Are you looking for the answer on when to wear abdominal belt after C-Section?
It’s pretty normal for women who just gave birth to want to go back to their pre-pregnancy bodies as soon as they give birth.
Because of this, many women believe that using an abdominal belt can help in flattening their tummies.
While abdominal wrapping may have some benefits, it is not a good idea to jump right in and use one.
Especially if you had an operation, you will need to ask your doctor when to wear abdominal belt after c-section.
This is because your abdominal area is still healing from the operation. It may not be advisable for you to use anything that will restrict movement in that area.
At the same time, you have to know what type of abdominal belt to wear so you won’t damage the stitches on your c-section.
Finally, you also have to know how to properly wrap a girdle around your abdomen when you just had a c-section.
It’s important for you to know these things, especially if this is your first pregnancy. This way, the experience will be okay for you and your c-section can heal much faster.
This article will give you a glimpse into abdominal wrapping and how to do it properly. Read on for more information.
When to Wear Abdominal Belt After C-Section
During pregnancy, it is normal for your body to undergo changes. Since you are carrying a growing baby, your skin and abdominal muscles stretch out.
As a way of supporting this change, your body adds fat cells.
But when you give birth, you end up having loose skin. Not to mention, your ab muscles will have space between them.
To help counter this, many women turn to the help of abdominal wrapping.
Through this practice, you can get support in your body’s postpartum recovery. The wrap creates a layer of support for your lower back.
By using a girdle, you encourage your abdominal muscles to start stitching themselves back together.
After you give birth, your body continues to release hormones. These help in stretching and relaxing your ligaments.
But when you use a belt, your body will be held in place until those hormones are no longer part of your system.
In short, an abdominal binder can help support your surgical incision, relieve post operation pain, reduce swelling, and help you get moving.
Be warned though, there isn’t a lot of scientific evidence that supports the theory that abdominal binders are beneficial.
But this review found out that these belts can help decrease psychological distress and post-operative pain.
With that in mind, let’s talk more about abdominal binders and how they can help you.
1. Do You Really Need One And Do They Work?
An abdominal binder can be helpful in speeding up your recovery process after going through surgery in your abdomen area.
Apart from a C-section, here are some of the procedures where an abdominal binder is recommended:
- Bariatric surgery
- Tummy tuck
- Spinal surgery
- Exploratory laparotomy
Although there isn’t a lot of research that backs up the effectiveness of abdominal binders, many women swear that these have helped in their postpartum recovery.
This is because binders help give them the support and stability they need while their core muscles are still recovering from a Caesarian.
Binders have also been known to help shrink the uterus back to its normal size.
Because of the support it brings, many women believe binders can help them get back to doing their normal activities a lot faster.
2. How Soon After C-section Can I Wear a Girdle?
Many women want to jump right in and start using a girdle after they give birth.
Although girdles can help support your back, reduce pain, and make your abdominal muscles feel like they used to, it’s important that you first ask your doctor for advice.
Especially if you had a c-section, you need to first focus on taking care of your wound.
Your doctor may recommend that you use a girdle for medical purposes.
This, however, does not mean you should start using a basic postpartum wrap right away.
Instead, your doctor will likely advise you to wait until your body has healed before you can start using one.
So make sure to ask your doctor when to wear abdominal belt after c-section on your next check-up.
3. Is It Too Late To Wear A Postpartum Belt?
You can still wear a girdle up to 12 weeks postpartum.
As a matter of fact, doctors say that wearing a postpartum belt for two to four months will give you the benefits that you are hoping for.
The important thing is that you have healed from your c-section and that your doctor has given you the green light to start wearing one.
However, wearing a postpartum belt beyond the 12-week mark will be pretty useless.
This is because your body should be mostly recovered from the c-section at this point.
Wearing a wrap won’t give you the benefits anymore.
Instead, you should focus on rebuilding and strengthening your core.
Risks of Wearing Abdominal Belt
Even though there are benefits to using an abdominal belt, there are also some risks to wearing it.
If you aren’t careful, you might experience the following:
- Too much pressure
- Pelvic floor prolapse
Usually, these risks happen when you wear the wrong type of belly wrap or if you are wearing it incorrectly.
The basic idea of wearing a postpartum wrap is so you can get support for your recovering body. If you wear the belt too tightly, it may do more damage.
1. Belly Binding vs Waist Training
One thing that many fail to keep in mind is that belly binding is not waist training.
This is a wrong mindset that can increase your risks when you are practicing abdominal wrapping.
Many believe that they can use a waist trainer to lose weight or a hanging belly after delivering a baby. Unfortunately, there is no science that backs up this claim.
Unlike postpartum belts, waist trainers are made of hard material that puts pressure in your body.
