If you're looking for a simpler, gentler take on the time-tested practice of post-partum girdling, a band-style post-partum support belt may be just what the doctor (or stylist) ordered. If the idea still makes you a little self-conscious, fear not - more women than you realize are wearing them, as evidenced by the ample selection of these products available everywhere from specialized maternity shops to big-box stores in every corner of the country.
Though the support offered by a post-partum support band is generally less than that of a full-coverage medical-grade girdle, these belts will definitely flatten your tummy some and promote good posture while nursing.
The following belts are designed to bind your post-baby belly with comfort, whether your aim is to look good, feel better, or both.
1. Belly Bandit
"Say goodbye to your post-pregnancy belly... say hello to your new B.F.F!"
It's a bold claim for a girdle, but many new moms won't leave the house without their Belly Bandit. In this case, B.F.F. stands for "Body Formulated Fit" - the latest incarnation of the brand's now-famous post-partum support belt - but it may indeed end up as your best friend forever...or at least the first six to eight weeks after you give birth. The original Belly Bandits are available in a choice of colors with designer-inspired fabrics on the interiors, and there's even an eco-friendly bamboo version. With all of these features and more, Belly Bandit is well on its way to cornering the market in stylish post-partum support belts.
The website is a fun place to browse for a while... the brand offers several other maternity style innovations, and there are plenty of convincing before-and-after photos and glowing celebrity endorsements to read. And did we mention that there's now a Kourtney Kardashian-designed limited edition Belly Bandit available in black lace? This one's about as close to sexy as a foundation garment will ever get, considering it's made to be worn on the outside!
Perhaps the most "medical" of the post-partum support belts on the market, the AbdoMend Support Belt and Strap is designed specifically to help new mothers recover from their c-sections. By keeping the tender area immobilized and the scar carefully protected while also offering support to the lower back and weak abdominal muscles, the AbdoMend may indeed be a godsend to those in need.
The two-part support garment is made up first of a wide belt of soft 100-percent cotton elastic and is easily adjustable to accommodate your changing size. The narrower "bikini strap" is then velcroed on top of the first belt, directly over the scar area for extra support and compression. For those interested, the belt is also included as part of a C-Section Recovery Kit, along with an educational DVD promoting massage that is supposed to help reduce the chance of scar adhesions, and a scrub brush for preventing ingrown hairs in the area.
AbdoMend also makes the Hem-it-In Belt: a six inch elastic binder that supports the tummy after vaginal delivery or starting two to three weeks post c-section... sort of a kinder and gentler version of the AbdoMend Support Belt and Strap.
Jolly Jumper's version of the post-partum support belt is widely available at major retailers and is also quite affordable. It offer one-size-fits all post-partum tummy support. The Tummy Trainer is available in black or nude, and even comes trimmed in lace. (Now if only they could come up with a toddler trainer, too.)
One thing to note is that the Tummy Trainer is one-size-fits all belt. Women who are either above or below average in size may find it either too loose or too tight, though it is perhaps for this reason that many new mothers in the middle of the size spectrum find it to be extremely comfortable.
If all you require is an affordable and reasonably discreet post-partum support belt that does the job well at a fair price, then the Medela is definitely a top contender to consider. The Spandex fabric is lightweight and breathable yet surprisingly firm, and the simple wrap-style band and velcro closure make it a cinch to put or and take off. It's also designed to avoid bunching up in the back and, like most post-partum belts, this one is made to be virtually undetectable under clothing. Comes in nude.