The postpartum period after childbirth is extremely crucial to the mother’s health. Your body – both externally and internally – is recovering from trauma and needs all the care and rest possible during this period.
At the same time, your body isn’t in the best of shape even if it was before pregnancy. So the postpartum period is when most mums begin their journey towards recovery and fitness, which is necessary for physical and mental well-being.
For women who’ve had natural childbirth, it gets fairly simpler to get back into the process and get that belly right back in shape and into your old clothes.
However, for women who’ve had a C section, this process may take a bit longer. While diet and workout are an essential part of the recovery process, a new fad that is catching on among mums is that of waist training. This process requires the new mum to wear a waist trainer, that wraps around your belly and helps you get back into shape.
Waist trainers have been around for a while but only recently have gotten popular again especially with American celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Brooke Burke, Jessica Alba and more endorsing its use.
So, if you recently underwent childbirth and are wondering when to start waist training after the C section, this guide will help clear your doubts.
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What Happens To The Postpartum Belly?
During the course of the pregnancy, the uterus expands to the size of a watermelon from the size of a small pear over the period of nine months.
Post delivery, the uterus starts contracting again, but this is a slow process and can take up to six weeks.
Read: Diastasis Recti: All You Need to Know About This Postpartum Condition
What Is A Waist Trainer?
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Here’s where a waist trainer comes in and expedites the process of contraction so your body gets back in shape. Waist trainers claim to help with water retention that helps shrink the uterus faster, and some are also designed to help burn fat by creating warmth around the abdominal area.
A waist trainer is a tightly wrapped corset that can cause perspiration in your abdominal area by producing a lot of warmth. The is can lead to weight loss by trimming the fats that are stored around the midsection. Waist trainers can be further divided into three postpartum wraps. These include:
1. Abdominal Compression Binder
An abdominal binder is a waist trainer that is recommended for people who’ve had an abdominal surgery like a C-section. The binder is made of elastic and comes with loop closure and velcro to hold it in place. It helps reduce post-operative pain and also improves your posture.
2. Belly Wraps
These work similar to an abdominal compression binder and are also made of elastic. Postpartum belly wraps are adjustable and provide gentle pressure around the midsection. They also come in different shapes covering your belly from the rib section to the hips.
3. Postpartum Corsets
Traditional waist trainers look quite similar to regular corsets. Designed for medical purposes, they are more comfortable and use hypoallergenic fabric that doesn’t infect the incision in the case of a caesarean section.
ALSO READ: Best Postpartum Belly Wraps in Singapore for Natural & C-Section Births
Are Waist Trainers Medically Advisable?
If you’re wondering when to start waist training after the C section, make sure to speak to your doctor first about the same. Many doctors ask you to avoid waist trainers because they sit on your incision site.
They also tend to put pressure on the pelvic walls, something that your body is not able to handle in the early weeks after childbirth.
Some doctors also say that waist trainers and corsets cramp your organs and can cause damage when worn frequently. They also limit your ability to inhale oxygen, especially during activity.
Physical therapist Julie Weibe, says that waist trainers apply constant and direct pressure on the diaphragm and pelvic floor muscle, which can be the reason for incontinence, as well as hip and back pain.
What’s The Alternative To A Waist Trainer?
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Instead of wearing a waist trainer, several doctors recommend a postpartum brace instead that helps your uterus contract to its normal size without the risks of the former. The design of the new postpartum brace available aids in back support and pain reduction after childbirth, especially when bending or lifting things.
It will also help your balance better while reducing that jiggle feeling that lingers in your belly after birth. If you do opt for a postpartum brace, make sure to go for a high-quality one to help your body recover quickly.
When To Start Waist Training After The C Section? 3 Things To Remember
Waist trainers do help you achieve that hourglass figure after childbirth. If you choose to wear a waist trainer to aid your recovery, here are three things to remember.
1. Waist trainers shouldn’t be too tight
The postpartum body, especially the belly, has been through trauma and it needs to be handled carefully. So, mums do not go overboard and tighten the same in hopes of recovering faster. While the trainer quickens the process, making it extra-tight won’t help. Over tightening the waist trainer can lead to breathing difficulties. t can also cause pain in the ribs and damage the organs. Some doctors recommend wearing a pregnancy band, which is more flexible.
2. Women have different recovery periods
Wearing a waist trainer is based on comfort and that should be your priority. A waist trainer may be comfortable for you for two hours a day, while others may wear it for six hours a day. Some women may only wear it during outdoor activity or workouts. Different women have different needs so don’t compare your process and comfort to others. This also extends to the recovery time for each person that may be different depending on your body’s internal process.
3. Waist trainers alone won’t help you get in shape
Waist trainers aren’t the gospel answer to losing weight during the postpartum period. Women need to follow a dedicated diet and workout regime to get back in shape quickly. While a waist trainer will help you achieve an hourglass body, exercise and the correct diet will accelerate that process.
If you are unsure about the postpartum recovery process, speak to your doctor. Seek help from a professional for setting a diet and exercise regime. For women who’ve had a C-section, please consult your doctor to avoid any unnecessary stress on the belly.
Pregnancy is a stress-inducing but rewarding experience. The birth of your little one does put some of that pain away. But pregnancy leads to parenting and that’s a long journey. And it will need you to stay fit and active.
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