What Is a Postpartum Belly Wrap and Should You Try It?
So – you’ve finally put 40 weeks (or so) of pregnancy and the traumatizing hours of childbirth behind you; you’re now officially a mother! No matter how you gave birth – be it via natural delivery or C-section – the first six weeks after giving birth are considered the “confinement period.”
Even if you breezed through your pregnancy and gave birth in record-breaking time, your body and uterus have been stretched and stressed to the maximum levels, and they need a chance to regroup.
The recovery period can be challenging for many new moms, and any products that make healing easier are gratefully welcomed with milk-stained hands.
Undoubtedly, you’ve heard raving reviews on postpartum Jamu belly wraps from your friends and colleagues. But what are they, exactly? And most importantly, are they worth the hype?
What is a postpartum belly wrap?
As can be implied from its name, a postpartum belly wrap is simply a product you wrap around your waist to help support your body after childbirth. However, it’s critical to note that you cannot just pick a random cinching product available in the market – using the wrong kind can be painful and even harmful!
So – how do you know which are suitable for postpartum usage? Don’t fret, here’s a quick guide for your reference.
Products suitable for postpartum women
- Belly wrap – A wide, elastic, adjustable (typically Velcro) band that covers you from your ribs down to the tops of your hips. It provides gentle compression; there are several of these explicitly manufactured for postpartum women.
- Abdominal compression binder – A medical device that is designed to be worn after abdominal surgery. It usually features no-frills bands that provide medium to firm compression and are adjustable (also likely to be Velcro). While it’s not explicitly meant for postpartum recovery, it’s often used during the postpartum period.
Products not suitable for postpartum women
- Waist trainer – An adjustable, wide band that covers your midsection from you’re your bust to the tops of your hips. Waist trainers are typically made with latex or other stiffer materials to reduce the size of your waist drastically. As you can imagine, the heavy compression is wildly inappropriate for use during the postpartum recovery period.
- Corset – A shaping garment, designed to be worn alone or under clothing. It doesn’t provide enough support to justify its usage as a postpartum recovery tool.
How can a postpartum wrap help?
The primary purpose of a postpartum belly wrap is to align and support your abdomen until your abdominal muscles and organs can perform their regular jobs once again. Also, there are many other benefits associated with it, including the following:
- Provides light compression to help your uterus shrink
- Takes the pressure off your C-section incision while it heals
- Reduces pain
- Stabilizes your pelvic floor
- Helps heal a diastasis recti (a condition where your ab muscles remain separated)
- Enables you to get back on your feet sooner and walk further
- Gives off the illusion of a slimmer silhouette when worn under clothes
How long should you wear your postpartum wrap?’
You can start wearing the postpartum belly wrap two days (48 hours) after childbirth to reap its benefits, as long as your doctor gives you the okay. Right now, you might be feeling anxious – after all, your belly wrap product is unlikely to have come with an instruction page.
Belly wrap wear schedule
Once again, don’t worry. Here’s a rough guide on how you can scale up your wearing times over the postpartum period, day-by-day:
Day 1 – Try wearing the belly wrap for 30 minutes to an hour; pay special attention to how you feel while wearing the wrap and ensure that both your skin and body are tolerating the added pressure around your abdomen.
Day 2 – Increase your wear time to 1 to 2 hours; if you cannot tolerate wearing the belly wrap for two consecutive hours, you can try breaking the wear-time into two: 1 hour in the morning and another in the evening.
Day 3 – You should be pretty accustomed to wearing the belly wrap at this point; increase your wear-time to 2 to 4 hours consecutively. Do not take it off unless it’s necessary. But of course, if you’re uncomfortable or unwilling to do long-wearing, you can break up the wear-time into two: 2 hours in the morning, then 2 hours in the evening.
Day 4 and beyond – If you were able to wear your belly wrap for four consecutive hours on the third day, you’re encouraged to increase your wear time by 2 hours each day until you max out at 12 hours of wear-time daily. On the contrary, if you didn’t manage to clock four consecutive hours the previous day, increase your wear-time by an hour daily till you hit 12 hours.
Precautions with wearing a belly wrap
Make sure not to wrap yourself too tight – too much compression can do you more harm than good. Always make sure that you’re able to breathe comfortably and do not face any restrictions in your mobility when you’re wearing a belly wrap. If it becomes uncomfortable at any point – including skin irritation, redness, or abdominal pain, take it off immediately.
Hate the hassle?
You probably already have more than you can handle at this point: what with a new-born that demands to be cleaned, fed, and attended to every few hours, why would you put in the effort to wrap yourself? Well, why not take the opportunity to pamper yourself with a postnatal massage?
What is a Post Natal massage?
A postnatal massage differs from your regular massage sessions as it is specifically designed to accommodate the physiology of women who’ve just given birth. Specifically, you’ll find that a postnatal massage features different focus points and varying degrees of pressure exerted, in comparison to regular massages.
The Jamu Postnatal Massage
While there are many different types of postnatal massages available, the most popular variant in Singapore is the Jamu postnatal massage. This variant originated from Indonesia and got its name from “Jamu,” a traditional herbal concoction used during the massage. The massage also includes breast and head massages to improve lactation and relieve headaches, respectively.
After 45 minutes to an hour of pure bliss and relaxation, the massage therapist will wrap your mid-section in a unique traditional binding cloth – Jamu wrap – that is pretty similar to a postpartum belly wrap. You can then adjust your wearing time of the wrap based on the above recommendations, or go with the suggestions of your massage therapist.
Benefits of Jamu postnatal massage
In addition to not having to wrap your abdomen by yourself, there are many benefits of Jamu postnatal massage, including:
- Helps tighten back and tone over-stretched tummy
- Speeds up recovery
- Helps eliminate toxins and reduce water retention
- Relieves body aches and leg cramps
- Speeds up shrinkage of the uterus
- Vaginal Rejuvenation and tightening by using Jamu Herbs
Ultimately, you must choose a cinching product that’s meant specifically for postpartum women if you want it to support your recovery journey. But if you’re too overwhelmed with all the new motherhood responsibilities – as you understandably are – you have the option of signing up for Jamu postnatal massage sessions. Not only will you get the chance to get some me-time – finally, but you’ll also not have to worry about wrapping your abdomen by yourself. That, to us, is a win-win situation!
Don’t forget to read Theraply’s other useful guides:
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