I sit here writing this one day shy of two weeks postpartum and terribly anxious to feel confident about my body again ( wait, did I EVER? haha no TBH ). Kai Martin Gregoire, my third baby and second son, arrived on the morning of May 23rd weighing 8lbs 14oz, measuring 22 1/2″ long, and precious as heck!
In previous pregnancies I was pretty young, and genetically speaking weight of any kind hasn’t ever come easy for me ( truly not cool being dubbed “chicken Legs” ), so it made sense that my body would snap back without much effort. Now, however, at twenty-five and with baby number three latched 24/7, I find myself not exactly ‘snapping’.
So naturally, after my older son inquired about the impending arrival of the “baby that stayed behind in my tummy”, I made the decision to order the Squeem.
What’s a Squeem? It’s an ingenious device ( corset ) designed to shrink your waist size up to five inches. It’s purpose when used in the postpartum weeks is to “train” the abdominal and core muscles to tighten and strengthen again, as well as utilize the eight weeks that relaxin still lingers in the body to shrink the size of your rib cage, ultimately giving the wearer a tiny waist and flat stomach.
~ Right side rockin the Squeem, left side au naturel ^ ~
Squeem is also a word that could be used to accurately describe the way my insides felt when I finally ( yes – FINALLY; it was no easy task to squash myself in there ) secured the last notch.
And then reality set in really fast. I already knew better than to attempt corset training, or even belly binding for that matter. But, I suppose, sometimes desperation and lack of patience makes fools of us all. Instant gratification generation and all that.
Here’s what I already knew:
1) Holding your muscles in place with said garment will not train them to do anything. A belly binder/corset does exactly and only that – hold muscles in place. By doing their intended job, the muscles actually lack for real training that would ultimately help your midsection return to its pre-pregnancy size faster.
In addition, corset training and belly binding can actually weaken back muscles over time. Well, duh, muscles weaken when they aren’t being used.
2) Belly binding does not correct diastasis recti ( abdominal separation ). The only way to correct this condition is through proper exercise. In this case I highly recommend seeking the advice of a certified personal trainer.
3) Belly binding postpartum puts too much downward pressure on your already-weakened pelvic floor muscles. There are actually claims that belly binding helps strengthen the pelvic floor, but these claims are BS. By the way I have three words for anyone curious about weakened pelvic floor muscles: yoga, yoga, and again, yoga 😀
4) Corset training can, in some cases, cause internal injury. The risk for internal injury is greater when precautions aren’t taken to ease into corset training slowly. Personally, I only had the thing on for three minutes on the loosest setting and I felt discomfort nearing pain in my internal organs… Um? “Beauty is pain!”
Not for me.
5) Wearing a corset does not allow for deep breathing; I literally could not breath into the lower lobes of my lungs when I had the darn thing on! What do we know about the importance of deep breathing? That deserves an entire post to itself, but deep breathing could be arguably the most crucial practice leading to overall and sustainable weight loss. In short it is the best way to combat that dirty little stress hormone CORTISOL, AKA, the hidden culprit behind excess belly fat.
The basic take away from my review of the Squeem, or any belly binding product used postpartum for that matter, could be summed up by describing it as a band-aid that masks an initial ( and very natural ) phase of postpartum living, ultimately slowing down the process of true healing.
This isn’t to say that belly binding isn’t for anyone; belly binding, in my opinion, directly interferes with my goals and what is important to me in my life, speaking fitness and other.
However, I am not an expert on belly binding! I would love to hear your experiences, good or bad.
Peace ladies ❤
For now you can find me soaking up every precious minute with my newest angel in total disregard for the state of my tummy.
Everything in its own time 🙂