Gone Style: Postpartum Style Dos and Don'ts

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Today on Girl's Gone Child (and everywhere else, apparently) I'm "exposing" another postpartum fashion tip (See: hot pink lipstick for tip #1). The following is one of several videos I shot with kin community last month, featuring my hot pink thong yet again. And yes, my hot pink thong is feeling extremely smug these days. Smug and tight and unflattering. Oh well. I think it's important for women to recognize that a good postpartum ass was not built in one day. Or six weeks. Or six months. Or sixteen months. It's perfectly natural (and okay!) to look a little doughy after giving birth. Our bodies just made humans, you guys! We should be celebrating our muffin tops! Quietly? Under a loose-fitted tunic? ED: After watching this video I'm thinking a pair of calf-covering boots may be a more flattering choice than a booty which draws attention to the thickness of the thigh/thinness of ankle differential e = mc2.


I'll be rolling out more of my kin videos in the weeks/days to come as well as featuring some of my favorite videos from other contributors. (Cough, Bethany Winters, cough!) In the meantime you can subscribe to kin, here.


GGC

44 comments:

Adina B | 8:43 AM

I generally agree, but feel like for nursing mamas this can be complicated as tunic-y tops are not generally nursing friendly. I have found some loose, short nursing dresses that have been totally go tos.

At almost 6 months postpartum, but having been back at work for nearly 3, it looks like my nursing days may be numbered anyway, but just something to keep in mind.

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 8:47 AM

What about a tank under your tunic? I always wore nursing tanks under my tops so I could pull up oversized shirt/tunic and have my belly covered while nursing.

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 8:49 AM

Re: nursing tanks, these are what I have (and still wear, even though I stopped nursing) =
http://www.target.com/p/Gilligan-O-Malley-Womens-Nursing-Cami-Assorted-Colors/-/A-13765278

estrella | 8:54 AM

"It's perfectly natural (and okay!) to look a little doughy after giving birth."

Just a friendly reminder that some of us readers have bodies that look "a little doughy" all the time, and that our bodies are also perfectly natural (and okay!) too, whether or not we've ever given birth.

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 9:05 AM

Estrella - OF COURSE it's okay! Bodies rock no the matter! I'm only speaking to postpartum bods who aren't quite where they want to be and need to figure out how to dress for that fourth trimester... in between recovering from childbirth and getting back into their pre-pregnancy clothes. Hence the "postpartum" in the title.

I'm all about loving your body no matter the shape, size, etc etc etc... But that doesn't mean I can't express wanting (needing!) to lose MY weight and pat my chest in solidarity to the postpartum ladies in the house who also do.

I do not look my best right now and that's okay is all I'm saying. A woman's tendency is to think her body will bounce back right away and for most of us, that isn't the case.

verdemama | 9:16 AM

I LOVE this vid -- you, the set, the editing... everything! Looking forward to seeing more.

You look fantastic, btw. I, too, am *not quite* back into my favorite clothes at six months postpartum and it's nice to have some encouragement to not wear yoga pants for the hundredth day in a row.

Jen Murray-Szarvas | 9:59 AM

I seriously love your candour and the frank way you just put yourself out there. I haven't bounced back from having my 2 kids but I blame that on poor eating habits (which coincidentally is why I LOVE your momma's posts). You are my hero girlfriend!

Carryn | 10:05 AM

It took almost two years but I am finally at my pre-baby weight. But sadly none of my tops fit. An A to a D. Ahem. I don't think they are ever going to go back.
Those nursing tanks from Target are awesome. I pretty much live in them when we are at home.
But the real reason for my comment is to share a postpartum don't in the hopes of other ladies learning from my experience.

Ladies, please do not in a fit of hormonal body unhappiness cut your own hair. Get out of the house, go to the salon and get pampered. Cutting your own hair never end well. Trust me, I KNOW.

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 10:12 AM

Carryn - YES! After Archer was born I tried to give myself a layered shag look with a pair of paper scissors. I was desperate to see change and OH, I SAW CHANGE. Sigh.

Jesse | 10:17 AM

great tips (filing these away for february), you look so chic in the leggings and tunic outfit. Thanks for making me feel like it's okay to be a bit "doughy" as you say:)

Glenda | 10:26 AM

You look AMAZING and you ROCK!

can't wait to see more of these vid's

Keep Rocking Rebecca!!!

