Postpartum belly wraps and girdles are a huge help in bouncing back to an almost pre-pregnancy state along with exercise if worn on time and correctly. Find out when is it too late to wear a postpartum belly wrap?
I felt really jiggly, loose, and still had a postpartum belly at 7 weeks after having my second baby. I was been advised about wearing a postpartum girdle to shrink uterus faster after birth but I did not take the advice seriously as I bounced back to my pre-pregnancy self quickly after the first pregnancy.
But second pregnancy was different and at seven weeks after childbirth, I felt like I was in my second trimester of pregnancy.
Then it hit me to start wearing postpartum belly wrap at 7 weeks postpartum. But in my mind, “is it too late to wear postpartum belly wrap at seven weeks postpartum”?
Just like it’s not late to start breastfeeding at 8 weeks, it is not too late to wear postpartum belly wrap at seven weeks. Keep reading if you want to know the science behind wearing a postpartum belly wrap even when you think it’s late.
So, let’s go right into it!
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What is Postpartum Belly Wrap?
Postpartum belly wrap and girdles are layers of stretchy and rigid material wrapped from under the breast to the hip.
It supports stretched muscles and connective tissue in the abdomen and speeds up the process of pushing the organ back to its original shape and size that have loosened during pregnancy.
There are many alternative names of postpartum belly wrap. They are also known as postpartum girdle, postpartum bind, postpartum belt, postpartum band, Belly Bandit, and postpartum corset.
What are the Reasons for Wearing a Postpartum Belly Wrap?
Nine months of pregnancy and then delivering a baby changes many things in your body, from the way you look to your abs to your pelvic floor, and the list goes on. And to feel a little comfortable, we take help from a postpartum belly wrap.
Beyond feeling comfortable, there are other reasons for wearing a postpartum belly wrap.
Wrapping the abdomen after delivering a baby isn’t a new concept. The women have been wrapping their belly after delivery for ages. Abdominal binding with postpartum wrap and girdle helps tighten the muscle and connective tissues in the abdomen.
The postpartum belly wrap is beneficial if you have a diastasis recti-separation of the abdominal muscle by bringing it back together. Although this claim is not scientifically proven, anecdotal evidence suggests it helps stop it from getting it worst.
Of course, abdominal muscles do go back to their original shape naturally postpartum. Wearing belly bands helps accelerate the process.
Supports Lower Back soon After Pregnancy
Many physical changes during pregnancy, like stretching of the uterus causing weakened abdominal muscle, can strain your back once you have a baby.
Wearing a postpartum belly wrap helps support your achy back and posture when you are sitting for an extended period while breastfeeding. It can give you support for the first few weeks by allowing you to walk further when your newborn wouldn’t go back to sleep at night and wants you to carry him around.
Benefits for C-section Mamas
Moms who have had a C-section can specifically benefit from wearing a belly band. One potential benefit of wearing a belly wrap after a C-section is that it helps alleviate pain related to a C-section.
A randomized controlled trial published in 2018, including 60 women who wore a belly band after having a C-section, experienced less pain but no change in blood loss (1).
Supporting the same idea, a meta-analysis of six randomized control trials suggests that belly band can help relieve pain associated with C-sections allowing mothers to focus on caring for their newborn and less on pain (2).
In contrast, a research study published in 2016 found no difference in postoperative pain after using belly bands when worn after C-section (3).
Even if it doesn’t help alleviate pain, it allows you to walk little further and do your daily activities sooner according to a research study (4).
These research studies suggest some mixed results of wearing a belly band postpartum for relieving pain associated with C-sections. But there are research-backed benefits that may entice you to wear a belly band after having a baby. According to a research study published in 2019, belly binding and exercise can improve body image and improve how to bend forward in the early postpartum period (5).
When is the best time to Wear Postpartum Belly Wrap?
The benefits of belly wrap are optimally achieved when you start wearing it the first 8-10 weeks after delivering your baby when hormone Relaxin is still at a higher level.
There are varying opinions about when to start wearing belly wrap after delivery. Some health care providers do not object even when you start wearing your belly wrap on the first day postpartum. At the same time, others recommend wearing it second or third day postpartum. It is best to check with your doctor for the timing of wearing a belly wrap as they are aware of your health condition.
How soon after C-section can you wear a Belly Band?
Most physicians suggest waiting until wound is healed and dried sufficiently, which is around 6 to 8 weeks if you delivered via C-section. But if you purchase a modern belly bandit or postpartum girdles, you start wearing it sooner. The rule of thumb is to wear your belly band when you are ready to get out of your bed. It will help avoid tearing at the wound and relieve the pulling sensation you experience while moving, coughing, or sneezing.
But before you decide to start wearing a belly band after C-section, always talk to your doctor.
