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Postpartum belly wraps aim to support the abdominal muscles during the period after giving birth.
There is very little scientific research to support the use of these garments, but physical therapists sometimes recommend them to provide a person with extra support after giving birth. Some can shield a person’s cesarean delivery scars from irritation, and a few claim to help return a person’s stomach to its prepregnancy size.
- Best leggings: Belly Bandit Mother Tucker Leggings
- Best for even compression: ProCare Premium Panel Abdominal Elastic Binder
- Best for heavier people: BraceAbility Plus Size Bariatric Abdominal Binder
- Best full-body compression: Marena Recovery Girdle
- Best for breastfeeding: Blanqi Everyday Lift-Up Support Tank
- Best for smaller people: Belly Bandit B.F.F. Premier
- Best for cesarean stitches: Leonisa Firm Compression Postpartum Panty
- Best for overheating: Belly Bandit C-Section Short
- Best high-waisted underwear: Belly Bandit C-Section & Postpartum Recovery Undies
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.
Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.
The following wraps and compression garments are suitable for most people to use postpartum.
Best leggings: Belly Bandit Mother Tucker Leggings
Colors: Black, steel, navy, olive, black camo, olive camo
A person can use the Belly Bandit high-waisted leggings for gentle compression.
The company describes that the highly stretchable elastic adapts as the body changes.
The company also says that the leggings compress the abdomen, buttocks, and thighs.
Overall, reviews for these leggings are positive, saying they helped with core and back support. However, negative reviews mention that the product developed holes after a few weeks of use.
Best for even compression: ProCare Premium Panel Abdominal Elastic Binder
The ProCare elastic binder can fit many different body sizes, using adjustable velcro to secure it in place.
Users mention in reviews that it provides targeted, adjustable compression without irritating the skin or riding up.
The company writes that it uses several elastic panels, compresses a person’s abdomen evenly and consistently, and does not dig into the skin.
Positive reviews mention that this product is cheaper than alternatives and can provide comfortable compression with some back support. However, users writing negative reviews do not recommend it for smaller body sizes and say it wears out quickly.
Best for heavier people: BraceAbility Plus Size Bariatric Abdominal Binder
A person can choose from sizes X–4XL with the BraceAbility binder, which offers abdominal binding in larger sizes than other brands.
The binder comprises a single piece of elastic material with no hooks or closures.
A person can adjust the velcro fastening to suit their changing postpartum body.
It is available in 9-inch (in) and 12-in heights, is free of latex, and has medical-grade fasteners, according to the company.
Overall, the reviews are positive. Buyers say that the product is true to its size, supports heavier body sizes, can be worn for hours, and can help people with an abdominal hernia.
However, negative reviews say the material can quickly fall apart with use.
Best full-body compression: Marena Recovery Girdle
Colors: Black, beige
This product covers a person’s body from the bust to the thighs. The material does not cover the chest, so a person can breastfeed while wearing this girdle.
Additionally, it is designed with an open crotch, meaning a person can go to the toilet while wearing the girdle, too.
As a full-body girdle with adjustable shoulder straps, a person may find this girdle does not shift out of position while they are wearing it.
Plus, unlike many other postpartum belly wrap products, the Marena Recovery Girdle has no closures. This may protect the garment from loosening over time.
This product comes in a wide variety of sizes, from 2XS–4XL.
Reviews for this product are generally positive, but some users mention the shoulder straps pinch.
Best for breastfeeding: Blanqi Everyday Lift-Up Support Tank
Colors: Black, white
The Blanqi tank sits below the bust, so a person can easily breastfeed while wearing it.
A person will get light compression across the waist and stomach with this product. A person may also find it suitable for getting extra privacy while chestfeeding.
The brand states it provides full support with compression zones and soft, stretchable fabric that wicks moisture away from the skin.
The company does not feature reviews on its website.
Best for smaller people: Belly Bandit B.F.F. Premier
Colors: beige, brown
This wrap is suitable for smaller body sizes, and the company advises that a person uses it a minimum of 6–10 weeks after giving birth.
