Everyone from Cardi B to the Kardashians have touted using a belly band to help snap back after having a baby, but postpartum belly wrapping isn’t a just a fad for celebrities. In fact, the practice of belly binding after birth dates back centuries: Malaysian culture refers to these belly bands as bengkung, Mexicans use a wrap known as the faja and Japanese mothers turn to a sarashi after birth. But what exactly is a postpartum belly wrap?
Benefits of a Postpartum Belly Wrap
The technical term for these now-trendy belly bands are abdominal binders, and they do just that: They offer compression and support for the abdomen and lower back, while also improving circulation and breathing. Such binders have been prescribed by doctors for years following abdominal surgeries—including c-sections—but over the past decade, belly wraps designed specifically for postpartum women have flooded the marketplace. They come in several styles (postpartum girdles, belts, pull-ons and more) and with different closures (velcro, zippers and hook-and-eye, among others), but the primary benefits remain the same across the board:
- Supports abdominal muscles and can aid with diastasis recti, a condition where the abdominals remain separated following pregnancy
- Aids with lower back pain and posture
- Alleviates pain and pressure (particularly around a c-section incision)
- Helps reduce swelling
One thing postpartum belly wraps won’t do? Magically shrink your waist back to its pre-pregnancy size. That comes primarily through diet, exercise, and time—though a belly wrap will help provide a smoother appearance under clothes, similar to shapewear.
Barring any complications from delivery—and after receiving the go-ahead from your doctor— postpartum belly bands can be worn immediately after giving birth. Most belly wrap manufacturers suggest wearing one for around 10 to 12 hours each day, for up to six to eight weeks postpartum, to receive the full benefits. With that type of constant wear, the postpartum belly wrap you select needs to be one you love—and any of these 12 should fit the bill.
Best Postpartum Belly Wraps
Mamaway Nano Bamboo Postnatal Support Belly Band
A comfortable postpartum girdle sounds like an oxymoron, but Mamaway makes it a reality, thanks to its super-stretchy, moisture-wicking, breathable bamboo charcoal material. Also adding to the comfort factor is the customizable support and compression: The velcro enclosure can be pulled as gently or tightly as you’d like, and two additional bands can be placed on areas you’d like to specifically target. Another bonus? It’s machine washable.
Buy it: $70, Amazon.com
Belly Bandit Original Belly Wrap
Tried and true for more than a decade, the no-frills Belly Bandit gets the job done with its easy-to-use wraparound design. The velcro closure allows for six inches of adjustability (letting you control the squeeze factor), and the compression helps strengthen core muscles, support good posture and ease back pain (among other benefits). Not to mention, this belly wrap is covered by several major health insurance companies—making the decision to try it a no-brainer.
Buy it: $50, BellyBandit.com
Those recovering from a c-section might not love the idea of squeezing their incision with a postpartum belly wrap—but they can still benefit from the support a belly band offers. Enter the Bellefit corset, which features a pull-on design and hook-and-eye closures placed with a cesarean incision in mind. The FDA-approved device also offers adjustable medical-grade compression, hypoallergenic fabric and both back and belly support. Our favorite feature, though, has to be the access flap that lets you go to the bathroom without wriggling out of the corset. Genius.
Buy it: $109, Amazon.com
UpSpring Shrinkx Postpartum Belly Wrap
Triple compression? Check. Breathable mesh fabric? Check. Built-in boning to help support your posture? Check. Concealable under clothes? Check again. In fact, there are few belly band requirements the UpSpring Shrinkx doesn’t meet, making it a favorite among c-section and vaginal delivery mamas alike.
Buy it: $30, Amazon.com
Chongerfei 3-in-1 Belly Wrap
The Chongerfei postpartum belly wrap covers a lot of surface area (from low on the hips to high on the ribs), meaning you get support for your pelvis, abdominal muscles and low to mid back. It also means you can manage to avoid any “muffin top” squeezing out of the top of the band, providing a smooth, seamlesss look. In other words, a postpartum win-win—which is why nearly 1,300 women rave about it on Amazon.
Buy it: $22, Amazon.com
Isabel Maternity by Ingrid & Isabel Maternity Afterband
No boning, seams or straps? Sign us up. This belly band by Isabel Maternity gets the job done simply through its stretch knit material, and is held in place thanks to silicone straps at the hems (so you won’t constantly be adjusting it all day). Not only does it provide all the benefits of a postpartum belly band, but it also offers extra coverage when nursing.
Buy it: $25, Target.com
Belly Bandit Mother Tucker Corset
This belly band is loved nearly universally by women, whether they’re postpartum or not. Double compression, side and back boning and a high back help to contour and smooth, while the adjustable closures, lightweight material and released tension at the bottom make it so comfortable, you’ll forget you even have it on. Yes, it’s an investment—but one that can be worn over and over again.
Buy it: $100, BellyBandit.com
Mama Strut Postpartum Care System
The Mama Strut has thought of everything when it comes to a postpartum belly wrap—which makes sense, considering it was designed and created by a mother of three. The velcro-strapped girdle provides belly and back support (while managing swelling), but the most genius aspect of this system is the pull-on shorts that can hold removable ice or heat packs (aiding with postpartum discomfort and healing). Say it with us now: Ahhhh.
Buy it: $130, MamaStrut.com
TiRain 3-in-1 Postpartum Support Belt
Don’t be intimidated by this medieval-looking postpartum girdle: The three different belts help specifically target your pelvis, abdomen and waist, and can be used all together or in whatever combination you prefer. Also adding to the appeal factor: The fabric is light enough to be worn under clothes in all seasons, it’s available in plus sizes and it’s one of the most affordable on the market.
Buy it: $20, Amazon.com
Belly Bandit B.F.F. Belly Wrap
Looking to step up your postpartum belly wrap game from the original Belly Bandit? Try the B.F.F., which features six support panels, two compression panels and nearly nine inches of adjustability (as opposed to the standard six). The design is ideal for those with a shorter waist or on the petite side (those with longer torsos may find it doesn’t cover enough area), and it hugs in all the right places. Now can you see why they call it the BFF?
Buy it: $80, BellyBandit.com
LODAY 2-in-1 Postpartum Recovery Belt
Intrigued by the concept of belly wrapping but not ready to go full-on corset yet? The LODAY belly band is for you. With no velcro, snaps, wraps or straps, the LODAY band slides on and is held in place with flexible boning. It offers similar compression and smoothing benefits, just without the adjustable tightening offered by a traditional postpartum girdle or corset. (Plus, it’s easily concealed under clothing.)
Buy it: starting at $13, Amazon.com
BLANQI Underbust Postpartum and Nursing Support Tank
The benefits of a belly band with the comfort of a tank top? Yes, please. BLANQI’s postpartum support tank offers the same midsection compression and muscle engagement that you’d get with a traditional postpartum belly wrap, and the X-shaped back helps to support and ease lower back pain. Plus, the open bust design makes for easy breastfeeding access while at the same time providing an extra boost to your bust. Need we say more?
Buy it: $68, Blanqi.com
Published October 2018
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