Shenae Grimes is plugging postpartum corsets for women with C-sections

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Shenae Grimes is posting about a postpartum corset. Here’s what that means. (Photo: Shenae Grimes-Beech via Instagram)
Shenae Grimes is posting about a postpartum corset. Here’s what that means. (Photo: Shenae Grimes-Beech via Instagram)

Actress Shenae Grimes gave birth to a daughter named Bowie in September, and she’s been regularly posting about different baby and postpartum products on Instagram ever since. But one of her more recent posts is a little … questionable.

In it, the 90210 actress poses in a corset and lingerie. “Figuring out my postpartum recovery was made so much more comfortable with my @bellefit corsets,” she wrote in the caption. “They are no muss, no fuss corsets that get the job done and keep everything feeling held in place… that juggly internal feeling which was one of things that freaked me out most postpartum. They are geared towards all new moms but as a C-section mama I can tell you from experience, they are comfy around your incision and really work some magic on your journey back to feeling like yourself again!”

Grimes didn’t tag the post as an ad, but she said she’s going to give away three corsets to people who like it, follow her and Bellefit on Instagram, and tag three friends “who’d love these onesies as much as you would.” Bellefit also posted about the giveaway on Instagram.

Grimes isn’t the first person to plug postpartum corsets on social media. Kylie Jenner promoted Waist Gang Society’s “snapback package,” which is designed for new moms, in March on Instagram, just six weeks after she had her daughter, Stormi. The company doesn’t specifically say on its website that this will help new moms lose weight, but it implies it. Ditto for Bellefit, which says on its website that its products will help women “get back to their pre-pregnancy shape.”

But women’s health expert Jennifer Wider, MD, tells Yahoo Lifestyle that these corsets “will probably not aid in weight loss.” Not only that, wearing one of these corsets for extended periods of time keeps you from using your core muscles, which are already weakened and stretched out by pregnancy, Wider says. “Chronic wearing of a corset — especially for weight loss — all day every day, can definitely result in weakening of core muscles and back pain,” she says.

As for women who have had C-sections, Wider says it’s hard to lump all abdominal compression bands together. Some can actually be helpful for these women for “alleviating pressure on the incision and facilitating healing and recovery,” she says. However, Wider adds, “women should definitely discuss with their doctors before using one of these.”

There’s “so little evidence” to back up the use of these, Christine Greves, MD, a board-certified ob-gyn at the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies in Florida, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. Bellefit in particular “says it’s actually good for women who have had a C-section, which is surprising,” she says.

Greves stresses that women who have had a C-section should talk to their ob-gyn before using a product like this. “We want to look at the incision first and make sure there’s no infection, and that the area is healing well before you add pressure and constant readjustment of a corset,” she says. Also, if it feels uncomfortable, you shouldn’t wear it. “Pain is not good,” Greves says.

If women feel mentally better using a product like this after having a baby, Greves says it may be OK — as long as you do it in short bursts and your doctor approves. Still, “I wouldn’t recommend using it for a prolonged period of time, though,” she says. “I just wouldn’t.”

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