Real talk: I’m covering all the realities of a postpartum BOD, so get ready.
I had my 3rd c-section about 7 weeks ago. My recovery was very smooth and easy, although a little bit of discomfort lasted a few extra weeks and I think that’s because I pushed myself a little too hard in recovery. Otherwise everything went very well and I’m so grateful that my recovery was simple with very little pain.
What remains is a bloated, jiggly, soft, squishy belly. And to top it off there is a little section of my abdomen that is soft and sticks out riiiight above the scar. It’s really quite a picture. I hope you can sense the joking nature of these sentences because if you can’t laugh about looking 6 months pregnant for a month after you’ve had the baby, then what CAN you laugh at?!
I remember thinking my belly would never get smaller when Emily was about 3 weeks old. I realize this is insane, as it takes the body a long time to fully heal from a pregnancy and then a major abdominal surgery. Now at 7 weeks out, I feel much better about how the swelling has continued to go down. I’m wearing SOME pre-pregnancy shorts and jeans, but they certainly don’t fit like they used to. And let’s not even mention the changing breast size from breastfeeding.
So in light of all of that, I wanted to share some items that helped get me through those first few weeks of “the 4th trimester.”
I bought a 3 pack of these nursing bras. They offer good support, are easy to unclip for feeding, and even come with an extender to help you figure out what size is best. Someone on Instagram directed me to the Undercover Mama Nursing tanks that clip right onto your bra. It’s essentially a tube top with front clips. I loved this concept, especially in the beginning when I was getting the hang of nursing again. They run quite small so keep that in mind!
I also picked up some shaping underwear to help support my loose belly. The pressure against my incision was helpful because it it didn’t feel as vulnerable to clothing resting against it or knocking it against something. It hurt a tiny bit when I laughed or sneezed for some time after the surgery, so compression on that area took away how much movement it got when I laughed or sneezed! This pair from Amazon was nice and offered a LOT of support, and this pair from Target* was great in the beginning when I was a bit sore.
After about a month, I had a pretty good idea of my nursing bra size and ordered about 6 bras from Nordstrom to try on at home. Ultimately I landed on this one and while it’s a bit expensive, it’s the most comfortable and least matronly of the bunch. My body was changing so much, so I did not want to fuss with an uncomfortable bra that didn’t fit well. I had one from Target but the underwire was digging into my ribs, which was what led me to search through Nordstrom in the first place.
While I’m chatting about bras, I also ordered this strapless bra to wear this summer. It’s not a nursing bra but I simply pull it down when I need to breastfeed. It stays in place and offers good support!
At this point I’m not wearing the shaping underwear daily, though it’s what I choose when I’m wearing a dress simply to hold me in a bit and offer a bit more coverage. And while I still have plenty of baby weight to lose, I know that will happen in time. I’m glad to have some comfortable undergarments that help me feel confident in my clothes for this season.
Not to mention, she’s totally worth it.
*there was a larger offering of styles other than a thong version in store, so make sure you look there!