Mom + Baby

How to Choose the Right Post-Pregnancy Shapewear

As my belly gets larger and larger, and my due date gets closer and closer, I’m starting to think about what happens after baby comes. Feeling like myself again and how I will be getting back to my pre-pregnancy shape with a baby in tow are all on my mind now. I decided I definitely want to use a postpartum girdle or wrap to help support me during recovery and help get my body back down to size. That was the easy part. Deciding on which one to actually use has not been as easy.

For any moms out there in the same boat as me, today’s guest post is from Stephanie at Purple Laurel. She is breaking down post-pregnancy shapewear to help guide you in getting the right shapewear for your needs. Read on for Stephanie’s guide to post-pregnancy shapewear.


How to Choose the Right Post-Pregnancy Shapewear

New motherhood brings with it an endless stream of questions. Will you breastfeed or bottle-feed? Will your baby be a co-sleeper or a crib sleeper? Will you return to work or stay at home? The last thing any new mom wants to think about is which style of post-pregnancy shapewear she’s going to buy. But as belly wraps, girdles, and other shapewear garments have grown in popularity, the sheer number of options available has skyrocketed.

Google the term “postpartum belly wrap” and you’ll find more than 51,000 results. Wraps, girdles, waist cinchers, support belts, and body shapers are just a few names that describe the most popular styles. Once they’ve decided on the type of shapewear they’ll buy, new moms still have to worry about all the details. Velcro closures are most popular in wraps and support belts, but metal hook & eye closures are more common in postpartum waist cinchers. Girdles, meanwhile, are typically held in place with elastic. High-tech materials are quickly replacing cotton and Spandex, while bamboo materials are often requested by eco-conscious consumers. The volume of options is simply overwhelming.

One of our goals are Purple Laurel is to simplify the chaos for new moms. We have already done the hard work of testing products to find the best styles, and we only sell shapewear that’s “mom approved.” That allows our shoppers to quickly find the styles and sizes they want.

Here are a few of the questions that I recommend new moms ask themselves before they start shopping for any postpartum shapewear.

Q. What are my goals?

A. This is the most important question to ask yourself before shopping for post-baby shapewear. The most common reason why new moms purchase postpartum shapewear is for support around the midsection. The second most common reason is to trim the waist and promote weight loss. Moms who’ve had c-section, and anyone who suffers from diastasis recti, will often turn to postpartum wraps for compression and comfort during the post-baby recovery process, as well.

Q. What style do I want?

A. Wraps are by far the most popular style for new mothers. Wraps that close with Velcro are easily adjustable as the mother’s belly continues to shrink. They can be pulled as tightly as is comfortable for the wearer, and they offer a good combination of waist tightening and back support. Postpartum girdles are nice because they stay in place a little more easily than wraps, allowing for more movement without needing to make adjustments. For moms who are primarily interested in the weight loss and belly shrinking aspects of postpartum shape wear, waist cinchers are the best bet. High-compression waist cinchers encourage the uterus to shrink back down to size and reduce water retention following birth. They are supposed to be worn snugly, and a proper fit is very important.

Q. What size should I choose?

A. Correct sizing is essential for a comfortable wrap or girdle. Shapewear that is too large will not wear well under clothing and it may negatively impact the end result. Although there is no exact science for sizing a wrap or girdle, there are a few different strategies you can use. If you are making a purchase early in your pregnancy, your best bet is to go up 1 to 2 sizes from your pre-pregnancy waist size. In the second trimester, many women will be the same size as they will be immediately after delivery. In this case, the best plan is to measure your tummy from the widest point, which is usually the belly button, and select the corresponding band for your size. In the weeks leading up to your due date, subtract 3 to 5 inches from your belly measurement and select the band that corresponds with that size. If you are purchasing your belly wrap or girdle after you’ve given birth, then finding the right size is easier. Make sure to follow the measurement instructions provided by the retailer or the manufacturer, and measure your waist from its narrowest point.

Q. Which material is the best?

A. What’s considered the “best” material depends on your personal goals and preferences. You should always select a wrap that contains elastic and something that is breathable. Wraps made from bamboo fabrics are growing in popularity. From a technology standpoint, the latest innovation in fabrics used to make belly wraps is the introduction of ThermaBoost material, which blocks sweat and odor even when the wrap is worn day and night.

A one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work when it comes to choosing the best postpartum belly wrap. My hope is that by answering these questions, you’ll be better able to select a garment that meets your needs and helps you reach your goals.

If you have any questions about which wrap to select, I’d love for you to leave a comment below or reach out to me personally at I love working directly with moms and moms-to-be to find the perfect styles. I’ll also include a few links to our most popular styles at Purple Laurel, below.


A few of our most popular styles include:

Best For C-Section Recovery: Wide 4B Support Belt

Best For Shrinking the Waist: The Main Squeeze

Best For Back & Abdominal Support: Postpartum Girdle With Wrap

Best For Working Out: Post-Pregnancy Workout Wrap

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