For generations, women have wrapped their bellies after giving birth in order to encourage recovery. The good news is, you no longer have to go through the daily wrapping process to experience the benefits of this practice; there are now plenty of options available to new Mums that offer support, stabilisation and gentle compression.
From belly bands to recovery shorts and leggings, nursing camis with gentle built-in compression and pelvic recovery shorts; post pregnancy shapewear has come a long way in terms of practicality, design and comfort.
It can be confusing to know which style of postpartum shapewear is right for your situation and lifestyle; we’re here to take you through all the options available to you, so you can make the best decision for you.
How to Dress for a Post Pregnancy Body
Just as there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to pregnancy, no two post pregnancy bodies are the same! Some women love and embrace their changed body, while others may feel uncomfortable in their skin for a period of time afterwards. It’s important to remember that your body has just undergone one of the most incredible experiences, and growing a human is no mean feat! There’s no rush to get back to your pre-baby weight quickly – or even at all, if that’s not your journey.
At Queen Bee, we’re seeing more and more women embrace their gorgeous post-pregnancy bodies, continuing to wear the same style of stretchy, soft pieces they wore before and during pregnancy. And while many women still prefer to wear looser, less clingy fabrics, we’re finding that across the board, new mums are turning to post pregnancy shapewear to provide additional support, comfort and a smoother silhouette.
How does Shapewear Work After Pregnancy?
There’s not a lot of discussion in the mainstream about just how much your body goes through in order to recover from giving birth, and some women feel like they should be able to ‘bounce back’ and resume normal daily living within weeks of delivery – and while life does need to go on, particularly if you have older children, you also need to be mindful of your body’s need for rest and recovery.
This is where postpartum shapewear can be an absolute blessing. A significant number of our customers experience diastasis recti issues during recovery. Diastasis recti is the partial or complete separation of the muscles that meet at the midline of your stomach. Separation of the diastasis recti is very common during and following pregnancy, as the uterus stretches the muscles in the abdomen to accommodate your growing baby. One study found that around 3 out of 5 women may experience diastasis recti during pregnancy or postpartum.
While specific exercises are generally recommended in order to restore their position and function, shapewear can aid in the process, and prevent any further damage caused by loss of core strength during pregnancy.
What are the Benefits of Wearing Shapewear?
By providing postural support and gentle compression, the physical benefits of shapewear include:
- assistance in abdominal muscle retraction
- stabilisation of loosened ligaments, and
- providing support while many of the body’s major organs return to their pre-pregnancy position.
There are plenty of emotional benefits to wearing shapewear pieces, too:
- feeling more confident in your clothes, particularly if they’re clingy or form-fitting, and
- a feeling of being ‘held’ by the pieces, which many women find comforting
What is the Best Postpartum Shapewear?
Our High Waist Postpartum Recovery Shorts are perfect to wear under dresses or on their own during the warmer months. The texture isn't just for show - the engineered power wave knit delivers targeted compression and support where it's needed.
"I have the recovery shorts and one of the feeding bras and love them. The shorts are like wearing a second skin and they hold my Mum Tum in perfectly. The bra is so easy for feeding. It’s a little go to outfit for those at home days" Emma-May
"I bought this after my caesarean. It holds me in and is very comfortable. I like the fabric too." Mary
"These shorts arrived while in hospital and my hubby brought them in. They make me feel so supported and confident. The compression draws my attention to my stomach muscles and has helped with focussing on keeping them engaged and drawn in. Looking to get a 2nd pair as I wear them so oftem both as shorts and under dresses and skirts" Kate
aka nursing leggings with a high waist that supports and smooths your tummy and keeps your belly covered when nursing. The Blanqi leggings is a best seller and the Jenna legging is popular for postnatal exercise but an increasingly popular style is our new postpartum legging with the same durable power wave knit construction as our shorts that provides gentle stimulation to help shift pregnancy weight deposits.
