I Still Wear Maternity Pants

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New life is so precious. Those exhilarating moments just after your newborn has exited your body in an explosion of searing pain and now lays cuddled safe and warm on mama’s chest. The space where all the pain of the delivery takes a back seat to the sights and sounds of this sacred moment. You soak every second in, hoping to remember the tiniest of details.

You are treated like a queen with people repeatedly asking how you are, if you need anything, and telling you just how beautiful your baby is. Food is delivered to your room, your water cup is refilled often, and sleep is highly encouraged even if interrupted every 4 hours.

After the first 24-48 hours of bliss, you prepare to leave the safety net of the hospital where everyone knows what they are doing when caring for a newborn. Slightly dazed and a little overwhelmed, you are just longing for the comforts of your own bed. As the nurse prepares the discharge papers and you begin packing up your belongings and attempting to dress your newly postpartum body. Ouch!

A body that now bears the battle scars of the last 10 months. A road map of stretch marks covering the once taunt skin. Boobs that are now saggy, swollen, and leaking. For some new moms, it includes a fresh incision encompassing her belly that marks her baby’s quick detour out of the womb. For others, swollen parts and hidden stitches make sitting or peeing close to unbearable. Both the act of laughing and sneezing become a serious and messy endeavor. The postpartum body is no walk in the park, rather it is a rite of passage into motherhood.

Despite how challenging all the changes are, you selflessly trade your previous glorious body for a now soft, padded, milk-producing version meant to put your baby’s needs above your own.

Just when you settle into your new motherhood routine, it becomes evident that your body has settled in a little too comfortably. It shows no evidence of being ready to purge the extra baby weight anytime soon. You might wonder just when will your pre-pregnancy body return?

And the bigger question, just how long will you be forced to continue wearing your maternity clothes?

According to the trusted “What to Expect” website, most women have a common recovery period the first six weeks after giving birth. However, as most of us know, the average woman is still carrying her baby weight weeks, sometimes months, or even years later. All those dreams of popping out a baby, sliding on your skinny jeans, and getting back your pre-baby body often give way to the reality of laboring through the delivery, finding the stretchiest leggings, and embracing your new MOM BODY.

Did you read that right? Embrace this new body! It has done miraculous things. You have grown a tiny human. That is no small task. Your body holds a superpower than no man can match. Give yourself grace with your new body. Figure out how to love what it has done to serve you rather than fight what it temporarily looks like.

While you are at it, embrace a few key pieces of your maternity wardrobe too. Those stretchy-waisted pants and skirts come in handy to cover that post baby bump, once there is no longer a wiggly little baby still inside.

Honestly though, how long is it considered appropriate to wear maternity clothes?

You decide!

This mama’s most comfy skirt is a maternity skirt, and I am 5 years postpartum… Should I even admit that? I mean I could throw out a host of good reasons…err, excuses.

“I’ve been pregnant quite a few of times”

“I did extended breastfeeding, so my body hung on to the weight”

“My babies are born close together”

“I never lost weight from the previous pregnancies”

Whatever my reasons {or your reasons} are, it’s okay.

Let’s all be kinder, gentler on new moms, telling them the truth about their bodies after babies.

Because honestly as a new mom, you need to do what works for you. Do what is best for your body, your baby, and your life—and remember it’s still okay to wear those comfy maternity pants.

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