Paula Goldstein

Keep Calm and Carry on. What to Pack for a Postpartum Vacation.

Paula Goldstein
Keep Calm and Carry on. What to Pack for a Postpartum Vacation.

I recently had my first baby, and obviously felt like I was the first woman to ever have a baby. (Apparently I'm not, we all come from a vagina somewhere.)

I'm also pretty sure most women have looked at their postpartum stomach and are like, "But why do I look like I'm still pregnant? When will I be less jello in consistency? When with my breasts be less melon like or stop leaking?" While having this existential crisis about our new-found figures, life goes on. In fact, some of us are even lucky enough to go on vacation or live next to the beach as new mothers and though we shouldn't care about this profound changes in our new shape….well, let’s be real, most of us do.

So with this in mind, I reached out to three "Global Girl Gang" members, both mothers and swimwear designers, for what to pack for your first debut back on the beach.

First up Anna Laub the founder of Prism. 

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Anna, where was your first holiday to after birth? And how old was your little one?

My first trip was for work: we took Lucien to NY, and admittedly made it to the beach for a night, but wasn’t really a holiday. So I guess the first proper holiday was at 6 months in Tuscany.

Was it relaxing or horrifying?

It was relaxing - he’d just started eating food so there was that whole thing... but was kind of fun. It is a bit of a mess with all the stuff you have to bring, but I don’t actually remember any real massive mishaps, apart from the fact that I think a lot of people that didn't want to saw my boobs that holiday! I think the more relaxed you are, the easier it's going to be - you have to just go with the flow - take them for dinner and let them fall asleep etc.

How was stepping out on the beach - were you liberated or wondering what the hell had happened to your boobs?

I was just getting into wearing one of my one-pieces, which I love. They are all strapless, so sort of perfect for breastfeeding, and suck your stomach in too, - so that was well timed.

Do you have one secret to surviving a baby on vacation? 

Go with people that can help you (i.e. family never looked so good on holiday!) So you can sleep or have some time with your boyfriend/husband/partner!!

Finally, can you tell me 5 things - from books to baby suncream to of course a swimsuit or coverup or two that you can't live without when hitting the beach now that you are a mother?

1. When they are little you do sort of get a bit paranoid about them being in the sun so a hat, and a covered swimsuit so they don’t get burnt are "musts"

2. Baby-friendly suncream! Like Bioderma Photoderm KID SPF50+ Sun Foam

3.  Chateau one piece swimsuit in black speckle - this is the one piece I’m wearing in the pic. The straps are detachable and the body sort of sucks you in while the cups push up your boobs, so even immediately post birth I felt semi-glamorous! (well almost!)

4 . Malibu silk gown - This is our most glamorous cover up you definitely feel like a starlet from a Slim Aarons picture in this - is made from 100% hand finished Italian silk, and is also the best thing ever for breastfeeding and comfortably covering up

5.  Lots of changes of clothes and dry swimwear to change into for you and them

Next up Araks Yeramyan of Araks.

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Where was your first holiday to after birth? And how old was your little one?

I went on a cruise to the Caribbean with my family, including my sister who also brought her son who was one month.  My son was 8 months old.  We decided to go on a cruise because we thought it would be the easiest trip since it was contained.  

Was it relaxing or horrifying? 

The most horrible part was getting on the flight to Miami.  My son, Aren, who was sitting on my lap, was all over the place. He would not relax and I wanted to cry.  He was cooing at everyone and the person next to me kindly took him for 20 minutes because he was practically on his lap anyway.

There was no one best moment, but sharing the entire experience with him and all of his firsts - like the first time he went to the beach in Jamaica or the parrot he met on the streets in Curacao.  I enjoyed every time my son experienced something new.  

How was stepping out on the beach?

I was fine.  I ate super healthy when I was pregnant, so I was in better shape after I gave birth.  I was a bit heavier before I had my first baby, but once I got pregnant I improved my diet because I was now nourishing another life. 

Do you have one secret to surviving a baby on vacation?

You need help. Don’t do it alone. Hire babysitters, bring along family, do what you have to so that you also have some time for yourself.  And a cruise is a great way because there are lots of things for children and childcare available for all ages.  

Finally, can you tell me 5 things - from books to baby suncream to of course an swimsuit or coverup or two from your own collection that you can't live without when hitting the beach now you are a mother! 

1- Hat from Clyde 

2- Our Harper Caftan in Navy is the perfect cover-up because it covers you, but you still feel sexy because it is slightly sheer

3 - I make sure to buy baby sunscreen that has only zinc or titanium dioxide, and on the less sunnier days I use only coconut oil on their skin which is a natural sunblock.  And whatever I put on their skin, I just use myself 

4 - Zan Zan sunglasses are my favorite brand

5 - A pail and a shovel can also make for the best babysitter on the beach  

 

 

I then caught up with Sarah Shotton, the incredible Creative Director of Agent Provocateur.

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Where was your first holiday after the birth?

My first holiday was a staycation. We went to Wales and Durham for the Christmas break, when George was 2 months old. We drove, so it ended up taking us 7 hours to get to Wales from London. Lots of stopping every two hours, breast feeding and changing nappies in the back of the car. This was a pretty relaxed experience as we stayed with family, and I don’t remember much as I think the first couple of months after giving birth everything is a bit of a blur and you're just trying to get a routine going for your own sanity!

My first holiday on an aeroplane was when George was 3 years old and Roisin was 1, and we were heading to Tarifa in Spain so it was only a short flight that went pretty smoothly.

Was it relaxing or horrifying? 

The first night in the hotel in Tarifa was pretty intense as we were all in one room, with a double bed, a single bed and a cot, and George and Roisin kept waking each other up every hour, so we were all knackered the next day. I was just thinking, “How are we going to get through a week of this??” Anyways, the second night came and we all slept through perfectly in the double bed together! I think the worst part of the holiday is realising that this maybe is not exactly going to be a holiday! The best part of it is just watching how magical and how enjoyable the whole experience is for the children. George rock climbed with ropes on this holiday which was so wonderful to see!

How was stepping out on the beach - were you liberated or wondering what the hell had happened to your boobs?

I have to say I feel more confident now as a Mum hitting the beach than when I was in Ibiza with my mates. You don’t have time for any of that, "Do I look cool in this? Whats my look today?" stuff. That was definitely gone on this holiday... it was pick whatever AP swimsuit came to hand out of the bag and get it on while running after the kids to the pool! Being a PA for my children helps to keep me fit!!

Do you have one secret to surviving a baby on vacation?

Be prepared for everything and hire a car with a baby seat…..there is nothing like a nice afternoon drive in the sunshine when you all need a break and a snooze.

Finally can you tell me 5 things - from books to baby suncream to of course an AP swimsuit or two that you can't live without when hitting the beach now that you are a mother?

1. A Black sporty AP swimsuit and The Mazzy swimsuit those are both good mum swimsuits

2. Mustela sun care products for the kids

3. Films on the iPad Zootroplolis was a hit for us

4. I enjoyed reading The Girls last summer

5. Lots of lovely easy to wear floaty dresses

And one more, some light sunglasses that actually sit on your face properly when you bend over and look down….you’ll be doing a lot of that and there is nothing worse than running after a toddler with a pair of sunnies sliding down your nose