"Really love these leggings. Had a complicated caesarean and wish I found these sooner. The support is a relief and the fabric really holds me in. They are easy to get on and off too. I live in rural NSW and got my parcel in 3 days!" Clarise
"Loved these tights after having my first child. I had an emergency c-section and the fabric was soft enough to not irritate my incision but firm enough to make me feel like everything was being held in place.
About to purchase the pregnancy version now!" Lauren
"Absolutely love these leggings. They are very good quality, thick and supportive around the waist without being too tight - it has a seamless design so no muffin tops. Looks very slimming also! Will be ordering a few more pairs just to wear on the daily!" Cindy
If you want the benefits of compression but don’t love shorts or leggings, we have some gorgeous nursing camis that also offer abdominal compression. The Jada Postpartum Nursing Cami offers thin power netting compression around the abdomen to help engage your core, and comes in a range of gorgeous colours and patterns.
Blanqi offer a nursing cami in their signature highly technical seamless knit that smooths, secures and strategically targets your post-baby body’s challenge areas.
"I'm really glad I found this as it has become my favourite. The fabric is soft and comfy, easy breastfeeding access and the inbuilt compression around the abdomen is just enough. If you want to feel more proactive about managing your postpartum core than I recommend this sleeping top." Jasmine
"My favourite nursing camisole! Very comfortable, fabric is light but stretchy, definitely makes breastfeeding very easy with no clips." Bianca
"I wear this day and night post pregnancy (c-section) it helps me feel supported and protects my back- a must have staple for every mums wardrobe." Katie
Our Postnatal Pelvic Recovery Briefs are designed to correct the widening of your pelvis after birth. They feature a sewn-in belt with a thin power net woven into the fabric that firmly tightens the pelvis to support the pelvis and lower abdomen.
If your body is in need of some love then Shilo is for you. They feature a v-shaped gentle mesh netting panel inside to tenderly ease your transition with no undue pressure as you gradually ease back into shape.
"These briefs are exactly what I was looking for, without knowing it! Other full briefs have not supported me enough after my C section. These hold everything in the right place and don't ride up. I found I put on a fair bit of weight in my second pregnancy, so had to order bigger than usual size which I'll hopefully grow out of but I believe they are worth every penny <3 THANK YOU" Cherie
"This briefs really suit my needs. It is comfortable and the material feels good on my skin. I will recommend this product and actually I am going to buy more." Viera
"Ordered 2 off these. Great support postpartum. Holds everything in place. I like that these are soft and comfy too." Melissa
Postnatal Belly Wraps
Finally, the OG of the postpartum support wear world: the Belly Wrap. There’s a reason that this piece has, in one iteration or another, stayed at the top of most new mums’ must-have list for generations.
Designed to help support your belly after birth, Belly Wraps are arguably the easiest piece of shapewear to get on an off, and have come a long way in terms of design and comfort. They work by not only providing gentle compression to your stomach, but by encouraging better spinal alignment – which, in turn, encourages your organs to find their way back to their original positioning, sooner.
What is the Best Post Pregnancy Belly Wrap?
We may be a little biased, but we think our Queen Bee Perforated Post-Pregnancy Belly Wrap is one of the best on the market. In fact, we know it is!
With a perforated design that’s cooler to wear than thicker, more solid fabrics, this style is the ultimate wash-and-wear shapewear piece. With soft vertical boning at the back for added support and Velcro for easy adjustment, this is a fantastic piece to add to your postpartum recovery kit.
For our new mums who need a bit more padding to protect their stomach following a caesarean birth, the Post Caesarean Quilted Belly Wrap is a fantastic option to cushion and protect your stomach.
Able to be positioned so that your entire wound is protected by the lower wider panel, this band has Velcro fastening that allows you to adjust the tightness of the band, with ribbed side panels for ease of movement.
When is it Best to Wear the Belly Wrap?
Generally, a belly wrap can be worn to support the pelvis immediately after a natural birth.
As belly wraps are adjustable, they can be tightened and loosened to suit your changing preference. Simply position the garment and then wrap firmly but comfortably around your belly.
You can find the entire range of postpartum shapewear, including our best-selling Belly Wraps, here