- Women's Health
Using a Belly Wrap for After Pregnancy
Abdominal binding, or belly wrapping, has been a common practice in different cultures around the world for centuries and it is still used today. The idea behind binding the abdomen after pregnancy is to speed up weight lose and assist in the tightening and toning of the muscles and skin after birth.
The Benefits of Belly Binding
Belly binding is known to deliver a flat belly faster after birth, reduce swelling, compress loose skin, keep loose organs in place and force you to engage your core muscles.Jay Goldbery, OBGYN, says "with obstetrics these wraps help women recovering from a [natural] delivery or a C-section with their posture, abdominal support, and self-confidence.”
During pregnancy, muscles expand and the abdominal walls separate. The spine realigns, which causes posture realignment as well. The pelvic floor muscles relax. Skin stretches to fit your growing belly. Internal organs spread apart, all to make room for your growing baby. It takes time for all of this to recover back to normal after delivery. Using a belly wrap after pregnancy may facilitate healing.
After your baby is born, it takes time for everything to come back together. Wrapping or binding the belly helps hold everything tight and in place. Your abdominal muscles that separated to make room for your baby are held together, which helps them heal together again sooner. Also, after delivery, your abdomen is full of extra fluid and air. The compression of belly binding helps reduce the swelling caused by this extra air and fluid.
Belly Binding to Help Regain Pre-pregancy Figure
Slowly, over a period of nine months, your pregnant body has been adjusting to the extra weight in your belly. To compensate for the extra weight in the front, your spine slightly curves. After nine months of growing and adjusting, in one day all that extra weight is gone but it takes time for your spine to readjust and to find your center of balance again. If you have had a baby before, you’ll remember how awkward it felt to walk a few days after delivery. Unfortunately, walking in this same position after birth can strain the back and cause pain. Using a belly wrap after pregnancy provides back support and promotes posture correction.
Belly wrapping may boost your confidence, which may actually motivate you to work out more and lose more of that baby weight. Donnica Moore, president of the Sapphire Women’s Health Group in NJ, says of belly wrapping: “You may feel more comfortable and may feel like moving more and the more you move and exercise, the quicker you get your figure back."
In preparing for birth, a woman’s body secrets a hormone called relaxin that causes the joints to be more pliable. This way the hips and pelvis are able to loosen to allow for the baby to pass through during delivery. Wrapping or binding the abdomen can help support these joints until they regain their usual strength.
Top Rated Belly Wraps
The Belly Bandit is one of the best-known and most-popular brands of belly wraps.
Belly Wrapping to Speed Postpartum Recovery
Abdominal binding may also help during breastfeeding. Women have a tendency to slouch while breastfeeding, so it’s common for them to experience back pain. Using a belly wrap while breastfeeding will provide support and prevent extra strain on the back.
The compression of a belly wrap may also be beneficial for women who have had a c-section. Plastic surgeons frequently recommend compression garments after abdominal surgery. They are believed to support the healing process. Consult your doctor before using a belly wrap if you have had a c-section. Women who have had c-sections claim that belly wrapping, along with reducing swelling, may help reduce pain.
Is Belly Wrapping Effective?
Belly wrapping is popular among celebrities. Brook Burke, who has had four children, was so impressed with the results from belly binding that she created he own belly wrap called the Baboosh Body. Other celebrities that have praised belly wrapping are Jessica Alba and Kourtney Kardashian.
Belly wrapping is not simply the latest or greatest celebrity craze, though it is gaining popularity. It is a technique that dates back centuries, used by different cultures all over the world. It is an ancient practice and an effective one.
Abdominal binding after pregnancy may be effective for a large portion of postpartum women, but not for everyone. It may help to flatten the stomach after delivery, as well as support the lower back and abdomen. It also helps the uterus shrink back to size and encourages the abdominal muscles and skin to tighten faster. Some women swear by belly wrapping. Some say it didn’t help. Others say it’s a great support system, but it goes along with diet and exercise to help lose the baby weight. Some women say that they simply liked feeling like everything was tight and supported.
If you chose to use a belly wrap after pregnancy, it is recommended that you start within 24 hours after your baby is born for 12 to 24 hours a day, for at least 40 days, or however long you wish if you haven’t yet seen the results you want. There are a number of belly binders to choose from. Some women use an ace bandage to wrap. The idea is the same.
Have you tried belly wrapping postpartum?
All-in-all, using a belly wrap after pregnancy is worth a try. Keeping everything tight and supported in itself is worth it plus you may receive the additional benefit of getting back to your pre-pregnancy body. Just keep in mind that using a belly wrap after pregnancy is not a substitute for healthy eating and exercising.