Can You Use A Girdle After a C-Section?


We often associate girdles with waist training, all the corsetry of old – hardly things a newly postpartum mother is thinking about! that said, a girdle can help with back and stomach support. It can also provide a smoother look under clothing which can make you feel more confident in yourself and your appearance.

You’ve just had a baby, though! and major abdominal surgery! Is compression okay on your tummy after a C-section? Do you have to wait before wearing one? What features should you be looking for?

If you’ve had a C-section and it’s been medically cleared, studies show wearing a girdle can be beneficial for your recovery and can help with any pain or discomfort that can occur.

Always consult with your doctor before doing so and make sure to follow their instructions on care and use before trying anything out on your own.

This article will explore some of these questions, helping you find a way to feel comfortable wearing a girdle after having had a c-section.

How long after a c-section can I wear a girdle?

I wore a stretchy tube (along with those fetching compression socks!) from about four or so hours after my C-sections and upgraded to a more rigid belly binder once I was up on my feet and walking. The hospital physiotherapist fitted this stretchy tube for me on her first visit after my babies were born. I would consider this stretchy tube to be more of a belly band – it was similar to the extra support my pregnancy belly bands offered my tummy.

You can start wearing a stronger compression garment as soon as your pressure dressing is removed by your OBGYN, or on postoperative day 1. Just make sure your doctor checks your c-section incision first.

If you notice redness, warmth, or drainage around your incision, you might have an infection. Because a belly wrap makes direct contact with the incision, your obstetrician may suggest you stop wearing your girdle or use a different postpartum belly wrap that has more gentle compression.

How do girdles help after a c-section?

We all want to heal faster after childbirth, right? Compression helps to speed up the post-operative process so that new mothers can make this happen and get on with the new normal!

Helps With Blood Pressure

An abdominal binder is a must-have for mothers who suffer from orthostatic intolerance, according to a 2010 study. Orthostatic intolerance (OI) is a condition characterized by a significant drop in blood pressure when standing up.

Improves Blood Circulation

Oxygen is required for scar tissue, like around your c-section incision, to heal. Compression garments can assist with the delivery of oxygen by improving blood flow. Improved blood circulation has been observed to speed wound healing and reduce infection risk.

Due to the increased circulation, the tissues, especially the damaged ones, receive more blood, oxygen, and nutrients, and the immune response improves.

Supports Lower Back And Abdomen

You’ll need all the help you can get when it comes to chores and taking care of a newborn, so why not utilize your girdle? Wearing a girdle around your midsection will give support to your lower back and core muscles, allowing you to move about freely and hold your baby.

SRC Health, the makers of the popular SRC Recovery Shorts, conducted lab research that indicated wearing compression garments promotes greater muscle tone, delivering better stability to the trunk.

During pregnancy, your belly will expand to accommodate your baby, and the abdominal muscles separate. The condition is known as diastasis recti, and the muscles stay apart even after giving birth. Compressing is necessary after the c-section to bring those muscles back to their usual position and close gaps.

It’s amazing how much you use your abdominal and back muscles to do daily tasks, and these muscles will need support. As you are looking after your new baby, heading to the toilet, or even just getting in and out of your bed or chair, a compression garment designed for postpartum recovery will mean you can use your hands for holding onto other objects for support, instead of pressing against your wound. Gently moving and doing day-to-day activities will help to speed up your recovery.

Helps To Reduce Pain And Gets You Moving Again

After the first 24 hours following a c-section delivery, you should apply pressure to your incision. Without support, your movements might unexpectedly strain the newly stitched tissue, which can rip your incision inadvertently.

Swelling, especially around an incision, is a significant contributor to the associated pain. Compression helps to reduce swelling around your wound, and as a result, can reduce the amount of pain you will feel.

Supports Your Shrinking Uterus

Other advantages of wearing abdominal binders after giving birth include assisting the uterus shrink back down to normal size; alleviating pain, enhancing comfort, and allowing you to get back to your regular activities sooner.

The Belly Bandit is one of the most popular postpartum girdles on the market

What are the benefits of using a girdle after a c-section?

The support from a girdle after a c-section can help with post-partum sagging, and can also relieve pelvic pain that can occur after the surgery. It can also help to prevent any stretching or shrinking that can occur with ligaments. New moms who are feeling self-conscious will appreciate the more toned appearance.

Here are some of the key benefits of using a girdle after a c-section:

  • A postpartum girdle can aid the recovery process, supporting the returning the abdominal muscles back to their regular position quicker. Girdles also provide incision support after a c-section. 
  • Girdles aid in the relief of lower back discomfort by adding support your postpartum belly and lax abdominal muscles.
  • Wearing a girdle will help you move around comfortably. You can walk, sit and lie down without the focus being on your incision.
  • A girdle works wonders for a new mom’s self-confidence. As a new mother, you might feel frustrated about the fact that you can’t fit into your old clothes or be as fit as you were before. A girdle can help with a more toned appearance and help you feel good about yourself. 

You’ll get the best outcomes if you wear your girdle 24 hours a day, every day during the first few weeks of recovery. As your body changes throughout the months following childbirth, an adjustable girdle will be the most versatile since you’ll be able to tighten it as your uterus contracts.

Will postpartum girdles make you lose weight?

Contrary to popular belief, postpartum girdles or waist trainers don’t help you lose any weight. They help to make your belly feel more secure by compressing the separated muscles. They assist in the healing process by offering support, not with weight loss.

If you’re concerned about your postpartum belly, whether you’ve just given birth vaginally or recently had a c-section, try on different types of girdles and see which one can give you the results that help how you feel. A healthy diet and moderate exercise (appropriate for c-section recovery) will be how to lose fat.

Remember – it is normal for your belly to stretch during and after pregnancy. You just grew a tiny human! Ever heard the saying “9 months in, 9 months out”? It refers to giving your body 9 months postpartum to start operating closer to how it was pre-pregnancy again. I don’t mean “back to pre-pregnancy weight” either – I mean that your body needs that postpartum time to settle before you can expect it to react to dieting and/or exercise the way it used before you were pregnant. Don’t expect it to be exactly the same, though – pregnancy does change your body.

Can I wear a compression garment after a c-section?

You can wear a compression garment after a c-section, but what type you wear will depend on how your recovery is going. Some women will require a more gentle compression after birth. Do not pull out your Spanx from the back of your draw until your doctor says it is okay.

In conclusion – you just gave birth, and had major surgery. Accept the support.

Can you wear a girdle after giving birth via c-section? Whether you just had a vaginal delivery or c-section, your postpartum belly is not what it used to be. There are many medical benefits of wearing a postpartum girdle for extra abdominal support when recovering from childbirth, not to mention other benefits like helping you feel a bit more confident in your body’s appearance.

If you’re considering using one but don’t know which type will best suit your needs, start by speaking with your doctor or obstetrician. Every mother’s c-section recovery is different, so you might not be able to wear the same postpartum wrap that your friend did.

Taking care of your body during your postpartum recovery will give you the best chance of returning to normal activities sooner, ditch the back pain (and associated pain relief – gosh those strong pain killers make toilet breaks a…pain!) and get you on the way to enjoying time with your precious little baby. Postpartum girdles are a wonderful way to help support you during your postpartum period – if you have the means to purchase one, I do recommend it.

Carly Wight

Mother of two young boys (6 and 3!) and an avid "Googler", Carly is the kind to research something to the nth degree. Be it about products, hacks, or techniques, she shares what she finds out at her website - Fairy Good Mommy.

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