If you’ve had a baby recently, the chances are you’ve been more aware than ever of the celebrity trend of abdominal compression or belly binding. This practice has only gained popularity in mainstream media in recent years, but postpartum binding has existed for hundreds of years.
Abdominal compression is an ancient tradition in many areas around the world, including Malaysia, where it is known as “bengkung.” The concept has also been commonplace in places like Japan and Mexico for centuries. In this tradition, a new mother has a piece of muslin cloth wrapped around the abdomen immediately after giving birth. The idea is to provide the new mother with extra physical support as her body heals.
Let’s take a look at what modern-day postpartum belts are and how they work.
WHAT ARE POSTPARTUM BELTS TODAY?
Also known as postpartum girdles, abdominal compression wraps or belly binders, postpartum belts are used by those who have just given birth, hence the name. The postpartum belt we know today hasn’t changed hugely from the traditional ones in Malaysia.
Postpartum belts can provide back support throughout the day and during breastfeeding, help with muscle memory and reduce the pressure on the back and legs. They are particularly helpful for those who have had C-section births as they tend to affect the abdominal muscles more than the vaginal muscles.
ARE POSTPARTUM BELTS SAFE?
Postpartum belts are safe, provided you are careful not to wrap your belt too tightly. You should feel supported but still comfortable and able to move around. You should not feel pain. If you wrap too tightly, the abdominal pressure must go elsewhere. This could result in a prolapse in very extreme cases, so make sure you still feel comfortable and avoid corsets. There’s a big difference between a belt or wrap designed for new moms and fashion corsets.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF POSTPARTUM BELTS?
There are many reasons why new mothers wear postpartum belts, whether to help with healing or for cosmetic purposes. For those concerned about swelling, abdominal wrapping is a great solution. This process compresses blood vessels and capillaries, flushing fluids from the skin, minimizing swelling and reducing post-childbirth bruising.
Other reported benefits of postpartum belts include helping the uterus shrink back down to its original size. This can help alleviate pain, allowing the new mother to return to her regular activities, and protecting the C-section incision. The additional compression helps hold your abdominal muscles and any areas around an incision together so your tissues can repair more quickly.
DO POSTPARTRUM BELTS WORK?
When used correctly, postpartum belts can speed up recovery after a C-section or natural birth. They can help you feel more comfortable and supported when moving around since it gives your abdominal wall and back more support. Of course, they also help hold you in, which often helps moms feel more positive and more like themselves sooner after birth.
WHICH POSTPARTUM BELTS DO WE RECOMMEND?
We recommend using shapewear with built-in support, as it will provide you with safe, all-over support post-birth. Our shapewear is gentle on the skin and can be worn at all times. Here are our favorites:
SEMI VEST WAIST BODY SHAPER NS173
Our Semi-Vest Waist Body Shaper is made with spandex and compression Powernet and features adjustable straps for comfortable everyday use. This body shaper can help maintain good posture while providing support to your back.
INVISIBLE BODYSUIT WITH PANTY 8051
Our Invisible Bodysuit with Panty is idea for moderate compression. It highlights your body’s natural curves and offers support for your stomach and back as you heal.
DAILY USE COMPRESSION FAJA WITH SHORT AND SIZE ZIPPER NS046
Our Daily Use Compression Faja with Short and Side Zipper targets your waist, tummy and hips with just the right amount of compression. It has adjustable straps and an open bust so that you can wear your own bra with it.
Having a baby can put a lot of strain on your body, and postpartum belts are a great way to help your body heal and to feel more comfortable in the days and weeks after giving birth. To see our full range of postpartum shapers, click here.