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What to wear after giving birth

Wondering what you should wear after giving birth to your baby?

Whatever type of birth you have chances are you won’t be wearing exactly the same clothes pre-birth and pre-pregnancy just yet. 

New mum relaxing on bed in comfy clothing with baby

After giving birth you want to wear clothes that are comfortable, flexible and don’t place too much pressure on your tummy and bottom. 

Postpartum you will be most comfortable in stretchy clothes made from flexible, breathable fabrics such as cotton. Leggings, t-shirts and dresses will be the best choices to wear after giving birth. 

Avoid anything too tight – your favourite skinny jeans should be at the back of your wardrobe right now. Maternity leggings or just regular leggings that have a nice stretchy waistband will be your friends right now! 

You’re likely to find yourself staying in your maternity clothes for at least a few days after birth as these will be comfy, and the most convenient to wear.

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Postpartum clothes tips 

Mum wearing a vest top and nursing bra holding newborn baby after giving birth

The first six weeks after birth are considered the postpartum period. 

However these clothing tips for after birth extend beyond that as you will still want to feel comfy as your body recovers, as your bump shrinks and if you are breastfeeding. 

These tips will help you in that first six weeks and beyond as you heal and get to grips with life with a little one. 

If you’re breastfeeding go for easy access 

Choose tops and dresses that make it easy to get access to your breasts so you can feed your baby. In the early weeks babies feed especially frequently and so you want to make getting ready for a feed as straightforward as possible. 

You do not have to buy clothes that are specifically for nursing as there are many clothes out there that do the job anyway. 

Look for clothes that: 

  • Have buttons, poppers or a zip down the front. 
  • Lift up or down easily. 
  • Can be worn with a spaghetti strap vest top underneath, so you lift the top up, then pull the vest down. By doing this your tummy will stay covered thanks to the vest top. 

Choose clothes that are loose 

Giving birth can leave you feeling tired and aching all over, so you want to go for comfort above all else. 

Your maternity clothes are going to still fit well right after birth so you may find yourself sticking with those for a few days at least while your bump shrinks down. 

Tight clothes may be uncomfortable on your C-Section scar or around your bottom, especially if you have stitches down there. The NHS recommends you wear cotton clothing that is loose to avoid discomfort.

Find bras that feel comfy 

You’ve probably already got some maternity bras so stick with those for the first few weeks after birth. 

Nursing bras are best if your are breastfeeding as they have catches that flip release the cups of the bra down so you can get quick access for feeding time. 

They are designed to be stretchy and comfy so won’t put too much pressure on your breasts while also being supportive. Tight-fitting clothing and bras can increase the risk of clogged milk ducts and mastitis, which is an infection of the breast ducts which you want to avoid. 

Avoid anything with underwear or push-up bras. This is also the case if you are not planning to breastfeed, as your milk will still “come in” after birth which will cause some engorgement of the breasts.

Engorgement can lead to some discomfort, so a stretchy bra is best for the first couple of weeks until your milk supply dries up. 

Pick breathable materials 

You want to keep yourself dry and clean around your bottom to avoid infection.  Stretchy and breathable materials also help with this so stick with cotton fabrics. 

Find clothes that are comfortable around your tummy 

If you’ve had a C-section it’s particularly important that you have clothing that is comfortable on this area so the wound is able to heal. 

Leggings and loose-fitting tops and jumpers will be best, as well as dresses. 

Choose clothing that is easy to wash

Dry clean only is not a great idea right now!

Choose clothes that can be thrown into the washing machine with everything else. Low maintenance is what you need!

Pick clothes that work for pregnancy and postpartum

Many maternity clothes work for both pregnancy and postpartum so consider picking clothes that will work for both. They have the extra space for a bump, plus poppers and zips that enable quick access for breastfeeding. 

This way you will save money on buying a whole new set of clothes for pregnancy and just after.

Pregnancy jeans that fit over the bump with a high waistband that covers your whole bump may be a little loose around the tummy after birth as your bump will shrink, but you can fold this down. You could also consider getting under-bump pregnancy jeans. Leggings are brilliant for both before and after the birth. 

Best outfit to wear after giving birth in hospital

The best outfit to wear after giving birth in hospital is a pair of pyjamas or a nightie with fresh underwear and a maternity pad. 

You will want to change out of whatever you wore to give birth as soon as possible!

Choose something made of cotton or a similar soft and stretchy fabric. If you are planning to breastfeed then find a nightie with buttons so you have easy access for nursing your baby. 

It’s the same for pyjamas – you can find pyjamas made for breastfeeding or choose something that buttons up at the front. PJs that come with a vest top are also a good choice as you can generally just pull the vest down or up to access your breasts. 

Hospital maternity wards tend to be pretty warm places so avoid anything made of fleece or flannel as you may get a little hot. 

Pack a robe as well as a hoodie or cardigan so you can layer up if you do get cold. 

When it comes to travelling home from the hospital then choose leggings and a dress or top plus a jumper if it’s a cold time of year. 

Related post: Hospital bag checklist

What to wear after giving birth

Once you get home from the hospital after giving birth you will want to stick to stretchy fabrics and avoid anything too tight such as skinny jeans for the first three to six weeks. 

Maternity jeans should be fine as long as they’re not too tight around the crotch area. 

Whether you had stitches or not chances are you’re feeling at least a bit battered a bruised down there. 

Wearing clothes that are too tight around your bottom could increase your risk of getting an infection, so breathable, loose fabrics are definitely the way to go. 

The best postpartum underwear 

It’s doubtful that you will be itching to get back into a thong right after birth! 

The best underwear for postpartum ladies will be made from cotton or similar breathable fabric.

What cut you choose really depends on what you prefer but high waisted is often preferable when you’ve had a C-section, otherwise a low waistband can dig in to your scar. 

Otherwise bikini briefs or boy shorts are a great choice. 

You will need to wear maternity pads – they’re an essential part of your postpartum care kit – for a few weeks after birth until postpartum bleeding has ended, and of course leaks can happen so avoid buying anything too fancy to wear in this time. 

You could also consider buying disposable briefs. These have absorbent pads built in so you dispose of the entire pair of pants after use.

You may also like: Tips for postpartum recovery

The best clothes to wear after having a baby 

The best clothes for new mamas to wear after giving birth are everything that you love to put on after a long day at work plus a few extra comforts!  

  • Nursing bra 
  • Comfy underwear  
  • Leggings 
  • T-shirts 
  • Dresses
  • Joggers 
  • Sweatshirts 
  • Pyjamas 

Stick with what feels comfortable and lets you get on with caring for your baby easily and you will not go wrong!

What to wear after giving birth

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