No matter how much or how little weight you gained during pregnancy, the post-partum body still has some work to do before returning to it’s original shape. After you have your baby, you may feel that your abdomen now feels “empty” and rightfully so- for the past 40 weeks you had someone else taking up space in there and now that this little person is out, your belly may feel loose. It’s not just your skin that may look different in appearance, but the feeling of all that empty space may actually feel uncomfortable. Sucking in your belly is definitely not an option but wearing supportive clothing may help with this feeling.
With my first baby, I had planned for a natural birth. After my unplanned c-section, the nurses came in with a belly binder. I had never seen or heard of one before and I thought it was just part of a c-section recovery. They never explained why I needed it, and about 10 minutes after wearing it I took it off and never wanted to see it again. It was so uncomfortable- between the pain of the c-section, the hormonal sweats, and not being able to sit with a belly binder due to bunching, I had enough. A few weeks later I saw a post on Baby Center about belly binding and why it was important.
It turns out, belly binding dates back centuries. Not only does it help shrink the uterus back to normal, but it also helps support the back and return the stomach muscles back to normal. It is most beneficial when worn the first 8 weeks post delivery. Why didn’t someone tell me this sooner?!? I was already 7 weeks post partum, and my belly pouch didn’t seem like it was going to budge. It wasn’t worth purchasing a binder at that pont and it took me 9 months to finally lose the pouch and for my body to return to normal.
When I got pregnant with #2, I knew I would be using a belly binder this time around. Even my mother used a belly binder when she had her babies and she claims to have had a flat belly within a few weeks of delivering. Now, just to clarify, belly binding DOES NOT get rid of belly fat. Dieting and exercise will take care of that. Belly binding is suppose to help shrink your uterus back to size, which will also decrease swelling. I did some research and decided to order the Belly Bandit in Bamboo. I specifically went for Bamboo because it was recommended for c-section healing and has natural antibacterial properties.
I admit- I was a little disappointed that the Medium Belly Bandit didn’t fit me immediately after delivery, but to be honest, I was in so much pain, I really didn’t want to wear anything around my belly at that point. It wasn’t until I was two weeks post delivery that I felt ready to wear a belly binder and I was shocked that the medium did fit! It was so tight on me initially that I thought it would have taken a lot longer to get around me. I liked the Belly Bandit a lot better than the belly binder from the hospital because it fit a lot better, looked smoother under my clothes, and felt much more comfortable overall.
In the two weeks that I wasn’t able to wear the Belly Bandit, I was able to comfortably wear the Mother Tucker, which is also made by Belly Bandit. The MotherTucker is a compression tank top that also works with breastfeeding. I loved the Mother Tucker because I felt that it kept me “together” and preventing my loose belly from jiggling as I walked (which is SO uncomfortable!) I also loved that it provided enough support without wires and had an anti-roll bottom. I did experience SOME rolling with the Mother Tucker but it was only when I put the tank over my pants. As long as the Mother Tucker was on my skin and wasn’t placed over anything, it didn’t roll. This quickly turned into my favorite undershirt and provided a slimming, smooth result under clothing, plus it was easy to nurse my baby!
Belly Bandit products aren’t a miracle fat-burner, but after not using them with my first pregnancy and then actually trying them out for my second pregnancy, I do see a huge difference in my belly. My belly was flatter a lot quicker while using the products and I have been recommending belly binding ever since I tried it myself. I felt that especially after a c-section, I had a lot more support in my stomach muscles where I needed it the most.
Belly Bandit has a huge variety of belly binding products, including pants that look VERY comfortable! You can check out all their products at Belly Bandit, as well as connect with them on Twitter and Facebook.