A postpartum belt, also called a slimming or corrective belt, is designed to stabilize stretched skin and abdominal muscles. Young mothers wear it very willingly, taking into account its slimming effect
After wearing the belt the belly actually looks much better, it does not spread and takes on a nice shape. But is it really worth to use a postpartum belt?
Certainly it should not be used as an attempt to restore the figure from before pregnancy. It is only meant to help you get back to exercising quickly to restore your pre-pregnancy look and shape
Known for many years
The postpartum belt is not an invention of modern times. Women have been using various ways to quickly restore their pre-pregnancy appearance for a very long time. For example, Indian and Egyptian women bandaged themselves, Spanish women tightened their corsets, and Japanese women used the Sarashi belt.
After childbirth, abdominal muscles are severely strained. Frequent wearing of a postpartum belt helps to speed up the process of shrinking the uterus and helps firm the skin. Some modern belts also contain plant extracts that are designed to help the skin regain elasticity and heal any stretch marks that have formed
How should I use a postpartum belt?
To avoid harming yourself, you need to know how to use a postpartum belt properly. It is safest if you use it under the supervision of a physiotherapist, gynecologist or midwife. You cannot wear it immediately after giving birth. If you use the belt too soon, you may end up with abdominal pain, improper contraction of the uterus and inadequate wound healing. Decide to wear it at least 2 weeks after a natural delivery or 3 weeks after a c-section, when the wound is fully healed. Then wear it a few hours a day, for example when you go out. You can’t wear it for the whole day
A postpartum belt is designed to keep your abdominal muscles in place, but it has no effect on strengthening them. So using a belt is not a miracle way to get back in shape. You will also need to exercise according to your condition. However, the belt can help you return to exercise faster as it makes you feel better and reduces pain in the postpartum wound, which will motivate you to start physical activity
The postpartum belt – how does it work?
Companies that produce postpartum belts emphasize that they can be used not only by women after natural childbirth, but also after cesarean section. In the first case it is mainly about maintaining the proper position of skin, abdominal muscles and abdominal integuments, which after childbirth are very weak and stretched.
In the second situation, i.e. after the surgery, the belt is intended to prevent the occurrence of postoperative hernia, as well as to alleviate pain in the area of the postoperative wound. In addition, a postpartum belt will stiffen the spine, which prevents lower back pain.
Benefits of a postpartum belt
As a result of pregnancy, many women experience back pain and struggle with sagging and flabby skin. Because of these issues, young moms are reaching for a postpartum belt for the postpartum period. This solution can be beneficial, especially for women after a C-section who still have a stretching scar. The belt relieves pain, can minimize the risk of stretch marks, prevents postpartum hernias, and is quite affordable
What are the disadvantages and side effects of wearing a postpartum belt?
It would seem that postpartum belts have benefits alone. In reality, they have disadvantages and can cause some side effects. According to physiotherapists and specialists, wearing a postpartum belt regularly and for too long can disrupt the proper work of the abdominal muscles and make them lazy, and even affect the position of the internal organs
This can cause the muscles to work poorly and not perform their functions once the belt is removed. Moreover, the belt can also make it difficult to hold urine, and if worn for a long time, it can also disturb the statics of the reproductive organ
The postnatal belt – opinions of doctors and physiotherapists
Physiotherapists mostly do not have a good opinion about postpartum belts. Many specialists believe that they should not interfere with the course of the puerperium. The state of relaxation is completely natural and interfering with the work of the reproductive organs can be counterproductive.
Therefore, great caution is recommended after deciding to wear a postpartum belt. According to the opinion of physiotherapists, postpartum belts have a negative impact on the process of postpartum recovery, and compression can cause an increase in intra-abdominal pressure
What are the alternatives to postpartum belts?
Fortunately, there are expert-recommended alternatives to postpartum belts. In order to get back in shape, newly mothers may benefit from:
- kinesiotaping – these are special patches that a physiotherapist applies to the skin of the abdomen. They help to protect the muscles;
- exercising – if you think that after giving birth your abdominal muscles have been considerably weakened, you can strengthen them with exercises. This is one of the best methods.
It is advisable to find exercises for the transverse abdominal muscle, because it is responsible for supporting and cementing it. If it is strong, the postpartum belt will definitely not be needed anymore.
Main photo: Anthony Shkraba, source: pexels.com