Through pregnancy and labor & delivery, the road to new motherhood can be exhausting. After months of growing and delivering a baby, I think every new mom—especially those brave Belly Birth Moms who’ve gone through major surgery—should indulge in a little self-care.
Treat yourself to a massage, haircut, or your favorite sweet, but don’t forget to splurge on comfortable clothes to make your recovery easier.
Full Coverage Underwear
Whether vaginal or c-section delivery, all new moms should treat themselves to new underwear. As the uterus sheds its lining, moms can bleed for weeks. While the hospital’s mesh panties are functional (and I do sing their praises for a few days), they’re not really fashionable or practical for long term use.
Go for stretchy, high-waist underwear with a soft, wide lace band across the top. You’ll want something that sits above your incision and won’t slip down as you move.
The waistbands in pants and leggings—even those with a high waist—can irritate the incision site for some moms, and other moms just want to have a more feminine alternative to the “mom uniform” of tank tops and pants.
Maxi dresses make the perfect staple for your recovery wardrobe. The cool, stretchy material can easily be slipped down for nursing, whether you’re in your favorite glider or outside at a backyard barbecue. The Mom Edit shows just how versatile maxi style dresses can be. Best of all, many maxis are nursing-friendly.
Easy Pants or Leggings
Gaucho pants, yoga pants, and leggings are perfect alternatives to the more restrictive pants you may have worn pre-pregnancy.
For a refreshing change of pace from the standard active wear you may be accustomed to leggings, check out the funky, unique patterns and vivid colors of LulaRoe. They’re not only selling super comfortable clothing, they’re also providing empowerment and beauty for women whose bodies are ever changing.
If you feel too exposed in leggings or yoga pants, gaucho pants can be the perfect save. The loose-flowing Bohemian style pant dates back to the romantic Renaissance period when horse riding women wanted to maintain their feminine style. They’re a great transitional piece between seasons, and can easily be dressed up with wedge heels or sandals. Look for a pair with a wide, stretchy, high-rise band at the top for optimal post C-section comfort.
Super Soft Sleepwear
Comfortable and stylish nursing pajamas were on my Christmas list for years (that’s one of the reasons I started Kindred Bravely).
Whether you prefer pajamas or a nightgown, comfortable sleepwear should be a priority for every new mom. Look for material that makes you feel comfortable and cozy, allows easy access for nursing, and a design that makes you feel stylish not frumpy.
Many C-section mamas report feeling uncomfortably “jiggly,” and said belly bands really helped. They are also recommended for moms with back pain or who need additional abdominal support. Top brands reviewed by the Today Parenting Team include Squeem, Belly Bandit, Bellefit, and the 3 in 1 Breathable Elastic Postpartum Girdle.
The best advice for belly bands, and everything you wear postpartum, is listen to your body. If something is uncomfortable or causing you pain, you may need to wait a bit longer to try wearing it.
While these aren’t things you “wear,” our Belly Birth Mamas highly recommend keeping a pillow handy to hold close to your belly for sneezes, coughing, laughter, and especially on the ride home.
Nursing pillows like the one from My Brest Friend are essential for Belly Birth moms who nurse, since it helps lift baby away from your incision, making breastfeeding much more enjoyable.
Pain Meds and Patience
Last, but definitely not least, is advice for all postpartum moms.
Follow the instructions your doctor and healthcare providers give you. If you’re given pain meds and stool softeners, take them. I know we’ve all tried to outlast physical pain at some point, but the best thing you can do for yourself and your baby is listen to what your body is saying.
While motherhood can often feel like it’s full of “grin and bear it” moments, the aches and pains of recovery shouldn’t be ignored. Take heed of any physical limitations your doctor recommends, and remember your medical team is still your best resource while you recover, so don’t hesitate to reach out with questions and concerns.
Most importantly, allow yourself time to heal.
Some moms bounce back quickly, others take longer to feel like their pre-pregnancy selves. Delivery is a unique experience for every mom (and family), so try to resist the urge to compare yourself to your family, friends, and (especially) celebrity moms.
Be you bravely,
Additional C-Section Recovery Clothing Resources: