A super soft stomach, extra skin, a hernia, diastasis recti of 3 or more fingers, and a not so pretty bellybutton. Things that make it hard for me to wear just any bathing suit. I haven’t worn a bikini since I had my first, except during my second pregnancy! I do love big bellies in a bikini!
10 Swimwear Styles That REALLY Hide A Postpartum Pooch
Now that my belly is finally out, let’s dive into all the swimsuits I tried following Shana’s very subjective tips, plus some I discovered along the way.
1. Tankinis Are Not Your Friend
Nope, they are not. They are great to cover stretch marks if you want to cover them. But if I didn’t have all that extra skin and weird bellybutton, I would wear a bikini despite the stretch marks. I didn’t even want to try it on because I knew I wouldn’t have any control on my tummy and there are better options.
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I accept I didn’t choose the best tankini to try. Below I found great ones, with ruching and some tummy control. Pair them with plain black bottoms, but I’d even go for high-rise bottoms just to have more control and coverage.
2. Control Swimwear
This is definitely some of the best postpartum swimwear out there when it includes some ruching. Ruching helps to hide all that’s going on in your belly and make it pretty.
Asos Sculpt me Control Gathered waist (limited sizes) This is a retro one. Hard to get in it, but it molded my pooch perfectly. You’ll get some “you don’t look like you have kids” comments. It’s tight, but once you have it in it feels great. Check the “Sculpt me” line from Asos and here’s another option by J.Crew that comes in a ton of colors. But anything by Miraclesuit does miracles, so check them out too!
3. Try An Interesting Ruching
Gottex Lattice V-neck (size 6) This one is so pretty! It has soft cups (hides your nipple’s weird nursing shape) and the criss-cross ruch gives the illusion of a smaller waist. Great bum coverage too. Comes in more colors. This one is the same but with thicker straps
Shop Control & Ruching swimsuits
3. Blouson-Type One Pieces May Be Your Best Friend
I had never seen this style, and I found it to be very flattering. Boobs are controlled and the blouson helps conceal the pooch. If you ask me what the best swimsuit for postpartum bodies is I would say this one. Though I’m not sure about it when wet.
Gottex lattice blouson one piece (size 6) I seriously loved this one, and if it weren’t for the full coverage in the bum I would have kept it. I like it a little cheeky.
Shop Blouson Swimsuits
4. High-Waisted Bikini Bottoms?
But no, I felt no control whatsoever and with my bellybutton exposed like this, I’m surprised I left it on enough for a pic. They are definitely not as high-rise as I need, and run big too. I’m wearing a S. But I found some I loved…keep reading!
High waist bikini bottom – (since sold out) A lot better compared to that black one above. Here’s a similar J.crew option to go with the top linked above. The smaller gingham will do wonders for your tummy.
My favorite! PRINTS, PRINTS AND PRINTS. That’s the key! Especially for those of us who have lots of bumps and lumps in that belly. Solid colors just show everything.
Red Carter bikini – (limited sizing) This is one of my mom’s favorite swimsuit brands and this suit didn’t disappoint. Mine is now only available in large, but this one, same brand, is very similar, and this is the top.
5. Distract From Your Tummy With Prints
Saw that last high-waisted bikini? Well, I loved it because of the print. Prints make everything more fun and colorful. Sometimes we tend to go with solid colors, especially black to cover our bodies, but a I think a print camouflages even more. Maybe add a very sexy, interesting back?
Mink Pink Shady fronds one piece (size S) – That back is so beautiful. The top part is a little plungy but not a lot. I love the wide straps as I think they offer a little more coverage (compared to the one above) and support. Like the print? I can’t stop thinking about this gorgeous cover up.
Shop Printed Swimsuits
6. Take The Plunge
Bringing the attention to another part of your body is genius, and it was a tip an old reader shared with us. But it has to be the right plunge (not like the one below). Tell me if I’m wrong, but after nursing my first for 2 1/2 years, and the baby is going strong at 6 months, my boobs are great when full but not so nice when not. I feel like this time my skin is more stretched and my breasts need something to keep them in place.
