As with so many other topics, the general population has strong opinions about childbearing and all that goes with it. Natural or with drugs? At home or at the hospital? Formula or breastmilk? Let your body do its thing or whip it back into shape? There’s usually a choice, and …. sigh … there are always people who aren’t going to be completely on board with yours.
Just recently, Amy Willerton, star of UK reality show I’m a Celeb, posted a pic of herself wearing a waist trainer and wearable breast pumps three weeks postpartum, and it’s got her fans talking. Many applaud her for wearing the pumps in the picture, putting breastfeeding out there as something that need not be hidden; another camp focuses on something else.
Scores are making pleas for her to ditch the waist trainer, either for the body shaming effects it could have on new mothers of a different shape, but more often advising that it’s too early for a waist trainer. Her internal organs still need time to settle back into place and her pelvic floor needs time to strengthen before applying that kind of pressure on it.
Amy is certainly not the first celebrity to reach for a waist trainer to begin reclaiming her body after pregnancy. The Kardashians, Jessica Simpson, Jessica Alba … they have all openly admitted to it. And we can’t argue with the effect it had on their looks.
But is it medically advisable?
Here are some truths about waist trainers and girdles post-pregnancy:
- Worn alone, waist trainers do put pressure on the pelvic walls, something your body is not ready for in the early weeks after giving birth.
- Doctors like Taz Bhatia legitimize the claims that waist trainers and corsets cramp your organs, causing damage with frequency and over time.
- Waist trainers limit your ability to intake oxygen and can lead to passing out, especially during exercise.
- According to physical therapist Julie Weibe, waist trainers apply constant and direct pressure, putting significant stress on the the diaphragm and pelvic floor muscle. The possible effects: increased incontinence, and back and hip pain, most notably.
- Many waist trainers aren’t safely wearable for c-section mamas, because they sit on your incision site.
- There is an alternative.
A postpartum brace can and frequently does help your uterus go back to its normal size more quickly than it would without wearing one, getting you feeling like yourself and wearing your regular clothes more quickly.
Other brace benefits: it offers much-needed back support and pain reduction after childbirth and in a time when you’re bending and lifting way more than usual, and your abdomen—all the sides—those ones that feel so jiggly after giving birth? A brace will reduce the jiggle so you feel supported. Bonus: you balance will even be better with a brace. Lab tests say 28% better.
So, good news, right? You CAN get your body’s shape and your pain-free life back safely, using a brace specifically designed for postpartum use.
A high quality, checks-all-the-right-boxes postpartum brace will support your abdomen, ease back aches, and help get your midsection back together again, while providing support for your pelvic floor and all the other lower abdominal walls. Your lower abdominal organs, like your uterus, bladder, and bowel, and your potentially traumatized lady parts, will be supported from underneath–in fact, lab tests show your pelvic pressure gets reduced 70%–with the MamaStrut. These are not designed just for making you look good, although they certainly do assist with the silhouette; medically approved postpartum supports will actually help your body recovery more easily and quickly.
To reduce swelling and pain in the aforementioned lady parts, physicians usually advise using…wait for it…ice. Revolutionary, right? Okay, no, but it can be tricky underneath clothing and with gravity working against you. Now, thankfully, you can find garments and pelvic support systems that include a compartment for an ice pack. Now you’ve heard everything. 🙂 But seriously, your body goes through TRAUMA during pregnancy and childbirth. Isn’t it time someone tried to make recovery easier?
And let’s be honest: when our bodies start to feel more like our own again, our minds tend to follow suit–although you can still ride that Mommy Brain wave just as long as you need to.