The wrap features two compression panels and six support panels. A person can adjust the wrap around their belly, waist, and hips.
The company explains that it is latex-free and uses antibacterial, medical-grade elastic.
Reviewers mention that the wrap is effective. However, negative reviews mention that it does not hold its shape, and some users state it may not be suitable for people with short torsos.
People who have undergone a cesarean delivery may seek a wrap that provides support but does not risk irritating any stitches on their abdomen.
Best for cesarean stitches: Leonisa Firm Compression Postpartum Panty
Colors: Beige, black
This Leonisa compression garment is a high-waisted panty with an adjustable velcro wrap. People can change the compression level to suit them as they heal after cesarean delivery.
It uses a single piece of fabric, which may protect a person’s cesarean delivery stitches from irritation.
The website states users should handwash these panties with cold water. However, they are not suitable for tumble dryers, which may make caring for this product less convenient than other products included on this list.
Positive reviews state that this product helped keep users’ abdominal area tight with firm but comfortable compression. However, some consumers found that the fabric dug into their skin, causing irritation.
Best for overheating: Belly Bandit C-Section Short
These shorts may be a suitable option for people who experience overheating postpartum. The company states that they offer a high level of compression.
The company describes the material as breathable and adds that the yarn used contains silver, which can help minimize odors and resist bacteria.
As a result, a person may find these comfortable in hot weather. Moreover, the shorts cover the thighs, which may protect a person’s skin against chafing.
The shorts also have an opening at the crotch so a person can go to the toilet while wearing the shorts.
The shorts use a single piece of fabric, which may reduce the risk of irritating cesarean stitches or scars. The company also writes that a person can wear these shorts after a vaginal delivery.
Users are positive about the quality of the shorts and the level of compression and back support they provide. However, some users report that the size is too small for use postpartum, and sometimes the shorts roll up in the thigh area.
Best high-waisted underwear: Belly Bandit C-Section & Postpartum Recovery Undies
Colors: beige, black
As an alternative to shorts, this compression underwear is smooth across the back, with corset-style accents in the front.
According to the company, it provides significant support and features a high waist that will not irritate a person’s stitches.
The company also writes this underwear can reduce swelling, and silver in the fibers can combat bacteria and odor.
Overall, users find this underwear comfortable to wear and that it provides sufficient support. However, some users report it is noticeable under tight clothing.
Postpartum belly wraps, like an ankle wrap for a sprained ankle, support the abdominal muscles after a person has given birth.
During pregnancy, the growing uterus stretches the abdominal muscles. Additionally, a cesarean delivery will involve cutting through layers of abdominal tissue and muscle. A belly wrap can support these muscles as they return to their usual state and as a person’s cesarean incision, if they have one, heals.
A 2017 study investigating the benefits of wearing a postpartum belly wrap after a cesarean delivery found that most study participants experienced less pain, bleeding, and discomfort when wearing a belly wrap compared with those who did not use a wrap. The authors also reported that participants wearing a postpartum wrap had higher red blood cell and hemoglobin counts.
However, results from wider research on this topic are mixed.
Some people wear postpartum wraps to help compress loose stomach muscles and look more toned in the postpartum period. While this may improve a person’s self-esteem as the body heals, there is no evidence that postpartum wraps help people lose weight.
The intended purpose of a postpartum belly wrap is to:
- offer support to a person’s abdominal muscles as they heal
- increase core stability
- potentially act as a physical reminder for a person to be mindful of their abdomen postpartum
- act as a reminder to engage in vigorous movements that may cause further injury
A person should speak to a healthcare provider before using postpartum wraps or compression devices after giving birth, especially if they experienced complications during pregnancy or delivery or after their baby was born.
People who have given birth through vaginal or cesarean delivery can use a postpartum belly wrap.
Although very few studies have tested postpartum belly wraps, those that have can offer promising results.
A 2012 study found that a postpartum belly wrap improved core stability in people who wore a wrap during physical therapy sessions and those who wore a wrap but did not go to physical therapy.
