find the best bras for your current needs
Whether breastfeeding or not, your breasts will undergo some changes during the 4th trimester and may be tender, swollen, or different in size as your body heals. This means you need to have plenty of support as your body adjusts, so it’s wise to invest in a few new bras. Rather than buying for the size you want to be down the road, search for supportive bras for hard to fit sizes to ensure you find the right fit.
Don’t know your size? Use a measuring tape to find your underbust number by wrapping it all the way around your back and beneath your breasts (if it’s an odd number, round up). To find your cup size, wrap the tape around the fullest part of your breasts, across the nipples. Use this handy bra size tool to find the right fit.
Invest in tops that make you feel stylish and confident
The right bra can help you feel better, and the right tops can boost your confidence and keep you comfortable whether you’re feeding the baby or running errands. Look for classic colors and cool fabrics that will help combat those hormonal hot flashes and warm weather. Neutral colors can be paired with just about anything, from a cute skirt to yoga pants, and these tops will give you a wardrobe boost that will take you through the 4th trimester and beyond.
Take care of yourself
While making the right style and comfort choices with clothing is a great way to practice self-care, it’s also crucial to make time for yourself as you and the baby recover from delivery. The 4th trimester is a time of change that can leave you both exhausted and stressed, but by focusing on your mental and physical health and using different methods to boost your confidence, you can bring some positivity into what can often be a challenging time.
Whether you’ve just had your first child or your fifth, knowing how to care for yourself is imperative. By giving yourself time to recover, and investing in stylish, comfortable tops and bras, you can practice self-care and keep stress at bay in order to enjoy this time with your baby.