Wearing a postpartum belly wrap in the first few weeks helps support abdominal muscles when they are weakest. In addition to breastfeeding, belly wrap helps shrink the uterus even faster by providing gentle compression, which may help mom get rid of pregnant-looking belly quicker.
When you first start wearing a belly wrap, please do not wear it all day long. First, start with 2 hours a day and then gradually increase the hours/day as your postpartum body get used to it.
Most belly wrap manufacturers recommend wearing a belly wrap for 10-12 hours each day for up to 6 to 8 weeks postpartum to receive the full benefit. But do not keep it on for straight 10 hours a day. Take a break in between. Wear 3 hours in the morning, 3 hours in the afternoon, and 3 hours in the afternoon. Wearing it all day long will affect your blood circulation and muscle weakness. Make sure you take the belly wrap off at night as your skin needs to breathe.
How long Should you Wear Postpartum Belly Wrap?
It is best to wear postpartum belly wrap for 2-3 months postpartum. It is when the hormone Relaxin is still at a higher level and can be found in new mom’s body up to five months. The hormone Relaxin level is elevated in the body during pregnancy to increase the size and elasticity of muscles and connective tissue to make room for the baby.
At the most, you can wear postpartum belly wrap for up to five months until Relaxin is out of your system.
Wearing a body wrap while Relaxin level is still high makes it easier and quicker for organs to move back into their original shape.
Now, let’s talk about the question you are waiting for you to read.
When Is It too Late to Wear a Postpartum Belly Wrap?
As mentioned earlier, maximum benefits of belly binding are achieved during the first 6 to 8 weeks postpartum; it is when the hormone Relaxin is still at the higher level in the body.
But that doesn’t mean that it is too late to wear a postpartum belly wrap if you have missed that period. You can still wear the belly wrap up to five months postpartum as Relaxin is still present in your body for up to five months. But it might take longer to see the benefits of wearing a belly wrap as Relaxin level decrease in your body.
And if you’re breastfeeding, the hormone Relaxin may stay in your system longer, giving you more time to benefit from postpartum belly compression.
So the answer to your question is;
No, it is not too late to wear a postpartum belly wrap.
You can still achieve the benefits of wearing a postpartum belly wrap. I started wearing a belly wrap when I was 7 weeks postpartum, and it felt amazing. It gave me much-needed support as I had a significant abdominal separation. It made an immediate change in my posture, and I felt in control again.
It made me feel confident about how I looked in my postpartum body. And it seriously helped to reduce the separation of abdominal muscles along with some core strengthening and pelvic floor exercise.
Although it did not help me lose weight, I felt a few inches thinner whenever I took the belly wrap off. That was good enough to boost my body image.
Also, it also essential to know that postpartum belly wrap should be worn for a limited time. Regardless of when you start wearing a postpartum belly wrap, do not wear it for more than 2-4 months and maximum up to the first six months postpartum. As wearing it for a longer duration of time could have the opposite effect. It may weaken your abdominal muscle and make you dependent on belly wrap for your daily activities.
And if you still think that it is “it is too late to wear the postpartum belly wrap,” there are other shapewear collections like compression tanks, shorts, leggings, and corset available. Check out the full collection here.
Now that you know you are not late to wear a postpartum belly wrap, here are the best postpartum belly wraps and girdles to achieve the maximum benefit.
3 Best Postpartum Belly Wraps and Girdle 2021
1. Belly Bandit BFF Belly Wrap
Belly Bandit BFF is a doctor-recommended and FDA-registered medical device to support your belly, waist, and hips and shape your postpartum belly. It helps strengthen core muscles, especially if you have diastasis recti, and enables you to get back to your daily activities sooner. It also offers support and comfort after C-section, and you can keep it on while exercising.
I used Belly Bandit BFF after my second pregnancy, and I loved it. It was very comfortable and not bulky at all. It fitted really well underneath the clothes and helped reduce diastasis recti, and corrected my posture immediately.
Although I was not eligible to claim insurance reimbursement for this Belly Bandit wrap, check with your insurance provider because some US insurance company covers the cost.
Overall, Belly Bandit BFF wrap is a great product for speedy postpartum recovery, and I promise you won’t be disappointed after using it. But if you are not ready to spend, try Original Belly Bandit, which is reasonably priced.
2. Bellefit Adjustable Postpartum Girdle
Bellefit specializes in creating a medical-grade postpartum girdle, and they are usually recommended to C-section moms. It gives total support to your waist, pelvic, and strap in the crotch region allow easy access for bathroom trips. Wearing Bellefit postpartum girdle helps protect C-section incision, control swelling, and alleviate pain after C-section.
It is made of a medical-grade, breathable and hypoallergenic fabric. It is expensive but one of the best available in the market. If you are planning to have multiple kids, it is worth the price. It is available in custom sizes and fits perfectly under your clothes.
