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What is a Post-Pregnancy Belly Wrap?

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  • Written By: Gina Ritter
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 30 November 2016
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After having a baby, many women find their midsection is quite swollen and uncomfortable, and still may look pregnant. Even after several months and lost pregnancy weight, some women may be unable to fit into pre-pregnancy clothes because of their bulging belly. A post-pregnancy belly wrap, also called a belly binder, is a gentle compression wrap for the abdominal area—much like a girdle. The support provided by the wrap is intended to help reduce swelling in the uterus, returning it to its normal size, and also help support the back and legs. Some professional argue, however, that the wrap doesn't do much at all to help return the uterus to its original size.

Belly wraps are not new to the medical community. They have often been used for post abdominal surgeries, such as tummy tucks, and for patients with back problems. Belly wraps not only help support the abdomen, they also can help improve posture and support the legs and back. The main function of the post-pregnancy belly wrap typically is to aid in healing the distended and possibly painful abdomen, regardless of whether a woman delivers vaginally or by cesarean section.

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More than compressing the uterus back into shape and conditioning the abdominal muscles, a post-pregnancy belly wrap may also help women fit into non-maternity clothing while they mend. Women sometimes feel more self-confident and appealing than they would otherwise, because of the slimming effect of the compression. When their pre-pregnancy jeans fit, they may feel more accomplished in their post-pregnancy goals. Likewise, feeling good may have the natural affect of motivating a mom to eat healthy and lightly exercise so her body has help getting back into shape even more quickly.

Many brands of belly binders are girdle-like and some have Velcro sides strapped into place around the belly. Some post-pregnancy belly wraps claim to heal a swollen belly if they’re worn for six to eight weeks at all times. Some doctors, midwives and other professionals disagree, however. They don't believe the wrap works at all to heal separated abdominal muscles or reduce the size of the uterus.

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