No one wants their squishy postpartum belly to keep them from enjoying their new bundle of joy. Yet, it usually takes some time before a woman’s abdomen area can fully recover from pregnancy and labor. While your diet and exercise habits are going to dictate much of your recovery, there are some additional steps that you can take to speed up your recovery process.
One popular option for battling that post-birth squish is the postpartum belt, aka the belly wrap, aka the postpartum girdle. Take a look at the pros and cons of this novel compression garment to determine if it’s a good option for you.
A postpartum belt is a piece of compression fabric that is made to be worn around the abdomen of a postpartum woman. Postpartum belts aid in a woman’s recovery following pregnancy and delivery. When worn correctly, these novel garments improve women’s posture, mobility, and comfort.
Postpartum belts boast numerous benefits. There’s no denying the fact that pregnancy wreaks havoc on a woman’s body. Your organs shift, your stomach muscles shrink, your skin stretches, and your uterus expands. After birth, all that was once tight and round can feel a bit like a deflated balloon.
Compression sleeves help pull everything together, restoring some of that abdominal muscle support is lost during pregnancy and delivery. Belly belts can make it easier and more comfortable for women to navigate everyday activities. In fact, researchers recently discovered that abdominal binding makes it easier for postpartum mommas to walk in the days following delivery.
At the same time, postpartum belts are proven to reduce a women’s ss back pain and improve their posture. In one study, researchers found that support belts reduced women’s pain and other postpartum discomforts when they were worn correctly. Since those neverending breast and bottle feeding sessions often result in, sitting, slouching, and back pain, these posture-improving devices are welcome interventions.
Postpartum belts are also beneficial to women who’ve undergone C-sections. The bindings help bring together incisions and diastasis recti ( common postpartum injuries). Postpartum belts are so effective during postpartum recovery that many nurses and doctors recommend that their patients start wearing them immediately after delivery.
Of course, postpartum belts also help to disguise some of that unwelcome midsection squishiness, enabling women to feel more comfortable and confident in their skin during the weeks and months that follow birth. Not all the reinforcement is superficial. That extra support pulls in displaced skin and organs. However, most women don’t resist the opportunity to slim down their post-pregnancy figures.
While there’s no denying the fact that compression belts are beneficial to postpartum mommas, there are a few downsides to these accessories. For starters, postpartum belts only work when they are worn around the clock (with bathing being the only exception). While manufacturers have made an effort to improve the materials and designs of these products, no one wants to wear a compression garment 24/7 for 30 to 60 days.
Also, compression belts can impede the healing of C-section incisions, especially in the case of infections. While compression belts need to be snug, they should never feel uncomfortable or constricting. Too tight garments can do more harm than good.
Abdominal compression belts also help to support and pull in a women’s enlarged uteruses. This organ expands till it is nearly 500 times its pre-pregnancy size. While this body part does shrink back to its original size, a postpartum belt helps to eliminate some of the unwelcome pressure it puts on the pelvic floor and organs.
Like many postpartum products, claims about postpartum belts are sometimes exaggerated. While some manufacturers suggest that their postpartum compression garments help women to lose weight and regain their pre-pregnancy figures, there are no studies to back up these claims.
While most women claim that their postpartum belts give them slimmer figures, some maintain that these garments interfere with their clothing and comfort. It’s a good idea to explore all of the available options. This way, you can be sure that the product that you settle on is both discreet and easy to put on.
Of course, many women are rightfully skeptical when it comes to tacking another product onto their postpartum shopping list. With so many brands, sizes, and designs to choose from, shopping for a postpartum belt can be downright confusing.
With all that said, there’s no doubt that postpartum belly belts give new moms better quality of life, one with less pain, discomfort, and self-doubt. Still, the decision to use one is usually a personal decision. If you’re seeking results, you need to be ready to wear your belly belt 24/7 for 6 to 8 weeks following delivery.
If you’re looking to purchase one of these garments, be sure to check out WeTheParent’s top postpartum girdle picks of 2020. Then, take a look at HealthSoul’s global healthcare review directory to find the best obstetrics gynecology experts near you.