3. Chongerfei 3 in 1 Wrap
Both the belly wraps listed above are of great quality and very comfortable but a little pricey. If you are looking for something that is affordable and does its job, consider Chongerfei 3 in 1 wrap.
It is very popular among postpartum mamas and has raving reviews on Amazon. This 3 in 1 belly wrap comes as three separate belts; one belly band, one waistband, and one pelvic belt. So, you may find it too bulky after wearing three belts.
It is made of comfortable, breathable material and helps reduce swelling and support core abdominal muscles and help correct your posture. This 3 in 1 wrap is available in two sizes. Overall, this wrap is of excellent quality for the price, and if you are not planning to go out wearing it underneath your clothes.
How to Strengthen Core with or without a Postpartum Belly Wrap?
Of course, even without wearing a postpartum belly wrap, your body can go back to its pre-pregnancy (almost) shape naturally. But it is just going to take a little longer.
It can take up to five months for your organs to go back to their original shapes, and you may still see your pregnancy pooch and wider hips, sometimes, permanently.
Getting back to pre-pregnancy shape requires more than just wearing a postpartum belly wrap. Yes, postpartum wraps definitely help speed the process of shrinking the organ back to its normal state, but you also need to include low-impact, gentle, approved exercise in your routine to strengthen your core.
However, you should NOT rush to start exercising after delivery. A new mother’s joints are still fragile because of the presence of the hormone Relaxin, which stays in the mom’s body for up to five months postpartum. And any high-impact exercise puts stress pelvic floor even more.
Once your health care provider allows you to start exercising, which is around six weeks to three months postpartum, you can start any low-impact exercise to strengthen your core. You should wait for at least six weeks to three months before beginning any exercise routine.
If you are seriously looking to go back to pre-pregnancy shape and size, I highly recommend you taking this Ob/Gyn recommended, postpartum fitness experts developed and guided postpartum exercise program – MUTU System to guide you through strengthening your core and pelvic floor and lose weight in the first year postpartum.
MUTU System is a 12-week fitness program based on Pilates principles and low impact HIIT exercises, and healthy eating advice. You start the MUTU system with four – 10 minutes of core workouts and daily walking, and as you progress in the program, exercises get intense and complex.
This course is video-based, and you can access it through an online platform anytime you want. This course comes with lifetime accessibility once you purchase it.
If you are looking to go back to your pre-pregnancy shape and, especially, if you have a diastasis recti, you will benefit from taking this course. Try out 5-day free postpartum fitness here.
Is it too late to Wear a Postpartum Belly Wrap? – Conclusion
I hope this article has helped you decide about wearing a postpartum belly wrap if you think you are too late to wear a postpartum belly wrap.
Looking at the benefits of wearing a postpartum belly wrap and hormone Relaxin availability (up to five months) in a new mom’s body, you will benefit from wearing a belly wrap even if you have missed the initial 6-8 weeks window.
But keep in mind to responsibly use the belly wrap. Do not wear more than 2-5 months postpartum. And if you are looking to go back to your pre-pregnancy shape and size, including core muscle strengthening exercise and low-impact HIIT in your daily routine once you talk to your health care provider.
Good Luck, mamas!
Please do let us know what you have decided about wearing a belly band if you think you are “too late”. Leave your comment below.
If you found this article helpful, share it to other parents who might benefit.
- Gustafson JL, Dong F, Duong J, Kuhlmann ZC. Elastic Abdominal Binders Reduce Cesarean Pain Postoperatively: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Trial. Kans J Med. 2018;11(2):1-19. Published 2018 May 18.
- Abd-ElGawad M, Said Ali A, Abdelmonem M, Elshamy NH, Abdeltawab AK, Abd El-Shafea M, Rund NMA, Fadlalmola HA, Ashour ASA, Almohamady M. The effectiveness of the abdominal binder in relieving pain after cesarean delivery: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2021 Jan 20. doi: 10.1002/ijgo.13607. Epub ahead of print. MID: 33471362.
- Cheifetz O, Lucy SD, Overend TJ, Crowe J. The effect of abdominal support on functional outcomes in patients following major abdominal surgery: a randomized controlled trial. Physiother Can. 2010;62(3):242-253. doi:10.3138/physio.62.3.242
- Gillier CM, Sparks JR, Kriner R, Anasti JN. A randomized controlled trial of abdominal binders for the management of postoperative pain and distress after cesarean delivery. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2016 May;133(2):188-91. doi: 10.1016/j.ijgo.2015.08.026. Epub 2016 Jan 14. PMID: 26892694.
- Keshwani N, Mathur S, McLean L. The impact of exercise therapy and abdominal binding in the management of diastasis recti abdominis in the early post-partum period: a pilot randomized controlled trial. Physiother Theory Pract. 2019 Oct 23:1-16. doi: 10.1080/09593985.2019.1675207. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 31642725.
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