Postpartum recovery can be tough, but a postpartum corset can help! A postpartum corset (also known as a postpartum girdle) is a compression garment that fits snugly around the abdomen, providing instant support and relief after childbirth. Read on for the pros and cons of using a postpartum corset as well as my personal experience using one after two pregnancies.
Giving birth is HARD. It’s incredible what the female body is capable of, and to this day I’m still in awe of the fact that I grew a human being inside of my body! But that doesn’t change the fact that childbirth is hard. When women tell you it’s the hardest thing they’ve ever done, they’re not kidding.
One thing I was absolutely in the dark about though was just how tough postpartum recovery can be, too. Each of our bodies are so different, as are each of our babies, which means each woman has a unique postpartum experience.
Researchers now believe the postpartum recovery period can last up to six months! During this time your body will experience a number of changes (including physical, mental, emotional and hormonal ones). I personally really struggled after my first childbirth with my hormones.
With all of the uncertainty, I wanted to focus on one thing I had a little bit more control over: my physical recovery during the postpartum period. It’s something that new moms never talk about enough! The #1 thing that I’m so glad I had for my postpartum recovery is something I bet you haven’t heard of, but it’s hands down the one item that made me feel the most like me the quickest: a postpartum corset.
Note: Some links may be affiliate links. That means I may make a commission if you use my links to purchase, at no extra added cost to you! I only recommend products that I personally love and believe in. Full disclaimer here.
What is a Postpartum Corset?
I want to be clear that I’m not a medical professional, and this article is not meant to be medical advice. I’m simply a mom who used a postpartum corset after both of my pregnancies and had a really great experience!
So, what even is a postpartum corset? First, let me say that a postpartum corset is NOT the same as “waist trainers” you might have seen celebrities endorsing. Waist trainers are meant to cinch your waist as tight as can be, which can be dangerous and potentially damage your internal organs. A postpartum girdle shrinks WITH you, and is meant to apply gentle pressure to help compress and shrink your abdomen and uterus as they heal.
I did a lot of research, and decided on the this postpartum corset available on Amazon. This one is a medical-grade abdominal compression binder and Is FDA Registered, which means it is held to higher standards then some of the other postpartum brands out there. Made with breathable fabric and velcro closure and/or hook and eye closures, there are a ton of awesome options out there.
Here are a few other great postpartum girdles that have great reviews and come highly recommended, and most importantly are made specifically for postpartum recovery!
Postpartum Girdle Before and After
Want to see the difference that a postpartum corset can make? These are actual photos of me at 41 weeks pregnant, and again at just 4 weeks postpartum.
Completely crazy, right?? I attribute SO MUCH of my seeming to “bounce back” from pregnancy to wearing a postpartum corset. Not only did it help my body recover faster, but it truly made a big impact on my mental health. Having the support of a postpartum girdle while my ab muscles were all out of whack was a really big help.
I had a really positive experience using a postpartum corset/girdle. The extra support from the abdominal binder made me feel like ME again much faster than I think I would have without one. It was comfortable, simple to use and easy to clean.
So, Why Should You Consider a Postpartum Girdle or Corset?
I wanted to cover a few of the most common questions I’ve received about postpartum corsets. Here are a few important things to know:
1. It gives you immediate core support after birth. Am I the only one who didn’t know that you will struggle to sit up on your own immediately following childbirth?? My stomach muscles were all out of whack, and I couldn’t even get out of bed!
Once I put on my corset, the compression gave me the core support I was so badly missing, and just the ability to get up on my own helped my mental health.
2. It’s incredible not only for a vaginal childbirth, but also for c-section recovery. If you want to protect and support the incision you received as a result of your c-section, a corset built for c-section recovery helps (like the this Dual Closure Corset with eye closures).
The right postpartum corset can prevent sutures from breaking, the wound from eviscerating, and the c-section incision from becoming irritated or infected due to the change in movement that has suddenly occurred.
