Pregnancy is a beautiful journey for most women. But it does come with an array of after-effects, both physical and mental. We have to deal with postpartum bleeding, maternity underwear and more. Of these, an out of shape tummy is a major problem that most women just end up making their peace with.
However, it certainly does not have to be this way. There are a variety of postpartum girdles on the market nowadays. Many women actually swear by them. Lets run you through what exactly a postpartum girdle is, and how it can benefit you.
Table of Content
- 1 What is a postpartum girdle?
- 2 Do they help get rid of the baby fat?
- 3 Why should I invest in one?
- 4 Benefits of a Postpartum Girdle
- 5 Can Postpartum Girdles be Dangerous?
- 6 What you need to consider
- 7 Difference between a postpartum girdle and belly band?
- 8 Weight Loss: Can a postpartum girdle help you?
- 9 Pointers to Note When Wearing A Postpartum Girdle
- 10 When Can I Start Wearing a Postpartum Girdle?
- 11 Types of Postpartum Girdles
- 12 CONCLUSION
What is a postpartum girdle?
It is one of the various forms of post pregnancy abdominal supports available in the market. Keep in mind that some products aren’t aimed particularly at post pregnancy bellies and may not provide you the level of comfort and support needed at that time.
Do they help get rid of the baby fat?
Not really. The main purpose is to provide your abdominal muscles support during the process of recovery. While you may quickly shed pounds in the after birth period, it is likely because the body is getting rid of all the extra fluid it retained. The girdle likely has no role to play in it.
Why should I invest in one?
As mentioned previously, it supports the abdominal muscles and helps them bounce back into shape. It also helps the uterus shrink back to its original size, and prevents the abdominal skin from sagging.
An additional plus for c-section moms is that it reduces the tension in the incision and helps it heal without complications.
How should I decide which one to buy?
For maximum support, choose medical grade supports. You should preferably pick one in a dark color so you don’t have to wash the stains off all the time. Also keep in mind that you will need to make frequent trips to the loo and shouldn’t choose one that makes the process tedious.
What is the best time to use it?
It can safely be used immediately after delivery. However, just to be on the safe side, always get a heads-up from your doctor beforehand during your pregnancy.
How should I use it?
Start with a few hours each day, building up to continuous wear except when you’re showering. Do not wrap yourself so tight that it becomes uncomfortable, and you find it difficult to even breathe.
Is there any contraindication?
The most obvious one is an infection, especially on a caesarean scar. Other than that, if your pregnancy was complicated by eclampsia or hypertension, you should not be using a postpartum girdle.
Benefits of a Postpartum Girdle
- Helps get back in shape
First and foremost, it helps in the process of recovery, as we have discussed above. It provides support to the uterus, abdominal muscles, and the lax abdominal skin until they come back to their pre-pregnancy size.
It may also have a beneficial role in minimizing the appearance of stretch marks and helping the skin regain its elasticity.
- Extra benefits after c-section
By lifting off the pressure from the incision, it aids in healing and helps prevent complications.
- Provides support to the back
Post-pregnancy backaches are extremely common, thanks to the out of shape belly and the additional weight. A good postpartum girdle can also help you avoid these nasty backaches.
- Improves your appearance
It will prevent the abdomen from appearing flabby and you will be able to flaunt your favorite dresses even after delivery.
- Works wonders for your confidence
Nobody can deny the fact that looking good is helpful in feeling good and boosts your self-esteem exponentially.
- Provides you some much needed comfort
By keeping your organs in place, and providing support to muscles, it adds to your comfort.
Can Postpartum Girdles be Dangerous?
Is there any danger in wearing a girdle?
Many women are concerned that it’s is similar to a corset. It applies pressure to your internal organs with the possibility of causing damage. If worn too tightly it can restrict your breathing and cause other complications.
We’ve come a long way since the corset days, so I don’t want you to worry about trying a postpartum girdle if you think it is something that could benefit you while you bounce back from giving birth.
What you need to consider
When wearing one, there is the possibility that your ab muscles will become dependent on the support. Rather than helping in aiding muscle recovery, it could potentially cause additional muscle weakness.
Start wearing it gradually, for a few hours a day and see how you feel. Be patient with your body while you wear it. If you follow the instructions that come with your girdle or that your healthcare provider recommends, you will be just fine.
If worn safely and correctly, a girdle can help give you the back and abdominal support you need while your body recovers from delivery. If you have had a C-section or are scheduled for one, a girdle is something to consider as it helps aid in the healing process after your surgery.
