Can a postpartum belly wrap really help get you back into shape after giving birth?
The short answer, YES, a postpartum belly wrap, without a doubt, helps a woman not only reshape her stomach but also her body after pregnancy.
A major concern for new moms is how to regain their pre-pregnancy body and flatten their
tummy after delivery. This leads many women to seek out a modern version of the ancient practice of belly binding. It may be an ancient custom but it is still widely practiced as it is a “no-brainer” how such a product helps women regain their figure after childbirth. The idea behind a postpartum tummy wrap is simple, to support the abdomen area, to hold in the flabby tummy skin and fat so it doesn’t hang relieving the skin tissue from downward stress. It works like a compression garment to support the area that has been “injured” (according to how the body interprets the healing process) allowing blood circulation to happen freely as well as the encouragement of water retention and air to be released faster.
Your immediate post-baby tummy (and body) is full of water and air, not to mention expanded organs in the womb area such as the cervix and vagina. When the baby is born the excess water and air is no longer needed and the cells will naturally release and shrink back to its pre-pregnant size. The role a postpartum wrap plays is it speeds up this process with constant pressure on the abdomen area thus reducing recovery time.
The following are excerpts from an article, “A Belly Good Wrap” by a very well known Malaysian OBGYN, Dr. Nor Mokhtar.
Dr. Nor, cautions women, “Mother’s need to be aware that the shapeware market has been flooded with companies selling belly wraps, abdominal binders, bodyshapers, and girdles that are conveniently labeled as “postpartum products”. We are all fans of shapewear and it’s an excellent way to smooth and slim your body for a specific outfit, especially for a special event; however, shapewear is not appropriate support for a post-baby body.”
During pregnancy, musculoskeletal changes are stimulated by hormone secretions and the continuous expansion of the uterus. Some of these changes include:
• Abdominal wall expansion and abdominal wall separation (Diastasis recti)
• Spine and posture realignment
• Pelvic floor relaxation
A postpartum wrap helps to support your back and relieves some of the back pain ociated with the immediate post-natal period. This also helps to reduce the strain involved in lifting and carrying of your baby. It also provides back support when breastfeeding, as most mothers don’t know they are slouching.
For the best results you have to start wearing the girdle as soon as you can after giving birth, as early as in the first 24 hours. Continue to wear it each day for at least 40 days and even longer if you are not satisfied with the results.
When purchasing a postpartum tummy wrap please keep the following features in mind:
1. The design that provides the most comprehensive support should be long enough to wrap the area from under the breast to just below the ocks (so you can easily go to the bathroom when needed).
Most modern postpartum wraps only support the tummy area which is only one area of the healing process that is taking place. A longer design takes into account the other organs that need temporary support as they shrink and become realigned.
2. The type of material is also important so a rash doesn’t develop. Unbleached cotton is recommended.
3. The material should NOT be elastic as postpartum wraps are not meant to give or stretch as this compromises support to the organs.
4. A postpartum wrap should be worn under loose clothes and tied as tightly as possible BUT NOT too tightly. You don’t want to cause major discomfort or cut off any circulation as it should be worn a minimum of 12 hours per day. For even better results wear it for 24 hours (taking off for bathing).