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As I worked through my “getting ready for baby checklist” during my first pregnancy, packing up my hospital bag essentials was a point of confusion for me. While I assumed I could reasonably leave my flat iron at home, figuring out what to wear after giving birth seemed impossible.
I felt torn between worrying over the probable condition of my postpartum body and debating whether I wanted to “look cute” for any visitors who might pop by for a meet and greet with our new addition–not to mention any pictures that might be taken.
In the end, I wound up bringing a plethora of bags and items to the hospital – most of which went untouched during my stay.
Fast forward to birth #2, and the nursing staff should be impressed I didn’t end up stealing and going home in my hospital gown.
Choosing the right postpartum clothing after delivery is not always easy. It’s a struggle between comfort, support, and style – most of which don’t usually go together. Thankfully, though, our staff has found some incredible options for expectant moms trying to figure out what to wear after giving birth in a hospital or at home.
Can You Continue Wearing Your Maternity Essentials After Birth?
Many soon-to-be moms might assume they can continue wearing their favorite maternity must-haves during those first weeks and months after delivery. While this might work in some cases, it might not be a good option for every piece of clothing.
For example, some women choose to forego many of their maternity shirts after giving birth. If you’re trying to decrease the number of times people still ask when you’re due after delivery, for example, wearing a shirt that accentuates your belly and screams “maternity fashion” will not help.
Maternity clothing can also make nursing a challenge since many pregnancy tops weren’t designed for breastfeeding. It’s better to choose nursing loungewear and shirts made to enhance your breastfeeding experience if you and baby are going that route.
Other types of pregnancy clothing, however, can still work for your postpartum body. Maternity pants, for instance, will keep you comfortable until your uterus shrinks back to normal after delivery (a process called involution that usually takes around 6 weeks.)
What Size Should You Buy When Shopping for Postpartum Clothing?
Based on the amount of “stuff” that comes out of your body during and after labor and delivery (and we’re not just talking about the baby!), you might assume there’s nothing left to lose. Despite this, you might be surprised to learn the extra pounds you put on during the last nine months don’t just melt away (insert huge sigh here).
As mamas try to figure out what to wear after giving birth, many hope to jump right back into their pre-pregnancy wardrobe. Regretfully, bouncing back after delivery is not usually an easy feat.
While the bulk of your weight loss will occur during your first six months postpartum, it can take up to a year or more to return your pre-pregnancy size.
When shopping for postpartum clothing, the best option is to pick items one size bigger than you wore pre-baby.
Just remember, though, your body has done something incredible. Be gracious with yourself and try hard to appreciate your postpartum body and everything it’s been through over the past nine months. We know, we know…this is way easier said than done.
Packing Your Hospital Bag for Mom: Deciding What to Wear After Giving Birth
When packing your bag of postpartum essentials, it can be a struggle deciding what to wear after giving birth in a hospital.
After all, you probably won’t feel like entering into any beauty contests. Still, since there’s a reasonable chance you’ll have visitors, figuring out how to look good after giving birth in a hospital could be at the top of your to-do list.
Here are our suggestions on what to pack in your hospital bag for mom to keep you feeling good and looking cute after delivery. We’re also including some of our favorite options for each category:
If you’re planning on breastfeeding your little one, a nursing nightgown or PJs will be your best friend throughout your hospital stay.
Are you planning on using formula instead?
No problem, we still suggest pajamas as your go-to postpartum clothing option after delivery.
After the births of both of my daughters, my top choice for postpartum clothing was button-up long pajamas. This PJ set from Kindred Bravely fits the bill perfectly!
Made from soft bamboo cotton, these pajamas feature a breathable design that’s ideal given fluctuating postpartum hormones. They also include a button-up top that’s ideal for easy access while nursing.
Featuring buttery-soft pants, an adorable nursing tank, and an elegant robe, this 3-piece loungewear set should be on the postpartum clothing wishlist of every soon-to-be mom!
We love how you can throw the robe over the PJs in case someone (awful) stops by unannounced.
Plus, it’s highly affordable, making it an excellent pick for any new parent.
When it’s time to leave the hospital, you probably won’t want to wear your PJs home (or maybe you do, and that’s fine, too!). If you’re looking for something a little more stylish, though, a cozy pair of pregnancy leggings is an excellent choice for your postpartum body.
Available in gray, navy, and black, these maternity leggings are certainly a pregnancy must-have. What makes them so great, though, is the fact that they will still work for you when you’re trying to decide what to wear after giving birth in a hospital, birthing center, or at home.
I’m largely of the opinion that Amazon will never fail me when it comes to shopping. Whether I’m looking for house cleaning staples or trying to figure out how to look good after giving birth in a hospital, they’re bound to have the perfect option.
These over-the-belly leggings, for instance, should be a mandatory item on any hospital bag checklist. The best part about them? They have pockets…what new mom doesn’t love pockets? Stash your cell phone in it so you won’t be without it during a nursing session.
Not only are they stylish and versatile, but they also offer mild compression, which makes them an exceptional product if you want to know what to wear after giving birth for your stomach.
Choosing what underwear to wear after birth might seem like a complicated decision, but it’s really not. After the baby makes its big debut, you’re likely going to be still rocking your maternity panties.
