Pregnancy is a miracle, a miracle in which our bodies and muscles stretch. Even our organs shift around to make room for our growing babies. So, it is no surprise that after our babies arrive, we have a lot of healing to do. Postpartum belly binding is one form of postpartum recovery that may help you heal faster. We’ve broken down everything you need to know about it below!
It is important to note that postpartum belly binding should not be used as a way to get your body back to the way it was before pregnancy. Your body spent 9 months creating new life and it deserves your kindness and grace postpartum. The purpose of postpartum belly binding is solely that of healing; to provide support and gentle compression.
What is Belly Binding?
Belly binding is typically done with a stretchy material that you wrap around your waist from your ribs to your hips. There are many different belly binding wraps out there. They are usually adjustable and are secured with Velcro. They compress your abdomen and help, for a lack of a better term, squish, your midsection back together.
Belly binding has many benefits. Below, I’ll discuss the pro’s and con’s to belly binding and I’ll give my personal experiences so that you can decide if it is right for you.
Pros of Postpartum Belly Binding
There are many positives to belly binding if done correctly. First and foremost, it will give you support. During pregnancy, you lose a lot of muscle strength in your abdomen and back. The wrap will give you the support you need for good posture and to help you move and walk easier after you have a baby.
When you lose your muscle strength during pregnancy, simple things like sitting up in bed can be a challenge. If you use a belly binder, you will have the added support that your body needs to do the simple things that you could do pre-pregnancy.
Getting Everything Back in Place
Another benefit of belly binding is that it can help your uterus shrink. Your uterus stretches to accommodate your growing baby. According to parents.com, it can stretch up to “500 times” it’s original size. That’s insane! After your baby is born, your uterus will begin to shrink on its own, but a belly binder will definitely help this process go faster.
The binder uses gentle compression to essentially deflate your uterus. Think about when you deflate an inner tube. If you push on it or compress it, it goes back to its original state much faster. The same holds true for your uterus.
Belly binding will also assist in putting your organs back into place. When you’re pregnant, your organs move around to make room for your growing baby which is super cool. However, after the baby is born, your organs don’t just jump back in place. A belly binder will give your abdomen the gentle nudge and pressure it needs to guide your organs back to where they belong.
The gentle compressions of a belly binder can also help your skin regain its elasticity. By putting gentle pressure on your skin, your skin can recover faster and help rid your body of some of the swelling and excess fluids that you gain while pregnant.
The Big Benefit for C-section Mamas
Belly binding can be especially helpful in healing for moms who had a C-section. However, as a C-section is a major surgery you should speak with your doctor before deciding to wear one.
Cons of Postpartum Belly Binding
There are risks related to using the wrong kind of belly wrap or wearing one too tightly, including pelvic floor prolapse, pain, and rashes.
Another con of using a belly band is that in order to gain the most from it, you need to wear it nearly all hours of the day for about a month or two. That’s a big commitment. A belly binder feels like a continual squeeze around your midsection, so if you don’t like the pressure, it will be hard to wear it all of the time.
Belly binding can also interfere with your clothing. The wraps can be a little bulky and fitting them under your clothing can be difficult.
My Experience with Postpartum Belly Binding
I wore a belly binder after both of my pregnancies and I have recommended them to all of my expecting girlfriends. The wraps not only gave me the support that I needed, but it also helped shrink my uterus, and put my organs back in place. It really gave me the confidence I needed after being pregnant.
My First Pregnancy
When I was pregnant with my oldest, I saw an advertisement for a belly binder in a pregnancy magazine and I didn’t know what it was. So, like any millennial, I Googled it. I did a little research on what belly binders were and I liked what I read. I ordered my belly binder after I had my daughter while I was still in the hospital and it came right away.
Check out a couple of other postpartum belly binders we recommend;
I was dedicated to the wrap and wore it as much as I could and I found that my body was recovering quickly after my pregnancy. I wore my wrap nearly all day, every day for about a month. I loved the support it offered me in healing!
Postpartum Belly Binding with My Second Pregnancy
With my second pregnancy, I was ready and prepared for the belly binder. I brought it with me to the hospital and began wearing it the same day that I delivered my son. The second time around, I felt that my body needed the wrap even more than the first time. My uterus felt extra large and stretched out, my skin was extra stretchy, and my insides felt so displaced. This time around, I needed the wrap to feel stronger and more supported versus the first time when I did it more for the vanity.
After wearing my belly binder for a total of two months, my body was finally looking like it had before my second pregnancy. This helped with my confidence immensely and made me feel good about my strong and capable body. The female body is a remarkable thing. We can stretch our bellies to the max and then train our bodies to be strong again.
Overall, the pro’s outweigh the con’s on belly binding if you ask me. They give you the strength in your midsection, help with swelling, shrinking your uterus, put your organs back in place, and even help secure C-section incisions. There’s a reason belly binding has been around for centuries and I’m sure it will be around for centuries to come. Be sure to check out all of our favorite belly wraps here!
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Frequently Asked Questions
Do postpartum belly binders work?
Postpartum belly binders work to provide support and gentle compression. They can help move your muscles and organs back into place more quickly after giving birth.
Is postpartum belly wrap necessary?
No, it is not necessary to wear a postpartum belly wrap. Many moms just like having the extra support after their bodies have gone through so much carrying their baby and giving birth.
How long should you bind your belly after birth?
Typically, you should wear your postpartum belly binder for about a month. It will depend on which belly wrap you choose and your doctor or midwife’s recommendation.