3. Postpartum corsets are designed to stimulate the lymphatic system, which removes excess fluids and toxins from the body. When the lymph nodes are able to do their job, women notice less postpartum swelling in their bodies. Compressing the abdomen and uterus with the right postpartum belly band can help accelerate the healing process and the amount of time it takes you to recover!
4. It helps to diminish abdominal muscle separation, or Diastasis Recti, a common condition after childbirth for many new moms. Wearing an after pregnancy girdle gives you more support for lifting and carrying your child, creating more core strength needed to prevent injuries and further separation from happening. I also noticed it seemed to help with support as my pelvic floor recovered too.
5. A postpartum corset reduces uterus swelling by providing support and compression in the abdomen and lumbar areas of the body, which helps to improve posture and can help alleviate lower back pain.
How Long Do You Wear a Postpartum Girdle?
It’s recommended that you wear your postpartum corset 24/7 for three- six months postpartum. It all depends on your body! I wore my postpartum corsets pretty much around the clock for the first month (minus when I was showering or they were in the wash).
I noticed that the more consistently I wore it, the more noticeable my results were. I felt better, quicker.
After my first childbirth, I wore my postpartum corset every day until I was 3 months postpartum. I ended up getting two of them so that I could wear them as many hours as possible and be able to wash them without having to wait.
After the birth of my second baby, I wore my belly wrap every day until I was 2 months postpartum. I gained a lot less weight with my second pregnancy, and my body seemed to recover a little bit faster.
It’s all up to you and your personal preference!
When to Start Wearing a Postpartum Girdle
The ideal time to wear a postpartum belly wrap is between 2 days postpartum and 6 weeks postpartum. This is when the uterus contracts the fastest after childbirth. For many mamas, you can start wearing one right after birth! Be sure to check with your doctor if you’ve had a c-section just to be safe.
I personally started wearing mine the day we came home from the birth center (and for my next pregnancy I will be sure to pack it in my bag). Be sure to check with your doctor before you begin wearing yours.
Related: How to Take a Postpartum Sitz Bath
I chose to wear mine as many hours a day as possible, but some women will wear theirs less. I liked having two so I could swap them out and wash them frequently. Many mamas choose to wear theirs around the clock, but if you need to take a break that’s ok too!
When Is It Too Late to Wear a Postpartum Belly Wrap?
If you didn’t know about the benefits of postpartum corsets prior to giving birth, you might be wondering if it’s too late to wear a postpartum wrap or girdle. There is a window of time that is ideal for wearing a postpartum belly wrap, and some new mamas find out that they exist when they are already several months into their postpartum recovery time.
While ideally you want to start wearing a postpartum belly wrap right after birth, you can actually continue to wear one up to 4 months postpartum. Many mamas will continue to get the added benefit of compression all the way up until that time.
However, if you are 5 months postpartum or more, instead of purchasing a postpartum belly wrap I recommend saving your money and investing it into a good postpartum core workout program. Most likely the benefits from the compression will have passed at this point, and you’ll see better results from a quality workout program instead. Remember: postpartum compression garments aren’t meant to help you lose weight.
Postpartum Corsets and Postpartum Girdles Can Help With Your Postpartum Recovery
A postpartum corset can be a wonderful addition to your recovery plan and is a great option to help you feel like yourself faster. Remember, the main purpose of a postpartum girdle is to support and align your abdominal muscles and organs until your body is ready to support itself again. That can make a huge difference alone in how you feel mentally!
Postpartum recovery takes time. It took you 9 months (or more!) to grow that beautiful new baby! Whether you had a vaginal delivery, cesarean section or totally natural birth, postpartum recovery belts are a tool to look into for your own postpartum recovery.
Using the right postpartum corset can help new mothers feel better faster during the recovery process, supporting your core muscles, giving you extra back support and helping you to feel more confident in your post-pregnancy body.