The Ultimate Guide to Understanding Use of Postpartum Compression vs. Shapewear

Postpartum Compression vs. Shapewear

It is a natural phenomenon to have a pregnancy pooch after giving birth. It takes time for one’s entire body, especially the stomach area, to fully recover after pregnancy. One may still feel and look as bloated as when pregnant for a good five or six months after delivery.

In fact, it takes about two to three weeks for the uterus to begin shrinking back to its original pre-pregnancy glory. However, it takes a longer time for abdominal muscles to heal and begin to feel normal again. Usually, the uterus and abdomen feel almost like a balloon that grows with the amount of space the baby takes, and after the baby’s birth, it begins a slow leak of bloating that takes a long but steady time to come back to its original shape. This journey of traveling back to your past body is where postpartum recovery garments come in handy.


Postpartum Recovery Garments

After the process of understanding how one’s body starts to heal post-pregnancy, new mums are always going to try and find a way to expedite the healing process. In fact, they inadvertently start hearing conflicting news and opinions from colleagues, family, and friends about the usage of waist trainers. However, they aren’t the most reliable of sources to gauge the fruitfulness of the usage of these trainers and shapers. 

New moms are always looking for answers to questions about strapless body shapers, postpartum belly wrap, and other postpartum recovery garments. A few of the questions that mums have are; 

  1. What’s the major difference between a waist trainer and a postpartum compression garment? 
  2. Aren’t they all similar to using Spanx? 

Right off the bat, let’s put to rest a major question through this answer: 

No – Waist trainers, corsets, Spanx, and medical-grade postpartum compression garments are not the same piece of garment! They are all starkly distinct in their features, usage, and benefits. Oftentimes, without much knowledge, women try to interchangeably use these items, making it especially harder to make an educated decision concerning their purchase. Going over these terms may help to clarify their usage and help one make an informed decision.

  • Spanx: Spanx or Spandex is just non-medical grade, lightweight garments that women can use for everyday wear that help them to control trouble areas in their bodies while giving them a slim silhouette shape. In fact, they can be worn throughout the day, at any given point in your life, but know that they don’t provide any medical benefits. Just purely cosmetic.


  • Waist Trainers: On the other hand, a waist trainer is a high-compression garment, also non-medical grade shapewear that can be used around one’s abdomen to help contour the waistline almost instantly. At the beginning stage of their usage, many women choose to wear them for a few hours every day in order to train their waists to look more petite. They can be worn while exercising as they are known to stimulate thermal activity. It not only makes one work harder but also sweats far more than usual. 


Note, however, that using waist trainers immediately postpartum can be especially dangerous. They can become so tight that its usage can result in nausea, panging headaches, breathlessness, and even dizziness. There are no studies signifying a backing for this product, stating if they work. 


  • Corset: Waist trainers and corsets are similar; however, corsets have lacing at the back. This lacing is used to adjust the tightening and loosening of the entire apparatus. People tend to use non-medical grade corsets to make a style statement. Corsets are not to be used during any physically strenuous activity, such as exercising or attempting to slim one’s waistline on a long – term basis.


  • Belly Bands or Maternity Belts: These bands and belts can be worn during pregnancy to aid with assistance while the baby is shifting inside the abdomen. It takes the weight off the abdomen. These bands are also useful in helping with the sciatica pain or relieve the pressure that’s caused during pregnancy pains. Maternity belts and bands are typically made using materials that allow breathability while fitting perfectly.


  • Medical-Grade Postpartum Compression Garments: On the other hand, medical-grade postpartum compression garments can aid with a speedy recovery postpartum. They are made using breathable materials that are light in weight and provide discreet fit. The extra support helps tighten the areas deeply affected by a pregnancy, and can only be obtained with a doctor’s prescription. 


The Many benefits of Using these Garments are: 

  1. Speeds up the recovery time postpartum
  2. The compression helps reduce swelling 
  3. Support panels help to stabilize the abdomen
  4. Brings instant relief to conditions like pelvic girdle pain
  5. Aids in supporting the lower back and hip region to assist with improved posture. 
  6. It helps in tightening and toning the belly, hips, waist, pelvis, and lower back regions of the body. 
  7. Specifically, using C-Section compression garment aids healing wounds after giving birth. 


These are the major terms in usage when it comes to postpartum clothing, and hopefully, understanding each term individually can aid in providing the knowledge to make an informed purchase according to your needs. 


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