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To speed up postpartum rehabilitation – strengthening of abdominal muscles, healing C-section stitches, reducing the load on spinal muscles and relieving pain that may be permanent or appear in case of increased loads – experts recommend using a postpartum belly wrap.
A band used during the postpartum period is an elastic product covering the entire abdomen and providing support for anterior abdominal wall muscles, facilitating their compression and restoring elasticity. Pregnancy can stretch out abdominal muscles, so they might need some time to restore their elasticity after childbirth. Without a set of specific exercises and additional support using an elastic band, this recovery will be too long and may eventually be incomplete.
Selecting your belly wrap
There are several types of belly wraps, so users often wonder how to choose the right band and which of them is better. To make a choice, consider all existing models:
– Belly wrap which is 25-30 cm wide and covers the entire belly and the lumbar region of the back. This band supports both abdominal and spinal muscles. It fits into place with the help of touch fasteners.
– Postpartum underwear with a special snap button at the bottom. Compared to the belt-shaped wrap, panties are more comfortable, since they ensure a tight fit both when a woman bends, and when she is sitting or lying down.
– Middle-thigh or ankle-length postpartum shorts or Bermudas. These are recommended to those having issues in the thigh or lower leg area, as they help eliminate stretch marks and reduce body fat.
– Postpartum girdle which supports abdominal and chest muscles.
– Universal maternity band used during and post-pregnancy. This elastic band is wide in the middle and narrows down at the ends. During pregnancy, the wide part of the band is located on the back, supporting spinal muscles, while the narrow part supports the belly. In the postpartum period, this band is worn with its wide side on the belly to support abdominal muscles. Since the narrow part is located on the back, it does not cover the entire lower back, and therefore does not reduce the load on the spine. With this in mind, woman having problems with the back should rather use a belt band, as its width is the same throughout the entire length.
Choosing the size
To ensure that the band has the desired effect and does not create inconveniences during wearing, pay equal attention to both its model and correct size.
Your doctor or shop assistant will help you choose the right size.
However, if you are selecting the size by yourself, follow these rules:
– When the weight gain is normal, then choose the band based on hip circumference. After measuring the circumference at the most prominent points, compare the result with the manufacturer’s size chart.
– The postpartum band size corresponds to the size of clothing that the woman used to wear before childbirth.
– In case of considerable weight gain – more than 12 kg – the band size should be 1-2 sizes larger than the size of clothing worn before pregnancy.
How to use the band
The product guidelines usually explain how to wear your belly band, but all in all, you can follow the rules below:
– You can wear a band starting on the first day after childbirth. After the C-section, the band can be worn from the first day, too, but in this case, you must carefully monitor the condition of your stitches. In practice, most often women start wearing the band on the 7-14 day after childbirth;
– Put the belly wrap on in a lying position while lifting your hips.
Your doctor may tell you how to wear the band. If there are no specific recommendations, follow the rules below:
– The band should be worn for at most 3 to 4 hours, followed by a 30-40-minute break;
– You should only wear the band during the day, and take it off for daytime or night sleep;
– The belly wrap is usually used for 1.5 to 2 months.