First off, what is an abdominal binder?
Turns out, a whole lot more than immediate waist reduction — as made popular by Kim Kardashian.
The abdominal binder is not a new invention.
Just as women’s bodies come in all shapes and sizes, abdominal binders come in many sizes, designs, and materials. Sometimes called a belly binder or an abdomen belt, they’re designed to speed healing from abdominal surgery or after childbirth.
An abdominal binder is meant to be quite tight — though not so tight that you can’t breathe or sit comfortably. Some abdominal binders are simple swaths of thick fabric that you wrap around your belly area, securing the wrap with velcro or a series of snaps. Other binders are more like a bodysuit that you step into and pull up around your midsection.
In this article, we’ll dive into the benefits of wearing an abdominal binder, answer common questions, and guide you through shopping for the best products on the market.
Let’s get into it.
- Overview: Top Reasons for Wearing an Abdominal Binder
- Postpartum Abdominal Binder May Increase Blood Flow
- Provides Abdominal Support During Exercise
- Helps to Relieve Pain from C-Section Surgery
- Wear an Abdominal Binder to Readjust to Your Pre-pregnancy Clothing
- The Benefits of Abdominal Binder After Hysterectomy
- Common Questions About Abdominal Binders
- When to start wearing postpartum girdle?
- Can you sleep in abdominal binders?
- How long to wear postpartum girdle?
- Can you wear a belly binder after abdominal surgery?
- How To Shop And Compare The Best Abdominal Binders
- In Conclusion
Overview: Top Reasons for Wearing an Abdominal Binder
- Provides abdominal support after childbirth, hernia, tummy tuck, hysterectomy, and other abdominal surgeries for increased range of motion and comfort
- Compression increases blood flow and reduces swelling to the abdominal region to promote healing
- Helps you get exercising sooner to recover from diastasis recti
- Save your abdominals and back muscles from pain
- A post pregnancy binder tucks in the belly, helping you fit into slimmer clothing to regain confidence in your body
Women Wearing Abdominal Binders After Pregnancy
Postpartum Abdominal Binder May Increase Blood Flow
Your uterus pre-pregnancy is the size and shape of an upside-down pear and can stretch up to 500 times its original size during pregnancy. After your child is born, it takes approximately six weeks for this organ to shrink back to its original size — an abdominal binder can speed this process along by compressing the organ into place and increasing blood flow.
Wearing an abdominal corset after delivery — vaginal or c-section — works wonders for your healing process.
Compression therapy isn’t a new invention. Compression bandages and socks apply even, gentle pressure to the affected area to reduce soreness, inflammation, and increase range of motion.
The gentle tension from a high-quality abdominal compression garment increases blood flow to the region, bringing a fresh supply of oxygen and nutrients to the abdominal organs to speed healing.
Provides Abdominal Support During Exercise
Hormonal changes and uterine growth causes stretching in the abdominal muscles. Roughly two out of three women will experience a separation of their abdominal muscles during pregnancy, which is undoubtedly painful.
Diastasis recti is a condition where the muscles that make up the wall of the abdominals — also known as the “six-pack” — separate from your midline, making you look like you’re still pregnant as the intestines and abdominal organs distend into the space. Diastasis can aggravate lower back pain as it has to compensate for the weakness in your core.
Treatment can sometimes include surgery, such as a tummy tuck, or you can go a less invasive route with exercise and a strict diet. Wearing a postpartum binder while you exercise may increase your range of motion and ease your comfort in your workouts to regain tone and strength in your abdominals.
A 2013 study found that starting your abdominal exercises from the second day after delivery is an effective method for restoring postpartum abdominal efficiency — a binder was worn for immediate waist reduction and to hold the muscles at the right tension to prevent them from sagging and expanding.
Helps to Relieve Pain from C-Section Surgery
Cesarean delivery is major surgery — an incision is made to the abdomen and into the uterus. It’s no wonder why people often report a sore recovery for up to six weeks. Everything can feel loose and out of place — standing for too long is painful, bending over is painful, going to the bathroom is painful. It can make every day tasks a daunting experience, especially with a newborn.
