Using girdles to regain your figure, one of the many myths surrounding postpartum

S. F.

MADRID

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Pregnancy brings with it a host of concerns for new mothers. In fact, it is very common that, after giving birth, they receive advice about what they should or should not do with both their baby and their own body to recover from childbirth. However, some of the more common and popular recommendations, such as delaying breastfeeding after cesarean section, or using girdles to regain figure, lack scientific basis.

“Giving birth, especially the first time, brings with it many worries, as well as physical and emotional changes. The most common thing is to feel fear and have many doubts, but these must be resolved by resorting to specialists such as midwives, pediatricians or gynecologists so as not to fall into false beliefs and thus ensure the health of both the mother and the baby, “says Antonio Hernández, chief of the Gynecology Service of the Sanitas La Zarzuela University Hospital.

To avoid confusion and provide reliable information, we discuss below the main advice mothers receive after giving birth:

The rise in milk always produces a fever. This is not true, in fact, it is usual that there is no fever or symptoms of discomfort in the mother. Normally, these problems only appear when the milk accumulates in the breast because the baby does not breastfeed well. Even so, it should be noted that each woman experiences a different rise in milk, there are more progressive ones, and there are more intense ones. In the latter, the temperature can rise.

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After a cesarean section, breastfeeding should be delayed. There is a belief that the medications used in anesthesia can interfere with and affect the baby when it comes to breastfeeding. However, this is not true. Most cesarean sections are performed under epidural or spinal anesthesia, procedures that use drugs that act only locally and are safe for both the baby and the mother.

You cannot have sex until after quarantine. It is true that the uterus and genital area takes between six and eight weeks to regain their size and stop bleeding completely. Usually, from a medical point of view, it is advisable to resume relationships after the first 30 or 40 days have passed, to avoid possible infections. However, if the woman is well both physically and emotionally, the couple can carry out other sexual practices that do not have to do with intercourse.

Exercise is prohibited until months after delivery. You don’t need a total rest from exercise right after giving birth. Returning to physical exercise varies depending on each woman and each childbirth, as well as the complications that may have existed. It is best to return to exercise gradually, avoiding certain activities that may be too intense or harmful to the pelvic floor.

The mother should not bathe until a month has passed. This is false, the woman who has given birth must shower and maintain normal hygiene to avoid infection of the cesarean scar or the points in the canal. Although it is true, it is inadvisable to fully immerse, in a bathtub or pool, until the wounds finish healing, since the humidity would make it difficult.

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Use postpartum girdles immediately after giving birth to regain your figure. It is advisable not to use these garments just after delivery in such a way that the work of the abdominal muscles is not hindered. In fact, to regain muscle tone and the pelvic floor, it is much more useful to perform activities such as Pilates, Kegel exercises and hypopressive gymnastics. In addition, the girdles in the shape of panties or pants hinder perspiration, and can impair healing after an episiotomy or a cesarean section.

However, some mothers prefer to wear a support garment to alleviate the sagging sensation they feel in the gut after giving birth or to alleviate lower back discomfort. In those cases, it is best to use a tubular girdle on specific occasions (a reinforced band that adjusts with velcro).

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