Belly wraps, waist trainers, waist wraps, and corsets have been around for hundreds of years- dating back as far as the Victorian era and stretching to as recent as the Kardashians. Many famous women have been known to use them religiously in addition to post-pregnancy. Are they safe? Are waist trainers, corsets, or waist wraps beneficial or are they detrimental to postpartum health?
We will answer your questions with some pros and cons below:
What are the different kinds of wraps and waist trainers available in the market?
Belly wrap: Light compression. This is generally just a wide, adjustable elastic band that covers you from your ribs down to the tops of your hips only providing light compression. Usually manufactured for postpartum women.
Abdominal compression binder: Light to Medium compression. This is a medical device not specific to postpartum women, designed to be worn after surgery to the stomach. These are no-frills bands that provide medium compression and are adjustable.
Waist trainers/cinchers: Medium to Heavy compression. These are also a wide, adjustable band that covers your midsection, from under your bust to the tops of your hips often made of latex or other stiffer materials and may contain plastic or metal boning. Their purpose is to drastically reduce the size of your waist and offer firm to extra firm compression. They are not advisable for postpartum women.
How do postpartum wraps/ binders help?
The main purpose of a belly wrap is to support and align your abdomen until your stomach muscles and organ shift back into their normal places and can adequately do their job again. An added factor is that belly wraps can also hold in loose skin and fat postpartum leading to a more smooth abdominal look. Sometimes wearing a belly wrap reduces pain and may even help in the healing of diastis recti in addition to more mobility earlier on after giving birth.
Do wraps/ binders make you lose weight faster?
There is no scientifically proven claim that belly wraps or trainers help postpartum women lose weight faster.
How do I know I shouldn’t wear a wrap/ binder?
Any women showing signs of infection, especially in a C-section wound, or has other pregnancy or delivery complications like preeclampsia or anmionitis should steer clear of belly binding. Always remember to ask your doctor before starting to wear one!
At the end of the day, wear what makes you feel comfortable and happy. Your body has just accomplished the massive feat of childbirth and should be rewarded in whatever way you feel is best. Do not cinch or tighten your waist so that you feel uncomfortable or are unable to breath. You have to remember to do what is best for you and your new baby. All mamas go through massive changes physically and emotionally and it is okay to be uncomfortable at first. Remember, be kind to yourself and your body.