Belly wraps or abdominal binders make a huge difference in your recovery! This may be the first time you have heard about them, but they are not a new tool, rather a reinvention of an old tool. All different types of providers have been using them for birth and recovery for generations. From pregnancy support to postpartum support and even for surgical support. Predominantly, they have been used after tummy tucks and to support individuals suffering from back problems.
We use and recommend them throughout pregnancy and postpartum to assist with pain and to promote healing. No matter what type of birth you may have had, from a vaginal delivery to a cesarean delivery. The gentle compressions on the abdominal muscles helps the uterus return to its normal size quicker. The binders support your diastasis recti so that the abdominals to return to their pregnant state faster, and support recovery by cradling the incision.
The wraps are not designed to replace proper nutrition or exercise. Rather wrapping can be used in addition to them to remind mothers to use proper body dynamics when moving about postpartum. Their support can help to reduce strain on the low back, supporting the abdominals as they slowly return to their original position. Secondly, the binders can prevent further injury as women get used to moving around postpartum. Many women report feeling more comfortable with the binders on. This gentle support can encourage women to move and exercise earlier than those without a binder. Finally, the binders can help mothers to have cleaner line under clothing and fit in their pregnancy clothing faster helping them to feel normal, healthy, and in control of their recovery.
We recommend the Belly Bandit to our clients as part of a postpartum plan. Specifically, our doulas like you to wear the binders when doing exercises to protect your back from injury and to encourage proper alignment of your abdominals as you get back into shape.
Picking the right belly band can be confusing with so many different options. Here are some of my top choices for your recovery by area of need:
In pregnancy our first choice is the: Upsie belly binder
During recovery form a vaginal birth: B.F.F. Belly Wrap
For cesarean recovery: Viscose from Bamboo Belly Wrap
Initially your pregnancy band size may change as your belly grows in pregnancy requiring you to size up. Additionally, the pregnancy band may work postpartum, but not offer you the support you need or desire. You may also need to downsize your band size postpartum as your belly and abdomen shrink due to body mechanics, diet, and exercises.
It is important for couples to realize that your body will not magically return to its pre-pregnant state. Rather we have to consciously work to strengthen and engage our core muscles, and we use less of our abdominal muscles when wearing wraps.