Why use a post-maternity belt?
When a woman is pregnant, her body, especially the tummy area, stretches up a lot. More specifically the uterus and abdominal walls stretch to accommodate the growing child. On top of that as you have probably noticed fat also accumulates in this area. After giving birth, these muscles do not contract immediately, nor does the fat disappear. Of course most women want to return to pre-pregnancy shape as soon and as much as possible. That is why many women will choose to use a post-partum (post-maternity) belt, so that it supports the abdominal organs and muscles. This also helps the organs that are loose to get back to their positions.
When to start using a post-maternity belt?
First of all consult with your doctor as he/she knows your situation the best. However, for a normal delivery, many women generally start using such belt the day after giving birth. If you had a C-section, you generally need to wait a few weeks depending on the healing process.
What are the expected effects?
It is believed that supporting the stomach after the delivery:
• Supports internal organs including the womb
• Helps with posture
• Reduces back pain
• Tones abdominal muscles
• Reduces fat around the belly
• Speeds up tummy recovery
What are the cons of wearing a post-maternity belt?
Visibility: Post-maternity belts come in different formats, some thicker than others. Thickness can be an indication of support but at the same time is more visible under clothes.
Too much pressure: Some people think that is used too early and too tightly it can exert too much pressure on uterus and cause hernia or bleeding.
Discomfort: Depending on heat, humidity and fabric of the belt it can be itching and cause rashes in the area
Muscle weakness: While abdominal belts support the muscular system after birth, the abdominal muscles still eventually need to work to support the torso without any assistance.
C-section complications: C-sections cause internal wounds that take six to eight weeks to heal fully. If you had a C-section, do not use an abdominal belt if you until your doctor says you can.
Is post-partum belly wrapping a common practice?
Post-maternity belts or more primitive versions have been used traditionally by many cultures around the world.
Are these belts comfortable?
Most women who have used it agree with the results, but a very common comment is that they had to ‘train’ themselves to wear it. Moreover a cool and dry environment definitely helps for comfort. Sometimes, the belt slips up, slips down or needs to be adjusted.
Choosing the right model
Some women prefer a thicker belt for more support, while other women like thin and less visible. Quality of fabric, more specifically softness and breathability, is quite important for comfort.
Will using a post-maternity guarantee results?
Do not put all your eggs in one basket. Losing pregnancy weight and toning your abdominal muscles will also greatly be increased by a healthy diet and regular exercise!
Choosing the right size
Every woman has a different size and shape, therefore it is not always easy to size yourself for a postpartum belt. If the belt is too large, it will not have the desired results and might show more under clothing. Here are some tips to choose the right size:
– First of all, measurements relate to belly circumference and NOT pants/trousers size
– When choosing a size keep in mind that the belt is usually worn quite tightly around the belly. You will then begin to shrink into the size and you can then adjust the belt to keep it tight as you shrink.
– If you know your pre-pregnancy belly size, a general rule of thumb is to go up 1 or 2 sizes while choosing your postpartum belt size depending on how much you gained weight during your pregnancy.
– If you buy the postpartum belt after you give birth, you can simply measure your belly circumference (usually around the belly button) and choose the corresponding belt using the size chart.
– If you buy the postpartum belt during the last month of your pregnancy, a general rule of thumb is to measure your belly circumference (usually around the belly button) and subtract 3 to 5 inches and choose the corresponding belt using the size chart.
As the body recovers, it is recommended to gradually decrease use of the postpartum belt and follow an exercise program designed by a physician.