Guest blog: Isadora Watts is a London -based writer and consultant. Her first baby, Lady P, was born in February. See her blog about her transatlantic adventures here. Isadora is guest blogging for our Feelgood Motherhood blog as she navigates new motherhood. Let us know what you think about Isadora’s posts on our Twitter feed or follow her on Twitter here.
We made it! The lovely Lady P arrived, and labour really wasn’t so terrible. I actually felt back to normal quite quickly after the birth. Five weeks later, and thanks to some great team work am getting a decent amount of sleep. So I feel really good.
Until I pass a mirror, that is. Then I do a double take. ‘Hang on, I’m sure I had that baby… what on earth is that belly all about?’
Apparently it takes six to eight weeks for your uterus to return to its pre-pregnancy size – and that’s before the rest of your midsection muscles can hustle back to their normal positions. Even Gisele, photographed recently on the beach with sweet-but-unmistakable pooch, is not immune to the post-pregnancy belly. It’s a fact of new motherhood and only time (okay, and passing on the cake once in a while) will whittle it away.
So while I’m waiting for the magic of breastfeeding and daily walks to do their work, I need to dress smart. After months of wearing fitted clothes proudly over my bump, I’m going back to the stuff I wore a lot in my early pregnancy.
Anything that draws a veil over exactly what’s happening around my midriff is my friend.
A lot of women still wear their maternity jeans in the fourth trimester, but I couldn’t wait to get out of mine. Instead I’m wearing the baggy old favourites that were always a size or two too big, and saw me through weeks 9 to 16. Muffin top is an ever present danger.
To further complicate matters, I’m breastfeeding which means thinking carefully about layering and access. And finally, I’m a little short on sleep so need to wear colours that flatter. Draining black is out for now, unless I temper it with some colour.
I have some oversized knits and big sloppy joe t-shirts that are fairly forgiving, but less than flattering. A smarter option is a longer jumper with a fitted waistband: I wear an old poloneck in this shape a lot, because I like the way it puffs out over my belly. Babes with Babies staple The Mariposa is a great example of the way a fitted waistband can disguise a tummy – and it’s breastfeeding friendly too. Tops with a bubble hem are good for the same reason. Next do some good ones: buy a size up, and bear in mind they don’t have built in breastfeeding access. I’m wearing my striped bubble-hem t-shirt an awful lot, over a breastfeeding vest.
I’m also hunting out anything loose and flowing in a light fabric– nothing clingy – that will take me through Spring. I love Wow at the Wolsely from the new Babes with Babies range – it’s cut to skim over the body, the soft colours are really flattering for tired skin.
I hate to wish these precious weeks away but I must admit I’m rather looking forward to the days when there’s more of Lady P and less of me!