Ahh, after the third trimester comes the fourth trimester; that magical time of diapers, leakage and tears … and I’m not talking about the baby.
The fourth trimester is hard. We live in a society where “oooh your baby bump is SOOOOO cute” turns into “GET RID OF THAT POOCH” the second you give birth.
I do not personally subscribe to that and believe Americans, in particular, need to do a better job of honoring postpartum. I understand the desire to feel comfortable and pretty — like your own individual being — during that time before you can button your loosest jeans but after you’re ready to get rid of the hospital mesh panties (I miss those).
10 Cute Non-Maternity Dresses For 3rd Trimester AND Postpartum
So my secret to the perfect third AND fourth trimester look if you’re having a spring or summer bebe? Dresses. But not just any dresses; preferably midi (like this one from Banana Republic) or maxi (like this one from Free People), A-Line, Empire or drapey. They are definitely not maternity dresses, but they need to work for when you resemble an overinflated balloon through the deflation period.
Here’s the issue with most maternity dresses: they feel like maternity dresses. Many accentuate the bump, which is the last thing you’re looking to do weeks after giving birth. In my experience, the key to making a dress work during pregnancy and the 4th trimester is by sizing up and choosing the right style of dress. This gives a little more room and allows you to still feel comfortable post-pregnancy.
01| Free People All Day Long Midi T-Shirt Dress
I have this All Day Long Midi T-Shirt Dress from Free People in navy and love it. The dress skims the bump whilst pregnant, but doesn’t hug your stomach post-pregnancy. It’s long, but the fabric is light, which is appreciated when you’re going through all those hot flashes post-baby. To feel a little more put together, I threw a kimono-style robe over it like this one.
02| Free People Sunshower Maxi Dress
I love this Sunshower Maxi Dress. It would be cute with a nursing bralette underneath (see below for a selection of nursing bras).
03| Nike Sportswear Icon Clash Maxi Dress
I’m feeling the sporty look of this Sportswear Icon Clash Maxi Dress (available in plus-sizes). It’s made for movement so you can feel comfortable, even if all you’re doing is washing bottles or rocking a baby to sleep.
04| Universal Thread Women’s Sleeveless Dress
I grabbed a few of these Women’s Sleeveless Dresses by Universal Thread when I was pregnant and wore them daily before and after my 3rd was born. They are affordable and easy to dress up/down. I’d even sleep in them sometimes because truly, what is time when you have a newborn?
05| Anthropologie Margaux Sleep Dress
Something feels a little taunting about a “sleep dress,” especially for those sleepless nights post-baby. If you aren’t going to sleep at least you’ll look cute in this Margaux Sleep Dress. I love the print. It’s perfect for sleeping and for those runs (ok waddles) to the mailbox or unexpected drop-ins to see the baby.
06| NET SUSTAIN Ninety Percent Dress
This gathered organic cotton jersey midi dress is sustainable and stunning! I love the cut, and the cinched waist gives you some shape without highlighting all the lumps and bumps that come from birthing a human and waiting for your uterus to shrink back down.
07| Hope For Flowers Bright Camo Floral Dress
This Bright Camo Flower Dress by Hope For Flowers is a splash of sunshine. It’s whimsical and the pattern is extremely flattering postpartum. This Black-owned business has a ton of gorgeous, unique dresses that are sure to make you stand out — in a good way.
Give me a G&T and call me Patricia (Southern Charm deep-cut) I love me a kaftan. This Coldesina Butterfly Kaftan Dress has a gorgeous print and is available in a slew of sizes. It would be a great date night option too!
09| ASOS DESIGN Maternity Nursing Dress
Designed for maternity and nursing, this ASOS DESIGN Maternity nursing double layer midi dress in natural leopard skims the bump without accentuating it, making it perfect postpartum. It’s long and flowy with an opening for nursing mamas. The nursing accessibility is what led me to break my “no maternity dress” rule. Plus, it doesn’t look maternity.
10| Banana Republic Tiered Midi Dress
My first thought when I saw this Tiered Midi Dress from Banana Republic was, “It’s the same color as baby spit-up! Perfect for hiding milk stains.” My poor warped mind. My first was a “happy spitter” so I had to get really good at wearing colors to mask the stains. The Tiered midi dress also scores points because the straps are wide enough to wear a hefty bra, which you’ll need whether you’re nursing or wearing a tight sports bra, turning cabbage to sauerkraut to stop your supply.
The 4th trimester is tough. Embrace the in-between, the grey zone, and give yourself all the gold stars; you’ve brought another life into the world and they sent it home with you with NO instructions. You’re a rockstar.
Oh, hey, Pinners!