Congratulations on your beautiful new baby — you did it!
As miraculous and wonderful as the whole journey and experience of pregnancy and childbirth is, it also undeniably brings significant changes to a woman’s body, particularly in the midsection. This is where postpartum shapewear steps in as a valuable ally for new mummies like yourself. Beyond just aesthetic enhancement though, postpartum shapewear plays a crucial role in supporting and nurturing your body after delivery.
What are the benefits of shapewear, and who it is suitable for? And what do we need to consider when choosing postpartum shapewear for ourselves?
Why use shapewear?
Shapewear helps offer vital support to weakened abdominal muscles, including your waist, back and pelvis which went through tremendous stretching and stress to accommodate baby, aiding in muscle recovery and helping to alleviate any pain or discomfort you might still be experiencing.
It can also help you regain your pre-pregnancy shape faster by gently compressing and providing stability to the supported area, accelerating your body’s natural healing process and promoting a faster recovery. Bonus perk: The compressive characteristic of shapewear may also help you slim down faster by improving posture and core muscle awareness, helping to potentially increase physical activity and weight loss. So it’s not just about looking good, but feeling better physically too!
Who can use shapewear?
Postpartum shapewear is suitable for most women who have recently given birth, regardless of how you delivered — whether vaginal or caesarean. However, it’s advisable to consult with your gynae before starting to use shapewear to ensure that it’s appropriate for your specific phase of postpartum recovery.
When and how often should I wear it?
Depending on when your gynae gives the green light, most women start wearing postpartum shapewear as soon as they feel comfortable after delivery — typically within a few days to a week. In fact, women who have C-sections often start wearing a wrap or binder immediately following delivery, since studies have shown that these effectively help with pain and healing afterwards.
When initially easing into shapewear, you may wish to wear it for short periods to gauge your comfort level (e.g. a few hours a day). Gradually increase the duration as your body adjusts. Most women use shapewear for at least 6-8 weeks, after which they may decide that they don’t need it anymore. Others may wear it for longer — this is completely up to you depending on your personal preference and comfort level.
What should I consider when choosing my shapewear?
There are a variety of postpartum shapewear options available which cater to different needs and preferences. Before deciding what kind of postpartum shapewear you should purchase, consider factors such as your body shape, size, and the level of compression you desire. Since we live in such a warm and humid climate, it is also particularly important to ensure that the shapewear you choose is breathable, comfortable, and made from a stretchable, moisture-wicking fabric.
Here are our top recommendations.
1. Lazywaist – The Slim, $180, from Lazywaist.com
Introducing itself as “the ultimate sculpting shaper” that will effortlessly help refine your figure, this latest offering from local momfluencer favourite Lazywaist promises to support your journey of postpartum recovery by “holding you in all the right places”. Crafted with a smooth, lightweight, breathable, stretchable, luxuriously soft but strong medical grade 2 compression material (35mmHg) with anti-bacterial properties, this high-waisted sculpting shaper with its fully-bonded front panel will help to flatten your waist while trimming the tummy area.
It also boasts soft steel bone-reinforced side panels to help tighten the pelvic, thigh and hip area for a slimmer hourglass silhouette. It will help to improve blood circulation, reduce water retention and swelling, as well as prevent spider and varicose veins while tightening any loose or saggy skin. The best thing about this shaper is the fact it looks just like leggings and you can wear it out anytime while secretly shaping up—no visible panty lines!
2. Belly Bandit Mother Tucker Corset, $149.90, from Baby Central
“Don’t force it, just corset” might be a good Belly Bandit motto to adopt. Using its famous double-layered compression technology, Belly Bandit’s Mother Tucker Corset is “smarter shapewear” designed to slim your waist and tummy while concealing any back bulge. Its soft, flexible boning design will hug your curves without digging into your waist or rolling up as you move—an issue some corsets tend to have.
It comprises two layers of lightweight, breathable fabric and six rows of hook-and-eye clasps which allow for three inches of adjustability and maximised comfort, even when you sit. Another great feature is its slim design — it’s basically invisible under your clothes so you can wear it all day anywhere.
3. EnvyHer Postpartum Full Body Suit Recovery Binder, $219, from EnvyHer
MIS (Made In Singapore) brand EnvyHer offers a broad selection of postpartum recovery shapewear, among which features this full-body compression suit—an all-in-one piece targeting your tummy, hip and thigh areas at the same time. This one-piece bodysuit is made of medically graded compression fabric (latex and formaldehyde-free), and comes equipped with built-in suspenders which help lift up the belly for greater support while simultaneously offering the illusion of a flatter tummy.
Its breathable material will fit around your body like a glove, providing comforting compression for your wounds, tucking everything in tightly as you go about your day. It covers the entire back too, helping to smooth out any back fat rolls and improving posture. The bodysuit is adjustable with three hook-and-eye closure panels so you can tighten to personal comfort, and is a great option for wearing under dresses.
4. Post Baby Panty For Postpartum Recovery By UpSpring, $39, from Allemom
A more versatile and less intimidating piece of shapewear, UpSpring’s post-baby panty is an easy piece to try if you’re feeling hesitant about corsets and binders. Seamless and discreet, without bands or Velcro or hooks, this snug shaping undergarment offers moderate level three compression with its smooth latex-free medical grade material—definitely more comfortable if you’re looking for gentler compression.
Targeting the entire midsection from hips and belly to bra line, this panty aims to help reduce swelling, shrink the uterus and speed up postnatal recovery. It’s available in nude and black, conveniently machine washable and looks great under any clothing.
*Note: The manufacturer expressly states that this panty is designed for post-vaginal delivery.
5. KeaBabies 3 In 1 Postpartum Belly Support Recovery Wrap, $38.56, from Amazon
This 3-in-1 postpartum recovery belt is ergonomically designed with a wide coverage to target three areas at once—the stomach, waist and pelvic area. Made of soft, breathable, elastic mesh, this multi-band reduces abdominal swelling and sagging, helps stabilise loosened pelvic joints and restore hips to their prenatal position, while also preventing backaches by supporting your lower back for breastfeeding.
A supportive belt which will help tuck the midsection back into place while supporting your organs, this piece is easy to put on, stretchable and adjustable. It’s also available in two sizes for a more tailored fit. Unfortunately, it’s not one you would wear outside under your clothes due to its uneven silhouette. In fact, the manufacturer’s recommendation is to wear it over a layer of clothing for greater comfort.
6. Sugarbelt, $69, from Sugar Shapewear
Another homegrown brand, Sugar Shapewear curates a variety of shapewear including this one for postpartum recovery. Offering a modern twist to traditional Jamu postpartum wraps, this easy DIY wrap offers four metres of belt for contouring coverage around your lower belly and waist. While you can technically wrap it around your hips too, it is not advisable because the Sugarbelt layers will fold when you sit down or bend over.
Using a temperature-regulating fabric combination of 35% latex and 65% polyester, Sugarbelt claims that you will not overheat. Suitable for both vaginal and caesarean delivery, it is recommended to start wearing this 3-8 hours daily as soon as 1-2 weeks postpartum, to help support your pelvic floor, shrink your belly and uterus, heal diastasis recti, reduce your waistline and prevent back pain.