One year after the birth of my child, I’m still perplexed by the postpartum body I’ve been left with. In fact, I barely give my reflection more than a quick glance – if seeing is believing, I don’t want to believe.
It’s not just the layer of fat that has grown on me as if I’m still carrying babies in my belly, back and thighs. My shoulders seem permanently widened and I wish my broadened hips would lie.
In the early days it was OK. “You just had a baby!” “Go easy on yourself!” “Take some time to recover! You deserve it!”
Now that my baby has teeth, is eating proper food and walking, it seems my time has run out on these sympathies.
The dialogue has greatly changed. “You haven’t lost much weight have you?” “Don’t you have any time to exercise?” “You look much fatter after you’ve had a baby.”
There are days I can’t bother. What’s the point of trying on clothes from my pre-baby life when pants get stuck around my knees and shirts can barely be pulled down past my milk-filled chest?
Then there are times where I remember, “Hey, I grew a baby for 10 months and of course my body has changed. So I’m going to try to look my best even if others are unfairly judging my figure.”
Here are three feel-good outfits that may help silence the fat-shaming haters.
DO I LOOK FAT NOW?
The trick: Print on print will distract people from being a busybody about your shape because they will be distracted by the busy-ness of your outfit. Although the bold red color of the pants may invite attention and the possibility of people trying to judge you, the vertical stripes will thwart such attempts as it makes you look longer and leaner. An animal print always adds a confident and powerful feeling, so let it roar!
I PREFER THE TERM “CHUBBY”
The trick: They make all sorts of contraptions to hold in any loose bits but why spend more when you already have what you need with maternity pants. You could never even tell that these rocker-esque skinny jeans were once part of my pregnancy wardrobe. The elastic waistband that previously expanded with a growing tummy now works to cover and flatten the midsection. Continue the casual cool vibe with a utilitarian jacket and some funky accessories. Don’t forget a hat to ward off any shade that might be thrown at you.
TRY CALLNG ME FAT AGAIN
The trick: I’ve been really stubborn about buying clothes in larger sizes than my pre-baby self because I still believe things will go back to normal, as I sit here devouring a box of chocolates while my son naps. Luckily I have found a compromise in pieces that are designed to be oversized (although at the moment they are just “normal sized” for me). It’s a win-win as I still get the internal satisfaction of seeing size “S” on the tag, and I can wear it again one day as the loose fit it was meant to be when I get back in shape.
And if I don’t, well I’m sure there will be plenty of people who are happy to point out that I still haven’t lost any weight since the baby (who most likely will be in college at that point). Luckily, the maternity jeans will cover all types of stomach expansions for a long time to come.