In case you've missed the waist trainer craze - where have you been? Since Kim Kardashian launched her own range, we've seen loads of people using 'em to try and get an hourglass figure.
And we can see that mums in particular, wanting to get their pre-baby figure back, might be tempted to grab themselves one of these waist-cinching wonders. But are they safe to use, and do they actually work?
We spoke to Dr Philippa Kaye who helped us out with the dos and don'ts of this latest fashion favourite...
What is a waist trainer?
A waist trainer is basically like an an old-fashioned corset that pulls your waist in to give you an hourglass figure ala Kim Kardashian.
Though it's also suggested by sellers that you can wear it while exercising to intensify your workout (though you definitely shouldn't have it on for torso-bending moves like crunches).
Can a waist trainer actually help you lose weight?
In a word: no. It doesn't help you lose fat but it does temporarily cinch your waist in, making it look smaller.
It also essentially squishes your organs, so you might not be able to eat as much as normal and may sweat more so you could lose water weight.
What does wearing a waist trainer while exercising do?
You're likely to sweat more when exercising as it's another layer making you hotter - but losing water is not losing fat. Any loss is temporary and will be regained when you drink fluids!
If it safe to wear a waist trainer after having a baby?
If you wear a waist trainer for long enough, although it doesn't help you lose weight, it can affect breathing, affect and weaken your back and abdominal muscles and can even eventually permanently move your organs - so your upper abdominal organs move up a bit and your lower ones move down a bit.
Like anything, if taken to an extreme, they could be dangerous. If you become so dehydrated from being hot and sweating, that can cause problems.
Waist training can lead to:
- difficulties breathing
- problems with lower back pain from weak back muscles
- problems in the skin from constant compression
- kidney and lung issues
- gastrointestinal issues.
Should you wear a waist trainer if you're trying to conceive?
No. If you're trying to get pregnant then don't wear one.
You are pregnant for a period of time before the test becomes positive, therefore it's best to avoid anything which is restrictive around the abdomen, even though the womb at that point is still in the pelvis.
When you are trying to conceive you want your body to be as healthy as it can be, and these have the potential to cause health problems.
A final word on waist trainers from Dr Philippa Kaye
"If you do wear a waist trainer, wear it for short periods and make sure that you can breathe, eat and drink in it!
"I appreciate that wearing a corset can give a psychological boost and make you feel good but it is a temporary fix, so for short periods only!"
Images: Kim Kardashian on Instagram
Tara is mum to 1 daughter, Bodhi Rae, and has worked as Content Editor and Social Media Producer at MadeForMums since 2015
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