Understanding the postpartum girdle benefits is important for new moms when deciding whether or not to use one in their postpartum recovery.
A postpartum girdle is a garment that supports the abdominal wall, back, and hips. It can help to re-shape your postpartum body to its normal size. Finally, a postpartum girdle supports the pelvic floor muscles after childbirth.
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Postpartum girdles also go by many other names, such as abdominal binders, belly belts, postpartum wraps, belly bandits, postpartum compression garments, waist belts, support belts, abdominal wraps, and post-pregnancy girdles, to name a few.
Medical Note: Always check with your healthcare provider before wearing any postpartum devices.
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Postpartum Girdle Benefits
- Help your abdominal muscles return to their original shape
- Help with painful uterine contractions post-delivery, especially if you are breastfeeding.
- They also can help alleviate pain in your hips, back, and abdomen post-delivery.
- Help you maintain good posture (especially when spending so much time slouched over caring for a newborn).
- Help reduce the appearance of excess skin after pregnancy and the appearance of any baby weight you put on during pregnancy.
The Best Time To Wear A Postpartum Girdle
You can wear a postpartum girdle starting on day one, postnatally, under the supervision of your healthcare providers.
This is usually around when you are discharged from the hospital or birthing center but will vary depending on your doctor’s recommendations and recovery process.
Ensure you get clearance from your healthcare provider before you use a postpartum girdle. I checked with my OB on the day I was discharged.
Belly Wrap + Relaxin = Pre-Baby Shape
You should take advantage of the relaxin hormone in your body after labor to return your waist and hips to their original size.
During pregnancy, your body produces the hormone relaxin, which loosens your abdominal muscles and other connective tissue to prepare for childbirth.
Relaxin can be found in your body postpartum for up to six months post-delivery.
You can take advantage of the same hormone that loosened your connective tissues to allow your bones and ligaments to return to their original state.
It is best to start using your postpartum girdle during the first six months postpartum while relaxin is still in your system. Although I did find my Bengkung Belly Bind did help with my waist definition as late as nine months postpartum.
Benefits For Diastasis Recti
Diastasis recti (or ab separation) is very common in pregnancy. As many as 60% of post-pregnancy women have diastasis recti a year after delivery.
Although wearing a postpartum belly band can’t cure diastasis recti, it can help to draw the abdominal walls closer together and minimize the appearance of your belly.
If you want to cure your diastasis recti completely, you must do specific exercises for your core muscles and pelvic floor.
Pro Tip: Find out how I completely heal my DR in 12 weeks with the Every Mother program.
My Favorite Postpartum Girdles
Finding the right postpartum girdle can be tricky, but there are a few things you can look for when trying to make your decision:
- High-Quality Material: You don’t want something that will wear out quickly or cause discomfort.
- Breathable Fabric: Your body temperature fluctuates so much in the first few weeks postpartum that something that doesn’t breathe will only intensify the sweats and get uncomfortable and stinky quicker.
- Multiple Targeted Areas: Look for postpartum girdles specifically designed to target the abdomen, hips, and waist instead of offering general belly support.
- Ease of Use: Make sure your postpartum belt is easy to put on and remove yourself (without assistance). This can be tricky because some postpartum belts are tight and difficult to remove.
- Adjustable: Make sure the postpartum belt has adjustable straps so that you can ensure a good, comfortable fit. Even as your body changes shape and size.
- Compression: Decide how much compression you want. You can find postpartum girdles that are more like a compression sleeve for your torso, all the way to postpartum girdles with adjustable clasps and zippers. It will come down to what you can wear comfortably for hours daily.
- Stays In Place: Choose a garment that will stay in place. If you read the reviews on some postpartum girdles, you will see they have one thing in common: they don’t stay in place/rollover/fall/ etc. Some garments that are great for tall women might not stay in place well on a petite woman. Read the reviews to see what people with similar bodies have to say.
- Return Policy: Buy a postpartum girdle somewhere with a great return policy. Trying something on in the store does not do the garment justice. You need to be able to really move around in the girdle, handle your baby, breastfeed, pump, sit, walk, etc. I found one of the garments I tried seemed perfect… Until I actually started moving.
These are the three postpartum girdles that I have tried and really like.
There are thousands out there, so this list can get you pointed in the right direction, but you might find a different model with all of the features you’re looking for.
3-In-1 Postpartum Girdles
The one I wore just a few days postpartum was a 3-in-1 support girdle.
I really liked the customizable aspect of the three different pieces. It allowed me to gradually increase the compression without getting uncomfortable. It also gave me a more custom fit for my long torso.
Ultimately, wearing all the layers together under my regular and work clothes was too challenging. The hip support band added too much bulk to my pant line and tightened my pants.
Bengkung Belly Bind
I started belly binding nine months postpartum after my first and immediately postpartum after my second. I loved the custom-supported feel of this Benkung belly bind compared to other postpartum girdles that didn’t fit my long torso.
I feel like both times, it helped narrow and re-define my waist after a few weeks of use.
The Belly Bandit
The Belly Bandit is a classic postpartum girdle. I loved the fabric and ease of use, but the band was too short for my torso. I think it would work beautifully for someone less tall than I am.
We all know how much I love Frida Mom! I wore this one for quite some time. It worked well on my long torso, and I liked that there were two velcro strips to make it tighter at the top of my waist and looser lower.
I also like that the fabric was thin and flexible but still provided much support. I could wear it around the house and under my regular clothes.
Overall, a postpartum girdle is a band of material that wraps around the waist to provide post-pregnancy support.
I would highly suggest using a postpartum girdle under the supervision of your doctor as it can help you return to your original size by providing compression for abdominal muscles, soothing your belly (especially if you have diastasis recti), and helping with hip and back support post-delivery.