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10 Tips: How to Look & Feel Good After Giving Birth

by Beauty & Self-Care, Self-Care Tips

Every mama wants to know how to look & feel good after giving birth. As a mama of five boys, I’ve accumulated some hacks to get me through the sweet but exhausting (and often painful) weeks postpartum feeling put together.

Here are 10 postpartum tips I’ve used after giving birth to my babies to help me look good (and feel good) with minimal effort!

Watch the video and then read the details below:

Tip #1: Order a few maternity shorts, pants, and skirts & plan to continue wearing them for a few months

postpartum tips - how to look beautiful and feel good after birth in hospital

Those maternity shorts and pants you wore during pregnancy?

Plan to continue to wear them for the first few months postpartum.

DO NOT try to get into your old jeans and shorts right away… it will only make you feel bad!┬á

It’s true, you won’t be able to tuck your shirt (which we often recommend to help with the proportions of your outfit) but that’s okay! You won’t wear maternity pants forever and your shirts can stay untucked while you heal and get your body back.

Bonus: List of What to Wear After Having a Baby

In addition to maternity bottoms (shorts/pants/skirts), make sure you’ve got all the other comfy pieces you’ll need to wear postpartum.

In Summer:

  1. Maternity shorts or shorts with elastic waist (terry shorts or linen shorts work great!)
  2. Bike shorts — the cooler summer alternative to leggings! (Wear with a long top)
  3. Flowy, long tees or blouses
  4. Flowy or stretchy tank top
  5. Flowy romper or overalls with nursing access (buttons or straps that undo)
  6. Nursing-friendly dress
  7. Nursing-friendly sleeping bra or camis
  8. Nursing-friendly day bras
  9. Stretchy summer jammies with nursing access

In Winter:

  1. Maternity jeans/pants
  2. Lounging pants/wide-leg stretchy pants
  3. Leggings
  4. Stretchy long sleeve tees
  5. Flowy/oversized sweaters
  6. Nursing-friendly sleeping bra or camis
  7. Nursing-friendly day bras
  8. Stretchy winter jammies with nursing access

how to look & feel good after having a baby - postpartum cute outfits clothes

how to look & feel cute after having a baby - postpartum cute outfits clothes

Cute lounging pants from Pink Blush Maternity (similar)

Having some fresh pieces helps me feel a little pampered, cute, and prepared to have the easiest nursing experience possible.

After delivering your baby, you deserve a little splurge ­čśë


Other affordable places to shop nursing friendly clothes:

  1. Asos* –┬á A great selection of basics like nursing tanks and bras, but some fun, trendy dresses and tops too!
  2. H&M – Search for nursing-friendly clothes on H&M and you’ll find a nice little section with trendy, affordable pieces. I bought these adorable maternity+nursing-friendly jammies there and felt SO cute in them immediately postpartum.
  3. Mother Bee Maternity – Most of their breastfeeding-friendly clothing are dresses, but there are a few tops and PJs too.
  4. Nursing Queen – A whole website just for nursing-friendly clothes! They’ve got it all: tops, hoodies, dresses, pajamas, swimwear and more!
  5. Old Navy – You can’t beat their prices and I love how Old Navy has good basics with trendy details that make your wardrobe fun!
  6. Pink Blush – One of Corina’s favorite online maternity stores, PinkBlush also has a great selection of breastfeeding-friendly clothing. They have everything from nursing bras to dresses!

Here are some maternity shorts I loved while pregnant that I’m also wearing postpartum:

Tip #2: Create a designated spot in your room or bathroom to set aside the clothes you will use in the first few weeks postpartum

Postpartum tip to feel good after giving birth in hospital

Set aside your stretchiest clothes, undies, nursing bras, and nursing camis to easily find something to wear each day that will make you feel pretty but comfy without standing in your closet or trying multiple things on.

So many of your clothes won’t fit or feel good immediately postpartum, so setting aside what DOES work helps you avoid frustration.

I have a pile for sleep and two piles for the day: tops and shorts/pants. If you plan to wear dresses you can hang those nearby.

