28 answers

Old Wives Tale About Wearing a Body Shapers After Child Birth

So I have a silly question for any mom out there that's hear this Old Wives Tale and did it. Does wearing a girdle or body shaper after the birth of a child really help get your body back in line? My Mother told me to do this after the birth of my daughter but I didn't because I had a c-section and was worried about hurting the scar more but I also noticed my body didn't really go back any were near normal either. I know it takes awhile to lose the baby weight but that wasn't really my problem. I have a small torso so when I was pregnant my internal organs moved up and out as the baby grow but after her birth it seemed like they didn't go back to were they should have been. I looked pregnant a year and 1/2 later. So now I'm expecting #2 and at 5 months pregnant I look 8 months along. I was just wondering if anyone out there did the body shaper thing after delivering they're babies, did it help to get your guts back in order and how long did you have to wear it? Don't get me wrong, I'm not overly concerned about body image but I don't really like it when my belly sticks out more then my breasts do when I'm not pregnant and have that to excuse to use!

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So What Happened?™

Thanks Everyone. So far it seems like there's no reason not to try it. I know losing the baby weight is hard and takes alot of work but that wasn't my main concern. I was worried about looking bloated(not just a poochy tummy but my whole abdomen(sp)stuck out)even a year after birth because it was like my internal organs didn't go back to their proper places. Makes finding nice clothes a chore!!

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Hi A.,

My mother grew up with all these wives tales and they work! I had 2 c-sections but after 2 to 3 weeks of birth my mother made me wear the body shaper undergarments. IT WORKS! Granted I still have extra skin and a small pouch due to the streching but my body is back to "normal" after having two children.

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I completely think it worked, I wish I had heard about it when I had my first baby. I read about Brooke Burke wrapping her belly with ace bandages for 3 months. I only wrapped for about 3 weeks, but in addition to applying lots of oils for stretch marks I think it made a big difference in helping me bounce back. I was also exercising and eating as healthy as possible so I think it's an effort with many fronts :) but I will definitely do it with future pregnancies!

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Hi A.,

My mother grew up with all these wives tales and they work! I had 2 c-sections but after 2 to 3 weeks of birth my mother made me wear the body shaper undergarments. IT WORKS! Granted I still have extra skin and a small pouch due to the streching but my body is back to "normal" after having two children.

2 moms found this helpful

Believe it or not it does work! Consider that a shaper does not only hold you in but it modifies your posture and causes you to "suck in" your belly, thus tightening your abs. Try it, with your doctors permission, you will see a noticeable difference.

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A. in respond to your question yes it really does help.I wore a girdle after i delivered my first three babies and it really help me.I just recently had my fourth baby and due to my surgery i didn't wear one this time cuz i was in to much pain but i regret it cuz i have to much belly now.So i would recomend you to wear one.

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yes girl it works my mother told me to wear a gurdle hafter i had my son so when i got home from the hosp[ital i put one on i seen a diffrence the very first day i wore one for about two weeks it works i told all my friends to do the same now i have a 21 month old and did the same thing it works to slim your tummy and helps push things out IT WORKS!!!!!!!!!! you will notice the diffrence the first day L. M.

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my mom told me about this but I never did it. I wish now I would have. I definately have the mommy pooch after having kids 13 months apart. I know that the actress Brooke Burke is really big into these things and even sells her own line now. I found her site online. It's www.babooshbaby.com

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Yes, it generally works. We used sheets in our family.

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My friends and I all do this. We wear the really uncomfortable kind at home and SPANX (these are an investment) when we go out anywhere. I don't know if they help the return of a prepregant tummy. As far as feeling more confident and looking better in regular clothes, yes, they help. :)

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A.- I have had two kids (5 yr old/2 yr old). When my daughter turned I started watching what I ate and working out 3 to 4 days a week. In turn I have lost all my baby weight in less than a year (50lbs). I weigh what I weigh when I got married however its not all in the same places. I still don't like my stomach. My personal trainer told me I should have worn a girdle after having giving birth to help the muscles remember where they had been and need to go. She has encouraged me to still get one and wear it especially around the house, doing housework etc. Hope this help!

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I had this same problem. It htrew my back all out of wack and I was often short of breath. I felt like I just could get a good breath. My dr said that my O2 leavls were fine, so never went any further with it. I went to my massage theropist and she fixed me. It was the craziest thing I've ever seen and I wouldn't have believed it if I wasn't there. I don't have the body I had before my baby- not by a long shot. But as far as the internal organ shift, that is all better. My massage theropist practices Reiki massage. Unfortunatly, she was another loved one I left back in Indiana. It was wonderful and I will never forget that feeling. I would suggest it to any new mom.

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Just be careful and maybe speak with your doctor. My doctor told me that wearing a girdle after the baby might keep the muscles from strenghening back up because the girlde does the work for your muscles- which made some sense. However your situation, maybe different, I'm just not sure.

