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Are you looking for a new way to deal with the pain of a C-section? One of the best ways of supporting your post c-section body is with a belly band. They wrap around your stomach and provide some gentle support as well as protection from rubbing against clothes. Having used a belly band after both of my c-sections, I am among the many women who swear by them for easing postpartum discomfort. So before you decide whether or not to buy something to support your postpartum belly, here are a few things I’ve learned along the way.
What is a belly band / belly wrap??
A belly band or a belly wrap really is one of the best postpartum garments to make make your post-pregnancy life easier. The purpose of these garments is to hold and support the abdomen, especially during c-section recovery. It helps you by minimizing swelling and pain in the area of the incision, which can take some time before it goes down. It also offers support for your back and belly while allowing comfort and freedom to move around without much restriction.
Belly bands will help support the uterus as it contracts over the first few weeks postpartum. Better quality belly wraps are also made of moisture-wicking material that helps reduce odor and bacteria, making them a great choice for new moms who have just gone through childbirth. Pregnant mothers may also get benefit from wearing a belly binder or girdle to get some extra abdominal support before giving birth. The benefits are not limited to c-section mothers either; vaginal and natural birth mothers may also use them during their postpartum recovery.
Some obstetricians and physiotherapists will recommend a belly band or girdle as part of a new mother’s aftercare plan after a c-section, alongside postnatal massage. They are a great idea for the first few weeks after giving birth because they’re so comfortable to wear and also really helpful in minimizing that postpartum pooch that many women get over their stomachs.
What kind of support can I expect from a c section belly band?
Belly bands will help support the uterus, which may be slightly harder to control after a c section. They also increase your comfort by preventing any excess pressure in your lower abdomen that can cause pain. Some mothers decide to continue wearing other abdominal binders or shapewear to help support their lower back and abdominal muscles.
Is it easy to use a c section belly band?
Belly bands are very simple to use. Just put them on like an undershirt between your underpants and stretchy pants or leggings. After seeking medical advice from your ob-gyn or doctor, you may even wear one while you are sleeping to provide support for your recovering body.
When are belly bands the most useful?
- While you’re feeding your baby – When you are breastfeeding your baby, keep wearing a postpartum belly wrap on to provide extra back support. When sitting upright with baby in either the cradle hold, football hold or the upright feed position, wearing a support garment will reduce pain and prevent soreness.
- When you’re up and about after your c-section – After giving birth, it is natural to feel unsteady as your organs are returning to their normal place. A postpartum support garment will provide stability and comfort during this time. Some hospitals and midwives recommend wearing a support garment after your first shower, and for up to six weeks after delivery, or even longer.
- When returning to work – Many women who have undergone c-section deliveries wear a belly band regularly when they are back at the office. This is because of their increased abdominal control and in order to continue wearing comfortable clothes to work.
- When you’re back to normal household tasks – You’d be surprised at how much you use your core and abdominal muscles doing ‘simple’ everyday tasks like loading the dishwasher and making the bed. You may find you need to adjust the way you do things while you’re recovering, and a belly band will help provide some extra support as you get back to your regular activities.
Things to consider before buying a postpartum belly wrap
Make sure you’ve spoken with your obstetrician after your baby is born about how you’re recovering, and what postpartum support is best for you.
- What items of clothing you wear in the daytime – particularly in summer, you may want to choose a belly wrap that isn’t going to be seen beyond the clothing you will wear. Your maternity clothes may continue to be some of your most comfortable outfits postpartum!
- Whether you are breastfeeding or using a breast pump – check that the belly binder you’re looking at will not get in the way of feeding your baby.
- What support you will have from family and friends – you may want to choose something with extra support if you will be looking after your new baby on your own for longer periods of time.
- If you have had any c section complications – consider an adjustable abdominal binder or something which is considered medical-grade, especially if you have significant diastasis recti and your muscles need more support post-cesarean.
- Whether you will be engaged in heavy activity or physical work – a belly wrap that offers the right amount of support is really important to prevent injury.
- How long you will need it for – some people buy a postpartum support garment that they wear for several months, while others may only use it until their scars are completely healed. It’s often a good idea to have at least two so that while one is in the wash, you can wear the other.
When can I wear a belly band after a c-section?
The most important thing to remember when you’re recovering from a c-section is your patience. You are going to feel pain and it’s normal. It could last for a few weeks, but that doesn’t mean you should rush your recovery process. You are still healing from a major surgery that could take some time. Speak with your obstetrician about the most appropriate time post-cesarean for some extra support.
My recommendations for c-section belly bands
Here are my top two picks for the best c-section belly bands on the market today:
Belly Bandit – C-Section & Postpartum Recovery Undies
C-section recovery can be rough. You’ve been through the initial trauma of delivery, but now you have to go back and deal with the aftermath. You might be able to take some medicine for a few weeks to make the process easier, but if not, then you need something else.
That’s where Belly Bandit comes in. This company offers new moms an extra layer of protection over their incision site while recovering from childbirth. They also offer moisture-wicking material that helps keep you cool during this difficult time–medicine or no medicine! And because they’re easy to use (they’re velcro adjustable to suit each stage of your recovery), you’ll get more value out of them. Plus, they’re machine washable, so it’s easy to maintain the freshness and cleanliness you need without needing to worry about hand washing yourself each time.
- Moisture-wicking, breathable fabric
- Silver-infused fibers help eliminate odor and bacteria
- Easy pull-on design
- Can be worn after C-section or natural delivery
- Reduce swelling and discomfort
- Support core muscles
- Promote mobility
- Gently protect the incision site
Motif Medical Postpartum Recovery Girdle
This postpartum girdle is designed with gentle compression for swelling reduction and pelvic girdle pain relief, while also delivering support for hips, lower back and posture. It can be worn discreetly under clothing due to the nude-colored lightweight micronet fabric, and its split crotch design making trips to the restroom convenient too! The bottom is secured with silicone leg grippers to prevent ride up.
The Motif Medical Postpartum Recovery Girdle is a true medical device, approved by the FDA for use in treating postnatal conditions. This makes it a great option if you have insurance coverage for postpartum girdles and want to make sure you’re getting reimbursed.
- Provides gentle compression to reduce swelling or edema.
- Stabilizes the abdomen with gentle support panels.
- Relieves conditions like pelvic girdle pain and supports lower back and hips for improved posture.
- Receive relief after a C-section birth while speeding up postpartum recovery time.
- Get your pre-pregnancy body back faster than without support
A c-section is major surgery and can take some time to recover from. One of the most important things for new moms who have had one, or are about to go through it, is finding the right type of support garment that will prevent injury as they heal from childbirth. When selecting the right one, make sure you find something that is comfortable and easy to wear. While most will tell you it’s best to find something with a front closure, keep in mind how painful your incision site might end up being. If it hurts when clothing brushes up against the scar area, then you may need a belly band that covers the entire area in one piece and has a side closure instead. This is a great option for moms who are still recovering from the initial trauma of childbirth or if they have sensitive skin.