Tip #3: What to wear for your stomach after giving birth – Get a quality belly binder

postpartum tips what to wear after giving birth for your stomach

I’ve always had severe diastasis (belly muscle separation) as a result of my pregnancies and that results in a belly pooch that makes me look pregnant months after delivery.

Plus, the lack of core strength results in back pain immediately postpartum which is no fun.

Thankfully I no longer deal with these side effects after discovering a belly binder.

I’ve been able to use the same belly binder for three postpartum periods now.

It is SO well worth the investment because it doesn’t stretch out, it helps you heal physically, prevents backache, and helps you feel instantly more put together in your clothes again.

In the first week postpartum, I wear it most of the day and night, taking it off for a few hours to let my skin breathe. If you find it uncomfortable, you could wear it over a nursing cami so the fabric absorbs the sweat.

After the first week, I wear it less and less so that I can start to train my core again and not just rely on the binder to keep everything tucked in. If I have a backache, usually putting this on will relieve it.

Read this blog post for ALL THE DETAILS on my favorite belly binder: How to Hide A Postpartum Belly: The Best Shapewear for the Tummy Pooch {Amazon Squeem Review with Before & After Pictures}. I can’t recommend this brand enough!

Tip #4 for How to Look Good During Labor and After Birth: Do double Dutch Braids for an easy hairstyle

Want to know the easiest hairstyle for labor and delivery? Double French or Dutch braids!

how to look beautiful after delivery - easy hairstyles for labor and delivery

During labor, it helps your hair stay out of the way and you’ll look beautiful with zero effort after delivery!

French braids are created with 3 strands just like regular braids, except that you start with a small portion at the top of your head and add strands of hair to the outer piece before turning it over the middle piece as you work your way down. This creates a tighter braid that extends over your scalp so those top strands all stay in place!

Dutch braids are the same, except you turn the outside piece (and strand you added to it) under the middle piece (rather than over it). This creates a braid that looks like it’s sitting on top of your hair. Tutorial on How to Do a Dutch Braid.

Either style works for labor… go with the look you like best!

How to do French or Dutch braids that stay in place during labor

  1. Wet your hair before braiding (or do this about half an hour after a shower). It should be damp but not soaking wet. When my water broke, I knew I had a few hours before active labor so I showered and did this hairstyle.
  2. Add extra strength hair gel all over your hair. (I just grabbed my boys’ gel!)
  3. Use a comb to part your hair down the middle (or do a slight side part if you like that better). I got my husband to help me get an even line down the back of my head.
  4. Tie off one side to keep it out of the way while you braid the other side.
  5. Do a Dutch Braid or French braid on both sides, starting close to your forehead.
  6. Carefully “fatten” the braids by tugging slightly at the strands, starting at the top and working your way down.
  7. You can optionally tie the two braids together in the back or leave them as pigtails.

How to get effortlessly gorgeous wavy hair immediately after birth for a first family picture

Once you’re settled in with your sweet baby and you are ready for a family portrait, all you have to do is let your braids out and you’ve got GORGEOUS waves for photos without leaving your bed!

  1. Ask someone to bring you your hair spray, a wet microfiber cloth, and your makeup bag.
  2. Make sure the braids are fully dry (that’s why we start with damp hair and not soaking wet hair in case labor is fast!). If they’re not dry yet, just wait to let them loose until the next day.
  3. Use only your fingers to undo your braids. DO NOT COMB OR BRUSH YOUR HAIR OUT!
  4. Carefully spread out your waves, especially in the back. Carefully smooth out any frizziness on the top and back of your head.
  5. When it looks the way you like it, spray it all over with hair spray. Make sure your baby isn’t near you for this!
  6. Allow hair spray to dry without touching your hair.
  7. Use the wet microfiber cloth to clean your face and apply fresh makeup.

how to look beautiful after giving birth

Postpartum tips - how to look beautiful after giving birth

Tip #5 for How to Look & Feel Good After Birth: Take a few minutes to do simple 5-minute makeup and tidy your hair

Birth is such a beautiful event that you will honestly look gorgeous to those around you no matter how you look.

But, I find that we tend to feel more critical of ourselves when looking at pictures later.