Additionally, a 2019 study of people recovering from a cesarean delivery found that those who used binding abdominal wraps experienced less pain in the postpartum period.
Overall, very little research indicates that using a postpartum belly wrap or similar clothing can objectively reduce postpartum pain and discomfort or increase support.
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Postpartum belly wraps may protect a person’s cesarean stitches or scar from rubbing against the waistband of their clothes. However, the UK National Health Service (NHS) recommends a person wears loose clothes and cotton underwear after cesarean delivery. Many postpartum belly wraps are tight-fitting and made of synthetic materials.
A person can talk to a midwife or other healthcare professional to discuss if a postpartum belly wrap is safe for them to wear.
Postpartum wraps are not corsets or waist trainers, and a person should not use them for these purposes. It is important that a person does not wrap the material so tightly that it dramatically changes the shape of their torso.
A person may protect themselves against injury by using the following tips:
- If the wrap is uncomfortable, take it off and try again or switch brands.
- Avoid very tight wraps. A postpartum belly wrap aims to provide light compression. Heavy compression increases pressure in the abdomen and can damage the pelvic floor. Damage to the pelvic floor muscles can lead to organ prolapse and urinary or bowel incontinence. Learn more about pelvic floor exercises.
- When using a do-it-yourself wrap or a wrap that needs to go around the belly several times, wrap from the bottom up, never from the top down.
- Use only elastic wraps, which make it easier to breathe and move. A wrap should never make breathing difficult or impede a person’s range of motion.
- Do not use a wrap as a substitute for appropriate postpartum pelvic floor and abdominal muscle care. A pelvic floor physical therapist can help with injured abdominal muscles, bladder leakage, and postpartum pain.
- Stop using the wrap immediately if it leads to dizziness or increased postpartum bleeding.
A person should always speak to a doctor or midwife about any concerns regarding the safety of using a postpartum belly wrap or compression garment.
A person can consider the following factors when looking for a postpartum belly wrap:
- Cost: A person should consider how their chosen belly wrap fits their budget.
- Materials: Some people may be allergic to certain materials, such as latex. A person should check or ask for the material label before purchasing a belly wrap and consider whether certain fabrics will affect how comfortable they feel when using it.
- Body size: Some of these products are suitable for smaller body sizes, while others may be better suited to larger ones. A person could consider taking their measurements before purchasing a belly wrap to make sure they get the size that will be comfortable and safe for them to wear.
The following table compares the size, materials, and prices of the products in this article.
|Belly Bandit Mother Tucker Leggings||$79.97||XS–XL||nylon, Spandex||black, steel, navy, olive, black camo, olive camo|
|ProCare Premium Panel Abdominal Elastic Binder||$17.47||one size, 34–45 inches (in)||elastic, flannel||white|
|BraceAbility Plus Size Bariatric Abdominal Binder||$29.99–$34.99||XL–4XL||elastic||white|
|Marena Recovery Girdle||$104||2XS–4XL||Tactel Nylon, Soft Lycra||black, beige|
|Blanqi Everyday Lift-Up Support Tank||$60||S–XL||nylon, Spandex||black, white|
|Belly Bandit B.F.F. Premier||$79.95||S–XL||modal, Lycocell, Spandex||beige, brown|
|Leonisa Firm Compression Postpartum Panty||$45||S–XL||polyamide, elastane||beige, black|
|Belly Bandit C-Section Short||$69.95||S–L||polyamide, Spandex, silver yarn||black|
|Belly Bandit C-Section & Postpartum Recovery Undies||$59.95||XS–XL||silver-infused yarns||beige, black|
A postpartum belly wrap will not permanently change the body or help a person lose postpartum weight. Still, it can make a person more comfortable after giving birth either vaginally or by cesarian delivery.
Some research suggests that postpartum belly wraps can help reduce pain and discomfort after giving birth, but researchers have not made conclusions about their effectiveness or safety.
People who are worried about their postpartum pain or want to know more about whether a postpartum belly wrap would be safe for them to use should talk to a midwife or other medical professional.