Abi | 10:28 AM

Amen to saying No to DIY postpartum hair cut. Did that once after Baby #1. I convinced the hubby to help me. He chopped off my hair WHILE IT WAS STILL IN A PONYTAIL. I went from all the way down my back to a horrible, could not be saved bob/reverse mullet hybrid. After that I went to the salon (even SuperCuts is better than DIY).

I'm still rockin' my maternity jeans 11 weeks after Baby #3. I love how comfy they are, but I do not like how frumpy I look. Thanks for the leggins tip. Got mine at Old Navy, only $10 each! w00t! (not affiliated, just love a sale).

Stephanie | 10:30 AM

Yay! I'm glad I was already adhering to the Do's - if only because elastic waistbands are the only ones that still fit and these nursing boobs make every top loose around the middle.

As for ease of access I just hike up the top and let my doughy flag fly. But I also nurse only at home and pump in privacy.

PS: I love the DO NT props.

Emery Jo | 11:47 AM

You are soooooo adorable in every way imaginable!! Cute cute CUTE.

Anonymous | 12:04 PM

Just wondering if the emphasis on looking good (AKA fitting the beauty mold) is really a message you want to send. Watch out women - better hide those unsightly fat rolls. That's what is really important after giving life. You really seem to have excellent ideas about gentle parenting and inspiring love and acceptance EXCEPT where it comes to how people look. Really, is it the most important thing in life?

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 12:16 PM

Anon - Where in this post and video am I telling you that HOW YOU LOOK is the most important thing in life? How am I judging you? I'm being cheeky and making the most out of my present insecurities - making light of a situation most women are closeted about. I think it's completely unfair that when a women addresses physical insecurities she is seen as shallow and "caring only about her looks."

Of course how one looks isn't most important but HOW ONE FEELS certainly is. Looking great is about feeling great and hiding one's insecurities (as well as embracing them) is what this post is all about. Sorry you missed the point.

Noelle | 12:51 PM

Yes! Great video! At 16 months PP I'm almost Back to pre-preggo weight. I tried to embrace my doughy body and not stress about it. Great tips!! You look fabulous!!

Hil | 12:56 PM

Hahaha... cute! I love the end where you walk off with the baby carriage :-)

flyrish | 12:59 PM

Love this and I completely agree that looking great is tied in to feeling great. I mean, you're being real and having fun with this transition.

My baby girl is almost 3 months old as well, and I'm all about the denim leggings and loose sweaters. Trying to embrace the muffin top since it was from my little love muffin, but it's not always easy. I finally scheduled my long overdue haircut for next week and I cannot wait!

Anonymous | 1:01 PM

i hope they are paying you for doing this shit.

Nakia | 1:25 PM

I love the tunic/leggings combo. Its working while pregnant and I'm definitely going to keep rocking it postpartum.

Another postpartum don't: Don't stay in your pj's for two weeks straight. Get dressed, brush your teeth. It will do wonders for your mood and self esteem.

KH | 1:59 PM

This is great. I think the message works for those who are pre- and post-partum (or non-partum, which I just made up): wear things that fit and flatter your shape and size (regardless of what that is).

I also have to throw in that I think it's ridiculous that you would EVER have to justify a desire to look and FEEL good.

Anonymous | 1:59 PM

I guess one thing I took from this post and from others is that feeling good seems to be about looking a certain way as much as you can. I think this is a huge myth, that one has to fit a certain mold to be beautiful or to FEEL good. I may have missed the point you thought you were trying to get across but I think you might have perhaps mistakenly made the point that fat is ugly so hide it. This is a very mainstream idea and I thought that along with some of your other more progressive ideas you might be beyond it. I don't know - it's like when you were proud of your mum for going grey.
P.S. I am not the same anonymous who wrote about being paid!

Anonymous | 3:08 PM

This is my first pregnancy and I'm 21 weeks along with twin girls. Thank you for sharing and being so honest in your posts. I likely will be quite doughy after the babies are born and greatly appreciate all tips in working with the postpartum body. Thanks!

