Belly Binding Post-Baby: Good or Bad Idea?

Photo: Anna Kooiman by:  Kath McLean

Photo: Anna Kooiman by: Kath McLean

anna kooiman baby belly bandit

In the early hours after giving birth to my first born son, Brooks, I chose to use a belly wrap. I have read a lot about them and have friends who swear it has helped them get their 'inside bits back in order!' A woman's uterus needs to shrink back to its usual size and the bands are supposed to help. Critics say it is unnecessary or even a bad idea because the body becomes reliant on the splint rather than the muscles, which can leave the weak. Women have been having babies for the ages with and without wrapping their bellies around the world. But several friends have also told me the wraps have helped their tummies flatten out faster and that it's been good for building better posture. I have been wearing mine quite religiously and have noticed positive results. I can’t say whether this was the reason or wasn’t. My OBGYN and the midwives at the hospital in Sydney recommended I wear my belly wrap while I begin gently easing into my new fitness routine (at the beginning of the journey). So far so good!

I asked Dr. Jill Gamberg, a GP doctor at Double Bay Doctors about belly binding/wrapping/splinting. Here’s what she had to say:

“An abdominal binder is a wide compression belt that encircles your abdomen.  It may be used to speed-up the recovery process after abdominal surgery like caesarean section, bariatric surgery, or cosmetic surgery. It is thought to support your surgical incision, help relieve pain, enable you to move more, and reduce swelling.  It may offer secondary lumbar support.

Dr. Jill Gamberg, Double Bay Doctors, Mom of Two

Dr. Jill Gamberg, Double Bay Doctors, Mom of Two

Women may use an abdominal binder after vaginal childbirth to help shrink the uterus and lose weight. Some women use it if they have a large diastasis recti (abdominal separation) post-partum.  

It is advised to only wear from 2-6 weeks after childbirth.  There’s no scientific evidence that binding your belly gets you back into your pre-pregnancy jeans faster.  However, they may be helpful for some women, and it is definitely worth talking to your doctor or woman’s physiotherapist to see if one may benefit you.”

I have also done a Q and A I've done with the three sisters behind the ever popular brand, Belly Bandit. See what you think and decide for yourself if abdominal binding/wrapping is for you.


1. What are postpartum belly wraps and corsets designed to do?


All of our Belly Wraps are designed to help you recover after pregnancy and may help shape your belly, waist, and hips; strengthen core muscles; promote mobility; relieve back pain and provide comfort after C-section.


While the Mother Tucker Corset also offers compression, it was designed for use after this initial postpartum period


2. After giving birth, when should a new mom start wearing one? And how often? Does it depend upon the type of delivery?


You can start wearing the Wrap immediately after you deliver.  Wearing it soon after delivery allows the product to work while your body still has elevated levels of the relaxin hormone. We recommend wearing it 24/7 (except for bathing) for 6-10 weeks, although many women choose to wear it longer for additional benefits, such as encouraging proper posture – and helping prevent back pain – during breastfeeding.


C-section moms need to wait until the incision area begins to heal, approximately 1 week postpartum or consult with their doctor before using the Wrap. 


3. How do belly wraps and corsets work to help new moms get their pre-baby shape back?


The Belly Bandit is designed to help shrink a woman’s belly, waist and hips post-pregnancy.  Our exclusive Power Compress Core is our secret weapon and works with the body’s natural hormone relaxin. The band applies constant medical-grade compression to help accelerate the healing process and get women back to their pre-pregnancy size…or smaller!


4. Do they work for everyone?

Every woman is different. Many women report seeing results in the first 5 days and others within the first 2-3 weeks.  Of course, other factors, including diet, exercise and breastfeeding, can affect your results.  


As much as we wish they could be, Belly Bandit Belly Wraps are not magical products. They were designed to assist you in your efforts to return to your pre-pregnancy size. How long the results of those efforts last is based on individual habits, and not something that we can predict or guarantee. 


5. What are the potential risks of wearing a postpartum belly wrap or corset? Do doctors recommend them?


Yes, doctors do recommend our Belly Wraps and they are sold at hospitals, OB/GYN’s offices and birthing centers all over the world. Our Belly Wraps were designed with OB/GYNs  and other medical experts and in the U.S. they are eligible for medical insurance coverage. If women have any concerns about using our Wraps we recommend they consult with their doctor. 


6. What is the history behind belly binding and how has it evolved?


For centuries, women have wrapped their postpartum bellies.  Belly Bandit took this ancient and modernized it for today’s moms.  In other cultures women will bind their bellies up until a year post delivery.


 7. Does this type of shape-wear work for women who haven’t had babies but want to alter their shape?

Belly Bandit Belly Wraps were designed as a postpartum recovery product, and were not made for weight loss. Our Mother Tucker line is also available for those who want to compression wear and shapewear after they are done using our Belly Wraps.  We call it the “Mother of all Shapewear”.  



8. Belly Bandits offers a whole range of products. Which ones are your best sellers and why?


Our most popular post-pregnancy Wraps are the Viscose from Bamboo and the BFF.  Both of these bands are covered in a soft, eco-friendly material and provide excellent postpartum results.  Our Upsie Belly Support Band is also hugely popular. It helps lift the belly and provides back, leg and bladder relief – and what pregnant woman doesn’t love that! 


Of course, our Mother Tucker Shapewear Collection is always a top seller.  The compression and slimming results of the Corsets, Tanks and Leggings make them extremely popular with new moms…and all women! 



9. Anything else you would like to add?


This year we are celebrating Belly Bandit’s 10th Anniversary. Sometimes it’s still hard for me to believe that this all started after my first pregnancy. Belly Bandit was simply an invention of necessity, and in my case a very personal one. My sisters (Jodi & Kari) were sick of hearing me complain about my post-baby belly and we knew there had to be a better way for women to get their body back after baby. The Belly Bandit was conceived after years or research, consultation with OB/GYNS and trial and error. By the time my second child was born, we had created our first band and knew we had a product that would revolutionize the industry. 


Our goal is to make women look and feel their absolute best before, during and after pregnancy. We pride ourselves on combining functionality with fashion and are committed to designing innovative products that give women confidence as their bodies and needs change. 


Belly Bandit Founders

Belly Bandit Founders