Social and emotional support is important to moms surviving those new born days. But what about physical support? A postpartum girdle is a great way to care for your body after delivery. Not only can it aid your postpartum recovery but can help you get your body back to normal. So how do you find the best postpartum girdle?
The choice out there can be overwhelming. If you don’t know where to start then you’re in the right place. Stork Mama have developed this girdle buying guide to help you find one that’s perfect for you.
If you want to quickly skim these are the topics we’ll discuss:
- 5 Best Postpartum Girdles
- Types of Girdle
- Pro and cons of Girdles
- Recommendations for
- Buying guide
- Comparison guide
- Postpartum Girdle FAQ
Let’s get started with our favorite postpartum girdles.
Top 5 Best Postpartum Girdle Reviews
Mamaway Postpartum Belly Band
Type: Support Belt
Pros: Comfortable, adjustable sizing, antibacterial fabric, very supportive
Cons: Expensive, bulky
Let’s begin with the best rated Mamaway Postpartum Belly Band. The belt is made up of two parts which offer triple compression to target areas. Basically it will offer you the support you need whilst being comfortable to wear. The fabric is really soft and won’t did in making it very easy to wear. All mom get postpartum sweating but the bamboo fabric will all air to flow and minimize smells or bacteria growth.
This belt is quite expensive, however it’s adjustable so you won’t need to buy smaller sizes as your tummy shrinks. Sizes available are medium, large and extra-large. It can be bulky to wear under tight clothing but will look ok if you wear under loose tops.
Wink Original Postnatal Abdominal Girdle
Pros: Comfortable, great for C-section, discreet, very supportive, adjustable
Cons: Expensive, sizing runs small
The Wink Original is a true old style pull on girdle with medical grade compression. This style is perfect for women who have had a C-section as it will protect your wound. The adjustable sides allow to you minimise the size of the girdle as you recover. It also has an adjustable crotch making it easier for you to go to the toilet. A great feature is you plan to wear your postpartum girdle as often as possible. Petite torsos can also shorten the length to make it sit comfortably. We love that this girdle is really discreet and will go unnoticed under even tight fitting clothing.
Tirain 3 in 1 Postpartum Support
Type: Support Belt
Pros: 3 belts, comfortable, adjustable, lightweight
Cons: Only suitable up to a size 14
The Tirain 3 in 1 Postpartum Support is a very affordable support system. It’s made of three separate belts to target your waist, belly and hips. It’s fantastic for reducing the aches and pains a lot of women having these areas after birth. The material is soft and stretchy so you can adjust to your own comfort levels. The striped elastic design helps to prevent the belt rolling down when you are wearing. This belt really help with your posture, which is a great benefit to ensure good positioning when breastfeeding.
Bellefit Postpartum Corset
Pros: Very supportive, durable, post-surgery use, posture support, easy clean
Cons: Waist not adjustable, Expensive
Get back to your pre-pregnancy shape with the very popular Bellefit Corset. The support comes from both compression fabric and boning up the sides. It’s fantastic for abdominal and posture correction especially if you had a C-section deliveries. Invest in this girdle if you don’t want to feel like you inside are going to fall out every time you move after delivery. It gives you a little wait shaping too, although can be noticeable under tight clothing. This girdle is very high quality, and although not recommended, it will withstand machine washing as it’s very durable.
Squeem Miracle Vest
Pros: stays in place, posture support, comfortable, slimming
Cons: reduced compression
The Squeem Miracle Vest is shapewear highly recommended by moms. The vest shape means that the tummy support cannot roll down and stays firmly in place. We love that it doesn’t cover the breasts so you can still wear it with a nursing bra if breastfeeding. This is a great option for using straight after a natural birth or a month after a C-section. This vest is great for improving your posture and lengthening your chest to let your ribs recover from the pressure of pregnancy. The slimming effect will help you get back to into your pre-pregnancy clothes in no time.
Postpartum Girdle Features
Girdles and shapewear can be very similar to underwear. You pull on like a pair of pants and close in place. Pull on styles tend to have crotch access to make it easier for you to change pads or go to the toilet. You may also be able to adjust the length slightly if you have a short torso. This style is discreet under clothing but not great for adjusting as your tummy goes down.
