Waist training can be part of an effective plan after having a baby to slim down your midsection and get your pre-pregnancy body back. But since your body goes through a lot of changes during and immediately after pregnancy, you may be wondering, how soon after birth can I wear a waist trainer?
There are a few factors to consider when choosing your postpartum waist slimming options, such as the type of garment you should be wearing and how long to wear it. Here are some of our best tips for the postpartum period.
Disclaimer: Be sure talk to your healthcare provider before proceeding with any waist training plan after childbirth.
The First Six Weeks: Belly Binding
Your body undergoes some major changes during a pregnancy. You retain a lot of extra fluid to support the baby, and your lymph system circulates hormones that make your ligaments more flexible. Your organs move to accommodate for your growing uterus, and your muscles, ligaments and skin stretch.
So during the first few weeks following childbirth, suffice it to say that your body will be in full recovery mode! It will be flushing out the excess fluid. Your uterus will shrink back to its normal size and your other organs and muscles will shift back into place.
It is during this stage that the practice of belly binding can be helpful in several ways. By providing gentle compression around the abdomen, it helps the body’s natural healing processes and keeps your muscles and ligaments aligned, giving you extra support for back and hips. By stimulating heat around the core, it encourages perspiration and the flushing of fluid.
Belly binding is not new; it has been practiced for centuries in many cultures around the world as a soothing way for new mothers to recover following childbirth. Synthetic materials make it easy for modern women to practice while they are adjusting to life with a newborn.
Usually, you can start wearing a belly-binding garment within a day or so after giving birth (with the go-ahead from your healthcare provider). At this stage, it’s important to choose a style that is supportive but gentle. We recommend the First Stage Marena Suit with Suspenders and No Leg by Comfortwear FBA for the first six weeks. This garment is also commonly worn after surgeries such as liposuction or abdominoplasty. The compression helps keep swelling down while promoting tissue healing normally during your recovery process.
Weeks 6–12: Stronger Compression
Once you’ve passed the six-week mark, you’ll probably be given the go-ahead for exercise and normal activity, as long as your recovery has gone smoothly. Swelling should be gone, and your organs should be more or less back in place.
You will still have hormones in your system at this stage, so your ligaments will still be a bit stretchy; your muscles in your core will also be stretched out and significantly weaker than normal. At this stage you may want to step up the compression level of your midsection compression garment.
The Second Stage Marena Support Girdle with No Legs by Comfortwear LGA2 functions as a transition garment between postpartum belly binding and regular waist training. It has a little more compression and is sized slightly smaller than a stage one garment.
Now is the time to start strengthening your core muscle strength. Begin a gentle workout program—even going for walks will have its benefits. As you get stronger, you can increase the intensity of what you do. Talk to your healthcare provider or to a trainer who specializes in postpartum recovery about what exercises are best for you. At some point during this stage, you may also want to try wearing a higher compression waist trainer when you exercise (more on this below).
Week 12 and Beyond
While you may be sleep-deprived and/or breastfeeding at this stage due to caring for a newborn, you should otherwise be feeling more like yourself once you’re past the twelve week mark. There will be some residual hormones in your system up to about six months postpartum, but other than that, your body will be functioning normally. You will want to continue strengthening your muscles and working on your endurance, while staying hydrated and eating nutritious foods. Taking care of yourself the best you can will help you be a happier, healthier mother who can best meet her child’s needs.
Now is also the time you can start getting more serious about waist training. If you’ve been wearing gentle compression garments up to this point, switching to a maximum compression garment shouldn’t be a difficult transition.
Choose a waist trainer that has significant room for you to size down, like the Best Waist Trainer by Hourglass Angel HA102. You can wear this waist trainer comfortably underneath clothes or during workouts. The latex core stimulates heat around your midsection and increases your perspiration. So you sweat harder during any exercise, whether it's a gentle walk or high-intensity physical activity.
Introduce this garment to your everyday routine gradually. You can start out with just an hour or two a day in the beginning, so that your body becomes accustomed to the way that maximum compression feels. Add one or two hours of wear each day. Some people like to wear a waist trainer in two shorter sessions during this introductory period. You can also take a break on some days, although you’ll want to get back on schedule after that.
With consistency, you should feel comfortable wearing your waist trainer for at least eight hours a day after a few weeks. Aim for at least eight hours but no more than twelve daily.
If you are working out daily and want to wear a waist trainer under your clothes all day as well, you’ll be most comfortable if you rotate two waist training garments through your wardrobe: one for under your clothes and one for workouts. This keeps them fresh and ensures you’ll always have one to wear.
Contact us and let our expert stylists know if you have any questions about when to wear a waist trainer postpartum or how to get started.