If you’re a new mom, you might have some questions about abdominal wrapping. What is it? How effective is it? Will an abdominal wrap really help support my tummy (or shrink it for that matter)? You can find the answers to these questions here as Dr. Shepard and Genesis Chavez, a leading online retailer of postpartum wraps, weigh in on natural weight loss and caring for your midsection after you deliver your baby.
How Much Weight You Can Expect to Lose After Delivery
Many women wonder how much weight they will lose after the baby is out. After all, it can be awfully uncomfortable being nine months pregnant, and carrying around extra weight can become exhausting. Genesis Chavez of HourglassAngel.com—a leading online retailer of postpartum garments and shapers—offers the following guidance, “While every woman (and every pregnancy) is different, you can expect to lose a good chunk of weight immediately after birth. Twelve pounds is typical.” So in which ways does the weight come off? Here’s a quick breakdown of the ways your body naturally loses weight after delivery:
- Average baby – 7 to 8 lbs
- Placenta – 1 1/2 lbs
- Blood and amniotic fluid – 2 to 3 lbs
In addition to this immediate weight loss, Genesis Chavez reassures us, “that you can expect to lose another four to six pounds of fluid within a week or two following delivery.”
Potential Benefits of Abdominal Wrapping
From postpartum depression to difficulties with feeding the infant, women struggle with various—and often heartbreaking issues—after having a baby. At times, caring for your after-baby body may be the last thing on your mind. Keep in mind that even though you’re juggling a million different things right now, it’s important to provide support and assistance to your midsection after the roller coaster ride that is pregnancy and labor. In addition to being supportive, you may also enjoy how abdominal wraps make you feel.
Abdominal wrapping, more popularly known as belly binding, has been used by women to bound their bellies during pregnancy and postpartum throughout history. In some cultures, this practice is performed ritualistically or ceremonially by trained women who have been wrapping pregnant bellies for decades. In the modern world, however, various enhancements have been made to these types of garments and several varieties are now available on the market.
There are several benefits of abdominal wrapping. Chavez speaks about these benefits as she points out “How quickly your body bounces back after having a baby is largely determined by your genetics and your lifestyle, but postpartum compression garments can aid in the process. A band can create compression around the midsection and tummy, helping shrink the belly, reducing inflammation and aiding in stretch mark prevention and reduction.”
Dr. Jessica Shepherd, an Assistant Professor of Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Illinois, College of Medicine adds that “Postpartum body supports can help stabilize the abdominal muscles after a vaginal delivery or a Cesarean section. Primarily used for posture and abdominal support, these binders or wraps also help alleviate back pressure. A woman can start using them in the hospital however with some restriction as the body has normal swelling after delivery and needs time to re-accumulate.”
To recap Chavez and Dr. Sheperds’ points, compression garments can be a wonderful tool in helping postpartum women shrink their midsections, reduce inflammation, improve their posture, and alleviate back pressure and pain.
How to Wear Abdominal Wraps Safely
Dr. Sheperd cautions that “Abdominal supports are safe when they are used correctly. They are not to be too tight and should not be worn all day.” She warns that abdominal wraps can cause difficulty breathing when worn too long or too tight by impinging on the rib cage. This can lead to rashes or even abrasions on the skin, which can be especially problematic for Cesarean section deliveries as scars can become easily infected.
Another thing to be cautious about is possible difficulties with breastfeeding. Be sure to remove your abdominal wrap or compression garment before you breastfeed to ensure you and your baby are comfortable. This will heighten your body’s natural relaxation response, which can aid in milk flow.
Where to Find the Best Abdominal Wraps
You can get more information on the types of wraps available to you and a list of Dr. Shepard’s abdominal support product recommendations here. Keep in mind that these supports are designed to help you feel comfortable and better perform your daily activities as you heal from your delivery, so you have every right to be picky and find the wrap that is going to work best for you.
If you’re looking to get back into shape after pregnancy, engaging in light-to-medium exercise and following a healthy diet are the best ways to get started. So don’t end your weight loss journey by buying an abdominal wrap. Be sure you’re eating right and engaging in light-to-medium exercises, too, so that you have all the energy you need to keep up with your new bundle of joy.