Postpartum Compression - How it works and how it helps
Many new mothers are looking for ways to get back to their pre-pregnancy body and feel confident again. Postpartum compression is the key to it all. In this article, we will explore how postpartum compression helps, its benefits, and different type of compression garments.
How does postpartum compression help?
Your body is still flooded with hormones in the first 8-10 weeks after labor. One of these hormones is relaxin. This hormone increases throughout your pregnancy and allows your muscles to stretch move to accommodate the baby. As your body is adjusting to not being pregnant anymore, the relaxin will slowly decrease. During this time period, you can help your muscles come back together by using postpartum compression.
Doctors and physicians use postpartum compression to help your muscles move and stay back into place while the relaxin decreases. Think of your muscles like clay. While you are pregnant, your muscles, like wet clay, are able to be moved around and squished. When you are no longer pregnant your muscles begin to harden back into their resting place, like putting clay in the sun or a kiln. With postpartum compression, your muscles are compressed together. Therefore, when the relaxin decreases the muscles go back to their original resting place. This means that you can get back your pre-pregnancy body.
Without postpartum compression, your muscles will fall into place eventually, but it can take a much longer time. It may also take a lot of abdominal exercises to get the muscles back to how you want them to be. Wearing a compression garment immediately after giving birth for up to six months can help you heal faster.
Benefits of postpartum compression
Besides helping you get back into shape, postpartum compression also has some other benefits.
- It can help with diastasis recti. Diastasis recti is a condition that many mothers experience where the abdominal muscles separate. With this condition, many mothers do not know they have it and may make it worse by exercising. The trick with diastasis recti is to get the muscles to come back together by strengthening them--so you have to exercise. However, only a few exercises will help them come back together, while others can actually make it worse. By using postpartum compression, the muscles will come back together quickly.
- Compresses uterus to help with swelling. When you become pregnant, your uterus expands to accommodate your growing fetus. Once you have given birth, the uterus has to shrink back to its original size. Compression of the abdominal region can help you shrink your uterus. The postpartum compression helps your body rid itself of the extra fluid which will help your body return back to normal.
- Stomach and back support. After you have given birth your body is going through a lot of change. Your hormones are crazy, your body is trying to heal, and you are dealing with a new child. A compression garment can help you maintain proper posture which allows you to avoid hurting yourself. If you have a tendency to overdo it or overextend yourself, a compression garment might be the best option for you.
- Helps with C-section recovery. Recovering from a cesarean section is a little different from a vaginal delivery. While both benefit from postpartum compression, women who have had a C-section may find it particularly beneficial. This is because the compression helps to relieve the pressure and pain associated with an incision. Preventing you from getting your staples or stitches stuck on anything.
Postpartum compression options
When it comes to postpartum compression, there are a lot of options available on the market. Choosing one that is right for you can seem overwhelming, but we are here to help. There are three main types of compression garments: a postpartum girdle, a belly wrap, and compression leggings.
Postpartum girdles are ideal for women who are looking for a medical-grade compression garment. They are breathable and flexible, sturdy, high-waisted, and encourage good posture. A postpartum girdle also has hook and eye clasps that allow you to adjust the compression amount for your body as you begin to heal. Similarly, postpartum girdles extend from the top of your stomach to your vaginal region, so that you have everything covered. They don’t roll down when you are sitting, and are perfect for women with C-section sutures. Bellefit offers a wide range of postpartum girdles that are ideal for all mothers.
A belly band is worn around the abdominal region but does not offer medical-grade compression. They are typically fastened with velcro and only wraps around the stomach. They are ideal if you are looking for occasional support but don’t want to commit to something that lasts all day. The velcro closure makes it easy to take on and off.
Compression leggings are ideal for the mother who just wants to lounge around the house. They provide a small amount of compression throughout your legs which can reduce swelling. Typically, compression leggings are not ideal for postpartum recovery, but Bellefit has changed the game. They offer high-waisted postpartum compression leggings specifically designed for a recovering mother.
Postpartum compression is a great way to get back to feeling and looking your best. It is not necessary, but it can help you do it faster and with less pain. There are many benefits of using postpartum compression and there are many garments you can try out. Postpartum girdles, belly bands, and compression leggings are just a few of the many options to choose from. Get back to feeling better and looking great by investing in a postpartum compression garment today.