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June 4, 2013

Kali Davies-Anderson: Some thoughts on what NOT to wear after giving birth

NEW CASTLE — This week, someone I had never met before invited me to some kind of body wrapping party.

Now, I have no idea what this entails, but it sounded like at such events, guests wrap themselves up tightly with some kind of magical material and somehow excess flab disappears. I am obviously not very well-versed in the procedure or effects of body wrapping, but I did feel a certain way about being invited to the party by a stranger.

After all, I DID just give birth (well, seven weeks ago, close enough) and am (kind of) back to my pre-pregnancy weight. However, for any women out there who have had a baby (or two or five) you can empathize with the fact that despite weighing what you did before getting pregnant, your body is seemingly warped forever.

It really is amazing how the human body prepares for birth (and as I have noted before, slowly takes on the shape of “Sponge Bob Square Pants”) and I am truly in awe of this miraculous transformation. I am not, however, in awe of how the bathing suit that I tried on last week makes me look like a pair of rolled up socks with two rubber bands wound tightly around them. Nor am I a fan of the way that my inner thighs seem to be smothering each other in the photograph of me from a wedding last weekend.

Of course, these physical “side effects” of the child-bearing process are of minimal importance when paired up against the reward of having a precious new baby, but some days I feel like my body is not my own.

For anyone who has recently given birth, I will outline some clothing choices to avoid during this period to possibly ease the blow of lingering baby weight and/or flab.

JEANS: I mean this with the most sincerity and urgency possible: Do not, I repeat, DO NOT try on anything denim for at least three months post-partum. I actually would encourage not even making eye contact with jeans  during this period. It will only anger, frustrate and confuse you. Jeans are the devil, and I will leave it at that.

EMPIRE WAISTED TOPS: Unless you want a plethora of strangers approaching you and asking you when your baby is due (which inevitably incites a deep-seeded anger rivaling that of the Hulk’s) do not attempt anything that looks even remotely maternity. I know it seems like a good idea to wear something with a high waist that “hides” unfavorable physical qualities. However, these ensembles unfortunately also accentuate a distended abdomen and people notice. They always notice.

SPANDEX: I actually would discourage the use of this material at ALL times (regardless of recent pregnancy) but am DEFINITELY banning it from my current wardrobe. It doesn’t matter how fit or in shape you THINK you look, slap on a pair of spandex shorts and watch in amazement as your butt and thighs grow three sizes.

Now, this is all based on personal, um, experience, but if you feel great, wear any and all of these items freely. But, for those of you still struggling with your body due to “baby weight,” light a fire, gather your jeans and spandex and watch them burn.  

And if this all seems slightly drastic and extreme, so be it.

But, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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