Ouch! Post Partum Belly Binding and What no one told me!

After three pregnancies, I was determined that my fourth and final pregnancy would end differently for my body!

I had seen instagram feeds about all kinds of post partum wraps, binders, and girdles all working a miracle for flabby bellies, but I had never tried them. I was convinced they were marketing ploys that wouldn’t make a difference, but I was wrong! You just have to try and pick one best for your personality, lifestyle, and discomfort preference. Yes, all of them will be, to some degree, a pain!

They definitely make a big difference in reducing the puffy belly and supporting your overtaxed abdominal and back muscles. However, getting one you like to wear for most of the day is the real challenge and I tried a bunch. They all come with their individual pros and cons. Keep in mind, I am on the plus size belly binding spectrum of body shape, so my experience is most helpful for those my size….16-18. Although, it is my opinion, that much of this translates to most wearers unless they are under a size 6.

1. BengKung Belly Binding

The Bengkung Belly Wrap is by far my favorite type of post partum wrap for comfort. Originating as a traditional bind in ancient Malaysia for women to wear 30-40 days postpartum. Best for the personality that likes organic and traditional type of treatments and will take the time to get know how to use it and work it into their postpartum routine. It also is a very gentle “hug” type pressure. If you are over a certain measurement you will need an 18 yard wrap and you can get those at Your Birth Etsy shop featured on the picture on the right. If you are size 14/16 and under then you can go with a normal length one and I recommend The Art of Wellness shop on Etsy because she has some absolutely beautiful wraps! One more point on this type of wrap I liked…I had to take a few minutes for myself each morning to carefully wrap my body. It forced me to give myself time for a ritual of “self care.” I recommend adding a belly oil rub right before you apply it to in order to make it even more a moment of loving yourself and healing before launching into the day of motherhood and giving to others…first give to yourself and your healing body.

The Art of Wellness shop on Etsy for 17 yards and under sizes
Order Here
Your Birth shop on Etsy for women plus sized needing 18 yards. Order here.
Pros:
  • It is very breathable made out of cotton muslin
  • fairly affordable ranging in price from $30 to $45 typically
  • extremely customizable in tightness or looseness
  • supports whole abdomen from pubic bone/lower hips to below bra line
  • Did I mention it was the one I found most comfortable…but all wraps were a bit uncomfortable so keep that in mind.
Things to consider I noticed:
  • I could not apply mine right after delivery due to swelling, lack of privacy to wrap it, and it felt weird trying to wear it in a hospital gown.
  • It can be cumbersome to learn how to apply at first and may need two people till you get the hang of it
  • It is not “fast” to apply and takes a few extra minutes to put on first thing in the morning.
  • Like all the wraps/binders I have tried, it will shift around a bit during the day and eventually you may want to re-wrap. I re-wrapped once a day.
  • If worn over your clothes, you will have to un wrap to pee unless you are wearing a dress or skirt. So I recommend to wrap it under your clothes. Yes it can be done.

2. Good old “free” Hospital Abdominal Binder

This is the next most comfortable option I tried and the only one I could apply right after I changed out of my birthing gown. Best for those on a tight budget, plus sized, unconcerned with how it looks, need something pretty comfortable and supportive, that can be used right away. This is especially good if your poor muscles are jelly from multiple pregnancies close together.

Pros:
Hospital Abdominal Binder
  • It is usually “free” with your stay when requested
  • It usually fits right away even with all the swelling you have
  • Quick and easy on and off
  • Covers most of your abdomen
  • Did I mention FREE with your stay!
Things to consider I noticed:
  • It is kind of long so short torso ladies may feel strange about it going so far up and down on your torso.
  • Hospital may not have the larger abdominal binder and may give you a smaller one.
  • Not attractive. It is big, white, and obvious! Also, it is slightly firm stiff material so your little babe, will not enjoy feeling this as he/she lays on your chest and belly.
  • Rough material will not feel good against skin so must be worn over clothes.

3. Viscose Belly Bandit

Now this binder definitely had a lot of “hype” online. However, I was very skeptical. I always saw a picture of a thin or athletic post partum women wearing her Belly Bandit snapping pics and posting on her IG page. My “gut”feeling, pun intended , was correct. This binder is fabulous for those who are not very big to begin with, my guess is size 8 and under. But I I had serious muffin top, back bulge, and below the belt bulge, being that I was plus sized and the wrap is not very wide. Best for bodies and personalities who want something very firm support, easy on and off, trendy, are on the smaller side, and are NOT chasing kids around requiring alot of movement.

Pros:
Belly Bandit Order Here
  • Quick on and off
  • Very firm support
  • On trend, no one will ask you what it is if they have had kids in the last few years
  • Good for thinner smaller ladies
  • Hides pretty well under clothes
  • Smooth enough material could be worn against skin, but still better over clothes

Things to consider I noticed:

  • Expensive and sometimes hard to get the right size. So it may take a return or two before you get it the right size
  • You can save money and buy a gently used one from Mercari or Poshmark if you know your size.
  • The firm material was uncomfortable after several hours and for my baby to rest his body against.
  • Shifts around quite a lot and it ended up riding up my back and pinching when I needed to bend down.
  • I had to keep adjusting it alot since I was busy chasing kids.

4. Girdle/Corset type Undies

These can be several brands, but I again tried a Belly Bandit Corset panty type. Again, the marketing hype made it sound amazing. Yet again, there were problems with it. I would say this one only works if you can try it before you buy it because the fit need to be perfect to prevent shifting. Best for a person who can find the perfect fit.

Pros:

Post Partum Undies with Corset attached. Notice slight Boning showing. Buy here.
  • If you can try them on and find a great pair then they won’t shift during the day and should be fairly comfy.
Things to consider I noticed:
  • Again, expensive and hard to get a good fit for everyone.
  • If the “undies” part is not made out of the same firm material as the corset part then the corset will slip up your torso and into your ribs…which hurts! Think about the boning digging into your sides!
  • If you are only buying one pair you need to wash them everyday because you are using them as undies too.

5. Multi Purpose Anti-Partum/Post Partum Stretchy Bamboo Wrap

This is a long strip of super stretchy bamboo cloth that can be multi-purposed. I loved this as well but did not really love having a knot tied on the side of my hips. This wrap is used to assist with the hip and pubic pain that some pregnant women experience as the hips open. It also helps hug your belly in giving support during your pregnancy. Then it can be used as a newborn wrap for the first few weeks when they are little. Or it can again be wrapped around the abdomen and tied at the hips for post partum support. Best for those wanting a little bit of everything in one item, are all the smaller size , and don’t mind a wearing an obvious type wrap with a knot on the side.

Pros:
  • Has multiple uses throughout the pregnancy and post partum
  • Very soft material that breaths fairly well
  • Comes in pretty colors
  • Very stretchy so tightness is pretty customizable
  • Makes a great newborn wrap type carrier if you are on the smaller side and know how to do it.
  • Can also be used to hold a heating pad or ice pack in place!!
Things to consider I noticed:
  • It is not super fast to wrap and unwrap, so using the bathroom became can be a bit of a chore when I was wearing it for belly/hip support
  • It took time to learn how I liked to wrap mine and knot it
  • Using it as an infant carrier type wrap is harder if you are plus sized because not much material is left to knot in the back after you wrap it as a carrier

Overall, no matter which one or two you choose, keep in mind that none are absolutely perfect. However, I do highly recommend getting one or two. It definitely made a difference in my 4th pregnancy and post partum period. Happy pregnancy and recovery mamas. Like this post and follow my blog for more candid reviews, products, and transparent talks on life.

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