How Long Should You Wear A Postpartum Belly Wrap
Find out how long you should wear a postpartum belly wrap after having a baby. Also, get a FREE belly wrap wear time schedule to help you keep track of when you should wear the postpartum girdle
This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.
You’ve gone out of your way to purchase a new postpartum belly wrap, also known as a postpartum girdle, and you are absolutely clueless on how to use it. It didn’t come with any instructions, just the packaging, maybe a little picture and the receipt in the box. But what about the instructions? How long do you wear this postpartum belly wrap? How do I even put it on? Is there a right way and a wrong way? You have enough on your plate after just having a baby, the last thing you want to do it fumble with this 3 piece corset that looks way more complicated than it should be.
Don’t sweat it. After reading this article, you’ll have a much clearer understanding as to how long you should wear the belly wrap for and also get some tips on how to wear it properly.
Postpartum Belly Wraps
Congratulations by the way on having a new baby. I’m super proud of you for taking the initiative to purchase a postpartum belly wrap. I highly recommend wearing one postpartum, and I have had 4 different experiences of wearing them after giving birth to my 4 girls. I saw great results and recommend it to every woman who is recovering during postpartum, even after having a c-section (but make sure you always get your doctor to give you the green light before putting one on post c-section).
What Do Postpartum Belly Wraps Do?
There are many benefits of wearing a postpartum belly wrap such as:
1. Gives tactile cues for you to perform pelvic tilts and actively contract your core muscles (by doing abdominal bracing)
2. Assists with uterine contractions and helps your uterus to return to normal size
3. Provides abdominal support
4. Helps with posture
5. Improves self-confidence
6. Motivates you to keep working harder towards your weight loss and fitness goals
I truly feel you are going to be really pleased with your results. You’re going to feel so much better and you’re going to be amazed about the way your body looks after just having a baby.
But the big question is how long do you wear a postpartum belly wrap for?
Like I mentioned earlier, there are no instructions that come with your belly wrap. Doctors don’t typically prescribe them and they seem to forget to go over a set “protocol” for wearing a postpartum belly wrap.
So how do you know what to do?
How Long Do I Wear A Postpartum Belly Wrap?
That’s why I’m here. I’m a physical therapist and I have a lot of experience with braces, splints, wraps, etc.
When it comes to a postpartum belly wrap, I recommend progressively increasing the amount of time you wear one. The best way to keep track of this is by creating a wear time schedule like this one below.
*Tip: You can download your FREE blank printable at the end of this post.
Let’s begin with Day 1.
I recommend the first day you begin wearing the postpartum belly wrap to be no earlier than 2 days postpartum. Typically I recommend you start wearing a postpartum belly wrap when you are cleared for discharge from the hospital. In other words, begin 2 whole days postpartum (48 hours after childbirth) and beyond.
Definitely make sure there are no contraindications (precautionary reasons to not wearing one) from your doctor before you begin wearing a postpartum belly wrap (like a c-section perhaps).
The first day you put on a postpartum belly wrap, you will want to test it out for 30 minutes to 1 hour in duration.
Pick a time during the day when you are mostly relaxed and comfortable. Avoid doing a lot of activity while wearing it for the first time. You might prefer to stand while wearing it, but it’s also ok to wear it while feeding your baby. I do not recommend wearing it while sleeping.
Pay attention to how you feel while wearing the wrap and make sure your skin and body are tolerating the added pressure around your stomach.
For the second day you wear the postpartum belly wrap, I recommend increasing the time to 1 to 2 hours in duration. Wear it continuously for that length of time and readjust the wrap so it fits you properly down low. Postpartum wraps tend to rise up over your hips the longer you wear it so make sure you pull it down when needed. If you for some reason cannot tolerate wearing it for 2 hours continuously, try wearing it for 1 hour in the morning and 1 hour in the evening to start.