I don't know about this old wives tale, but what I do know being in the fitness industry is that a girdle or shaper does the work of holding your stomach in for you, and that makes for lazy abdominals. It will probably make you look better while your wearing it, but your abdominals will not be strong and when you take it off, they will let lose! The best way to get in shape is to work out! do some cardio to burn those extra pounds and weights to shape and tone, don't forget plenty of abs, your abs will not like it as they have been through a c-section, but there just is no easy fix! you have to work to get your body back! I also recomend yoga, as it works the whole body and will relieve stress

My doctor told me it was a wives tale, then I mentioned that all of my sister in laws did and looked great. She laughed and said they looke great because the girdle was so tight they couldn't eat! If you have a c section you need to wear cotton undies to keep your stitches dry anyway. Ask your doctor to be sure.

I have never heard of the body shaper..I was trying to see what people responded and I don't think I can unless I leave some "advice". I am preg. w/ #2 also and had a c-sec with my first. If it works I'll def. try it!! (my little girl is 2yrs and 4 months and I'm due in sept. Pretty sure its a boy)

When I had my first son 4 years ago, I wore the body shaper and everyone was so shocked at how quickly I got my figure back. I just had a daughter 4 weeks ago and plan to do the same thing with her. But wait at least 6 weeks before trying - you don't want to risk hurting anything. You're not going to lose any weight then, anyway. Good luck!

A.,

After my 5th child, my body didn't look the same and I bought some Spanx. (I also bought the Target brand.) They helped me look better while I wore them. But I think it is also important to hold your stomach in even while you are pregnant. You still have muscles there! This also helps to get them back in shape quicker after the baby is born. Also, it is normal to show quicker after you have been pregnant before. The muscles have already been stretched and you show quicker!

Remember: It takes 9 mos to gain the weight and it takes 9 mos to 1 year to lose it. Breastfeeding helps your body go back to pre-pregnancy shape quicker too, not to mention that it fights all kinds of cancers for you and the baby.

~M. Self
www.4MyChildrenSake.com

PS If you want to try the Spanx, I am no longer using them and can sell to you real inexpensively.

I never tried the girdle but I can say that my "normal" old-fashioned high-waisted jeans helped alot! Now the low-rise jeans that we wear have no support for our tummies and that's why there are so many young mothers that are not loosing that belly. So my answer would be, yes! You do need some type of support. So go find some high-waisted jeans or wear that uncomfortable girdle!

Every modern pregnancy/childbirth book I have read says not to wear a girdle. But... I have 2 kids, ages 3 and 5, and wore one after both deliveries for about a week. Aftre the 1st 1 was born (in a good Dallas hospital), the nurse suggested I get one. She said that there isn't a Dr's wife of female Dr. that leaves the hospital without one on. If you had a thin figure beofre getting pregnant, I'd get one. The big belly will leave when the baby is born but you'll be kinda grossed out by the sagging skin that is left behind. I think the girdle just helps defy gravity and snap it back into shape. Of course, your stomache skin will never be as tight again and that is why you look so much bigger the 2nd time. My stomache always looks flat in the am but by 7 pm after dinner, I look 3 months pregnant!

The older I get, the more I find these 'old wive's tales' to be true. YES! I did wear a spandex body shaper after the birth of each of my 3 kids. It made a big difference. I gained 67 lbs on my first pregnancy and a 5' that is a lot! Howver, before she was 8 months old, I was back in my regular clothes. I didn't gain as much the second time but when she was 3 months old - I was wearing a bikini and not ashamed. I was almost 30. With my 3rd - which was a boy - I gained a lot and my bones moved out - the body shaper helped with the after birth blubber. SO - in my opinion - it does work. Good luck.

Hi A.,

Do Not wear a girdle or any of those body shaping thingies. After giving birth your uterus stays all stretched out and huge which is why women still look preg after giving birth. It takes a couple months for it to shrink back to its original size and wearing anything tight like that doesnt give it the room to do so and could leave your body off even worse. What also happens that many women don't know that affects your tummy dramatically is that your abdomenal muscles stretch like crazy and they even semi-seperate. That is why, even after your uterus is back to its normal size, everything may still look like its hanging out!! Muscles are fixable so tummy crunches (focus on the lower abdomen muscles) will firm them up again and get everything back in where it should be!!

I had a binder after both C-sections and it really helped with the support I needed. However, I was one of the lucky ones where my abdominal muscles have torn in two. It started with our first son and got much worse with our second son. It technically is considered a hernia. So all the crunches in the world won't help me! LOL Anyway, I do as much as I can to keep my tummy in. Long story short, I don't know if the girdles or binders they give you in the hospital will work, but they will give you the extra support you need.

