Maternity shapewear has been around for almost as long as traditional shapewear, in one form or another. You might not know it as ‘shapewear’ in the traditional sense, but believe us, it’s there. And why not? Why shouldn’t a pregnant woman want to look her best? And let’s be honest, sometimes, when a woman is pregnant it’s nice to have the little extra assistance to help cut down on the amount of jiggle going on. But it’s often a controversial topic, with a lot of people worrying about the safety of a pregnant women wearing shapewear. So today we’re here to tell you what’s what, and give you some do’s and don’ts for maternity shapewear to follow that will keep you and baby safe, snug and looking great.
Is it Safe to Wear Shapewear While Pregnant?
This is probably the first question on your mind, and it’s a big one, so let’s start here. You might be thinking that shapewear and pregnancy don’t go together – after all, the point of shapewear is to define your shape by sucking in parts of your body with excess skin or fat. But when you’re pregnant, a lot of those areas are baby, not fat, and the last thing you want to do is cause harm to your baby by restricting your waist.
The good news is, there is no medical reason that you shouldn’t wear shapewear during your pregnancy at all. It’s perfectly safe, since your baby is well cushioned by a lot of amniotic fluid and other protections, so the mild compression of shapewear won’t cause any harm at all. However, there are some do’s and don’t you should know about, for your own comfort and to make sure you get the look you want.
Opt for High Compression: For comforts sake it is recommended that you avoid the super-mega high levels of compression some garments can give you. Your body is going through a lot of changes and getting bigger, and the high compression shapewear can be incredibly uncomfortable. We understand the urge to want to keep the pre-pregnancy body for as long as you can, but it should never be at the expense of your own comfort. Opt for light to medium control, and you will be able to round out any bumps and keep a sleeker silhouette going without making yourself even more uncomfortable!
Wear a Waist Trainer: Most shapewear is fine during pregnancy, but waist trainers are absolutely not. No maternity shapewear should overly compress and squeeze internal organs, including your ribs, abdominal muscles, liver, spleen or intestines – all of which waist trainers do. If the waist trainer were tied up too tightly, it could cause rib fractures, limit your mobility, restrict your breathing capacity, restrict your abdominal muscles and affect your posture. So while it might not harm the baby, there is a good chance it will harm you! So during the pregnancy, put the waist trainer away.
Get Something Specialised: If you weren’t sure before that shapewear while pregnant was a good idea, then consider this – there is specialise shapewear for pregnant women (and has been for years) it’s just got a different name. The main one is belly bands. These are tube-like control garments that you wear around your growing belly, and they serve 2 purposes. One is to prolong the life of your pre-pregnancy clothes by covering unzipped or unbuttoned trousers (we’ve all been there). The second is to provide support for your back and belly as it adjusts to the change in size. To do this they offer mild-moderate compression, a nice side-effect of which is that you get that perfect round baby belly, with no lumps or bumps. There are also specific maternity over-the-bump shapewear leggings that do the same thing.
Avoid Crotch Tightness: It’s not the most pleasant of topics, but it’s something all pregnant women should know when choosing shapewear. Whatever style you choose, you need to make sure the crotch is comfortable, not too tight and made of a breathable material. Pregnant women are prone to a lot of things, including increased yeast infections, extra discharge and lightning crotch – all of which is made worse by tight, unbreathable underwear. Make sure your garment isn’t too tight in the nether regions, with a crotch panel made of cotton to keep all the nastiness at bay.
At Elle Courbee, we stock a wide range of shapewear options, with control levels from low to high, and all sorts of cuts, colours, materials and styles to help you pick the perfect shapewear for you – no matter what stage of life you’re in. To find your perfect match, just visit our shapewear section.