Lira Floral & Mesh Panel Plunge Swimsuit (size S) This is a gorgeous suit. The print and the mesh do a great job at giving the illusion of a smaller waist. However, I didn’t feel too comfortable with how deep and wide the v-neck was. I think I could have pulled it off my first postpartum time. Not this time
I love this one by J crew with a better plunge and..some waist ruching!!!
Not Too Plungy? Try A Lace Up
The lace-up makes things less plungy but still sexy. One of my favorites to wear. You can adjust it to your preference and breast size.
Rhythm lace-up one piece: This is my favorite style to just wear playing in my backyard with the kids. It’s easy to wear as a bodysuit too, I’ve worn it with cut offs but also wide leg pants. I’m very intrigued by this $25 Amazon Lace up suit.
Shop More Plunge & Lace-Up Swimsuits
7. A Swimsuit With A Bikini-Looking Back: The Monokini
The bikini-looking back or monokini is the style I’ve relied on since my first baby and I still love it. I get my pooch covered without a full body coverage swimsuit.
South Beach Plunge tie back (since sold out) I immediately took this one to the beach and loved it until I nurse my baby on one side and then I looked so lopsided. Still like it though. That suit has since sold out so you can try this similar style! Or maybe one with more cleavage coverage like this gorgeous one!
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8. Try Something You Think Won’t Work…I
(it might not, but what if it does?)
When I mentioned I saw a great bathing suit great for my pre-kid body, but that I got discouraged when I tried it on I was talking about this one.
Mink Pink Shady Fronds bikini top (size s)
Mink Pink Shady Fronds Bikini Bottom (size s) – I had some hopes for this one. Loved the print and wanted to see if the high-waisted/cutout feature would help me. I almost cried….and it was one of the first ones I tried so from this one on I was just noticing all the wrong things about my body and all the swimsuits. I know I’m like laughing in most pics but that was my “what the heck am I doing?” laugh.
…But This One Did!
Mink Pink Floral Mesh swimsuit (size S) – So this one, I thought it wouldn’t work but it does. It doesn’t have control, but the mix of fabric/mesh and the seams’ locations do a great job at camouflaging my pooch and accentuating a waist. It might be strapless but has cups. It’s not tight on my butt, and even though it’s not, full bum coverage covers what I need. When I tried this one on, I felt it was meant for me and my lovely pooch. Find a few more options after tip 9!
9. Try Panels, Inserts & Seams In The Pooch Area
The swimsuit above that did work brought me to the conclusion of looking for distracting factors in the pooch area beyond prints and ruching. That one had the mix of mesh fabric with the seams in the perfect angles to visually slim my pooch, and it actually controlled it more with the various seams. ASOS Spaced Floral Cupped Cut Out Mesh Swimsuit (34C) – sold out! A really nice suit overall. The cups are great to keep my boobs in place but I felt the bra part didn’t feel very molded to my body. It was as if the bra was sticking out. Don’t know how to explain. I loved the back, the print and the mesh inserts.
Swimsuits With Panels & Special Details
10. Just Be True To Yourself & Wear What You Like
If you follow me on Instagram (@julietatorresd) you may have seen me wearing this one at the beach, and I felt good. Still conscious and mourning what it once was, but good. Small bikinis are not on my radar anymore, not because I feel I cannot show my pooch, but because I don’t feel comfortable or myself. That’s what’s important, feeling true to yourself. If you feel that way wearing a bikini and flaunting the precious marks of bringing life into this world, go and rock it! You deserve it.
You can find even more of our swimwear picks in the 2019 Swim Shop !
Chao, chao. Julieta
Ps. I wrote this post in 2017 after having my youngest, I know I don’t have to explain my decision, but I decided to have a tummy tuck. I’m a few months post-surgery now and still following a lot of these tips. Even after a tummy tuck, I have my lower belly full of stretch marks and now a very big (lumpy) scar. You can find a raw and real take on motherhood and style on my IG (@julietatorresd) and personal blog The Unbosom.