Postpartum wrapping… it’s been the topic of many pre-baby conversations — from friend to friend advice to endless Google searches and the hottest celebs posting snapshots of their designer waist wraps. When it comes to wrapping your post-baby belly, it seems to be the consensus that we’ll try anything to get our bodies back into our pre-baby jeans, yet many are still left googling the question, “Are postpartum wraps really all they’re hacked up to be?” With so many Daily Mom babies being born the last few months, we decided to try one out for ourselves – we researched and we wrapped, and now we’re answering all of your ‘to wrap or not to wrap’ questions!
Many new mothers are intrigued by postpartum wrapping but often question the benefits and cost. With so many brands and various styles in the market, it can quickly become overwhelming when shopping for the right wrap. Not to mention, most women are either a whopping nine months pregnant or are still reeling in the hormonal chaos of post-labor when they begin this google search, and the thought of stuffing oneself into a tube is less than appealing. Questions arise — Are postpartum wraps worth it? How does it work? What are the benefits? How long do I need to wear one to receive its full effects? — and we begin the downward spiral of wondering whether or not we will ever get our pre-baby body back and at what lengths will we go?
In an attempt to answer these questions, we strapped on the infamous Belly Bandit, the first medical grade compression wear for women designed to wrap and contour your post-baby body. Here are your (and our) burning questions, answered!
How does it work?
Postpartum belly wraps, like the Belly Bandit featured above, are designed to wrap the belly, repairing the effects of pregnancy by providing abdominal support, correcting poor posture, and helping to coax abdominal muscles back together. During pregnancy, your body releases the hormone relaxin, which loosens the body’s ligaments, muscles, and joints to prepare for delivery. While relaxin is no longer produced after labor, it is believed to remain in your body for up to a year postpartum. Relaxin in the body aids in conjunction with a postpartum wrap by easily shifting your midsection back into place. When it comes to postpartum care, abdominal wraps are also often recommended as a means to shrink the uterus to its normal size quicker, and to those who delivered via c-section, as added support for quick healing.
What are the benefits?
- Compresses the abdomen and hips
- Expedites fluids throughout the body and flushes away excess water
- Minimizes stretch marks
- Supports the spine and legs
- Aids in breastfeeding by improving posture
- Tightens overstretched muscles
- Might help to reduce the effects of Diastasis Recti
- Encourages core strength
Despite all of the benefits listed, a major benefit of a postpartum wrap like the Belly Bandit is that it provides a gentle reminder to use your core, engage your muscles, and actively work on your posture — all key to regaining strength in your midsection. For some, the wrap may also help to encourage exercise and healthy food choices. When we feel better, we tend to make better choices.
How Long Do I need to wear one to receive its full effects?
According to most experts, a belly wrap should be worn every day, all day, postpartum for six to eight weeks after delivery for the best effects. But of course, the wrap can continue to be worn at any time to help smooth and tone your tummy under clothing for a polished look. Most wraps are easily concealed under clothing!
Choosing the Right Style of Wrap for your Body
There are a number of wraps and styles available on the market today, but knowing what style fits your body best, and understanding that you might need to buy multiple wraps as your waistline decreases, is important to find a comfortable fit. Celebrities like Jessica Alba claim to have bounced back by wearing two different wraps, while Kourtney Kardashian was often seen sporting Belly Bandit’s Couture Tummy Tucker. When it comes to choosing a style for your body, it’s important that you understand what you want out of your wrap. Some wraps are tube-shaped and can be worn as maternity support as well as postpartum, while others are designed more like a corset, with a velcro closure, that is designed specifically for postpartum wear. Some offer both core support and hip shaping, while others specifically focus on core shaping and back support.
What Else You Need to Know
Diet and exercise are also key. While wearing a wrap certainly has its benefits, it isn’t the sole key to losing all of your baby weight. In conjunction with a wrap, a healthy diet and exercise routine will help form the post-baby body you desire. Wearing a wrap will hopefully be a reminder of what you are ultimately trying to achieve, encouraging healthy food choices. Also, strap on your belly wrap and go for a walk. The added back and leg support makes walking post delivery easier and more enjoyable.
Are postpartum wraps worth it?
All signs point to YES! With so many positive benefits, what is there to lose (other than a few inches!)? After sporting the Organic Belly Bandit for a few weeks since our Daily Mom contributor’s October 4th delivery date, we can certainly attest that the added support of the wrap not only made postpartum healing more comfortable and fairly quick, our contributor also enjoyed the streamlined look under her clothing and the lack of… ahem… jiggling — for lack of a better term — that took place when the wrap was in place.
Our contributor also noticed a huge difference in her posture while wearing the wrap. Not only did it make breastfeeding easier (goodbye, aching back), the wrap also eased uterine cramping — and if you’re a mother of multiple children, you may well know that uterine cramping postpartum increases in pain with each child — as well as making initial walks around the block much, much easier.
Be a part of the fight against breast cancer!
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month! Be a part of the fight when you purchase the Organic Belly Bandit, made in a beautiful pastel pink. Belly Bandit is donating a portion of proceeds to the Shades of Pink Foundation, a foundation that provides financial assistance to women with breast cancer. In an effort to ease their fight, the Shades of Pink Foundation helps women with breast cancer fund mortgage payments, pay for child care, help with transportation, and help pay for many other daily necessities.