Going through a pregnancy really does a number on you both physically and mentally.
It changes just about every part of you because your body is literally stretching to make room for your developing baby. Your legs get bigger, your butt is bigger, your hips are wider, your waist is just as wide as your hips, your ribs are wider, your stomach muscles may look like they’re no longer there, and the list goes on and on.
Experiencing just one or two of these changes can throw you for a loop but when it comes to pregnancy you get all of them and more. Don’t get me wrong, they aren’t a bad thing at all and other moms will agree it’s worth it, but they can be overwhelming!
Every day you see celebrities out and about who just gave birth and they look like a million bucks. Honestly, they look like they were never pregnant!
Don’t use this to set expectations for yourself. For most people, that isn’t realistic at all and it’ll take much more than a week or two to get your body back. Also, you don’t know what they’re wearing under their clothes. For all you know they’re wearing postpartum shapewear to hold their body in place just like you’re wondering about doing.
There’s been a lot of debate about whether postpartum shapewear after a baby really works and you’ll find many people claiming it doesn’t.
I disagree and I’ve actually found that in the majority of these cases the problem women see isn’t with the postpartum shapewear, it’s in their expectations.
Countless women buy shapewear hoping all they have to do is wear it to get the shape they want. At first it might even seem like it’s doing just that…until you take it off and your body goes right back to how it was.
Postpartum shapewear is not a permanent solution or a magical fix for your body after your baby is born. It will not make you lose weight and it won’t give you a perfectly shaped figure.
That isn’t what it’s designed to do. It’s meant to be used as a tool/healing guide to help your body come back together after your son or daughter is born.
If you want it do anything for you, postpartum shapewear must be accompanied with a good diet and a postpartum workout plan that focuses first on strengthening your core and pelvic floor then moves on to the rest of your body.
I understand the overwhelming feelings you go through after your son or daughter is born and the fear that you’ll never be able to get your body into shape afterwards.
There’s no way to really describe the shock I felt looking down at my own body after my first son was born. I didn’t feel like I’d gained a whole lot of weight during my pregnancy, but I did gain the recommended amount and my son was almost eight pounds when he was born.
My postpartum journey started with me losing 10+ pounds in my stomach in a matter of hours and, no matter who you are, that isn’t going to leave your stomach looking smooth by any definition of the word.
That’s where postpartum shapewear comes in.
Sometimes you really do need extra help/tools to get your body into shape after a baby. Thousands of people from your favorite celebrities to your closest friends use postpartum shapewear to do just that after their son or daughter is born.
Some people say that shapewear actually causes you to lose weight in the area of question. For example, shapewear for your legs makes you lose weight in your legs. Shapewear for your stomach causes you to lose weight in your stomach etc.
Like I said above, that really isn’t how it works. What it actually does is it holds and gently guides your body and the muscles in a given area back into place while your body is in a constant state of healing and you are exercising so that it can come back together properly.
Let me lay out two scenarios for you to show you what the difference is.
Suppose you cut your hand badly enough that you need several stitches but you decide that you’ll just wrap the cut and let it heal on its own. Our bodies are made to heal themselves after all.
After a week or two, the cut has mostly healed but you find that it doesn’t look right and all the pieces may not have come together the way they were supposed to. You also find that you have a bigger scar than you expected that may be more prone to opening up in the future if it sustains further trauma.
On the other hand, you do get the cut stitched up and the doctor carefully pulls the skin back together the way it was meant to be. Once the stitches are in, your hand heals.
The stitching isn’t what causes your hand to heal but, it holds it in place so that it can heal properly with minimal scarring. The same is true for postpartum shapewear after a baby.
Unless you’re superwoman, you’ll have the postpartum pooch for a while after giving birth and other parts of your body won’t be…shall we say ideal.
It makes sense that your body would come back together faster and much better if you wore a girdle or some type of belly wrap to hold your stomach together than it would if the pooch was constantly sticking out putting additional strain on your back and abdominal muscles while it was trying to heal.
In the months after your son or daughter’s birth your body is engaged in a process of rapid healing. It’ll do it’s best in every area but without additional support it may be almost impossible to get it back to where it was before your pregnancy.
When it comes to shapewear, I feel like I’ve tried it all. I’ve tried the best and the worst! Even the worst products are often better than nothing at all but they can be very uncomfortable and will never provide the full support you really need.
To see a list of my favorite postpartum shapewear see my post here.
Do you use postpartum shapewear? Do you have any questions for me? Let me know know by leaving a comment below!
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- What is the Best Postpartum Shapewear that Works? - November 23, 2016