New mums are embracing a different approach when it comes to getting their pre-baby bodies back — wearing an old-fashioned girdle.
Jessica Alba recently admitted she used a corset to get back her toned tummy and post baby figure, and it looks like she isn’t the only one.
“I wore a double corset day and night for three months,” she told Net-A-Porter last week. “It was brutal. It’s not for everyone. It was sweaty, but worth it.”
Girdles, mostly used by recovering liposuction patients to make sure the skin tightens properly, are being used by new mums to help shrink the belly, waist and hips, minimise stretch marks, accelerate the healing process, and decrease bloating and swelling.
But medical-grade compression shapewear can also be used to help the healing process following a C-section and encourage the stomach muscles to pull back in.
During pregnancy, hormones such as estrogen and progesterone cause the abdominal muscles to relax in preparation for birth, and remain in the body for up to six months after the baby is born.
Girdles and compression garments are said to work by drawing stretched muscles back in, and create a support structure for the torso.
Actress and model Brooke Burke is another girdle fan, revealing she wore Tauts Belly Wraps for 40 days after giving birth.
“It creates some compression, helps your uterus go back down to its original size and it helps the tummy go back much quicker,” she says.
Medical-grade compression shapewear can include anything from tight belly bands, to hook-and-eye corsets and pull-up girdles. Many are made from hypoallergenic fabric to prevent skin rashes and allow the skin to breathe.
While a girdle may help, Dr Edward R. Laskowski, who specialises in sports medicine, says diet and exercise are what really count when it comes to getting your figure back.
“Although you may appear thinner when you wear a girdle, the girdle doesn't strengthen or tone your abdominal muscles,” he says on the Mayo Clinic’s website.
“Girdles just temporarily compress and redistribute fat and skin around the abdomen. When it comes to a flat stomach, diet and exercise - not undergarments - are what count.”
Your say: Have you used a girdle after giving birth? How did you find it?