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Like most moms, I did a ton of reading about all the pregnancy essentials and must-have postpartum items during my first pregnancy. Specifically, when it came to recovering from labor, postpartum wraps were mentioned again and again. So naturally, I added to cart, not really knowing what it did or how it worked. But I loved it so much, I went on to use the same one after my second child and I think it can be a solid player to your postpartum recovery plan. Here’s my in-depth postpartum belt review from one mama to another!
Just a gentle reminder that a postpartum belt shouldn’t rush you into thinking you need to “bounce back” to normal (but really, does that actually even happen?). I like to think of a postpartum belt as support for your abdominal muscles and if it helps with your body confidence? Then that’s just a bonus. Also, this is not medical advice. Please seek your provider or physical therapist for medical advice if you have issues like diastasis recti.
What is a postpartum belt?
A postpartum belt, also called a postpartum belly band, is a waist belt that new moms wear around their waist to give support to their (now very much weakened) core muscles.
A postpartum belt can get a bad rap because it’s associated with waist trainers or cinchers. You know, those potentially dangerous things that women use to physically alter their body into an hourglass shape? Not to be confused, a postpartum belt has velcro straps instead of eye closures. You are not cinching yourself up and some products even come with a pelvis belt to add extra support to your hip area.
A true pregnancy belly band is not meant to be one of those body shapers and instead, it’s meant to provide good support. Think of it as a postpartum recovery belt instead.
Where did a postpartum belt come from?
Thanks to the internet, it seems like this is a new phenomenon, but actually, the original postpartum belt was actually an abdominal binder, long strips of cloth tied firmly around a mother’s midsection after giving birth.
It’s an ancient art, originating in Europe. Pregnancy belly wraps are the most popular in African, Asian, and Hispanic cultures. Some of the benefits they believed it offered were that it contracted the uterus, sped up weight loss, reduced swelling, and tightened skin and abdominal muscles.
My Experience- 1st Baby
Right after having my first child, I stood up from the hospital bed and I found it so hard to breathe. I could feel my stomach drop (such a weird feeling) and all my insides felt disorganized. Well, because they kind of were.
I was new to this whole postpartum thing so I didn’t bring the postpartum belt with me, but as soon as I got home, I put it on. Instantly, I felt like I could breathe. It held my stomach together (and up haha) and I felt like I had some support. Even if it was just for that perk, I knew it would be worth it.
I wore it mostly all day (not to sleep), for about 4-8 weeks, and it worked just fine for all my daily activities. I even wore it under my loose tops out of the house, as it acted like shapewear in a way. This postpartum corset, or belt, ended up being a really good idea for my postpartum recovery. So much I bought it twice!
My Experience- 2nd Baby
I threw it away after using it for my first baby. Not because I didn’t like it, but to be honest, it was a little icky. Since I wore it so much it had some milk stains and sweat stains (I know, gross, sorry), and since it’s affordable enough, I reasoned I could just buy it again.
The second time around, I brought it to the hospital and I was really glad I did. It was nice to have that extra support and gentle compression right away. I wore this one for about 4-8 weeks postpartum as well. Once I felt like my internal organs were somewhat normal and my stomach was shrinking, I stopped wearing it.
Okay, so does it actually work?
Well, research would tell you that there is no science to actually back this up. And to some extent, I agree. Wearing a stretchy material around your waist for a long time does not make you lose weight or fat. Diet, exercise, and time do that.
But what I think it does do for postpartum moms, is that it speeds up the compression of your uterus, helping it to return back to normal size faster, speeding up recovery, and healing you to appear thinner. Though I can’t prove it exactly, I’ve used a postpartum belt twice, and I’m 100% convinced it’s had an impact on my stomach slimming down quicker.
This is the specific one I got. I think it’s probably the best postpartum girdle because it works without having to spend an arm and a leg on it. I also really liked the velcro fasteners, as they allowed me to tighten it a little more each time as I felt comfortable.
I think it’s worth every penny, though keep in mind that because it’s so inexpensive, it might not last as long and could start to look a little old quicker. But most women do not wear it for more than a few months so you may not find that to be an issue.
Many other women have reported it helping with their lower back pain and promoting good posture. I personally did not have any skin irritation, but it could potentially happen.
- Helps promote healing- less pain
- Belly support
- Back support
- Helps your uterus to shrink
- Could cause skin irritation
- May feel cumbersome to wear
Overall, I loved the gentle support and light compression. I think it’s the best way to feel more “put together” after labor and it can be a key healing component to your postpartum period. I definitely recommend a postpartum belt!
Though you may choose to go the opposite route and pick loose clothing instead of compression leggings and postpartum belts, and that’s totally up to you. Every mom is different! If you want more tips on how to dress your postpartum bod, keep reading!