If you've been on Instagram for more than three seconds, you've probably seen a celebrity or two share photos of themselves in a corset-like wrap, claiming that it helped them regain their miniscule waist just months after giving birth to a baby. Generally, when something sounds too good to be true, it is. But there are some surprising benefits of postpartum waist training. (No, really.)
Many moms are giving the postpartum waist trainer a try, but are they turning their body into perfect hourglass shapes that would make Jessica Rabbit jealous? Not exactly. According to Parents, the claims that your belly shrinks and you stop retaining water while sporting a waist trainer aren't exactly true. These things would've happened within the first couple of weeks of giving birth anyway — it's a natural postpartum thing that happens. But those waist trainers can do other things that aren't exactly natural, like displacing water, organs, and soft tissue as it squeezes your middle. Not exactly a benefit, right?
But if you still want to give it a try, there are seven surprising benefits of postpartum waist training. In fact, it may be some of the easiest training you do over the next few weeks of postpartum life. Enjoy sleep training in a few months.
1. It Makes You Appreciate The Old Days
Have you ever watched Gone With the Wind? The scene where Scarlett is being tied into a corset and she has to hold on to the bed post as Mammy literally squeezes her into that contraption is insane. A postpartum waist trainer will make you appreciate the sh*t Scarlett had to go through, just like many other women years and years ago. And it will make you want to time travel so you can say, "For the love of God, woman, in 200 years women are going to go out in their pajamas with no bra. Let it go."
2. It Improves Your Posture
According to What to Expect, corsets not only hold everything where it "used to be", but can also help improve your posture by forcing you to sit up straight. If you slouch, that corset's going to get mighty uncomfortable, so enjoy looking like you're posing for an oil portrait at any moment. Joking aside, good posture is a huge deal. Harvard Medical School noted that good posture is necessary for balance and keeping your core and muscles strong.
3. It's An Alternative To Spanx
I mean, Spanx are practically hell on Earth, but I'll give them one thing — they make me feel super confident in a tight dress. Nobody's saying you have to wear one (feminism, y'all), but if you want to smooth out some edges and give yourself a temporary slim-down for date night, Parents noted that a postpartum waist trainer can help you there. It's not a long-term solution for weight loss or toning, but for one night in your favorite dress that hasn't fit right since before you were pregnant, a postpartum waist trainer can help.
4. It Can Help With Back Aches
It may not make you drop 50 pounds, but it can help you with some aches and pains. According to The Today Show, these corsets can provide support to the lower areas of the body, like your back and abdomen, and can help you be more active and feel more comfortable throughout the day.
5. It Makes You Appreciate Your Yoga Pants Even More
Postpartum recovery is no joke and if you thought you had to give up your maternity pants, pajama bottoms, and ancient yoga pants just because you're a mom and need to look presentable, a postpartum waist trainer will nip that idea in the bud. A few hours of rocking one of these and you'll be marveling at your soft, cotton, elastic waist band wardrobe like an old friend.
6. It Reminds You That You Are Worth It
Whether you think the results are bogus or feel like it actually helped cinch your waist, there's one thing the postpartum waist trainer definitely does — it reminds you that you are worth it. You are so much more than a mom. Just because you're a few weeks out of giving birth doesn't mean you have to give up all the things that make you feel good and like yourself. If that means wearing a trainer or ditching it, do it. Take time to put on your make-up if that makes you feel like you. Go to the library if that brings back some semblance of who you are other than a mom. Take a 10 minute coffee break while your SO watches the baby or do a workout video while your little one naps. The waist trainer isn't just a waist trainer — it's something women use to make them feel like themselves again and to, hopefully, make them feel confident and good. It will remind you that there are a million other ways to feel happy and like yourself again and it will make you realize that you're worth your own time.
7. It Makes You Damn Proud To Be A Feminist
Because guess what? You can wear it if you want. You can take it off if you want. Thinking about the societal pressure to be perfect and how, years ago, that meant women wearing these things every single day (along with way too many other layers) just to be taken seriously will make you want to burn the damn thing. Burn your bra while you're at it. But on the other hand, it can also make you appreciate feminism on the other end — if you love the way it feels under your clothes, if you love the waist it gives you, and if you love how slim you feel in it, then rock it, sister. And tell the patriarchy to shove it — you're doing it for you.