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The New Mom’s Guide to Postpartum Clothes

The New Mom’s Guide to Postpartum Clothes

Postpartum clothes cater to the needs of new mothers as their bodies transition after childbirth. Even though these clothes may be stretchier or roomier than your pre-pregnancy wardrobe, there are many great reasons to wear postpartum clothes—and even continue wearing your very cute maternity clothes—even after your sweet baby arrives.  

What are the Benefits of Postpartum Clothes?

There are several benefits of wearing postpartum clothes. Firstly, comfy postpartum clothes often offer features such as stretchy fabrics, adjustable waistbands, roomy silhouettes, and more as you navigate life with a newborn.

Secondly, postpartum clothes help new mothers feel confident. Postpartum and maternity fashion offers new moms cozy loungewear, stylish dresses, and everyday pieces such as t-shirts and leggings so that during and after your pregnancy, you can still look and feel amazing.

Thirdly, maternity clothes are still comfortable and practical throughout the postpartum period. This fit is particularly beneficial for moms who experience swelling, discomfort, or tenderness from childbirth.

Lastly, postpartum clothes are far more functional for a new mom than regular clothes. They have nursing-friendly designs, easy-access closures, and versatile layering pieces that support breastfeeding and allow for discreet nursing on the go. 

Nest Bump clothing

How Long After Birth Should You Wear Maternity Clothes?

There is no hard and fast rule for the duration of wearing postpartum clothes—it varies from woman to woman. While some may find their pre-pregnancy wardrobe fitting comfortably within a few weeks, others may require the flexibility and support of maternity wear for longer.

Factors such as individual body changes, postpartum recovery, and personal comfort help guide the transition back to regular clothing, but there is no rush. Most women wear postpartum clothes for a few weeks to a few months after birth as their bodies gradually recover and adjust. 

Is It Okay to Wear Tight Clothes After Giving Birth?

It's generally best to avoid wearing tight clothes after giving birth, especially around the abdomen and pelvic area. Your body is healing and recovering during this time, and you may experience postpartum swelling. Tight clothing can make you uncomfortable, hinder blood circulation, and increase the risk of complications. Mamas who have C-sections will also want to avoid anything tight around the incision site.

Instead, loose-fitting, breathable attire allows for better circulation and accommodates discomfort or swelling. As your body heals, you can gradually reintroduce tighter-fitting clothing, but it's essential to prioritize comfort and support during the postpartum period.

What Clothes Fit Postpartum?

Postpartum clothing that fits well and provides comfort and support is essential as your body recovers and adjusts after childbirth.

If you want clothing that is well-suited for the postpartum period, you may consider:

  • High-waisted bottoms, such as leggings, shorts, or skirts, offer gentle support for the abdomen.
  • Supportive underwear provides gentle support to the abdomen and pelvic area without digging into your skin.

Need more inspiration for postpartum fashion? Read A Personal Stylist’s 3 Tips for Postpartum Style

Nest Bump collection

When Buying Maternity Clothes, Do I Buy My Normal Size?

When purchasing maternity clothes, it’s generally recommended that you select sizes based on your pre-pregnancy measurements. Maternity wear designs accommodate your growing belly while maintaining your usual size elsewhere. Of course, all brands fit differently, so you may have to go up one size depending on your body's changes and the fit of the garment.

If you're unsure about sizing, try on clothing before you buy it—or keep the tags on if purchasing online—to ensure you're bringing home the perfect fit. Comfort is key with maternity clothing, so choose the clothing that feels good and looks amazing.

What Size Will I Wear Postpartum?

Postpartum sizing varies, and no two women are the same. Your postpartum size depends on factors like how your body changed following childbirth, the amount of weight you gained during pregnancy, and more. Many new mothers gradually transition back into their pre-pregnancy sizes over time.

During the postpartum period, it's common for women to experience changes in body shape and size, including abdominal swelling, weight loss or retention, and other changes. Additionally, it takes time for the uterus to shrink back to its pre-pregnancy size, which can affect how clothing fits around the abdomen.

Wearing maternity clothes postpartum accommodates these changes and can help you feel confident as you heal.

How Should I Dress for My Postpartum Belly?

Dressing for your postpartum belly involves choosing clothing that provides comfort, support, and confidence as your body adjusts after childbirth. Choose outfits that feel good and are made of ever-so-soft, healthy fabrics like cotton or bamboo—materials like these can make you feel amazing and help spark confidence. You may also want to dress in pieces that have great silhouettes, like high-waisted pants or a romper. Adjustable features, like waist ties or button closures, can also help improve the fit of certain garments.

Nest Bump romper

What Postpartum Clothes Should I Bring to the Hospital?

When packing your hospital bag, bring a selection of comfortable and practical postpartum clothes because you may be at the hospital for a few days.

Here are some recommendations for postpartum clothes for your hospital bag:

  • Loose-fitting PJs made from breathable fabrics like cotton. Look for styles with easy-access closures or nursing-friendly features for convenience during breastfeeding.
  • A robe for coverage (it's also convenient for layering over your PJs).
  • Tank tops that support breastfeeding and provide comfort.
  • Maternity pants or leggings paired with a short sleeve or long sleeve T-shirt will provide comfort and flexibility during your hospital stay and when you go home.

By packing a selection of postpartum clothes, you will have everything you need to stay comfortable after giving birth.

Nest Designs maternity clothing

4 Ways to Incorporate Maternity Clothes into Your Postpartum Wardrobe

There are a few ways to turn your maternity pieces into a smart postpartum wardrobe:

  1. Plan in advance. Consider how the outfit can work for postpartum wear when purchasing maternity clothing. Look for items with nursing features or flexible fabrics to prolong their use after the baby is born.
  2. Learn to layer. Your favourite maternity tops can be paired with a cardigan or jacket for added warmth during the winter months. 
  3. Use transitional items. Some maternity pieces, like dresses and leggings, adapt easily to your postpartum body shape with adjustable features such as wrap closures or stretchy materials.
  4. Accessorize your outfits. Pair postpartum outfits with scarves, jewelry, hats, or footwear to elevate your ensemble. 
  5. Experiment with styling techniques. Try layering, belting, or knotting tops to create flattering silhouettes and accentuate your postpartum figure.

Wear What Feels Good

Embrace your body's changes with kindness and compassion, and choose clothing that makes you feel comfortable and confident as you navigate the newborn phase. You can wear plenty of maternity clothes postpartum and still look beautiful.

Shop the Nest Bump maternity (and postpartum) collection.