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Spending My Days Half-Naked Gave Me Body Confidence After Birth

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Photograph by Twenty20

So, you have a brand-new summer baby, you're sweating through hotter than hell days and you're playing an awkward game of look-don't-look with your new post-delivery body. Thanks to my first baby (back in 2010), I found a fast solution to cool off and reclaim my confidence, and it's something I think every new mom should try.

Strip down to your skivvies and take care of that precious new baby in your underwear. All day. Every day. No shame. Feel the power.

Former "The Bachelorette" and TV personality Ali Fedotowsky recently did an all-out Instagram reveal celebrating her post-baby belly. Fans went positively crazy, responding with comments like "Thank you for posting this — I needed this!" and "I wish I could love this a million times!"

Unfiltered post-pregnancy life is winning more and more on social media, so if we find power in seeing others post their raw, new-mom moments, why not create our own on the daily?

As a first-time mom years ago, I was freaked out about pretty much everything: the lifestyle change, the priority change and the body change. There was a new me that looked and felt unrecognizable and I knew that the new me would quickly need to find comfort with myself to take the best care of my newborn. There was no longer room for spurts of self-doubt or debilitating inhibitions. Time to get focused, or else.

Sometime in the first few sweltering weeks of motherhood (my girl was born at the end of summer and it was HOT), a delirious solution hit me: If newborns could spend entire days in their underwear (i.e., onesies) then so could I. It was ON.

My daily wardrobe from dawn to dusk (and through the night too) was high-waisted panties and tank tops. Once I got past the usual inhibitions of not wearing actual clothes during the day, I was liberated on an emotional and physical level. Requiring myself to see my post-baby body and all its scars/markings/pooches—every day all day—made me accept the new me and feel better in my changed body.

One day, I caught my half-naked self in the mirror, in my floral-print panties with a burp cloth and baby slung over my shoulder, and thought, 'I look pretty good. I'm winning this.'

The more you see something shocking, the more desensitized you become.

But I won't lie, the honesty of reconciling that weird, dark pregnancy line down the center of my belly had me annoyed every time I saw it. And my legs looked like sausages for a while. And everything involving my midsection (and C-section scar) felt strange and floppy. But, by facing it every day, I quickly learned to not judge or lament my new self every time I passed a mirror. I became confident seeing the new real me taking care of my baby.

Life with a newborn is like "Groundhog Day": sleep, feed, change, wipe, repeat. Living in my underwear invented daily ridiculous diversions, like, "Will I rock the red or lavender panties today?" It took a few weeks, but I soon found myself oddly comfortable, inspired and feeling more like my pre-baby self on the inside. I found myself feeling happier, more capable and motivated to power through the hardest days. One day, I caught my half-naked self in the mirror, in my floral-print panties with a burp cloth and baby slung over my shoulder, and thought, "I look pretty good. I'm winning this."

No, my body didn't magically change in those few weeks, but my mind had (there's that desensitization thing). Who knew that limiting a post-pregnancy wardrobe to wearing only underwear was the key to getting your body back? That's hot.

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