Makeup for Labor

I’ve felt more put together and beautiful during the arduous process of labor and delivery when I take about 20 minutes to shower, do my hair, and put on some light makeup as labor begins.

Depending on how quickly your labor goes, you might have a few minutes to shower and get ready when contractions start.

I usually have a few hours before active labor starts so I shower (+ shave and wash my hair).

Then I apply simple makeup (with waterproof mascara) and do my hair in Dutch braids so it stays out of the way + looks cute!

Makeup for Postpartum

In the days after birth I feel so good when I clean my face and apply some simple fresh makeup.

I will ask someone to bring my makeup bag and a wet microfiber cloth over to where I’m resting. Or I’ll sit on a stool in my bathroom to do my makeup.

I use the microfiber cloth to clean my face and then do a simple 5-minute face.

Postpartum tips - how to look beautiful after giving birth

Postpartum tips - how to look beautiful after birth - Finished makeup option 2

Tip #6: Use Waterproof Mascara

Postpartum tips to look beautiful after birth: use waterproof mascara

The best makeup for labor and delivery is waterproof!

If you have time to apply makeup when in labor, make sure to use waterproof mascara! This will avoid dark smears under your eyes right after birth for those first photos.

I continue to use waterproof mascara for the first few days postpartum as well since I usually rub my eyes more than normal from exhaustion!

You can also skip mascara and just do the rest of your makeup.

Use products that don’t easily smear. And optionally use a setting spray to keep everything in place.

Tip #7: Use proper perspective

As long as these days feel, they are not forever. In a few weeks baby will eat fewer times and sleep longer stretches at night.

Be patient with yourself and savor cuddles with your baby because they will never again return to this adorable newborn stage!

Tip #8: Prioritize rest & sleep

Postpartum tips - prioritize rest and sleep

I just don’t do sleep deprivation. Some moms can semi-function when they’re short on hours. I can’t. I’m a train wreck.

So it’s forced me to make sleep happen.

But I have four other dependent children besides the baby… so how do I do it?

In those first weeks postpartum, this means I’ve had to:

  • Have my husband stay home for 1-2 weeks after baby’s born so that I can nap during the day (I’ve also had family members come over to watch the other kids so I could nap.)
  • I nap any chance I get!
  • Feed my baby often during the day (8 feedings of 10 minutes per side) to encourage more sleep at night. Consult with their pediatrician to know how often+how much your baby should eat per feeding!

Being rested is like 50% of the victory when it comes to my postpartum sense of well-being.

After the first couple weeks when my husband is back at work, I still try to nap daily by either having my three others watch something on the TV while I nap on the couch beside them OR nap in the afternoon when the youngest two nap and the other three have quiet time on the couch.

If some safe kid’s shows on TV need to be the babysitter so I can get the hours of sleep I need, so be it!

Basically, I work our schedule around getting that sleep! It makes ALL the difference.

Tip #9: Get a giant water bottle to stay effortlessly hydrated

Postpartum tips to feel good after giving birth: get a big gallon water bottle to stay hydrated.

I wasn’t sure how much I’d like a huge water bottle but after getting one I haven’t looked back.

The main benefits:

  1. Only having to fill it once per day
  2. Staying more hydrated because I don’t constantly need to go refill
  3. Easy refill source for my kids’ water bottles when we’re not home!

I personally have the 1 gallon size (I literally drink the whole thing each day when breastfeeding).

But you could also get the 1/2 gallon to be easier to carry. I usually drink about 1/2 a gallon of water per day when not breastfeeding.

Tip #10: Give yourself permission to stay in jammies for as many days as you need!

Postpartum tips to look and feel good after birth in hospital - use proper perspective and be kind to yourself

While all the tips above can help boost your mood and confidence, it’s still true that the TOP priority in the weeks postpartum is to enjoy your squishy and rest!

Give yourself the freedom to stay in jammies and not get dressed as many days as you need.

In the first week postpartum, I usually get dressed + do my makeup from the couch every other day. Then I have an off day to just chillax in my jammies and not fuss over even simple makeup.

My hope is that these simple tips that I’ve learned over the course of having 5 babies helps YOU get through those sweet but tiring first weeks postpartum.

Congratulations on your new squishy! I’m rooting for you!!