Are you looking at belly binders and wondering if you should get one?
I was asked this question the other day in my prenatal workshop, and my answer was.... well, it depends.
Like so much in science, there is a lot of gray when it comes to the use of belly binders.
Here are some things I want you to consider:
A Belly Binder is going to offer you support, help to alleviate aches and pains and make holding that baby a little easier on your back and pelvic floor.
Anything you can do to gain comfort in the immediate post partum period can be helpful just to survive the day.
A Belly Binder can create more problems than it solves when:
+ it creates too much compression
+ it disrupts our normal breathing pattern
+ it becomes a crutch you cannot function without
Supportive braces have a time and a place. In my chiropractic office, I look at orthotics and knee braces the very same way.
"How can I help my patient gain functional strength and wean them off of a support device that is actually hindering them!"
The goal for my patients is supporting their bodies to function well in the short term, while we set them up for long term success.
A supportive brace for a few weeks to allow them to get through their activities of daily living is OK, so long as they recognize & undergo a proper post partum rehabilitation core + more strengthening program.
Life long strength is the goal here.
This study found that wearing an elastic belly binder post caesarean may help to alleviate pain but had no impact on postoperative hemorrhage.
While this randomized-control study found that patients who wore abdominal binders reported less pain, lower SDS scores, and higher hemoglobin and hematocrit levels following cesarean delivery.
A large part of post partum rehab is the prope restablishment of intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) within the core. Improper IAP can lead to low back pain, pelvic floor disccomfort, leakage and prolapse. So it's very important!
Belly Binders have been questioned in regards to if they are supporting this goal or hindering it.
This study compared elastic binders vs no elastic binders and compared the effect of IAP.
"Elastic binders have relatively little effect on IVP and are more helpful at promoting postoperative recovery than non-elastic binders. Therefore, elastic binders are more suitable for clinical use."
So the answer to your belly binding question?
But please know that n o t h i n g will take the place of taking the time to properly rehabilitate your breathwork & your core. The payoff will pay dividends over your lifetime!
- Dr. Alli Can
Dr. Alli is a chiropractor, and owner of a multi-disciplinary wellness centre in Georgina, ON. She is a mom to one-year old Logan, and wife to Dr. Jordan Winberg. She runs an evidence-based, and highly sought-after post partum rehab series- helping everyone from high level athletes, to women with diastasis recti and prolapse. She is passionate about supporting women in the post-partum period to make informed choices and heal their bodies properly .