HTH-
J.

my mother told me that when she was having children, the dr. would have the nurses put a binder on after giving birth. i asked for one after my 3rd child (my first c-section), but the dr. has to write an order for one. I did get one the next day and it made a lot of difference. before i used it, i felt like my insides were going to fall out. i had trouble losing the baby weight, but my stomach was (and still is) flatter than it would have been. i think some kind of support is very important. it helps everything go back where it belongs, and helps hold it all in.

I used one after both of my c-sections and it really helped get rid of that feeling like your belly is about to fall out. I think you have to wait a few weeks though so that you don't pull the stiches. Anyway, it also gave me more confidence to lift my kids and provided a barier between babies and the scar line. I have heard that if you can wear one for 3-4 months it makes a big difference. I wore mine for about 6 months and felt like my tummy was finally almost back at about 9 months. I don't think I'll ever get that completely flat tummy back (I guess it would help if I did sit-ups or the like...)but I do feel like the belly band is also a reminder to contract those muscles which helps even in a seated position...I also think nursing is a great way to get your body to reshape itself on its own because your body will automatically constrict your tummy muscles when you are feeding.....it is really amazing! Hang in there and enjoy the rest of your pregnancy!

I sometimes wonder myself if wives tales are really true. One thing I can tell you for sure is to massage your stomach in a clockwise motion the way they show you in the hospital and that does help with getting female parts back to normal and it might even assist in getting other organs back to their normal places. Even if the massaging hurts some you need to do it at least 4-6 times a day. I had #3 in December and Girl let me tell you once that belly is stretched it doesnt quite seem to all go back to where it belongs!!!!!!!!! :0) With #1 and #2 I wore the girdle and looked pretty okay afterwards with #3 I didn't and it doesn't look good, but Hey I figure along with breastfeeding and a little exercise, don't forget motivation you can get back to where you were if not even better!!!!!!! Good luck and Best of wishes to you and your family!!!! CONGRATS!!

This one I can tell you is true. I am the 6th girl my mother had. My oldest sister is 10 years older. My mother was a new grandmother with her children and always advised her to do the girdle thing, among other tales. Well now I'm 55 and I never did the GT and my sisters above me all look better than me. Slimmer middle section, better hair,(if that has anything to do with it)better nails(also, who knows)They just are more youthful looking if you know what you're looking at. To know that they did that and I never did, makes me wonder. You might look at your mom and see if somehow she looks tighter and firmer for her age. I believe in this wife's tale. I too should have listened, it wouldn't have hurt. Take care.

A.,

I promise you, if it is a olds wife tales, my body did pretty well responding to it. I'm also Brazilian and in my country people are Really worried about their figure (I'm no so much, I've been here for too long...). Anyway plastic surgery is the thing to do if you past 30 or have 2 kids. My mom and most of my friends how had a tummy tuck or any abdominal surgery, lived in one of the really strong body shapers to keep their figure. They swear by it. I did the same as you. I had two surgeries and didn't use the right away because I was afraid My belly got bigger and gravity made it worse. When I started using later. I notice that my body did start looking better and not only when I had it on. It seams to me that my body was trained again to get a flatter abs and more waist. I'm still working on my ideal shape and weight but I now use it all the time!!! Sears have a really good brand (it comes in a box) and their bodybrief ( I think that's what they call) works great. I buy a size smaller than my bra size, and it is tough the first couple of times to fit in but I'm use to it. Since you are getting it right after, use your size. If nothing else, it will make you look thinner right way and the self-esteem boost will do wonder for your determination in loosing the weight!!!

My friends who uses it right after their surgery (in Brazil 80% opt for c-section, yes it is crazy), uses them.

Happy Delivering!!!

A.,

I have four children. I've never had a C-section so I can't relate on that point. However, over four pregnancies I have learned how important it is to take care of body during and after pregnancy. This includes eating right, drinking plenty of water and EXERCISE. If you're doctor says it's okay try doing some pregnancy exercise videos. I worked out three times a week with Leisa Hart's "FitMama" and Kathy Smith's "Pregnancy Workout". I also took 30 minute walks at least once a day. The workouts really helped my pregnancy be less uncomfortable. I only gained about 35 pounds and I looked a lot smaller than with my other pregnancies because my abdominal muscles were still strong. The workouts help strengthen your abdominal muscles safely. One week after having the baby I had lost 20 pounds and fit into a size 10. The last 15 took about a year. My baby will be 2 in May and I've continued to lose weight through a good diet and exercise. Now I'm a few pounds lighter than before I got pregnant (125 lbs and a size 6). I've made exercise an important and regular part of my life; how else do you keep up with 4 active kids :) Good luck to you and Congratulations!

Actually, it is quite the opposite. I was told by my doctor to get a panty-girdle after my hysterectomy, which is the identical incision to a c section, even in the same place. It helps the muscles go back into place. Here's the other thing. Your muscles can actually relax in the girdle, because the girdle is doing the work of holding your muscles in. That is what your mother is talking about.

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