An abdominal binder is designed to support your abdominal and back muscles by holding everything together, so you’re no longer feeling like everything is hanging and loose. It can even open your airways to improve your breathing, as it naturally straightens your posture, bringing more room into your diaphragm for lungs to fully expand.
If you had a c-section, an abdominal binder is a must for your healing process.
More than just a luxury item, an abdominal corset can get you back into a routine quickly while feeling comfortable and supported.
Wear an Abdominal Binder to Readjust to Your Pre-pregnancy Clothing
Sick of people asking when your baby is due after giving birth?
One of the fastest benefits of wearing a post-natal binder may be a superficial reason, but it’s important for your improving your confidence nonetheless. It’s okay to feel different after giving birth, your body has undergone an incredible change — give yourself permission to heal with your new, temporary body.
Abdominal binders are elastic, often made from soft, breathable materials that can be worn comfortably under your clothing, so no one will have to know you’re wearing one. The binder will reduce the appearance of your tummy, so you can feel confident while you transition from your pre-baby body to post-baby bod.
The Benefits of Abdominal Binder After Hysterectomy
A hysterectomy is the surgical removal of all or part of the uterus. An abdominal hysterectomy is much more invasive than a vaginal hysterectomy (where part of the uterus is removed).
For some patients, it can take six to eight weeks to recover from an abdominal hysterectomy. The hospital will often provide you with a binder — but don’t expect it to be the most comfortable fit.
Investing in a high-quality binder will make all the difference for your recovery. Wearing an abdominal binder after surgery can help relieve pain, speed the healing process with compression, and provide back support.
Common Questions About Abdominal Binders
When to start wearing postpartum girdle?
You can use your post-pregnancy binder immediately after delivery, even after surgical c-section.
Can you sleep in abdominal binders?
Depending on the type of surgery you’ve had, you can wear your abdominal binder 24 hours a day, and many patients choose to sleep with them to get the maximum benefits of compression.
This is why it’s important to compare and shop for high-quality garments, so you can feel comfortable in the material throughout the day and even as you sleep.
How long to wear postpartum girdle?
It’s recommended you use your belt for the whole duration of your recovery. As your body changes during the weeks, you may need to size down in your abdominal binder to one that fits snugly.
Shop with brands that offer multiple sizes in the style of girdle you like, so you can make each transition between sizing a breeze. The best options are often sold online for competitive pricing.
Can you wear a belly binder after abdominal surgery?
It depends on the abdominal surgery, but most belly binders are suitable to wear after surgical procedures.
How To Shop And Compare The Best Abdominal Binders
Before you shop, you should know the difference between the best postpartum belly wrap and postpartum girdles.
Let’s quickly compare the two.
Girdles will offer much more support to your abdominals over a wrap, and it’s often are made from stronger material and last longer.
Wraps often have bulky velcro closures that don’t conform to the natural curves of the body — making them more noticeable beneath clothes and can sometimes rub against the surgical incisions.
There are so many options for post postpartum girdles or abdominal binders on the market today. Search for the best garments that offer the following features:
- A combination of comfort and support — breathable fabric is a must, especially since you will be wearing it for hours at a time. It should feel like a snug second skin.
- A hook and eye closure on a corset make it easy to use the restroom without taking the entire garment off.
- Reinforced panels in the front and back of the abdominal binders support the pressure points in your midsection as you heal.
- A snug fit ensures that the belt will not slip off, even as you care for your new baby and resume your normal daily activities.
While you may find a few abdominal binders sold in a baby and pregnancy store, your best option is to purchase online, where you have a wide range of garments to choose from at a better price point than offered in store.
Before you purchase your abdominal binder, ask friends for recommendations, read its product review, and compare quality and price on the market. When it comes to your health, you deserve only the best.
By now, you should understand why so many women are sold on the abdominal binder pregnancy savior. It’s more than just an item for aesthetics. The period after childbirth is a special time to connect with your new baby. Beat the baby blues and get back to feeling like your normal self by making your health and recovery a priority with one, high-quality item.
An abdominal belt is a multifaceted tool — it provides stomach support after pregnancy or abdominal surgery and can help you gain confidence in your transition into your post-baby body. You’ll quickly see the investment in your body and health is worth every penny.