Having a baby can be really hard on your self-esteem. You go through a massive hormone shift after delivery which leaves you susceptible to depression and anxiety, AND your body does change. Even if you’re one of the fortunate women who end up looking practically the same as before babies, without any extra skin or stretch marks, your body cannot change for 9 months and “bounce back” overnight.
I’m 12 months postpartum and I’m definitely not back. Is it even “postpartum” anymore? Or am I back to simply not being pregnant? I don’t know. I’m going to say 12 months postpartum for now.
By some pure miracle which likely involved lots of money spent on advertising, I found the perfect pair of underwear to help me feel more comfortable in my unbounced back body. It’s perfect for wearing under anything I’d like to not look 4 months pregnant in and it’s also helping me to not continue looking the said 4 months pregnant.
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I personally set myself up terribly. I dealt with multiple bouts of ovarian torsion for the majority of a year which eventually ended with removing the problematic ovary after it kicked the bucket. I gained 20 lbs within just a couple months of my surgery, and just as I was finally able to start working out and strengthen my super weakened core, I got pregnant. I can’t complain too much. We were trying, so it wasn’t a surprise. 9 months and another 30 lbs later, I had a c-section, which was my third abdominal surgery (and second in just a year). My core was WEAK.
From lack of proper core strengthening to help my core after everything I put it through, I still have a separation (or diastasis recti) 12 months later. I’ve lost all my pregnancy weight, the 20 lbs I gained after surgery, and then some, but I still look at least 4 months pregnant almost every day.
I’m all about self-love and being thankful to our bodies for the beautiful lives they helped us create, but that doesn’t mean I want to continue looking like I’m still in that process.
You’ve probably found your love of high-wasted yoga pants or anything similar, Lord knows I have. But I’ve also found the perfect high-waisted underwear and I have to tell you, I’m in love. I’m not being paid by the company to write this, although if they’d like to send me any extra pairs as a thank you, I will gladly accept.
Kindred Bravely makes high-waisted compression underwear made of mostly nylon and spandex, along with lace inserts. They come in black and beige and sizes small – XX-large. On their website, they have an average of 4.7 out of 5 stars and I can see why. They somehow found the magic to providing compression without making the rest of my body look weird. Any sort of compression/support shorts always end up making my legs/butt look weird and squished, but these don’t. I think it has to do with how they cut, they don’t actually cut into my legs, but instead have a lace coverage over them. They don’t roll at the top either, which helps keep everything looking nice and smooth!
I wear these as much as I can, which isn’t enough since I only have two pairs and don’t do laundry every two days. My core really is very weak and while these do not strengthen my core, they’re the perfect amount of compression to remind me to keep mine tight. It’s very similar to the way kegel balls work. They don’t automatically make your kegel muscles stronger, but they’re gentle reminders to work those muscles throughout the day which does eventually strengthen them.
Are they my sexiest underwear? Good God, no. Does my husband like them? I don’t know and I haven’t asked because I LOVE THEM.
I will say I would not have liked them immediately after my c-section. I’ll never forget how comforting the band the hospital gave me was. I would have my husband help me get it super tight around my abdomen and it was heavenly relief. This underwear won’t come close to that. They are often bought in preparation of a c-section and while it may have been enough for some women, it would not have been for me. If you simply wanted high waisted underwear to avoid something that hits the c-section scary, these could be fine, although I think there are cheaper options for that.
However, they’re perfect for me now. They help me feel much more like myself and enjoy my clothes more. I don’t have to wear the beloved high waisted yoga pants every day, because I can wear these under most of my clothes.
If you have any other similar recommendations for things to help us moms feel less like we’re still 4 months pregnant, please, for the love of God, help a girl out and share below.
I'm Kelly Maher Carvell, Successful Breastfeeding LLC's founder, and lactation expert. I've made it my personal mission to reach as many parents as possible (like you!) to prepare you for your Successful Breastfeeding Journey. Thank you for allowing me and my team to support you. Before you leave the blog grab one of my FREEBIES like my Prenatal Success Kit or the Pump More Milk for Your Stash Guide. You've got this and I'm here to help!
Kelly Maher, CLC, CLE
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