Postpartum belly wraps have been used by cultures from around the globe for a good reason — and we're not here to reinvent the wheel. During pregnancy, abdominal muscles work hard to create space for your baby by stretching and, in some cases overstretching. The separation of abdominal muscles is known as diastasis recti and occurs in 60 per cent of people postpartum.
Not to worry, though, because it will usually resolve within eight weeks of delivery — but If you notice worsening pain and discomfort, make sure you take a trip to see your GP to get the appropriate support you need. Those wonderful pregnancy hormones also cause your pelvic floor muscles to relax, which can lead to some uncomfortable leaks.
In a nutshell, your core muscles are pretty important. They provide support for your back and good posture; now that you have a bub on your hip, you need that extra TLC more than ever. Our bodies do an amazing job of recovering from childbirth, but it's essential we don't do it alone. Many women also experience chronic back pain if the healing process isn't supported to run its course.
This is precisely why you deserve plenty of rest, gentle movement and support from your loved ones — it takes a village, right? When you feel it's time to tackle some cleaning and errands, abdominal wraps are there to give you one less thing to think about.
Simply put, belly bands wrap around your abdomen and hips to lend a hand to your abdominal muscles, especially during those early days and the first few weeks postpartum when they'll be particularly tender, and they fit snug under or over the top of your clothes.
Do Postpartum Belly Bands Work?
The short answer is yes — belly binding works by giving your core a great big hug.
Postpartum belly bands gently hold your weakened tummy and pelvic floor muscles in place. The extra compression provides you with the stability and comfort needed to maintain posture while you settle into life with your baby.
Adjustable compression is essential and you shouldn't experience additional pain due to wearing one.
Benefits of Belly Binding
Okay, so now you want to know everything belly wraps can do to aid your postpartum recovery.
We hear you, and we come bearing gifts — whether you've had a vaginal delivery or caesarean delivery.
Here's what an abdominal binder can do:
Improve blood flow which helps to promote healing
Shrink your uterus down to size, which reduces pain and discomfort
Help your muscles heal
Aid with back support
Support diastasis recti recovery
Strengthen pelvic floor muscles when worn correctly
Make exercise easier
Binding for C-section Recovery
If you've had a C-section, you'll know all too well that postpartum pain can make life extra tough as your body heals.
As always, you know your body best and running postpartum care past your GP is a must. If you're given the go-ahead, a postpartum belly band can be a god-sent in getting you up and moving around.
A randomised controlled trial showed that wearing a belly band post-C-section can:
Provide extra support to help you walk for more extended periods of time
Reduce pain and discomfort (especially during the first 48 hours)
Aid healing caesarean incision wounds
We need to stress again just how important it is for your belly band to provide light compression.
Wrapping yourself up too tight put a bit too much pressure on your pelvic floor muscles (they've been through enough) which is something you want to avoid at all costs as it can create more problems than it solves.
How Long to Wear a Postpartum Belt?
Postpartum belly wraps are your sidekick, especially during those first few weeks. It's recommended that belly bands are worn between two to 12 weeks postpartum for the best possible results. Check in with your body and take its cues to guide how long you wear your belly band in those first few months.
How Soon After Giving Birth to Wear a Postpartum Belt?
Chatting with your doctor about any post-pregnancy treatments is a wise thing. Every pregnancy, body and delivery is unique. You and your doctor are in the best position to make these decisions. If you're given the green light, try out your belly wrap one to two days after vaginal delivery is recommended. If you've had a C-section, you must wait three to four weeks, or until your health provider approves.
How Many Hours to Wear a Postpartum Belt?
Your comfort during the postpartum period is precious and should be protected at all costs. Deciding what times of the day you'll need the support of a belly band most is worth reflecting on.
Two to three hours a day is recommended, so it might be helpful to wrap up when you're most active during the day. Whether it's while you're pottering around the house or venturing out, a belly wrap can slot into your day nicely.
Remember that your body is working hard to repair itself, which is exactly what you want. Over-wearing a belly band can cause your muscles and ligaments to become overdependent.
Can You Wear a Postpartum Belt After Two Years Post-birth?
Many women use belly bands up to four months postpartum. At this stage, there isn't enough research available to comment on how belly bands can assist after the two-year mark.
A postpartum belly wrap doesn't take the place of natural repair, so allowing your body to do its thing is worth mentioning once more.
At this stage in your journey, it could be helpful to consider a postpartum exercise routine to build up your core strength. Setting aside some time at home for yourself or finding a supportive trainer could be a nice way to squeeze in some "me time".
If you're experiencing discomfort at this stage in your postpartum journey, we suggest having a chat with your GP to explore it further.