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Death to Poochy

By Amalah

Dear She Who Rocks Most:

Maybe you can help me out with a little beauty dilemma I’m experiencing. I had a baby back in July. I weighed a little (okay, a lot) more than I would have liked before I got pregnant. However, I didn’t really gain much (read: anything) while I was pregnant so that was a bonus. In the months since my son was born, I’ve lost a lot of weight. Which is YAY fantastic! Even though I suffer the common mommy illness of not being able to spend any money on myself, I did purchase a pair of jeans for myself that are two sizes down from what I used to wear. And even THOSE are a little large on me right now.

I know this all sounds pretty great and there’s no problem to be seen, but believe me, there is. I look great and everyone remarks on how great I look. And then I sit down. Now, the jeans I wear are of the lower-rise variety and I really do like that style a lot better than the old high-waisted mommy-jean look. But when I sit, all that extra skin and CRUD just tends to pile up and pour over and UGH. If I’m wearing a halfway fitted shirt, it looks even WORSE.

So my question is this: What can I do to make my figure look just as good sitting down as it does standing up? I need serious help so any bones you can throw me here would be GREATLY appreciated!

Many, many, many thanks!

Ahhh, the pooch. The joey pouch. The belly button love handle. I know it all too well.

I’ve yet to find the One! Big! All-Purpose! secret to postpartum dressing, because apparently no one has invented the miracle pooch-reducing shirt yet. (Well, okay, they did invent the girdle but GIRLPLEASE.) But here are a couple tips:

1) Looooong shirts. Wear shirts that are long enough to completely cover the waistband of your jeans by at least several inches even when standing up. When you sit down. all that extra fabric around your middle will provide a very nice camouflage. Luckily, these are super in style right now and easy to find. Please do not ask me this question again next season in case of a return of the belly shirt. Because then my advice will be simply to not leave the house. Ever.

2) Layers! I don’t think I go anywhere these days without wearing at least two shirts. I wear a long tank or tee under everything, usually in white or black or some other neutral color. Again, long tanks are readily available these days, but a nice cheap option (especially if your torso is on the long side, like mine) is to buy a pack of men’s white undershirts. Wife-beater style. These will be just about hip-length and are perfect for wearing under those shorter shirts that you find yourself constantly yanking down. Plus, MORE extra fabric to camouflage the pooch. Even if people notice a little bulge when you sit down (which: they probably won’t, because when was the last time you paid that much attention to another person’s midsection?), they’ll probably just assume it’s your shirt(s).

3) The Waistband Tuck. Disgusting but true. Right after sitting down, I suuuuuck in my gut. Then I ever-so-casually slide my hand down my front, as if I’m just smoothing my shirt(s) down. But I’m actually pushing the pooch down into the waistband of my pants. This is an ESSENTIAL move when you’re wearing fitted tops (and especially button-downs where you might otherwise get the dreaded button-gap around your middle). And with enough practice, no one will know what you’re really doing.

Unless you announce it to the Internet. D’oh.

About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch


Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Ama...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to [email protected].

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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I have to second the layers look. Especially if you wear something pretty tight underneath (not girdle-tight, but you know, hugging the body), it kinda smoothes everything down. Even though it doesn’t get rid of the pooch altogether, at least your shirt isn’t clinging to it really obviously. My best bet has been a a slinky, tight-fitting cami underneath, and something slightly bulkier on top. The cami makes a HUGE difference, because it just lets the shirt or sweater over it kind of slide over all the extra poochiness, and gives a smoother silhouette.


I haven’t gotten any, but I have looked at the Spanx stuff. It’s not quite a girdle…


Word on the layering. I do it all the time now. It’s a wonderful thing.


LOL! My friend and I were just talking about this very thing. Especially #3, and how we use our waistband to cut our pooches in half, so they don’t look so big. Two smaller rolls are better than one ginormous one, right?


Yay! Thanks for answering my question! These are *great* suggestions. I never would have guessed on the layering thing!

Deborah Svoboda

Best advice ever! Thinking it over, I had me an apostrophe, as Smee would say (You mean, an epiphany you idiot!). You know all those cute tank tops you pay at least $10 a pop for? And how those wifebeaters (we called ’em “ginny tees” back home)are white? Rit dye. I figure, if you usually wear one or two signature colors, why not get a box of Rit and dye the undershirts? Still way cheaper than $10 each. Or am I just nuts? Either way, I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s thinner than their pre-pregnancy weight, with a… Read more »

Kim N

Spanx has saved me! I had three babies in three years and have just finally got to just below my first pre pregnancy weight and the Spanx hold my tummy in enough that I feel comfortable wearing more form fitting shirts. The ones I got go down nearly to my knees and the waist band goes clear up to my bra strap so I don’t get the high bulge I used to get when I just wore regular control top pantyhose. Love them!