Four and a bit years into this motherhood game and I still think I’m finding my mum style. It’s a work in progress. Because for me, I didn’t foresee the shock to the system that would come with dressing my changing body and lifestyle – and mindset. But I have definitely learned some things along the way.
When you’re pregnant, at first it’s all about hiding the bump; it’s a bit of a game to see how many floaty dresses you can wear in a row with no one noticing. Or there’s my favourite: the old hair-tie around the jeans button trick. Then, the news is out – along with your bump, and suddenly you don’t have to hide it anymore… But now you’re not sure how to dress with this new and changing shape. And then after the baby comes along, you’re trying to juggle breastfeeding and your postpartum body and hormones. So many hormones.
So we’ve teamed up with H&M to break down a few helpful tips for finding what works for you, embracing your changing shape and finding your style amidst the chaos that is pregnancy and postpartum.
1. Start small
Don’t go out the minute you see the positive pregnancy test and buy up big. Chances are it will be weeks or even months before you are showing. Sure, have some fun and buy some nice things to celebrate. But just know that your body will change and grow more than you can imagine, so make sure you’re investing in things that will grow with you.
2. Shop smart
When you are ready to get shopping, make a game plan. Remember, you’re only pregnant for a short time (even though we know it feels like forever!), so be smart about where you’re spending your money. Plan out a few key pieces that you can mix and match, dress up and dress down, etc. It can be tempting to drop big bucks, but remember, you won’t be wearing it for long so be smart with how you spend your money.
Tip: Look for classic styles that you can hang on to for your next pregnancy (if you are hoping to have more) or that you can wear postpartum. H&M’s maternity department has a range of basics that transcend the seasons and won’t go out of style.
3. You don’t have to stick to the maternity section
I remember feeling really flat when I was looking for maternity stuff – because none of it felt like me. Then one day I realised there wasn’t a security guard ushering me into the maternity section – I could still shop where I liked. So I hit up some of my usual favourites and found that by sizing up I was still able to stick with my style and sneak a bump under there too. Win-win.
4. Dress for comfort
Yes, that means activewear and leisurewear are every pregnant and postpartum woman’s best friend. Embrace all things soft and loose – this is your time to shine. But what this ALSO means is to wear what you feel comfortable and great in. So, if comfort to you is a form-fitting dress to show off that bump because you feel FAB, then go for it. Because growing a baby inside you is not an easy task, you want to dress for yourself and no one else.
5. Accessories are your secret weapon
Having a bad day? Throw on a chic pair of earrings. Feeling that water retention – hide behind a cute tote. Missing your go-to heels? Splurge on a killer pair of flats.
Even if you feel like you’re living in the same rotation of clothes for those few months, you can strategically choose items to freshen up your look that will stick around long after you’ve ditched the maternity clothes.
6. DO Invest in new underwear
One of the most important things you will need to buy when you’re pregnant and postpartum is underwear. Ditch the underwire quick smart and slip into something more comfortable. Also, when it comes to underwear, we cannot stress enough the need for organic, breathable fabrics. Trust us.
7. Maternity jeans are game-changers
I remember fighting these the first time around and instead hung onto my designer denim for as long as I possibly could (read: as long as the seams could physically hold out). Then one day I bought a pair of maternity jeans and everything changed. I had been so uncomfortable and didn’t have to be. I lived in my H&M jeans (and passed them on to a friend after I’d worn them during both pregnancies.) They support your bump, don’t cut into your waist and come in both classic and current season styles.
Tip: You’ll also likely keep wearing these jeans after the baby arrives as your body is nowhere near ready to get back into those old restrictive jeans just yet!
8. Embrace nursing wear in the early days
If you choose to breastfeed, then nursing wear makes it SO much easier, especially when you find yourself having to feed on the go. However, nursing tops always made me feel a little mumsy and usually weren’t my style so I hated wearing them. Luckily brands like H&M have upped their maternity game in the past few years. Think secret zippers and on-trend styles that still allow you to feed.
I found it best to embrace functionality over fashion in these early days. Opt for easy-access nursing tops while you’re finding your feet in this new gig – make your life easy. Then once you’re feeling a little more confident you can switch to tops that are more your style.
9. Embrace the chance to reinvent yourself
There are not many times in your life that you have the chance to regroup and start fresh. It’s a chance to take a step back and see what you really love – style-wise. Do you normally only wear black and white? Now’s your chance to embrace colour. Have some fun with fashion, try things out and see what works for you.
After you’ve had the baby, there’s no better time to reinvent yourself. And that doesn’t mean it’s something that will happen overnight. But eventually, you’ll start to feel like you again – or a new (improved) version of you.
Tip: Buy yourself something that isn’t breastfeeding friendly, isn’t practical for #mumlife but that makes you feel like a million bucks. And lock in a date in the calendar (and a babysitter) so you can wear it!
10. This feeling won’t last forever
Even if you’ve read all the tips and you are still feeling a little blah about dressing your bump and your changing body, I get it. This is a crazy time when you feel a little outside of yourself and it’s a little scary and off-putting – and confusing! But that’s normal, you’re about to welcome a tiny human which is so exciting. And it’s OK not to love how you feel all the time.
Some days it’s just simply saying ‘no’ to leaving the house and staying in your pyjamas all day. But just know that in time you’ll start to feel like you again and you will have fun getting dressed again.
This is a paid partnership between Kiindred x H&M