Postpartum Under-things

Hang on for one second

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! 


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Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog says · 07.09.18

I’m glad to read that you’re feeling better about your body now! You’re beautiful inside and out 🙂

Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

Amanda says · 07.09.18

Not a judgmental comment AT ALL. Just some friendly advice from a fellow nursing mama! Be careful about underwrites while nursing because the added pressure from the wire can cause clogged milk ducts on the under side of your breast! Commenting from experience here. 🙈. It is a very pretty nursing bra though!

Kate says · 07.09.18

good to know!!

Angela says · 07.09.18

Postpartum dressing is the worst! I can remember feeling so out of sorts with my wardrobe and hating everything, especially bras. Luckily there are so many great options out there. Thanks for sharing your great finds!

Angela at Blush & Pearls

Stephanie O says · 07.09.18

Take a look at Ruby Ribbon shapewear. They even have a nursing cami. The best!!

Becky says · 07.09.18

I have that same bulge right above my c-section incision. So glad to know I’m not the only one! Thank you for sharing and being real!

Krissy says · 07.09.18

These posts are so helpful! I’m most likely having my second c-section in a few weeks and it’s good to know the realities of how your body reacts. I would love to see a post on dressing for the newborn photoshoot – your pictures are so beautiful!

Marissa says · 07.09.18

That area right above the scar. Oooof!! Mine just won’t seem to go away and my “baby” is 3. Oh well, such is life! 😉

Amanda Sutton says · 07.09.18

I have the issue of the pooch above the c-section scar. I’ve only had one baby (who will be 2 in October) but I can’t seem to lose the kangaroo pooch. Did you have one with the boys and if so what did you do to lose it.

Kim says · 07.09.18

I’m not a mom, but I still appreciate your realness in this post!

Kim .. a different cover up!

Stacey says · 07.09.18

Hello! Another of my favorite bloggers (Jen at Peanutbutter Runner) recently had her first via cesarean. She just blogged about seeing a therapist regarding her incision, wanted to mentikn it in case you have someone in your area you could see.

Emily says · 07.09.18

Target is also selling a pair of post-partum pull on jeans! I bought them and they almost fit while still pregnant so I’m very excited about them for after baby comes!

Lori says · 07.09.18

Your post made my heart happy this morning knowing I’m not the only one feeling this way. I had my son a week after you (my 4th c-section). While recovery has been relatively easy, accepting this PP bod as it is right now has been a challenge. I know from experience that area above the scar will shrink but remembering that it will take time is helpful. Working on having some patience with myself and enjoying my last little one. Hope you can do the same.

Rachel says · 07.09.18

Thank you so much for this post! I’m expecting my first in September, and planning for MYSELF postpartum has been the biggest & most confusing unknown. I really appreciate posts like this from Moms who have “been there, done that!”

Chris says · 07.09.18

This is so helpful. My baby is almost 5 now, but I wish I knew all this after my c-section. I had no idea how to take care of my stomache post surgery.

Christina says · 07.09.18

Thanks for this post, Kate. My husband and I are expecting our first this fall, and it’s twins! I haven’t been sure what to expect postpartum, so I appreciate your vulnerability.

Unrelated slightly, what monitor did y’all decide on?

Jenn says · 07.09.18

Quick question. Did you have any problems with the shapewear rolling over at the top? I tried a brand, unfortunately I can’t remember which one and had terrible luck because it kept rolling over into a right roll under where I needed the control and caused a bulge and discomfort. It was not a good combo?! Just looking for recommendations. Thanks for your honest review. I love reading your blog!

Leigh Ann says · 07.09.18

Just adding another cautionary statement about underwire while nursing. It can definitely cause problems for some women

Nina M V says · 07.13.18

thanks for much for sharing! I am expecting my second boy here in about 10 weeks so starting to figure out what I need to get to prepare of new mom body again. So please keep sharing!

Pf says · 07.21.18

Hi Kate. I recommend looking into a product called Embrace endorsed by Serena Williams for postpartum belly after c section. Just a thought. Too late for me try but thought it may help others. I have a permanent belly overhang after my c section 10 yrs ago and i hate it but not much i do about it now short of surgery.