The Risks Of Postpartum Waist Training

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One of the latest trends in post-maternity wear feels positively old-school. In the era of Scarlett O'Hara, tight corsets were the norm. But it looks like plenty of modern moms have taken a cue from these trends of yore and embraced the practice of waist training. But are there any risks of postpartum waist training in this age of super stretchy shapewear?

Although you might not get any fainting spells from modern waist training gear, there are a few potential health issues you may want to keep in mind. According to Health, wearing a tight waist-training device may lead to breathing difficulties or heartburn. And, as noted by the Irish Examiner, prolonged wear of a waist training garment may cause your abdominal muscles to weaken, because the waist trainer provides the support usually offered by your muscles. Oh, and crushed organs or fractured ribs are also a possibility from waist training, as noted by Marie Claire.

What's more, there is something to be said about the psychological effects of living in a culture that places so much importance on the idea of getting your pre-baby body back. From this standpoint, many women appreciate the way a waist trainer helps them feel in the tumultuous postpartum time. In this light, it can help women feel more comfortable and even confident. But the pressure to look a certain way immediately after delivering a baby is troubling, whether or not you opt for a waist trainer. In a perfect world, you could dress any way for your postpartum period with no expectations about "bouncing back" to your old body as soon as possible. For such a simple garment, the postpartum waist trainer produces a lot of complicated questions. Is it really beneficial for your physical and mental health?

There's a long cultural history to this idea of reshaping the body that can't be overlooked, as well. Clothing that can actually alter your body's form has long had a shaky relationship with the medical and feminist communities. For instance, according to an 1890 article in The Lancet, wearing tight-laced corsets resulted in cramped organs, reduced blood flow, and (potentially) even death. As you can see in these amazing 1908 X-rays on CNET, corsets dramatically altered wearer's waists, and even their bones. What's more, feminists of the late 1800s questioned the need for a garment that imprisons the body, as noted by the University of Virginia's Historical Collections at the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library. Really, the early 1900s articles about corsetry and modern blog posts about waist training can have an eerily similar vibe. That said, whether your new mom wardrobe consists of waist trainers or yoga pants is entirely up to you.