Postpartum Pajamas? What do YOU Think?

Photo courtesy of Flickr.com user Gabriela Camerotti

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This past Sunday, I brought by a meal for a friend who had a baby a week and a half ago. I had just seen her the day before at the Kiddush for her newborn daughter looking pretty much like her regular, pre-pregnancy self in a simple but elegant Shabbat outfit. But when I dropped by this Sunday, I was surprised to find my friend still in her pajamas at 1 PM.

Reading my thoughts, my friend told me that she had decided that for the first two weeks following this birth she was going to remain in her pajamas all day, every day. Her pajamas would remind her husband, her mother, her children, and most importantly HERSELF that she is still recovering from a birth and feeling more tired and weak than usual, and that she should be treated (and treat herself) accordingly. If she dressed in regular clothing, she explained, these same people would be more likely to have the same high expectations of her that they have when she is her regular, busy, extremely productive self. And that, she explained, could be detrimental to her recovery.

What a brilliant idea, I thought.

But on the way home, I remembered another postpartum visit I made last year to deliver a present to another friend. That friend had given birth only a week before, so I was pretty shocked to discover her at 9 AM dressed as if she was about rush off to attend wedding, wearing heels, jewelry, and full makeup. This isn’t so unusual for her, since she always dresses really, really nicely. But it was surprising to see her looking like this first thing in the morning a few days after giving birth!

When I commented on this, she explained that after she gives birth she makes a special point of getting fully dressed first thing in the morning. She said that looking good is energizing for her. It puts her in a good mood, and makes her feel good about herself, and in that way it’s good for her recovery.

What a brilliant idea, I thought.

So I’ve been sort of cow-style chewing on these two opposite approaches over the past week. And I decided to release this question from its ricocheting around my brain and turn it over to you moms and ask you what you think about this whole discussion and what works best for you…postpartum pajamas or postpartum fancy or maybe something in between?

Leave your comments and vote in the poll below…


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5 comments

  1. Amanda Bradley

    I would think both women know exactly what they need, what works for them, and are following their own needs rather than any outside expectations of what they should be doing (or dressing). So i would say, know yourself, and if pyjamas help you recover, then wear pyjamas, and if dressing particularly well helps you recover, then dress particularly well.

    Personally its a bit of a moot choice because it seems to take more than two weeks for me to fit into anything but pyjamas again.

  2. I should have worn pajamas after all my children were born. Instead, I, personally, had an ego trip. I was not going to let childbirth slow me down! I collapsed every time around 6 weeks when I should have been coming around and feeling better. My husband was a jerk about it and treated me like I was dressed: be energetic. I was only operating on a full tank anyway, so when I collapsed, he was mad because he pointed out that I’d been not even that great the previous six weeks. He wasn’t concerned enough to actually tell me to slow down with subsequent births and I was too clueless to realize that I needed to rest. Doctors and nurses telling me to slow down didn’t make a dent– they said blanket statements all throughout my pregnancies, “ALL women should [X],” “ALL mothers can [X.]” I didn’t trust them.

    I didn’t vote in this because EVERY woman is different, and each pregnancy, post partume period and in laws and family members are independent variables.

  3. Fancy PJs?

  4. Mrs Belogski

    i go with pj’s or housecoat, because as your friend says, it reminds everyone including you that you need to rest. While looking good can make you feel good, in the few weeks after having a baby, as far as i can see, looking good means matching pj’s. no disrespect to your other friend, but surely there are other ways to feel good about yourself, rather than your appearance. when i had my sixth baby, i dressed up and went to shul on Shavuos less than a week later, to hear my husband have an aliyah, and felt really ill afterwards. At the bris, the mohel gave me strong mussar about how important it was for me to rest, not just for me, but for the whole family, so i went home after the seuda and went straight back to bed!

  5. a "new" mommy

    Interesting that i came across this article today. My baby is now 4 weeks old b’h – 1 month sounds older. I’ve learnt from passed experiences not to push myself after giving birth. A models robe is fine for me.Although i did pack in my bag of toiletries for the hospital some make-up, just to feel a bit humane.
    It actually depresses me more,the first couple of weeks to try to fit in my pre-pregnacy clothes,only to see that they still don’t fit.and to have to wear maternity when you’re not……
    so like i said models robes(housecoats/robes-what ever you call them) work fine for me the first couple of weeks.As strength returns then i get “dressed”.
    by the way i noticed in the hospital a woman got all dressed up when her husband came to visit.when i mntioned it to her she said”my husband came to visit me and the baby,i wanted to look like a mentch”.She did have a point. but i noticed she was pushing herself too much,especially when all the kids came to visit her.and after they left she collapsed on her bed,mentioning to me how tired she felt. So I wondered, was she faking the famiy that she felt good by “dressing up” or was she faking herself.

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