One of the issues women face after they have had their baby is that their stomach stills look pregnant. If there is anything a mom wants after a happy, healthy baby, it’s to lose the baby belly and support your abdomen and back. If you chat to any of your mommy friends, you may hear them throw around the term “maternity belt.” So what is it, what does it do, and why should you wear one after delivery? Read on to find out.
History of Belly Wrapping after Delivery
Wrapping one’s belly in cloth after delivery has been done in many cultures for thousands of years. It is believed that belly wrapping soon after delivery reduces swelling, tightens the muscles that have been overstretched, and supports the back to reduce pains and aches.
Once you have delivered your little one, your balance suddenly shifts due to your belly shrinking to what it was at around month five of pregnancy. Certain hospitals follow the wrapping process soon after delivery before the mom is discharged from the hospital.
What Is A Maternity Belt?
A maternity belt is a piece of stretchy material that is used to gently hold the belly to support the abdominal muscles and organs. This helps the skin, muscles, and organs that have shifted or stretched during pregnancy to return to their proper positions.
Different Types of Wrapping
It is important to know that there are three different types of wrapping or binding tools: corsets, wraps, and belts or splints. If you have decided to wear some type of wrapping, ensure that you know the difference between them and find one that suits your body. Make sure that it can be adjusted so you can wear it during and after your pregnancy.
Corsets: these are not recommended to be worn after pregnancy. They are typically very tight and place a lot of pressure on the organs in your abdomen and your pelvic floor.
Wraps: there are highly recommended and are normally made from cloth. These can be safely used during and after pregnancy.
Belts or Splints: these are also highly recommended and have Velcro which allows for easy adjustment. This means you can place more or less pressure on your abdominal muscles as needed.
When Can I Start Tying the Stomach After Delivery?
Always talk to your doctor before doing anything that could impact your health and recovery. In normal circumstances, if you delivered naturally, you can start wearing your maternity belt within a few hours after delivery, but it is advised that you wait at least 24 hours. If you had a C-section, you will need to wait at least 10 to 14 days before wearing the belt.
This is to give your stomach the chance to heal from the surgery. If you had a C-section, you need to take it as slowly as you can as any pressure that you place on your abdomen can interfere with the way the deeper layers of your stomach heal.
Do Maternity Belts Help Reduce Post-Pregnancy Belly?
Despite these products being very popular around the world, there have been very few studies conducted to show whether maternity belts help reduce post-pregnancy bellies. While many moms swear that their maternity belt has helped them lose their belly faster, there are many other benefits that can be experienced which may aid in reducing your post-pregnancy belly.
It is commonly believed that wearing a maternity belt after delivery yields the following results:
- Better posture
- Reduced back pain
- Faster healing
- Natural and instant tummy tuc
- Tones the stomach muscles
- Support for the internal organs
- Less aches and pains
Wearing a Maternity Belt
Professionals recommend wearing a maternity belt after delivery in conjunction with a healthy diet and strengthening exercises. If you have a large diastasis recti, maternity belts can aid in the healing and supporting of the abdominal wall.
If you are going to wear a maternity belt, here are a few tips on wearing one:
- Stand up straight. Good posture helps improve your abdominal strength.
- Use the belt to support your abdominal muscles for only two hours at a time. Do not allow your muscles to become dependent on it.
- Only apply the maternity belt once you have activated your deep core muscles.
- Do not wrap it too tightly as this can obstruct your breathing, raise your blood pressure, and restrict your circulation.
- Make sure that you do not feel pressure on the muscles in your pelvic floor. This means the belt is too tight.
Risk When Wearing a Maternity Belt?
When you wear a maternity belt, you support your internal organs, abdominal muscles, lower back, and pelvis. Certain maternity belts can also give your stomach a slimmer appearance post-pregnancy. This has resulted in them being very popular to wear.
If you choose to wear a maternity belt, you should know about the risks involved. Experts advise that wearing a maternity belt too much or too tightly can result in the following:
- By placing too much pressure on your uterus, you can cause bleeding.
- Rashes may occur in the area where the belt is worn, especially where the belt sinks into your skin.
- Pain and discomfort due to over wearing as many women become dependent on the support.
- Internal wounds take up to 8 weeks to heal, so wearing the belt too tightly can cause complications.
- You can develop hernias from excessive pressure on your stomach.
- Uncomfortable and inconvenient in hot or humid weather.
It is important to remember that wearing a maternity belt does not take the place of a healthy diet and strengthening and toning exercises.
Are Maternity Belts Comfortable?
Maternity belts are not particularly comfortable to wear. Women who have worn maternity belts state that they love the results of wearing the belt, but needed to train themselves into wearing it every day.
The skin on your stomach may get itchy and irritated as the belt’s surface brushes against the skin. The belt may also slip up or down if it is not fitted correctly. Choose a softer fabric belt that is adjustable so you can have a more comfortable wearing experience.
Wearing a maternity belt after delivery has many advantages, but it does come with some risks. Make sure that you are aware of these risks and consult with your doctor before wearing a maternity belt. The overall consensus is that maternity belts have more pros than cons, and are helpful in the recovery process.