This style will wrap around your abdominal area and secure in place. The fastening is usually adjustable to your sizes using Velcro or hooks. This is a money saving option as you won’t need to buy smaller sizes as you start to lose your pregnancy weight. Adjustable styles tend to be bulkier to wear under cloths.
This style is like a large pair of compression underwear. Some styles will close with hooks like a bra, but zipper are sometime used. A girdle is quite and old fashioned garment and you probably remember your grandmother wearing these. For postpartum use they provide a lot of lower abdomen and back support. A great option for women who have has a caesarean delivery as it won’t rub on the scar.
This style is designed to wrap around your waist, abdomen or hips. They usually have velcro fastenings which make them very adjustable. This option is great for saving money as you only need the one size as your tummy shrinks down. These are also more suitable for plus size women as they tend to come in larger sizes.
This offers a light compression suitable for those who don’t want a medical grade support. This is the best option if you are looking to smooth out your tummy and get back into your regular clothes. These tend to be a cheaper option than a girdle or a support band as they are not postpartum specific.
Velcro – Found on support belts to allow adjustments. Perfect for long term use of the support and for plus sizes. Velcro may begin to lose grip overtime with some cheaper supports.
Eye and hooks – These are found on shapewear and girdles. Can sometimes be adjusted a few inches similar to a bra. This fastener is easier to launder and durable.
Zipper – Can be found on girdles. It’s easy to fasten yourself, however some women find internal zips uncomfortable especially if you have sensitive skin.
Benefits of Postpartum Girdles
Still undecided about whether or not you will need a postpartum girdle? Check out the following benefits of using one:
Recover Split Tummy Muscles
Diastasis Recti is the medical name for separation of your tummy muscles caused by pregnancy. An abdominal support cannot not fix this problem. It will however prevent further damaging occurring until you are ready to exercise and strengthen these muscles.
During pregnancy your spine has to curve to cope with your big bump. This takes its toll on your back during recover. A postpartum girdle will support for your back muscles and ligaments and help your spine to straighten.
Compression is known to improve your blood flow and lymph drainage. Combined with increased fluids this help to minimize swelling after delivery.
Breastfeeding after pains, abdominal and back aches are common after birth. Providing support to the muscles in these areas allows them to recover and prevents fatigue.
Compression help to cause you muscles to contract. This contracted state keeps your bleeding to a regular flow. The improve blood flow also minimise the risk of you developing clots.
Reduce Uterus Size
Your uterus is a huge muscle which need to return to its normal size after birth. This can take up to a week. The aid of an abdominal support and breastfeeding can speed up the process.
A postpartum girdle won’t make you lose weight, however it can smooth out your lumps and bumps. It’s a great way to get back into your pre-pregnancy clothing or to dress up for a special occasion.
Aid C-section Recovery
A caesarean is major abdominal surgery you need to recover from. You’ll feel like your insides are about to fall out every time you use your tummy muscles e.g. sneezing, coughing, laughing or generally moving. An abdominal support will offer to support to do these activities comfortably without that worry. The right type will also protect your wound from reopening or rubbing.
Disadvantages of Postpartum Girdles
Discomfort – Being squeezed into a tight fitting support belt is not a lot of women idea of comfort. You may want to get as much rest as possible which won’t be aided by an abdominal binder.
Old Fashioned – They are quite an old fashioned garment to wear. If your fed up of pregnancy frump, the last thing you’ll want to do is put the ultimate ‘’granny pants’ on.
Sweat – You will sweat (and pee) a lot after baby is born. It how your body gets rid of all that extra fluid. An abdominal support can add layers which can keep the heat in. Look for one made of breathable material or sweat wicking properties.
Short Term Use – Eventually you will need to start strengthening your own tummy muscles. Wearing an abdominal support for too long will support your muscles but won’t strengthen them.
Best Postpartum Girdle for…
Let’s take a look at the different body types and pregnancy outcomes that will impact on your choice of postpartum support belt.
If you’re on the larger side then don’t worry there are still plenty of options for you. We recommend opting for an abdominal support belt with Velcro fastening. These run in larger sizes and you’re more likely to find one to accommodate your waist size. They can also be adjusted if you begin to lose you pregnancy weight.
Petite women often have a shorter abdominal length. Make sure you know your measurement before purchasing a belt. If the length is too long it will dig in or even cause friction under your breasts. A waist belt or girdle with an adjustable crotch are good options. The crotch area is adjusted to shorten the length.