If you’re worried about what to wear after birth for your stomach, bringing quality maternity underwear can help with that, too.
Just a note, though, we wouldn’t recommend buying brand-new underwear to stick in your hospital bag.
You will experience mild to heavy bleeding after birth for approximately 24 – 36 days. Why ruin a brand-new pair of panties with blood stains?
If you’re shopping earlier in your pregnancy, here are some of our favorite options for maternity underwear:
They come in various colors and styles for affordable prices that will work for any budget.
They’re cute as all get out, and we know you and your bump will rock them.
As you pack and plan for what to wear after giving birth, high-waisted postpartum panties, like these from Kindred Bravely, might bring you the relief and support you’ll want and need after popping out a baby.
These panties feature delicate lace details that will bring a feminine element to your postpartum clothing. Many reviewers talk about how soft these are and mention that they make a great transition product when you’re ready to give up those gorgeous mesh panties the hospital supplies you with.
Here’s the thing about going into the hospital to have a baby – you never really know how things will turn out until it’s all over. For instance, you might think you’re an ideal candidate for a natural birth and end up requiring a c-section.
For this reason, figuring out what to wear after birth for your stomach is an important thing to consider while you’re packing.
Not only could tight tops be more painful after a c-section, but you also might just not want skin-tight clothing right after delivery.
Whether you wear loose pre-baby tops or maternity shirts, finding comfortable, loose options is going to be your best bet for what to wear after giving birth.
When you’re ready to head home from the hospital with your freshly baked baby, pairing one of these adorable nursing camis with a set of our favorite postpartum leggings makes the perfect going-home outfit.
One of my favorite things about these tops is their empire cut. Your breasts will be well supported, but there’s enough looseness in the bottom of the top to make it an ideal option if you want to know what to wear after giving birth for your stomach.
While not necessarily a maternity or nursing shirt, many shoppers have found this to be an ideal “what to wear after giving birth” top. It’s available in several different colors and styles, so there’s something for everyone to love.
Its loose fit makes it a preferred pick if you’re looking for what to wear after giving birth, and its famous cotton material will have you swooning from the moment you put it on.
After birth, your breasts will not only be sore and larger than usual, but they’ll also be producing milk. It’s essential to find nursing or maternity bras that will work for your changing body after delivery.
With more than 600 positive reviews, if you’re looking for a non-irritating bra to throw on after delivery, you’ll love this nursing sleep bra.
It also comes in tons of different colors, so make sure to buy a few extras for breastmilk stains!
In the early days of my postpartum recovery, I wasn’t prepared for the amount of milk leaking out of my breasts. I found myself wanting to change my nursing bras continually throughout the day.
Purchasing this 5-pack of wireless nursing bras from Amazon is a reliable way to get ahead of any soaking wet bras you’ll have in the future. Trust me, with a price as low as this, you’ll be grateful to have a few extra hanging around!
The name speaks for itself – The Everyday Bra® from STORQ is sure to provide the comfort and convenience you want and need during each day of your postpartum journey.
Plus, some reviewers even rave about how it still makes them feel sexy, even though it’s a maternity bra!
Stylish Hospital Gowns and/or Maternity Robe
Whether you’re shopping for something to wear during labor or need to figure out what to wear after giving birth, a stylish hospital gown or maternity robe are both good options. Take a look at some of our favorites!
From laboring to nursing, you’ll be grateful to have the Ekouaer maternity gown with you throughout your hospital stay.
Available in several gorgeous colors, this hospital gown is not only indulgent, but it’s also incredibly accessible. Whether you’re nursing your baby or receiving an examination from your doctor, you’ll feel at ease.
I bought this kimono robe before I went to deliver my second baby. Once she was born, it quickly became one of my favorite postpartum clothing items.
In all honesty, I still find myself wearing it around the house today, and she was born almost four years ago – this robe holds up great!
Are you looking for something with a little more pizazz? Then your search ends now! When I was pregnant, Pink Blush Maternity was one of my go-to online boutiques. They have the cutest patterns, and their hospital delivery robes are no exception.
A floral delivery/nursing maternity robe to make sure your visit during and after the h… [More]
This beautiful robe features a romantic floral and lace design that will have you feeling beautiful – even after you’ve just delivered a baby!
Choosing the Best Items When You Want to Know What to Wear After Giving Birth
At the end of the day, the most important lesson we can give you about how to look good after giving birth in a hospital is to choose the maternity or postpartum clothing that makes you feel the best.
Let’s face it; most of us never feel prettier than when we feel good in what we have on!
So, from nursing bras to maternity leggings, find the items that work best for you and your body. You’ll be grateful you did in the long run!
Did you have a hard time figuring out what to wear after giving birth? Tell us about your favorite postpartum clothing items in the comments below!
Kristen Bergeron is a freelance writer from Florida. In addition to writing, she is a wife, mother of two beautiful girls, Hadley and Scarlett, and a part-time photographer. After overcoming infertility and having two successful IVF cycles, she’s made it a personal goal to help educate men and women on the realities of fertility struggles. She is passionate about supporting fellow women who are trying to navigate the complicated world of conception, pregnancy, and learning to be the best mothers we can be.