The Snap Back: How Wearing a Postpartum Belt Can Help in the Postpartum Recovery Journey
Following my C-section, my body just didn’t feel “together”. The struggle with getting my body to feel and look normal was daunting. One thing that helped me feel more confident was wearing a postpartum belt, which is why I recommend that my patients purchase one and add it to the list of “must-haves” for their hospital delivery bags.
As I reflect on my high-risk pregnancy, I recall praying that it would be over. Don’t get me wrong, I prayed to be a mom and was excited about having my son. But I was downright miserable. I know many of you can relate. I had cramping, nausea and vomiting, trouble sleeping, pelvic pain and those nagging irregular contractions. My pregnancy was no fantasy, so I remember thinking things would be much easier once I delivered. Well, that’s when the real journey began. What’s harder than pregnancy? The first year following pregnancy -- that’s what’s harder. Following my C-section, my body just didn’t feel “together”. I felt unstable as if my uterus was literally bouncing around inside of my abdomen. The struggle with getting my body to feel and look normal was daunting, even depressing at times. One thing that helped me feel more confident was wearing a postpartum belt, which is why I recommend that my patients purchase one and add it to the list of “must-haves” for their hospital delivery bags.
There are quite a few postpartum support belts on the market. Being a mom and an OB/GYN, I’ve reviewed and personally tried several products. One belt that I really like is the Revive 3-in-1 Postpartum Support Belt by KeaBabies. I found out about the belt initially from a patient who brought it to her postpartum visit. It was memorable because it had 3 levels of support: a main stomach belt, a pelvic belt, and a waist belt for extra support. A woman must have designed this belt because both the waist and pelvic belts have attached Velcro tightening bands which allow us to shape our curves back into place by cinching our waistline to our liking. For all my C-section moms, this is an amazing option to add extra support at the level of your C-section incision. The material is sturdy, but not scratchy, and it stretches to adjust to different sizes. I now recommend it to all my patients and encourage them to wear it throughout the day to get the following benefits:
- Support of pelvic organs: The belt helps to keep the uterus, ovaries, bowel, and bladder in their correct place.
- Realignment of the pelvic bone (pubic symphysis): During pregnancy, the pelvis must spread to accommodate the baby moving into the pelvic brim. The belt helps realign the pelvic bone and helps with stability.
- Repair of rectus diastasis (separation of abdominal muscles which happens during C-section): During C-sections, the rectus muscles are separated to expose the underlying uterus. After the baby is delivered and the layers of the abdomen are put back together, the muscles can sometimes remain separated. The belt helps to shift the muscles towards the midline of the abdomen.
- Support lifting your newborn and back stability: The belt helps support the spine, thus reducing back pain.
- Help with reshaping your figure: The added Velcro adjustment straps allow you to further cinch the waistline, helping you train your waist back into shape.
- Promotion of weight loss: Women who wear recovery belts tend to be more active. Plus, the postpartum belt helps to reduce the size of fat cells in the abdomen.
- Increase in self-confidence: Wearing the postpartum belt gives you an instant figure, which helps boost confidence.
Most women wear their postpartum belts for 6 weeks postpartum, however, I recommend that it be worn for the first year, especially while exercising or doing more strenuous activities. So, you might want to purchase two to have a clean back-up. It takes your body a whole year to recover from a pregnancy, so you need the extra support.
There are tons of things we buy during and after pregnancy that are cute but have absolutely no benefit. A postpartum pregnancy belt is essential for your postpartum wellness. So, don’t skimp on it. You deserve to feel like yourself again. Go ahead, purchase the belt, and get back to the pre-pregnancy version of yourself.
Meet our guest writer
Dr. Nicole L. Plenty, MD, MPH, MS, FACOG
Dr. Nicole Lee Plenty is a double board-certified OB/GYN and Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist, blogger, public speaker, and patient advocate. Nicole attended Xavier University of Louisiana where she held the title of Miss Xavier University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biology with honors. She then obtained a dual Medical Doctorate (MD) degree and Master of Public Health (MPH) with a concentration in Health Systems Management from Tulane University. Dr. Plenty completed her OB/GYN residency training as well as Maternal-Fetal Medicine fellowship at the University of Mississippi Medical Center where she also earned a Master of Science degree concomitantly.
After experiencing a difficult pregnancy herself, to increase her advocacy efforts, she launched Pregnancy Pearls with Dr. Plenty, a vlog and podcast she created to help patients advocate for themselves by providing pre-/post-conception advice and education regarding complications of pregnancy. She has received local, state, and national honors for her involvement in health policy, mentorship, and her work in health advocacy. Among those, she has received Top 40 under 40 recognitions from the National Minority Quality Forum, the National Medical Association, the Indianapolis Business Journal, as well as her alma mater, Xavier University of LA. Dr. Plenty is the proud wife of Rev. Dr. James Anthony Plenty. Together, they have a son named Harrison, and their fur baby, Sophie.