They don’t allow you to move or shift very well, which may cause more damage such as:
- Breathing difficulties
- Acid reflux
- Organ damage
- Digestion problems
- Varicose veins
If your goal in using a postpartum belt is to train your waist to get into an hourglass shape, it’s best that you steer clear from it.
2. Diastasis Recti
There are incidents when Diastasis recti (DRA) can occur during pregnancy.
This is a condition wherein the left and right abdominal muscle walls separate and lead to a gap along your belly’s midline.
The good news is that this can easily be remedied by using an abdominal belt.
Apart from wearing a belt, there are some exercises that can prevent and heal the issue.
But if you plan on wearing a belt to treat DRA, it’s best that you get your doctor’s advice first.
Once you have it, you should carefully do your research to find a postpartum belt that has been specifically designed to treat DRA.
Learn more about diastasis recti: Is Diastasis Recti Painful
Safety Tips in Wearing a Postpartum Belt
To avoid any incidents, you need to know how to use a postpartum belt properly.
Basically, you will need to remember the following when tightening the velcro straps:
- The binder should not be too tight
- You should feel supported
- You can still take full deep breaths
These should be your bases in determining whether you are using the belt properly.
Remember that the goal of the binder is to give support to your abdominal muscle through gentle compression.
If the binder you’re using does not make you feel supported, it could be because you’re using the wrong type.
1. Different Kinds of Postpartum Wraps
Postpartum wraps are now available in a variety of materials. Unfortunately, not all of these are suitable to use after a c-section.
Here are the most common options that you’ll find in the market:
- Elastic Wraps – This is the best variety you can get since it is made of soft, elastic fabric. Go for one that lets you breathe and move easily. At the same time, the wrap should be long enough to wrap around your abdomen and hips.
- Support Belt – There are also adjustable support belts available in the market. This is a good option if you want to get support for your hips and back.
- Shapewear – There are shapewear manufacturers that have compression garments designed for pregnancy and postpartum. However, some of these are not practical to use, especially when you need to change your pad during postpartum.
2. When Can I Start Wearing a Postpartum Belt After C-section?
So when to wear abdominal belt after c-section? Again, make sure to check with your doctor before you plan to use one.
There are some women who have gotten the approval of their doctor to start using a postpartum belt a few days after a vaginal birth.
If you had a c-section, however, the general advice is to wait until the wound has healed.
The reason behind this is so you don’t worsen your wound or scar.
Generally, you can wait between six to eight weeks before you can safely use a postpartum belt.
3. Should You Sleep While Wearing a Girdle?
Technically speaking, you can opt to wear a binder 24/7.
But it’s not advisable to use a girdle while you are sleeping, especially after a c-section.
If you decide to wear a binder while sleeping it may cause the following:
- Breathing impairment
- Blood flow restriction
- General discomfort
While you can use one to help you move around, it is not a good idea to wear a binder all day long.
If you wear a binder too long, it may weaken your abdominal muscles; thus causing more problems.
Remember that using a postpartum belt is mainly for comfort. It is not necessarily being used for postpartum recovery.
If you wear a postpartum belt all day long, it will only put unnecessary pressure on your abdominal muscles.
This is risky because it may lead to a hernia over time.
Instead of wearing the belt all day long, make it a point to take it off when you’re sitting or lying down.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long should I wear an abdominal binder after a C-section?
It’s really up to you on how long you wish to wear an abdominal binder after a c-section.
Experts, however, recommend that you only wear a belt from 2 to 12 weeks. This is because extended use may lead to adverse effects.
At the same time, remember to take the belt off when you’re sitting or lying down so you don’t add unnecessary pressure to your abdominal area.
Is the abdominal belt useful after C-section?
There are some women who use an abdominal belt after a c-section and swear to have gotten the help they needed.
Although there isn’t a lot of study that proves this, there is some evidence that wraps may help with pain and healing after going through a Caesarian.
It’s best to seek the advice of your doctor before you decide to use one.
How many hours should I wear a post-pregnancy belt?
In your early weeks of postpartum, it’s advised that you only wear the belt for around 4-6 hours per day.
The reason for this is so you can get used to wearing a belt at first. It will also help you move around more comfortably.
Over time, you can slowly increase the number of hours that you are wearing the binder. But as mentioned, try not to go over 8 hours of using the binder.
The maximum number of hours you can use a binder should be 12, if absolutely necessary.
Iesha is a loving mother of 2 beautiful children. She’s an active parent who enjoys indoor and outdoor adventures with her family. Her mission is to share practical and realistic parenting advice to help the parenting community becoming stronger.
The Mothers Community is a place to connect with women who are at a similar stages in life–from fertility, pregnancy and motherhood through to menopause.
Join a community who are there to listen, share information and offer valuable advice. Join Community
Take matters into your own hands! Expert advice for Fertility, Pregnancy and Motherhood! Discover More Here