Belly Wraps and Belly Belts – Lose Baby Fat Quick!
Women would do just about anything to get rid of that ‘extra baby fat’ after giving birth, right? Postpartum belly wraps along with other belly binding techniques seem to be becoming quite popular among women who have recently given birth, but are they really what they are all cracked up to be?
Postpartum Belly Binding
What is it? Belly binding has been used since the Mayan times by women outside of the United States after giving birth in order to help tone and strengthen their abdominal muscles and skin as well as “shrink” back down to pre-baby weight. Belly binding is done by wearing a compression wrap mid-section the day of giving birth (or a few days after giving birth, depending on your preference) up to twelve weeks.
Today belly binding can be done by using postpartum belly belts, postpartum belly wraps such as the Belly Bandit and the Tummy Trainer, or the traditional belly binding techniques. Traditional belly binding videos and tutorials are online for those who would like to practice the ‘traditional’ method.
The History behind Belly Binding
Sarashi (a long thick cotton strip of cloth) has been used for thousands of years by those in the Japanese culture in order to speed up the toning (skin and muscles) and weight loss process after giving birth. Other countries that also commonly practice belly binding techniques include Asia, Latin America, and Europe (just to name a few). Using a piece of cloth such as the Sarashi, mentioned above, was seen as a way to tighten those overstretched muscles and reduce the swelling associated with childbirth. As the abdominal areas contracted, the cloth would be shortened and again tightly wound around the abdominal area until the body returned to its normal figure.
How Do Belly Wraps & Belly Belts Work?
Over a period of nine months your abdominal area stretches in order to house your child. That is nine months of stretched skin that has to go back to normal, not to mention the internal aspects of the body that are affected by pregnancy and child birth. It is believed that such belly binding practices whether using postpartum belly belts, postpartum belly wraps, etc. allow for the compression that is put on the abdominal area through binding to help the uterus return to its normal size quicker. Under the section ‘Why Are Wraps Becoming So Popular?’ other benefits of belly binding will be discussed.
Modern Belly Binding
With women’s busy schedules today, there is less time to spend on the traditional belly binding techniques. Today’s market offers women’s many quick and easy belly wraps and belts that constrict as the abdominal area tightens. This means that there is no extra time spent on wrapping, unwrapping, or shortening the cloth. The same wrap or belt can be used from day one until the end of your ‘toning’ process. Today the most common belly binders include: the Belly Bandit, the Taut Belly Wrap, and the Swelly Belly, ranging from $30 to over $65 depending on the style and brand you purchase.
Why Are Wraps Becoming So Popular?
Today belly binding techniques are targeted to women who would like to tightened and tone their body in a shorter period of time. Manufacturers advertise the benefits of postpartum wraps and belts as:
- A daily reminder of your “pre baby weight” or “getting back into shape” goal
- Providing warmth to the abdominal area to aid in quicker recovery
- Helping provide/maintain good posture while breast feeding
- Provides support to your abdominal and back muscles
- Assists in contracting the uterus back to its original size
- Provides support for those who have undergone a C-section who are unable to exercise for three months after the operation
- May help in reducing stretch marks
These belly binding techniques will obviously not provide you with a body like Jillian Michaels or Jackie Warner, exercise and consuming a healthy diet are still among the most recommended “getting back into shape” techniques today.
Today these techniques are contradictory in the health professional world. Your doctor may or may not recommend these techniques due to their own research, techniques, and/or studies while the doctor next door may be handing them out to their expecting mothers.