Anonymous | 4:16 PM

I'm pretty sure your thong is feeling "snug" as opposed to "smug"!

rachel | 4:38 PM

After 21 months post partum (6lb+ twins) I'm coming to terms with a stomach that probably isn't going to bounce back. I'm okay with it sometimes, disgusted sometimes, sad sometimes, proud sometimes but mostly I just don't have time to care. I DO, however, care about how I present myself because it's a reflection on how I feel about myself. If I pay attention to my hair, clothes, ect it's pretty much the only attention I get to spend on me. And I'm only talking about 20 minutes of get-ready time. Sometimes I'm not so confident in my parenting, work, marriage, and all that. At least I know my outfit is working. I spend my professional life talking with women and men about how their poor body image/eating disorder is ruining their life. It's not about fat/skinny/okay with where you are - it's really about just treating yourself well no matter what.

Johi | 5:15 PM

Adorable video!..and you look fantastic. Love your style, too. Rock on, sister.

Sally | 6:28 PM

Gosh, all these tetchy anonymous-es (anonymi??)!! I love your advice here. While I totally agree that all kinds of bodies rock, there is nothing worse than feeling uncomfortable in your own skin. I'm a big girl, I'll never be small, and my stomach area kind of permanently expanded after babies, and yet I keep trying to wear the same old clothes I used to wear pre-babes. The tunic top/skinny leg combo DOES make me feel most comfortable (and therefore beautiful..), and I need to remember this always always always.

Justine | 9:01 PM

I think this was great. I know that after my first (and even somewhat my second cause I was all hormonally and nutty), I expected to magically be able to fit in my pre-pregnancy clothes after having the baby. I mean, why not? The person taking up all the space was gone, right?? Of course, any mom knows that we don't snap back immediately and all that hormonal stuff makes us all wacky. It's not about "hiding fat" or just looking good. It's about feeling good at that awkward time between maternity clothes and regular clothes.

Anonymous | 9:08 PM

I laughed out loud when I read the comments about the PP DIY haircut. I did the same thing after my first, and also enlisted the help of my husband.

I decided I am going to the salon right before my twin boys are born (due in Feb) so I don't get to that point of desperation again.

Elisa @ The Self Life | 6:28 AM

Haha, love it! Hilarious as always!

Heather | 8:11 AM

Fabulous tips. And I need all the encouragement I can get at ten months post-partum to get out of my yoga pants. I have been known to wear them to work...GASP. I have found my leggings to be my best friends during this time. One day soon I shall fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes, I know it and can feel it coming (these post partum pants are finally too baggy to wear!). Thanks for the tips and the video was too cute!

Anonymous | 8:21 AM

I just want to thank you for being so "real" with your postpartum self. I have felt like not going out in public until I can shed the baby weight. So much pressure is put on women to put their pre preg clothes on within weeks, be victoria secret catwalk ready asap. I have not fit that mold, I am ready to let go of that ideal. I think you are such a lovely person for sharing your ups/downs with us all. I can not thank you enough- thank you thank you thank you etc..

Mary Catherine

Amber S | 11:39 AM

Your video came at perfect timing! I'm 2 weeks postpartum with twins, and had just come out of my bedroom exclaiming to my husband "Theo! I fit into my pre-pregnancy PrAnas!". Sure I could button them, but my big belly and muffin top hung out. I'll be on the lookout for longer tops and skinnier pants.

Anonymous | 11:57 AM

I do stay home for about two weeks after baby and I lounge in beautiful pjs. A person ought to wear the things that nurture their spirit, which I really think came across in your post.

tinyparticlesoflight | 1:08 PM

I totally agree with your advice - there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with wanting to look your best.

P.S. Totally followed your pink lipstick advice and I LOVE it.

xo
cortnie

The Wayward E | 2:38 PM

Okay, I basically never comment, but this video has brought me out of hiding.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR POSTING THIS VIDEO.

I am currently 2 weeks from my due date (with just one! little girl), and whoa, I am not happy with how I look or feel right now. Thank you for sharing your gorgeous, postpartum self with me. You made my day.

