Pregnancy alters your body in incredible ways. While it’s a beautiful process, a lot of moms are eager to get their body back after giving birth. Waist training is a popular way to supplement your overall slim-down journey -- but you may wonder, can you waist train after giving birth?
Absolutely – it is possible to waist train after pregnancy, but it’s important to understand that there are different approaches to take depending on how long it has been since the delivery. Here’s what you need to know about postpartum waist training at every stage.
The tips below are intended to provide a general guideline for postpartum waist training, but they should not be used as medical advice. Obtain your healthcare provider’s consent before proceeding.
What Is Waist Training?
Before discussing whether waist training after birth is advisable, it’s important to define what we mean by the term “waist training” to begin with. It can mean a lot of things depending what context you use it in, from wearing a workout band during exercise to donning a corset on a daily basis.
For simplicity in this article, we’ll define waist training as wearing a compression garment around the midsection on a daily basis with the intent to complement your other slim-down efforts. Many types of waist trainers are designed to increase your perspiration in your midsection, thus maximizing your physical activities. But there are a several factors at play when you are slimming down, including your diet, activity level and even your genetics. Wearing a waist training garment is just one part of that process.
Waist Training Immediately After Childbirth
The first few weeks following childbirth are a stage when your body is in full recovery. It flushes out the fluid you retained during your pregnancy, while your organs and muscles in your abdomen shift back to their normal positions. All the while, hormones that make your ligaments stretchy are circulating to help you through the transition.
Gentle compression around the midsection can aid your body in its natural healing process. This is a practice often referred to as “belly binding,” which cultures around the world have used for centuries to help new mothers during postpartum recovery. It can stimulate heat and perspiration in the core to help your body flush out excess fluid, while support your muscles and ligaments as they move back into place.
While we wouldn’t advise a corset or firm compression garment during this period, something like the First Stage Marena Suit can act as a gentle waist trainer during this delicate stage. This kind of compression garment is often worn after surgeries such as liposuction or abdominoplasty. It keeps swelling down while promoting tissue healing and may also reduce pain and build-up of scar tissue (especially if you’ve had a C-section).
Once you’ve passed about six week postpartum and have the go-ahead from your healthcare provider, you may be ready to transition into your normal routine of exercise. This may also be a time to transition to firmer compression with your waist training routine. While you might not be quite ready at first to wear a high compression waist trainer, a Second Stage Support Girdle can provide more support for your midsection as you continue to size down and adjust to life after pregnancy.
Once you feel comfortable with your regular exercise routine, you may even want to try using a workout band for added support. This can be helpful whether you’re taking a walk or trying something more strenuous. However, it’s important to listen to your body, as you’re still in recovery from childbirth. If a waist trainer feels uncomfortable, take it off until you are ready to try it again.
Waist Training Beyond Twelve Weeks
The healing stage of pregnancy is about twelve weeks, but after that you may find that you still have a ways to go in regaining your strength and pre-pregnancy figure. This is the time when you may want to transition to a waist training routine using a higher compression waist trainer.
The Best Waist Trainer by Hourglass Angel is an ideal waist training garment for this later stage postpartum. It features three rows of hooks, giving you room to size down. You can start out using it loosely and then tighten it as you feel more comfortable and as your waist sizes down.
The steel boning works together with the latex to create an hourglass shape, while still allowing you to bend and move easily. As a new mom you’ll find it comfortable enough to wear every day and an effective part of any waist training regimen.
You can wear this waist trainer when you work out as well as underneath your everyday clothing. For the best results, we recommend aiming to wear the waist trainer for at least eight hours a day. It can take time to grow accustomed to the way it feels, which is why you should start out gradually.
Wear the waist trainer for just an hour or two a day and then add an hour or so each day incrementally. You may want to divide your wear into two shorter sessions when you first start out. You can also take a break for a day when you need to; just be sure to fall back into your routine the next day.
After a few weeks of gradual adjustment, you should feel comfortable wearing your waist trainer all day, every day.
To get the most out of waist training after giving birth, there are a few more best practices we recommend:
- Stay hydrated: since a compression garment stimulates perspiration, be sure to drink extra water. This will also help your body’s natural healing process.
- Eat nutritiously: while it may be difficult to eat well when you’re recovering from childbirth, try to make it a priority. It will help you heal, give you more energy and help you maintain a healthy weight.
- Exercise well:once you get into a good rhythm, work on a combination of strength training and cardio.
- Track your progress: one of the factors that makes waist training effective is that it helps you stay motivated with your fitness goals. Keep track of your progress with photos and waist measurements.
Have any more questions about waist training? Our expert stylists are happy to help.