Swimwear for the Postpartum Body

6 tips to find the perfect swimsuit for your postpartum body.

Swimwear for the Postpartum Body

Giving birth is a joyful experience, of course. But once that pregnancy glow becomes a thing of the past, a lot of new moms are left with a new shape (yet again) and end up dreading the idea of spending hot days at the beach. Their pre-baby silhouette isn't back yet, and the postpartum bod comes with a variety of realities that they may not be ready to showcase. C-section scar? Stretch marks and varicose veins? Engorged breastfeeding boobs? Not to worry. For every concern you have about your afterbirth appearance, there's a swimsuit with a solution. Here's a guide to find the perfect bathing suit for your beautiful, life-giving body.

1. CONSIDER A ONE-PIECE. If you’re looking for more coverage, you're in luck! One-pieces are actually on trend now and can really flatter your midsection while you wait for it to go back to its pre-baby shape. Plus, there are so many to choose from. We are loving this lace up style from Tory Burch and this striped one-piece from Solid and Striped.

2. GO EDGY WITH A CUT-OUT. Cut-outs keep things revealing in just the right body zones. They allow for minimal skin exposure, but there's exposure nonetheless, which could give you just the right amount of sexy, if you so crave it! Give this gingham retro-inspired ASOS suit and this halter cut-out by Flagpole a try.

3. OPT FOR DARK COLORS AND PRINTS. If you want smooth and slim lines, wear solid colors in the black, navy, dark grey, hunter green palette and prints -- great to conceal any extra baby weight you may not be ready to show off just yet. Check out this printed one-piece by Mara Hoffman and this strapless convertible suit by Tommy Bahama.

4. WEAR HIGH WAISTED BOTTOMS. High-waisted swimwear doesn’t work on all body types, but if you have a long torso, like a throwback silhouette, and are craving a 2-piece with more coverage, this one’s for you. This is also a great option for mamas who had a c-section but still want to rock a 2-piece without exposing the fresh scar in the sun. Plus, it holds in the postpartum belly. The scalloped high waisted bikini from Marysia and this floral 2-piece from ASOS, which also support fuller busts, are great options.

5. DON'T FORGET NURSING-FRIENDLY TOPS. If you're a breastfeeding mom and are taking your newborn at the beach, you'll probably need to nurse too! For comfort and easy boob access, you can sport a nursing-friendly tankini, like this one from Cake Maternity. Bandeaus and wrapped bikinis are also great and on-trend alternatives.

6. COVER UP. If you are comfortable without feeling the need to cover up, show that body off, mama! But if, like many new moms, you need a little more time to accept your all the changes you are going through, that's okay too. There are beautiful and stylish cover-ups that can keep you feeling super stylish and confident in your new skin! We are crushing on this crocheted kaftan by Melissa Odabash, this pocket jumpsuit by Mara Hoffman, and this luma kaftan by Vix swimwear.

BONUS TIP. If you're craving a little more midsection coverage after giving birth, try pairing a cute top with a bikini bottomy. Something like this ruffled linen blouse or this off the shoulder top from Zara with a bikini bottom would be super cool.

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My village lives far away—but my Target baby registry helped them support me from afar

Virtual support was the next best thing to in-person hugs

They say you shouldn't make too many major life transitions at once. But when I was becoming a mama for the first time nearly five years ago, my husband and I also moved to a new town where we didn't know a soul, bought our first house and changed jobs.

To put it mildly, we didn't heed that advice. Luckily, our family and friends still made it feel like such a magical time for us by supporting our every move (literal and otherwise) from afar. They showered us with love through a virtual baby shower (expectant parents nowadays can relate!) featuring the unwrapping of gifts they were able to ship straight to me from my Target registry.

Here's one piece of advice I did take: I registered at Target so I could take advantage of the retailer's benefits for registrants, which include a welcome kit valued over $100, a universal registry function and more. Fast-forward a few years and Target has made the registration perks even better for expectant parents: As of August 2020, they've added a Year of Exclusive Deals, which gives users who also sign up for Target Circle a full year of savings after baby is born on all those new mama essentials, from formula to diapers and beyond.

Honestly, even without the significant perks of a free welcome kit with more than $100 in coupons, additional 15% off coupons to complete the registry and a full year of free returns, registering at Target wasn't a hard sell for me: Even though the experience of shopping for baby items was new, shopping with Target felt like returning home to me… and the comfort of that was such a gift.

And of course, Target's registry plays a vital role right now, as expectant parents everywhere are being forced to cancel in-person baby showers and navigate early parenthood without the help of a hands-on village. A registry like this represents a safe way for communities to come through for new parents. If you're anything like me (or any of the other mamas here at Motherly), you certainly have emotional ties and fond memories associated with Target.

What to register for at Target was also an easy talking point as I began to connect with moms in my new community. I will always remember going on a registry-building spree with my next door neighbor, who had young children of her own. As we walked the aisles of Target back in 2015, she suggested items to add… and we laid the foundation for what has since become one of my most cherished friendships.

Even as I made connections in my new hometown, I was nervous that expecting my first baby wouldn't feel as special as if I were near family and friends. But my loved ones exceeded all expectations by adding the most thoughtful notes to gifts. They hosted a beautiful virtual baby shower and even encouraged me to keep the registry going after my baby made his debut and new needs arose.

In the years since, "community" has taken on a wonderfully complex new meaning for me… and, in these times of social distancing, for the rest of the world. I've come to cherish my newfound friends in our local community alongside those long-time friends who are scattered around the county and my virtual mama friends.

Now, as my friends' families grow, I'm so grateful that I can show them the same love and support I felt during my first pregnancy. I sing the praises of Target's baby registry—especially in light of the pandemic, since I know mamas can do everything from a distance thanks to Target's website and the added benefit of getting trusted reviews and helpful registry checklists.

And now that I'm on the gift-buying side of the equation, I've found new joy in picking thoughtful gifts for my friends. (Because goodness knows Target has something for everyone!)

For my friend who is a fellow runner, I teamed up with a few others to give the jogging stroller she had on her registry.

For my friend who is a bookworm, I helped her start her baby's library with a few books that are also well-loved in our home.

For other friends, I've bundled together complete "sets" with everything they need for bathing or feeding their children.

I know from my own experience that, yes, the registry purchases are so appreciated, but the thoughtfulness and the support they represent means even more. Because although my village may have been distant, the support they showed me was the next best thing to in-person hugs.

Start your own Target Baby Registry here to experience a Year of Benefits including a Year of Exclusive Deals through Target Circle to enjoy for a full year following your baby's arrival, a year of free returns, two 15% off completion coupons and a free welcome kit ($100 value).

This article was sponsored by Target. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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