Once you have your baby, you barely have time to take a shower! So who has time to think about fashion? Here are some tips to help you transition the post-pregnant you into a hip new mama!
Janet Behmer and Shirley Pierce

You've made it to motherhood
Congratulations! If after days or weeks of 3 a.m. feedings, you still have the energy to care about how you look, you're our kind of woman. Here are some tips to help you do it!

Choose easy care fabrics
What you wear isn't half as important as what it's made of. Think durable, comfortable, washable.

The first thing you do when your pregnancy test comes back positive is buy stock in the GAP. You will maintain your sanity if you wear as much denim as you can stand. It's durable, comfortable, and of course washable. If you find a piece you really like, buy two. You can wear one while the other is in the laundry, which you will have a ton of thanks to Junior.

Another must-have fabric at this wonderful time is matte jersey, known as slinky fabric. It's a rayon/polyester blend that is stretchy, comfortable and our favorite word, washable. Also it never needs ironing. So if you're traveling, it's perfect. A bonus: it's affordable!

Make baby bags practical
Once you have a baby, you will discover that not much goes with those bags covered with hot pink frogs and puce teddy bears. It's bad enough that new moms have to carry bottles, diapers and enough equipment to perform a heart transplant but do they have to look like Mother Goose, too?

If you'd like to maintain some semblance of looking like an adult, we suggest the following. There are fashion-friendly designer baby bags but they can be rather expensive. So, go ahead, be creative. Check out other kinds of bags. Just make sure that they have shoulder straps and lots of pockets. Try gym bags, computer bags, backpacks or small carry-on bags. Pick a neutral color so you're in sync with the rest of your outfit at all times.

If you have the time and the mental energy (and you won't) to co-ordinate your purse with your baby bag, go for it. But we suggest you adhere to the KISS principle. Keep it simple, sister. Pick one baby bag and one purse in neutral colors and carry them until they (or you) wear out.

Wear fashionable but comfortable shoes Confine platforms and stilettos to the rare times that you are on your own. If you feel vertically challenged without heels, go for "comfort" pumps.

Pack away the platforms and stilettos. They are not conducive to running up the stairs to a crying baby or catching a rampaging toddler in a department store.

Today's flats, sneakers and sandals are fashionable and look great with jeans and pants. Also check out the growing selection of "comfort shoes." These are shoes with low to medium heels and their manufacturers have paid extra attention to comfortable and flexible soles.

Carry back-ups for matching outfits Dressing in matching outfits may be cute but, in reality, is impossible to do. We guarantee that once you are dressed, one of your outfits will be quickly spilled, dribbled or thrown-up on before you get out the door.

If you're determined to go this route, just remember to have "back-up" outfits for the baby with you at all times. If you keep them in the same general color and style as the matching clothing, you'll still look like two peas in the proverbial pod.

Make Junior's food supply easily accessible with tops that zip up, button down or have quick to maneuver straps.

Be sure to invest in one or two good breastfeeding bras. They will allow you to feed your baby easily and just about anywhere you are when hunger calls.

Another must: Even if you're using disposable diapers, invest in a dozen or so cloth diapers. Most moms transform them into what some call "burp cloths." They are perfect for throwing over your shoulder for burps or putting on your lap to prevent spills, spit-up, or drool from condemning yet another item to the laundry before its time.

Fitting the new you into your old clothes Check your closet (or your friend's) for bottoms with drawstring or elasticized waists, big blouses and blazers.

Now that you can almost get back into your pantyhose, you're wondering what else you can wear. Elastic/drawstring waists are perfect at this time. There are loose-fitting outfits on the market with built in belts and straps to let you take in the fullness. This way you can go from your "pre" to your "post" natal figure.

Big shirts are always a good investment because they can be worn as shirts or jackets over T- shirts. In case you feel that one of you with baby fat is enough, don't buy too many big, comfortable outfits. You will lose your incentive.

Armchair shopping
Let's face it. Chances are you won't see the inside of a clothing store for a very long time. Catalog, home television shopping and Internet shopping will be your lifeline. It's convenient and saves time. Internet shopping is even better. You can shop and click with one hand while burping your baby with the other.

When it comes to life with a baby, Lady MacBeth said it all: "Out damned spot." We suggest you also buy stock in any company that makes spot removers for clothing. Find one that works for you and buy it by the gallon.

The words to live by when it comes to clothes are "machine washable." Face it, you will not have the time or the mental energy to drop off or pick up dry cleaning every time Junior makes his mark. A word about dry cleaning: questions have been raised about dry cleaning chemicals and the health effects they may have on your baby. Do your homework and proceed accordingly.

Keep your cabin fever in check
If you know the words to every theme song of every kids show on television, it's time to get out of the house.PregnancyAndBaby.com


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