postpartum belly binder offering abdominal and pelvic floor support
FAQ: Should you wear a belly band postpartum? This is a controversial issue and depending on who you ask, you’ll get a very different answer. First, let’s start with what a belly band/belly wrap/postpartum support is NOT: Postpartum abdominal support is NOT a waist trainer. It’s job is not to squish your soft, vulnerable midsection into an hourglass shape.

What it is:

Belly wrapping is a practice that has been used for a long long time in many cultures as a way to offer physical support postpartum. It can look a little different depending on the approach used and the tradition followed. A wrap or compression garment can lend some support to the pelvic floor or abdominal muscles during the first weeks postpartum.

When it can help:

If you are experiencing pelvic pain, low back pain or unsupported in your belly (particularly after C-section or with a large abdominal separation), a support garment might help. If it it relieves your symptoms and it feels helpful, wear it during the time that you need it.

When it probably won’t help:

If you aren’t experiencing symptoms, the garment isn’t likely to do much for you. It’s job isn’t to shrink your waist, flatten your tummy, reduce your diastasis or generally to heal your body on any kind of accelerated timeline.

It’s a tool for temporary support and symptom relief. If that relief means that you can be a bit more active, take care of your kids and have an improved postpartum experience, by all means, try one out.

If you choose to wear one, please keep in mind: belly supports are a short-term solution.

 They’re a band-aid, not a short-cut.

They support your body while you work on the long-term solution:

Your inner core muscles are the OG postpartum support.

The real solution to feeling strong, supported and comofrtable postpartum comes from connecting to your inner core and pelvic floor and restoring your core function. Your inner core muscles are your body’s original support garment. The support garments we wear externally are only meant to be a crutch until your body’s innate systems can take back over. It’ll take a little time and a little work to restore your core after you have a baby. But rehabbing and retraining your inner core system is the absolute best, long-term solution to reduces symptoms of a weak or dysfunctional core.

Okay, so moment of truth… should you wear a postpartum support garment?

I would ask you:

• Do you have a symptom it’s likely to improve? If so, I’d probably say try it out. 

• Are you looking for a crutch or a solution? If you’re looking for a crutch, make sure you’re also working on the solution. There’s no free lunch.

• Is belly binding part of your cultural tradition? If yes, proceed!

Things to look out for:

If you choose to wear a support garment, make sure you’re doing your core and pelvic floor rehab work as well. If your support garment creates any downward pressure into your pelvic floor, restricts your breathing or significantly restricts your movement- please don’t continue wearing it. It’s likely too tight and a too tight garment will create more problems than it solves.

Share time: Did you use a postpartum support after you gave birth? How did it help you?

Restore your core postpartum. Start here👇🏽👇🏽.
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Redmond, WA-based Seattle birth doula Laura Jawad, headshot

My mission is to make sure that having a baby is not a reason why you can’t do all the things.

Contact me if you have questions about exercise or pelvic health pertaining to pregnancy or postpartum. I also offer personal training services and consultations to folks locally (Seattle, Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland) and online.

Certified Prenatal & Postnatal Coach, Pregnancy & Postpartum Athleticism Coach and Postnatal Fitnesses Specialist.