How Soon After C-Section Can I Wear a Girdle?

After a long pregnancy, your bundle of joy arrives, and it’s time for the transition from maternity to postpartum clothing. But since surgery isn’t exactly like normal birth, you’re wondering whether it’s advisable to use an abdominal binder or belly wrap. The question on your mind is, ‘how soon after C-section can I wear a girdle?

You can use a girdle post-op C-section from day one or as soon as your obstetrician removes the initial pressure dressing. Abdominal binders or girdles help with bleeding, pain relief, and healing. Wear a postpartum binder for four to six hours initially to help with movement and then 8 to 12 hours onwards.

There’s more pain, discomfort, and bleeding when you’re recovering from a C-section delivery. A postpartum girdle helps with belly reduction, posture, back support, and improved self-confidence. It’s also said to help with diastasis recti, or closing separated abdominal muscles. Here’s a rundown of dos and don’ts for using girdles after surgery.

What Are the Benefits of Wearing a Girdle Soon After a C-Section Delivery?

One in three births in the US is a C-section delivery. If you’ve delivery through surgery, you’ll be considering how to help with pain or healing and how to bring down the mommy pooch or abdominal bulge. There are, in fact, solid reasons why you should try a postpartum girdle or belly wrap, something doctors have prescribed to patients after surgery for years.

The idea behind a girdle soon after a C-section is that the material will protect your surgical incision with binding pressure. Compression offered by a belly wrap also helps to decrease post-op abdominal pain. None of this is scientifically proven, although a study has been conducted using general surgery patients.

Benefits of abdominal binders for C-section postpartum include;

Post-Delivery Recovery

After you’ve given birth via C-section, your midsection is deflated. It’ll take a while before the abdominal muscles in your belly regain their size and strength. A girdle helps make the process quicker while offering additional incision support that promotes healing.

Lower Back Pain and Posture

A girdle will offer relief due to compression if you have lower back pain after your C-section surgery. An abdominal binder also provides posture support as you begin to walk, helping your pelvic floor muscles regain compactness. Actions that cause pain, like laughing, squeezing, or using the washroom, could also rip your incision, which medical-grade girdles prevent.

General Comfort

It may appear like wearing a girdle post-operation will cause discomfort, but the opposite is true. You won’t feel your organs are floating within the space when using a functional abdominal binder. You’ll be encouraged to move around to increase blood circulation in your extremities since abdomen muscles form the foundation of every movement.

Relieving Stress

Use deep breathing to help provide more oxygen to your severed muscles. That’s better done with a belly wrap. You can take deep breaths when wearing a postpartum girdle, which improves your back posture and opens up space for diaphragm expansion. That helps reduce the stress hormone cortisol while improving parasympathetic attributes of muscular activity, relieving tension, pain and anxiety.

Self-Esteem and Confidence

With the results of a flat tummy from wearing a girdle, you’ll be able to wear regular clothing without self-consciousness. Your confidence and self-esteem will benefit from a mental picture of not feeling that you’re looking ‘forever pregnant.’

Are Girdles Effective and Safe Soon After a C-Section Surgery?

Get back to normal activities faster and walk further when using a postpartum girdle soon after your C-section delivery. You get assistance with Diastasis recti or separated abdominal muscle. Your uterus is shrunk back to size and allowed to heal. Avoid using a belly wrap with expectations of losing belly fat that forms over the wound or to reduce your overall weight.

It’s been hotly debated whether postpartum girdles help with postoperative pain and distress. An International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics report in 2016 suggested no difference made, but another study refuted that opinion the following year. Ultimately, the consensus was that patients who used binders experience fewer symptoms of distress, pain, and blood loss.

Measurements for walking tests and pains scores for these studies started between one and five days of surgery. Little data is available on the long-term belly compression effects, and in the case of diastasis recti, the results are varied. However, no harmful effects are associated with using a girdle, but too tight a binder can cause shortness of breath and dizziness.

If you’ve been using a girdle and notice your incision looking red, feeling warm, or having drainage, you’re developing an infection. During this time, don’t use abdominal compression but instead, talk to your healthcare provider immediately.

How Do I Start Using a Girdle after a C-section?

Most girdles that you’ll come across will work for both regular and C-section delivery with straightforward use. Wrap your belly binder around your waist, making sure that the Velcro securing is in front. When wrapping, you should feel supported by gentle compression while taking full deep breaths, which means the wrapper must not be too tight.

Put a single finger between the abdominal binder and your body as a way to gauge whether your girdle is too tight. Diaphragmatic deep breaths are necessary to activate pelvic and core muscles while reducing cortisol levels for anxiety, pain relief, and stress.

Once you’ve identified a girdle that works for abdominal support, you can increase the number of hours you’ll keep the binder on. If you’re already wearing a belly wrap during the daytime, it’s possible to stay wrapped up through sleep, 24/7. When your wrapper’s impairing breathing or interfering with blood flow, relegate its use to daytime for moving around.            

You can wear a postpartum girdle for at least 12 weeks after your delivery surgery. Afterward, the wrap won’t be essential as you’ll have healed sufficiently. However, strengthening and rebuilding muscles, especially with diastasis recti, will require that you start working out after a C-section. Engage in some light walking or moderate exercise until your doctor clears your incision as fully healed.

Conclusion

A post-maternity girdle when you’ve had a C-section offers belly muscle compression. That helps in reducing blood loss, relieving pain, and speeding the healing process. Treat girdles as part of your comfort retinue and not as healing aids for postpartum recovery. Be patient as this slow process naturally completes. Avoid heavy lifting and keep your health worker updated on any signs of wound complications.

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