Wraps and Belts and supports, oh my! In general, we don’t recommend too many products here at Oh Baby! Fitness—we think babies need a place to sleep and some food to eat, but not much beyond that, and we never want to tell new moms “you must buy this one magical product, or else!” That said, there are two products that we get asked about a ton and recommend for some clients- the pregnancy support belt and the postpartum belly wrap. These may seem similar, but are actually very different products that can help with very different conditions. Here’s a primer:
Pregnancy support belt
These are generally used by pregnant women experiencing pelvic pain, pubic pain or (in some cases) low back or SI joint pain. Specifically, these are great for:
- Pregnant runners experiencing pelvic pressure.
- Pregnant women experiencing pelvic pain (particularly when carrying multiples, or women who have been pregnant before)
- Pregnant mom with SPD (Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction)
While this belt can help a lot women experiencing the above conditions, remember that your body has a built in support belt in your transverse abdominals. Holding your baby high and tight with your abs serves the same function as a pregnancy support belt, so be sure to do that as well. This video shows exactly what that looks like.
Amazon carries a number of different options of support belts.
Postpartum Belly Wrap
While these are marketed as something to “get your stomach back” after baby, these are great for women to wear after birth if they have diastasis recti (abdominal separation). The honest truth is that no product is going to suddenly shrink your stomach (remember, your uterus gets 1,000 times bigger during pregnancy!), but this wrap can help repair your rectus abdominals if they split during pregnancy.
How does a belly wrap/girdle/corset work? The compression actually helps the uterus shrink faster, gives better back support and can help draw separated rectus abdominals back together. We recommend belly wraps for women in the early postpartum period who have mild to moderate diastasis recti/abdominal separation. If you do buy one, it can work to just sleep in this for a few weeks and then re-check your abdominal separation. While the wrap can help repair diastasis recti, it should be used along with recommended core exercises (most specifically training the transverse abs). Find out more about how to check your ab separation and exercises to help repair it here.
Amazon offers some belly wraps, but while it’s pretty pricey, we really like the Bellefit line.
Did you use a support belt during pregnancy or a postpartum wrap after your baby was born? We are looking for brands or specific lines that our clients might love. Share yours below!