With a caesarean delivery you will have a tender open wound closed by stitched or staples. The best type of support is a pull on girdle or a long length abdominal belt. You want an option which will cover over the incision area. This will offer both support and protect to aid the healing process.
Pregnancy can split your tummy muscles down the middle causing the dreaded ‘mommy pouch’. Any types of girdle or band is suitable for diastasis recti. The main aim is to provide support to allow your muscles to perform as they normally would. Once you feel ready you will need to fix the problem with exercises to strengthen and tighten them back into place.
Let’s look at the features of a postpartum girdle. You can use these to decide how well each product performs before you commit to buying.
Would you prefer a pull on or wrap around style? It’s down to personal preference, but your body shape or type of delivery will play a part in this.
For use within the first week after birth you will want a support which provides high compression for most benefit. If you are a few weeks after birth you should move onto shapewear styles and start abdominal strengthening exercises.
You should measure your waist size and torso length to ensure the garment will fit comfortably. Consider is it can be adjusted as you start to slim down, or will you need to buy a new one in a smaller size. You can use the compression bands which hospitals provide until you lose that initial postpartum ‘jelly belly’.
If you intend to wear the support as often as possible, how easy is it to clean? They may be spot clean only, so a good breathable or antibacterial fibre is the best for preventing it starting to smell. Consider buying two so that you alternate between washes.
A good quality postpartum support can be quite costly. You will find good quality options at all price ranges, but consider the durability if you want to use it for future pregnancies. Postpartum girdles range from $20-$165.
If you’ve narrowed your choice down to a few options you may be struggling to decide between them. Choose which area is most important for you and the girdle which scores highest in this area is the best choice for you.
An uncomfortable support will make you hesitate to wear it regularly. You can expect slight compression discomfort, however it should dig in or cause marks on your skin. The belt should be well supported and will not slip or roll at the top or around the waist. Consider if you can wear it all day, and even during the night. Make sure you buy the correct size to prevent this happening.
You want your support to last as long as you need it to. Investing in a good quality girdle or belt can see you through a few pregnancies.
Ease of use
You’ll be getting a lot of use out of your belt in the first few weeks after birth. Consider how easy it will be to put on, especially if you’re feeling sore and tender. If you intend to wear it through the day, will it be seen under your clothing or discreet? Remember you’ll need to go to the toilet and change pads regularly so opt for and one with crotch access.
You’ll know a belt is doing its job if you are feeling supported. A good belt will correct your posture and make you sit up straight. If you have a C-section wound or perineal stitches a belt or girdle will provide them support without feeling like they may burst open with any slight move.
Postpartum Girdle FAQ
When should I start wearing a girdle?
If you have a vaginal delivery you can put one on as soon as baby is born. We would however recommend waiting until you leave hospital before you start wearing it. This is because your nurse or midwife will like to regularly check your uterus is contracting down or your C-section wound. It’s best to ask your doctor or nurse if it’s safe for you to use.
I has my baby a few weeks/month ago can I still wear one?
Yes, although the benefit won’t be as much as using straight after birth. Your body will take months to recover fully from pregnancy. If you are more than 8 weeks postpartum, you should combine using a girdle with strengthening exercises.
How long should I wear a girdle for?
You should wear the belt for at least 8 weeks after delivery. The minimum amount of time for any benefit would be one week of use. In pregnancy you release a hormones called relaxin and progesterone which causes muscles to relax more. It takes around 8-12 weeks for these to leave your system and return you muscle function to normal. After this time we recommend strengthening exercise for your abdomen and back.
How often should I wear a girdle?
To get the most benefit for your girdle wear for 12-14hours a day, especially during the first week. You can reduce the time over the following weeks, usually by taking it off at night.
Do I need a postpartum Girdle?
You can absolutely skip using a postpartum girdle. Your body will recover on its own, but a support will help speed up the process. If you haven’t already check out our list of benefits of using a postpartum support.
Can I wear a girdle to exercise?
Some support belts are suitable to wear whilst exercising. You can take it off and then put it on once you’re finished. Remember you will have to wash the band regularly to keep it hygienic. You may prefer to buy a cheaper belt for exercise use to minimize your downtime.