How Belly Wrapping is different from Waist Training
You may have heard about waist trainers on the internet, so we thought it was a good time to share some advice about safe, effective postpartum belly wrapping.
Ask the Expert
Kim Vopni, The Vagina Coach is a co-founder of Bellies Inc. a company focused on improving births and postpartum recoveries.
Postpartum belly wrapping has been used for centuries in many cultures around the world, especially in Asia and has began to influence North American women but not everyone is adopting the healing practice as it was designed and many are using waist training as a way to look slimmer even when they have not given birth or gave birth many years ago.
Waist trainers are typically very tight garments or cosets that can be cinched tighter and tighter to pull in the floating rib and compress the abdomen. They are narrowest at the waist and interfere with digestion, and breathing and create downward pressure on the pelvic floor. Overall they are very damaging to core function.
Belly wrapping on the other hand is actually more like pelvis wrapping and is used to help provide temporary support to the pelvis and lower abdomen where the muscles have been stretched beyond their optimal length and are hindered in their ability to contribute to core control. By supporting the muscles externally and doing restorative exercise to rebuild internal support, it can help heal diastasis recti, ease low back pain, and help the body feel supported after birth.
We have one study that shows that 100% of pregnant women will get a diastasis rectus abdominus (DRA) in their third trimester as measured by an enlarged inter-recti distance. Some woman will also stretch through the abdominal muscles. Muscles that are lengthened loose contractile strength as seen on the length tension curve as their maximum force generated decreases. 45% of women experience low back pain and Pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy and 25% postpartum. Transversus Abdominis is inhibited or delayed during and after low back pain is experienced. The pelvic floor is stretched and/or torn during a vaginal delivery. We also have a study that showed that spontaneous healing of a DRA only occurs in the first 8 weeks postpartum - beyond that intervention is needed.
Bellies Inc. Ab Wrap
Belly wrapping plays a role in
- healing diastasis recti and encouraging re-alignment of the rectus muscles (the 6 pack muscles)
- Keeping the new mother warm (mother roasting)
- Encouraging rest
- Supporting the pelvis and the tissues in the abdominal wall
- Guiding the postpartum woman into restorative posture and alignment
- Supporting the uterus in its return to its normal size (involution)
- Improving circulation
- Providing comfort and support – especially after caesarean births
Belly wrapping alone is not enough – you must do the appropriate exercises to restore the core from the inside out. Better yet, we recommend you do core exercise while you are still pregnant to help prepare your core for birth.
The Ab System
So, it stands to reason that just as many cultures around the world have used abdominal binding for centuries, modern day moms should consider using The Ab System to help restore function to the abdominal wall postpartum. Remembering that an external support to the healing tissues is only temporary and needs to be coupled with restorative exercises to rebuild the internal system.
The Ab System provides you with the prenatal Core Confidence Exercise Program to help you prepare, the Ab Tank and patented Ab Wrap to help your pelvis and abdomen recover AND the restorative Core Confidence Exercise Program to help rebuild and restore your core from the inside out.
We recommend that the Ab System be purchased while you are still pregnant so you can start the Core Confidence program and have the Ab Tank and Wrap to put on immediately postpartum in order to take advantage of the most critical healing time for diastasis recti – the first 8 weeks postpartum.
You can purchase The Ab System here at Bellies Inc.