For me, the first few weeks and months caring for a newborn has always meant many days spent at home, adjusting to our "new normal", and simply trying to survive from day to day. My survival skills typically kick in around 7 months pregnant, where I start to collect all the parts and pieces I'll need once the baby arrives. I nest, therefore I shop. I always stock up on a few essential wardrobe pieces that I know I'll be comfortable living in both during the day and night.
The first thing on my list is always one or two nursing bras comfortable enough that I can sleep in, as well as lounge around during the day, during those first few weeks postpartum. I've always loved the Bravado Designs original nursing bra, because the structure of the bra easily allows for changing breast size, which makes it a perfect choice for the end of pregnancy as well as newly postpartum. I have always waited to buy a more "fancy" under-wire daytime bra until the baby has arrived and I know exactly what my new cup size is.
In addition to a all-purpose nursing bra, I always try to have a couple other wardrobe essentials ready and waiting for me postpartum.
A few of my favorite essentials:
Yoga pants I could leave the house in. Not to be confused with yoga pants not appropriate to leave the house in, because I have a few pairs of those too. I always make sure to have a fresh pair of comfortable lounge pants on hand that are nice enough that if I need to run a few errands around town, I can slip these one quickly.
Water bottle. I find if I have a fresh and new water bottle, I'll be reminded to carry it around with me everywhere I go. Breastfeeding makes me crazy thirsty, and carrying around a filled bottle has proven to be key.
Zip-up sweatshirt. In the colder months, wearing a sweatshirt that can easily be zipped down for frequent feedings is so helpful.
Comfortable shoes/slippers. Knowing I'm going to be spending much of my days at home, I always wear a cute and comfortable pair of house shoes. My favorite slipper shoes are from Smartwool (link: http://www.smartwool.com/womens/slippers.html). They provide a bit of support, keep my feet warm, and I can even run out to the mailbox in them if need be.
Layers. Newly postpartum, my body temperature fluctuates like crazy. I'm hot, I'm cold, I break out in the sweats. I often couple the Bravado essential nursing tank with a warmer cardigan or zip-up sweatshirt. I stay warm, yet have quick access to breastfeed.
Light Scarves. When I do leave the house, I find scarfs the perfect solution to both dressing my outfit up and playing double duty as a coverup for breastfeeding in public. My favorite simple and light scarf is the super sheer circle scarf from American Apparel (link: http://store.americanapparel.net/rsa0503burn.html)
Breathable pajamas. Right after birth, I've always had visitors. While I'm not going to get dressed up by any means to greet them, I still want to look nice. My favorite pajamas are ones made from bamboo fibers, because they are so soft and wick away moisture, which is awesome for the postpartum sweats.
How about you? What are your favorite postpartum wardrobe essentials?