When used correctly, postpartum shapewear can do a world of good for new mums. If you watched your mother, sister, or other women in your life use shapewear after pregnancy, then you’re probably convinced of its benefits. If you have no insight into how these things work, then you might still feel skeptical about the promised effects.
To make sure we’re all on board, here’s why we recommend that new mums use shapewear.
Why Would a Woman use a Postpartum Shapewear?
For many women, life after childbirth is usually different from what they imagined. Regardless of how many first-hand experiences were shared with you, nothing prepares you for the amazing, yet tiring journey. Between round-the-clock care, diaper changes, hourly feeding, and trying to hold your confusing emotions together, there’s almost no time to work on your body. Your snapback body goals might have to wait if it doesn’t find a place in your new routine.
With all these changes, you need a solution that can work to repair your stretched abdominal muscles for you. This is why new mums are usually encouraged to opt for a belly bondage or a body shaper/shapewear.
Belly bondages are bindings that are used to wrap the midsection after birth. They are basically pieces of garment tied tightly around the stomach, or sometimes the entire torso. Many new mums use them to support their abdomen and back immediately after childbirth.
Postpartum body shapers, on the other hand, are shapewear designed specifically for postpartum mums. They provide a gentle compression to the whole torso, helping loose stomach muscles repair faster. They also provide back support, as many women experience back pains after childbirth.
The major difference between the belly bondage and a postpartum shapewear is that the first is a piece of fabric you can get and wrap using your own discretion. The downside is that if it’s bound too tightly, it can cause complications from putting excessive pressure on the ribcage, core and pelvic floor.
Postpartum shapewear is designed to provide the needed support, without causing any damage. This is why new mums are encouraged to buy shapewear specifically for them, not fashion shapewear. The designs and features are quite different to accommodate their needs.
When should a Woman Use Postpartum Shapewear?
Most women start wearing their postpartum body shaper the day they give birth, which is safe. It can be worn even after a C-section, as long as it isn’t too tight, and proper care is taken.
It is best that you decide when to start. If you don’t feel comfortable with wearing a shapewear yet, then don’t. Wait till you’re ready. To enjoy the benefits of using one, you should use it religiously for 6-8 weeks.
There’s also no need to wear your shapewear to sleep, but if it’s super comfortable, then there’s no harm in doing so.
What you shouldn’t do, is use an extremely tight shapewear as a substitute for eating healthy and exercising. Postpartum shapewear is designed to support your body through its healing process, not to become alternative weight loss products.
How to Choose the Right Postpartum Shapewear
The best postpartum shapewear for you should have all the features supporting your specific needs. No two bodies are the same. Some mums come out of pregnancy with nothing to worry about other than loose stomach muscles. Others have to put up with shifted discs, and unbearable back pain. Your preferred shapewear should be designed to support your own specific needs.
Here are some of the important features to look out for:
1. Breathability features
It should be made out of breathable material that will not collect sweat under your skin. You’re going to be moving around a lot while taking care of your baby, so you need to avoid the discomfort of excessive sweating.
Depending on the method of your baby’s birth, the design of your shapewear is very important. If you had a natural birth, then most designs should work great for you. If you had a C-section that left you with a tender scar, then you should get a shapewear that can be wrapped or belted around you, instead of pull-ups.
3. Stretch level
Your shapewear should feel like a warm, firm hug around your torso, not a tight binding. If the material isn’t stretchable, it can cause painful cramps, and even worse back pains.
4. Width and size
If you’re in a hurry to see your stomach pouch disappear, you might feel tempted to go a size or more lower than your regular size. Avoid doing this as it can cause even more complications for you. Get the right size, and give your body time to adjust as needed.
Does it support the abdomen properly? Does it provide back support? Brands can claim things, so check for online reviews before making any purchases. Mums who have had great experiences with postpartum products are always eager to share with new mums who might need advice.
While shopping for a postpartum shapewear, you’ll find more options and recommendations than you can handle. What is most important, is that your final option supports comfort. Remember that in the next few weeks, your body will be trying to undo changes that have been happening for the past 9 months. Between childcare and having your hormones all over the place, you need to be as comfortable as possible.