B | 5:15 PM

Love it. There needs to be more comiseration out there amongst women who were once slim/fit/in shape/whatever but then had a baby(ies). Entertainment Tonight would have you believe that it takes a mere two months and breastfeeding and kapow! one is skinny again. But a. maybe those models look skinny again to us but DOLLARS TO DONUTS even though they lie about it to the interviewers, they do not, contrary to popular belief, feel like they GOT THEIR BODIES BACK AFTER TWO MONTHS. No effing way. And b. us mere mortals don't have the combo pack of nannies, nutritionists, cooks, and personal trainers on staff. As an avid runner and body-image crazy person, I struggled with the post-partum period (well, and pregnancy too) so annoyingly that my husband, even if I wanted more than 2 kids, which I don't, refuses to ever get me pregnant again. Seriously. So I have definitely felt your pain, GGC, and also know what it takes to truly 'bounce back.' You'll get there. I used to get very upset when people would say that I made losing the weight/staying in shape during pregnancy 'look easy.' First of all, I was insulted that they thought my 3 week post-partum was my normal body, and secondly, it was not 'easy' to work my skippy ass off to lose not just the weight (I find it's more inches than weight that need to be lost) but more importantlyy the dimensions and look of having birthed a child. Oh, and if I hear one more starlet talk about how breastfeeding 'melted' off the pounds, imma gonna lose it. I breastfed both kids for 1 year each (exclusively for the first 6 months) and I STILL had to work out sometimes twice a day to lose those last 7 pounds. (I only gained 19 the second time!) So there. Eat it Hollywood. Yay Rebecca.

SaraMinerva | 8:06 AM

Can I get away with this if my youngest baby is 2.5 years old? And my oldest is 5? I hope so because I abide by tight on bottom loose on top all the time. I live in rural smalltown Texas and leggings/tights and tunics are unfortunately not catching on as much as I'd like.

SaraMinerva | 8:21 AM

I just read through everyone's comments. Good grief, hateful anonymouses came out of the woodwork with this didn't they? Being comfortable in your own skin, whether you are newly postpartum, without child, or left with a perma-wobbly middle years after giving birth, is a delicate balance of knowing where you're happy and knowing where you're healthy. Breastfeeding melting away baby pounds is a load of bullshit for most women. And even if you lost a ton of pounds after giving birth, your body shape is not the same. There's nothing wrong with that, it just takes time to reacquaint yourself with your new body (which is not a BAD body, just different).

estrella | 10:16 AM

I do not look my best right now and that's okay is all I'm saying.

I understand, but that's not all your saying. Like one of the anonymouses said (which I don't think was at all "hateful"), what you have said is that fat should be hidden. (Celebrating muffin tops "quietly", "under a tunic"?) What you've said is that it's "natural" and "okay" to be "doughy" under very specific circumstances.

I didn't miss "postpartum" in your post title - what you seem to have missed is that many many women were doughy/chubby/flabby/fat - however you want to say it - before pregnancy, and will be after. I guess we'd all better wear loose tunics all the time, and hide our doughy bodies and unsightly muffin tops.

There are beauty standards our culture upholds that serve to entrap women - to keep us obsessed about hiding our imperfections, keep us feeling it's not okay or natural to have certain body types, to keep us focused on appearances in unhealthy ways, to keep us buying buying buying products to make sure we're thin enough, beautiful enough, attractive enough... I guess I'm just disappointed - as one anonymous reader already pointed out - that you seem to be perpetuating the "fat is ugly!" myth (and cultural standard) that many of us are faced with every day, from a million sources.

Of course you're entitled to feel how you want about your body, and even to tell others when it's okay to celebrate their muffin tops (as long as they're hidden). I just thought you should know it's a bummer to hear these beauty standards reinforced on a blog that's usually full of insight and inspiration.

Nikki | 10:31 AM

How ridiculous can you people be? Where has Rebecca said anything about fat needing to be hidden and fat being ugly? She gave ideas on how to deal with her own postpartum weight, so that others who feel the same way as she does, in her same (postpartum) situation would have suggestions to help them, too. If postpartum, you don't want to where looser tops, then don't. If you want to rock your postpartum body in head to toe spandex, more power to you. But the reality is many women struggle with how they look in that "fourth trimester." That's all Rebecca's addressing here. I think some people are looking to pick body image fights where none exist and in a space where it's not necessary.

Anonymous | 6:39 PM

some people need to chill haha. I bet those nitpickers on here have never had a baby and have no idea what it feels like to be postpartum or to be a little doughy. Hell, Im a little doughy and I work at loving myself everyday but it doesn't mean that I shouldn't work to be healthier and happier as well. Love the fashion ideas :)

Anonymous | 8:31 PM

I think this video applies to everyone regardless what size you were before getting pregnant. If you were a 2 before and a 6 postpartum, don't squeeze your butt into your 2's. If you were a 14 and are now a 16, buy some effing leggings. and yes, I think we SHOULD be covering up our muffin tops in general, postpartum or not. Who wants to look at it? I know I don't go out and flaunt mine and let's be honest. Neither do you.