2 days postpartum without the postpartum wrap on
By this time you should be more comfortable wearing a postpartum belly wrap and you will be able to tolerate a larger increase in wear time. Try increasing the amount of time to wear the postpartum belly wrap to 2-4 hours continuously throughout the day. Do not take it off unless it’s necessary. The longer you can tolerate wearing it continuously, the better. If you want to break it down to 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the evening, go ahead and give that a try. But again, the goal is to wear it for longer stretches at a time.
At this point you will know if you are more comfortable wearing a postpartum girdle for longer stretches of time or for shorter durations.
If you did not tolerate the continuous 4 hours of wear time, I recommend you gradually increase the wear time by 1 hour each day until you max out for a total of 12 per day.
If you did tolerate the 4 hours of continuous wear time on day 3, I recommend you increase your wear time by 2 hours each day until you max out at 12 hours per day.
Everyone is different and, therefore, should progress the wear time of the postpartum belly wrap at their own pace. Here, again, is my tip for how long you should wear your postpartum belly wrap after becoming accustomed to wearing it:
Slow progression: increase by 1 hour per day until you can tolerate 12 hours a day
Fast progression: increase by 2 hours per day until you can tolerate 12 hours a day
I recommend you wear the postpartum belly wrap for up to 2-4 months postpartum from the day you started. Remember you will get the maximum benefit earlier on in your postpartum journey, so don’t wait to begin. You’ll want to start now!
Here is a picture of me 10 days postpartum after having my 4th baby. I’m wearing a postpartum belly wrap in this picture. My results just continued to get better as time went on.
Precautions With Wearing A Postpartum Belly Wrap
There is no right or wrong way to do this, but what is most important is that you continue to monitor your body for changes and tolerance to the postpartum belly wrap.
Look for skin breakdown, redness or irritation. You want to make sure you avoid causing this by wearing the wrap too long.
If you’re having pain while wearing the wrap, you may want to back off on the wear time or stop wearing it completely for a couple of days. Then, when you feel better, attempt wearing it again at a slow rate.
If you can’t tolerate a certain amount of time continuously without taking it off, try splitting up the wear time into two different sessions throughout the day. Try wearing it for 4 hours in the early morning, taking it off for midday/nap time, and putting it back on for 4 hours in the evening. That is a great example and is perfectly fine to do.
Is It Too Late To Wear A Postpartum Girdle?
If you happen to be reading this late and you are way past 2 days postpartum, don’t worry!
Jena’s Tip: Just start now and make today your Day 1. Continue on and follow the recommended times I have mentioned and continue wearing it for 2 to 4 months. If you don’t see results within 4 months, you may want to consider assessing your diet and exercise regimen.
You’ll get the most benefit from wearing a postpartum belly wrap within the first few weeks after giving birth but you can still get good results if you wear the belly wrap within the first 2-4 months of your postpartum journey.
How Do You Use A Postpartum Belly Wrap?
This can be a difficult thing to figure out and understand what’s right for you, so please don’t hesitate to comment below with questions or you can contact me directly HERE. I can help you figure out what’s the best wear time for you and your lifestyle and how to properly use yours.
And if you are not sure which postpartum belly wrap is the best option to buy, take a look at the Top 11 Best Postpartum Belly Wraps and Girdles of 2019.
By the way, I highly recommend reading my 6 Tips For Wearing A Postpartum Belly Wrap, which will help you understand how to use it to its full advantage.
Comment below and let me know what your ideal wear time is with your postpartum belly wrap. What time of day do you like to wear it the most? And let me know which product you bought!
Dr. Jena Bradley, DPT
This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.
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About Dr. Jena Bradley
Jena is a mom of 4 darling little girls, a physical therapist and founder of Live Core Strong, a blog focusing on motivating moms to live a life that incorporates fitness and fun throughout their motherhood journey. She aims to be the friend you always wanted to have who could guide you through the “fog” when faced with an “I don’t know what to do” mommy moment. At the most inconvenient time of her life, she embarked on a journey of sharing her story and expertise to inspire the next generation of healthy moms. You can learn more about Jena by visitng her ABOUT page.