Does Postpartum Shapewear After a Baby Really Work?

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.

does postpartum shapewear work

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 The Best Pelvic Floor Exercisesit 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.

postpartum shapewear that worksMy 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 hips wider after pregnancymuch 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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  1. Alice says:

    I’ve never seriously considered postpartum shapewear, but my body has changed SO much since I had baby number 3. My hips/pelvis is honestly a different shape and silhouette with lumps in places that were never there. And I have a constant pooch on my belly – I think it may be diastasis recti…anyway, for an event or something special I may consider shapewear but I’m very curious about whether it can help re-shape your body. I’m currently doing hiit workouts and eating less carbs…maybe shapewear will give me the final push to go back to kinda how I looked like before…?

    • Jessica Camden says:

      Shapewear can help to reshape your body but, if you aren’t on a regular exercise schedule to help burn fat, none of the results you get from shapewear will be permanent. It won’t get rid of the fat, it’ll just push it somewhere else in your body. 

      It sounds like you’ve got the exercise and diet plan covered 🙂 With those and the shapewear or even just a girdle, I think you’ll start to see a lot more noticeable differences!


  2. Siobhan says:

    Hi Jessica, wonderful article. Thank you for sharing your experiences. It is really helpful.

    I came across this article after reading your ‘exercise after a c section’ as I suspect I have Diastatis Recti. My daughter is 4 now and my pooch is still there, despite the fact that I am a size 8 and 8.5 stone.

    I have a waist trainer and started the exercises you recommend in the article I mentioned above, I just wanted to ask you advice on whether you think I can get rid of this pooch 4 years later? As I assume the healing process will have long passed by now.

    Would really value your feedback.

    • Even if it’s been a couple years, I don’t think it’s too late. Because your body has already healed after your daughter was born, it’ll take a lot more effort and dedication on your part, but if you focus on exercising your internal abdominals and your pelvic floor muscles your stomach should start coming back together.
      I would definitely recommend a good girdle to give your stomach extra support. These aren’t the same as waist trainers though.
      Waist trainers, in my opinion, are much too tight, and often cause more harm than good. You don’t need something to squeeze your stomach in to the point where you can’t breathe and your ribs ache. You just need a little extra support, especially while you exercise so you can focus on the appropriate muscles and bring your stomach back together.

  3. Sangeeta says:

    Hi Jessica, nice article on postpartum shapewear after baby birth for mommies. Even I have used it after my delivery but only for few days. But along with that I was involve in belly exercises. And these two things together gave a beautiful result and I got my shape back. 🙂

  4. Darren says:

    very cool and informative. I’m sure a lot of woman out there love your helpful website. You have excellent content and very unique articles. I think its an amazing website to visit if you are a woman. A lot of women out there are self conscious after having a baby too! Very good website.

  5. louloublogger1980 says:

    Great article. I must admit I haven’t been pregnant but I thought it might be useful to know these things for the future. As you said its all about a healthy diet and exercise to help things along, I know that most of my mum friends who have been successful at getting their body’s back in shape were already fit and active before they were pregnant and that its twice as hard to lose any excess weight if you weren’t fit in the first place. Would you agree?

    • Jessica Camden says:

      It helps enormously if you were already in shape before you became pregnant and you continue to exercise throughout your pregnancy. That by far, is the fastest way to bounce back. It’s still doable after but it takes a whole lot more effort on your part.

      As that old saying goes, if you take care of your body, it’ll take care of you!


  6. Arta says:

    Hey Jessica,

    After my first son birth 8 years ago I had no problems in regaining my previous weight. I didn’t do anything and my body became as it was. Now my second son is 4 months old and I still have excessive weight. So I guess it needs some help as you say. Your article does make sense so I think I will try the shapewear. Or should I maybe wait a little bit? As my weight is decreasing but very slowly – what would you suggest? I always tend to think it is the best to deal naturally with any issue and I don’t have much experience with this case.

    • Jessica Camden says:

      I would really recommend at least some kind of splint or girdle for your stomach. Especially if it’s your second baby. The older you get and the more kids you have, the harder it is for your body to bounce back. There’s nothing wrong with giving it a little help and support along the way 🙂


  7. Blame says:

    My wife just had a baby not long ago, and her belly is obviously bigger than before she was pregnant. Right now, she is always discouraged looking herself in the mirror. However, she still never settled for postpartum shape wear. She also realizes that there’s no “magical fabric” in the world that will help you reshape yourself. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that she used to be a dancer back in china. Dancing is hard work, and it helps you discipline yourself to keep yourself slim and stuff. To get back into shape, you will have to control your eating habits and work out. As simple as that.

    • Jessica Camden says:

      You’re right, other than a good diet and the right types of exercise, there is nothing that will help you get back into shape. These aren’t meant to work on their own, they’re an additional tool that can offer much needed support and also speed up your recovery time by quite a bit 🙂

      Anyone using one, should do so with that in mind.