Difference between a postpartum girdle and belly band?
Obviously, there is no one size-fits-all when it comes to a girdle or a belly band and you will want to find something that is right for you.
Comparing Postpartum girdles and belly bands
A girdle will provide the support you need for your healing process, but a belly band may give you an additional amount of support while your body recovers. Although a girdle does provide compression, a belly band could aid in helping your liver,intestines, and other organs move back into the space that baby took up. Belly bands can also provide the additional pressure and support while your uterus goes back to its original size.
A girdle can be worn anywhere up to six months after birth. For some, this could be the perfect amount of recovery time that they need. Some of us may need a little bit more time and this is where a belly band may be a better option. A belly band can be worn up to a year after you give birth.
A belly wrap may be able to hold its shape longer than a girdle. Maintaining its elasticity will allow you to continue to receive the abdominal and back support you need while your body gets back on track.
Belly bands can also be adjusted to keep up with your changing body. You can adjust the pressure as you slim down months after birth, keeping the firmness consistent in your journey.
Weight Loss: Can a postpartum girdle help you?
Do girdles really cause weight loss?
What you need to remember
When wearing a postpartum girdle, it may feel like it is helping you lose weight, but it is only constricting your internal organs and helping to reshape the figure that changed while you were pregnant.
Breastfeeding and healthy food choices can help you lose weight successfully. Think of the girdle as an aid on your journey and healthy lifestyle.
It can be frustrating when you want your pre-baby body back, but you’re on exercise restrictions for many weeks after giving birth. A girdle can help you get back into the transition of exercise when the time comes, but healthy eating choices and habits are what are going to get you there until then.
What to remember
You just had a baby! Weight loss will come, just focus on healing and loving on your new addition as well as yourself. Talking to your doctor about your options can also help alleviate any frustration or impatience.
Pointers to Note When Wearing A Postpartum Girdle
You want to choose something that feels right for you
Even though you’re using it to get your body back on track, you want it to be comfortable and fit you and your needs.
There are girdles that you can pull up over your abdomen that are less bulky than one that has straps and velcro. A pull up girdle is also great if you want to wear it under your clothing as they are more discreet.
If you are looking for a postpartum girdle that is going to maintain its shape, or one that you can adjust as your belly slims down, then you’re going to want to consider one with adjustable straps or velcro. They allow you to adjust it to your shape.
There are postpartum girdles that sit lower on the hips and provide more support for your pelvis and there are also ones that provide body shaping advantages. What you choose can be specific to what you need.
With the growing number of women who choose to wear girdles, manufacturers have come a long way in creating many options. They are designed for C-section recovery, body shaping, and instances where the abdominal wall separates during childbirth. These are just a few examples of the choices you have. Take your time when considering your options.
When Can I Start Wearing a Postpartum Girdle?
We have already addressed what the best time to wear a postpartum girdle is. But does that mean it is already too late for you if you didn’t start using one right after delivery?
Thankfully, the answer to the above question is no. you can still wear a postpartum girdle within 6 months of delivery and reap its potential benefits.
On what day should I start wearing one?
The best time after a normal delivery would be the third day.
What if I had a caesarean section?
You can start wearing a girdle as soon as the doctor allows you to be up on your feet and walk.
For how long should I use it?
Ideally, using it for four to six weeks should serve the purpose.
Types of Postpartum Girdles
Another great thing about postpartum girdles is that they come in a variety of styles, so you can actually choose one according to your own comfort ad preferences. There are four main types of girdles
These have a flap at the front that wraps around the tummy and ties at the back.
Zipper style girdles
The zippers provide a snug fit, and may be present at either the front or at the sides, or both.
Corset style girdles
This style provides the maximum amount of support. They are easy to wear and take off.
Pull-up style girdles
Quite similar in style to shaping underwear, these are also quite easy to use. However, a downside to using these is that you may have to wait for up to two weeks postpartum to start using them, and would need a prior consultation with your doctor as well.
Postpartum girdles are a great way to help speed up the recovery of the body after delivery and pregnancy. They not only help the uterus, abdominal muscles and skin get back in shape, but also have positive effects on your confidence.
Available in a variety of different styles, and made of breathable, medical grade materials, they can provide numerous benefits both after a vaginal delivery and as caesarean section.
However, make sure you discuss with your doctor before using a girdle, especially if you have had a high risk or complicated pregnancy.