Q: I am currently seven months pregnant and going through lacing-withdrawal.  I'm counting the weeks until I can start lacing down again and I was wondering how long I should wait after giving birth to get fitted for new stays.  I know there's a minimum recovery time for all women of six weeks following any childbirth, but I know my body will continue to change shape and size for many months after that. --Leigh (5/29/02)

A: My recommendation is to ask your nurse or ob-gyn for a postpartum girdle or postpartum corset. It is also common to massage the uterus (by massaging or kneading the lower abdominal wall) to help it return to its original size. The girdle will help provide lower abdominal support, which tight-lacing usually does not provide. It is also important to start exercises for the lower abdomen right away to strengthen the stretched abdominal wall. Ask your nurse or ob-gyn. You will find that after a few weeks you will have rebuilt some strength in this area so that you can gradually begin your regular corset wear again. I would recommend continuing these exercises and using the postpartum girdle for as long as needed. Also note that breast feeding will cause reflexes that contract the uterus; this will also help it return to its original size. And yes, corseting can be very addictive.




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