Stomach Pooch, Meet Shaper Cami (Your New BFF)

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Picnik collage For some reason, I didn't use shaper camis after Raines was born.  Which is how I ended up with pictures like this one.

This time around, however, I was better informed and ready for the pooch.  Unlike last time, I was under no illusions that the pooch would be gone in a matter of weeks

Game on, people.

Enter the shaper camis. 

To say these things changed my post-partum sartorial experience is an understatement.  But instead of blathering on…I'll just show you.  A picture is worth a thousand words, after all:


Not bad, right?

I was under the (mistaken) impression, however, that this would be a no-brainer.  Simply grab a few shaper camis, pop out a baby, put those things on and voila!!  HA. My first attempt with shaper camis left me trapped, arms flailing, the shaper cami squeezed uncomfortably over one engorged boob, the rest covering my face, poochy stomach bouncing while I screamed for my husband.  (But I refuse to pee in front of him.  So it all works out.)

Ok.  So it turns out, post-partum moms, that the trick to avoiding total embarrassment with shaper camis lies in acquiring a couple different sizes. Here's what I've learned:

1.  If you buy a shaper cami in your pre-pregnancy size, you will be humiliated in front of your husband it will not fit for a few months (at least).

2.  If you want to immediately start wearing shaper camis post-delivery, buy them at least one size bigger for the first couple of months.

3. If your shaper cami isn't also a nursing cami, you'll have to go up another size to pull the neckline down to nurse.

4.  Too tight shaper camis (if you are crazy enough to try again and YES. Yes I was.) will creep upwards as you walk…and end up hanging out under your boobs.  Also, major back fat happens.

5.  If the shaper cami isn't made out of a silky fabric, walk away.  Your shirt will cling to your pooch at the widest possible point instead of draping nicely over the cami.

Personally, I've been happiest starting with the relatively inexpensive Flexees Fat Free Dressing Tank in a size medium…and am now switching to a very fabulous Yummie Tummie Nursing Shaper Cami in a size XS (courtesy of Yummie Tummie – thanks!!).

Why bother switching camis? Ooooo…so glad you asked:


While the difference in size (M vs XS) might account for some of the performance, the Flexees cami is made out of a much stretchier fabric than the Yummie Tummie.  In fact, I didn't notice much pooch-hiding difference between Flexees medium vs small shaper camis – except that it was harder to nurse in the small.  The Yummie Tummie fabric and construction is simply better at controlling the pooch (see where the seam lies?)…but this better performance is also not as comfortable.  Most mornings I'm reaching for my Flexees, just out of comfort.  I save my Yummie Tummie for going out or when I want to wear a tighter shirt.

Warning:  both of these camis are a bit warm, so come summer…they're not gonna work.  And neither look OK worn alone.  The back of the Yummie Tummie cami is made out of a slightly transparent fabric, and while the Flexees is more tank-top-like, it still looks like…well…like a shaper cami.  Hunh.  Stay tuned.



ps.  Please show my pooch some love by voting for us as the best fashion blog in the 2011 Bloggies!  


About Author

Shana founded The Mom Edit in 2008. She lives with the love of her life (his name's Mike) and their two crazy boys in downtown Philadelphia. She loves a good styling challenge (her engineering side shows eventually), appreciates kindness, and usually picks scotch over wine, sneakers over stilettos, and denim-underwear, always.

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  1. First, I already voted for you guys in the Bloggies because I was shocked and delighted to see you there next to such fancy big names. Congrats!
    Second, I wore my YT cami tonight, just for warmth, because I was wearing a sweater dress with no jacket. I find it rides up, but it’s effective, and tucked into tights or jeans, it’s great. Also, I have slept in it because it’s breathable fabric on the boobs part. Love it, but not sure I’d pay for it either.

  2. These kinds of posts are the reasons you are awesome! Thanks for fashion that is practical for postpartum moms, nursing moms, and moms who run after toddlers.

  3. Awesome post. I gave birth 11 months ago to baby #5 and Im doomed with a larger pooch than usual. Just this past weekend I purchased a Columbian girdle. Sounds strange I know but after a crying fit in the H&M fitting room I needed to solve this problem. Thanks so sharing and inspiring!

  4. Thanks Whit! It seriously gives me the giggles whenever I think about it. Cah-razy. Yeah, the YT is great. Not totally sold on comfort…but we’ll see. Have you tried their tummy tucking leggings? I can’t tell if I’d love them or want to rip them from my body….
    Nina – Thanks for the comment! It’s just so hard, isn’t it?
    Melanie J – I’ll be honest…I was a bit leery googling “columbian girdle”…but MAN. It looks like serious shaping! How are you liking it??? (and I can totally relate to the fitting room crying fit, BTW)

  5. I’m a brand new reader, 6 months pregnant with my first baby, and I love your style tips for pregnancy and beyond. I was about to buy one of these shaper camis when I noticed that you said that they are both pretty warm and won’t work for summer. While I’m thrilled to be having my baby in the summer (walks in the park, no need to bundle her up), I’m already wondering what I’m going to put on my postpartum body during those warm, body-conscious months. Any recommendations for lighter weight shaper camis?

  6. HI from Sydney, Australia! I’m totally addicted to your site and find your suggestions very practical and easy to follow. I’m actually a transplanted midwesterner (MN) via NY and London. So, I am finding your writing style and fashion advice very familiar and completely street smart which is an unusual (and fabulous) combination!
    I just wanted to comment on the shaper cami which I find totally unwearable. I had child number 2 four and a half months ago and I still can’t wear the cami. I’m now a 34DD and a size 10 and the way that my breasts are now means that the shaper is too tight for my enormous chest. It actually starts to hurt after about 15 minutes which is a good path to mastitis. So, immediately took it off. The brand is Glamourmoms – which is not really helping me now.
    Anyway, I’ve been reading up on your styles for the summer as we are approaching spring/summer here in Sydney. I bought alot of henleys from J. Crew in month 2 after the haze started clearing. The pooch is starting to shrink but it’s slow. Pilates is helping massively though. Unfortunately, eating anything makes the pooch show, yes…
    I love the word you have coined, pooch…awesome!
    You’re doing a great job with this site. I had a moment thinking that all this is totally superficial but nevermind. If you look good, you feel good and that is so important. Happy wife, happy life is what my girlfriends say…
    Looking forward to your next posts…

  7. I forgot to mention, in the early days after delivery, I wore a very long piece of cotton muslin cloth around my entire belly. It was probably about 4 feet long and 1 foot wide. My mom sewed a few pieces of cloth together (!) for me and I wore it for 3 months. It was great for keeping me warm and keeping me held together as jelly belly was quite uncomfortable and tummy muscles were quite weak.
    The way that you wear it is by tucking one of the ends into your panties (you can even tie it onto your panty legs holes to attach) and then wrap it around yourself as tightly as you can manage and tuck the end into one of the wraps you’ve made around yourself. It takes a bit of practice to get it tight and about midday it can be a bit loose again. But the wrapping is quite comforting and warm. This is pretty easy to do while you’re at home totally exhausted anyway and not trying to be a style maven for anyone.
    It’s a Korean/Asian practice that is not very expensive and quite practical. It also helped that my breast feeding size 34DD doesn’t seem to work for any shaper camis.

  8. I LOVE you. It takes a lot for me to laugh out loud, but you had me at ‘if you are crazy enough to try again and YES. Yes I was.’ I feel so much better about my pooch after stumbling upon your blog tonight. I was about to drown the depressing thoughts of Christmas party-wear shopping with white chocolate morsels, but I am starting to actually get excited about finding clothes to hide that pooch.

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