Belly bands: Mommy must-haves?
The concept of belly bands seems simple enough: Tightly wrap your stomach and the compression will help reduce swelling, tighten muscles and just generally minimize your midsection. This
waist-whittling approach apparantly works for celebs like Minnie Driver, Gwen Stefani, Ashlee Simpson and Brooke Burke, who've all used the corset-like bands to obvious success.
Tauts hold in tummy flab
But are belly bands truly essential mommy must-haves, like burp cloths and breast pads? Well, it depends on who you ask. Model and former Dancing with the Stars champion Burke – who
sports one of Hollywood's best bikini bodies, even after four kids – wrapped an ace bandage around her belly after her last two pregnancies for 40 days. While Burke didn't like
the bandage (she says it bunched up and didn't stay put), she did like the results. So she designed her own line of bands called Tauts, sold exclusively at BabooshBaby.com.
"Tauts support baggy skin, act like a corset, and will bring in your waistline when you tighten the Velcro closure," Brooke writes on her website. "Plus, Tauts hold in any tummy
flab and it feels great to not have that pouch."
Granted, Burke – and women like her who slim back down to their size-two jeans just weeks after baby – may just have good genes, good luck, a good trainer or all of the above. But some
experts do agree that belly bands are helpful in compressing the stomach while serving as a constant reminder to engage your abdominals
Belly bands can help draw in diastasis
Julie Tupler, a registered nurse who specializes in reproductive health and author of Lose Your Mummy Tummy, suggests wearing a
belly band morning and night for at least a month, especially if you have a diastasis recti – or a gap between the two halves of the muscle along the front and middle of your abdomen, which
often occurs during pregnancy. Wearing a wrap, she says, helps draw the abdomen closer to the spine, making for a slimmer stomach.
Tupler adds, "For someone with severe diastasis, it's very helpful to wear a band, and then wear a splint, like a diastasis rehab splint," she says of the product offered on her
website DiastasisRehab.com. "I do like the concept of bands. They don't take the place of exercise, but they help."
Do you have diastasis recti?
Postpartum exercise is still key to a tight torso
There are some dissenting opinions concerning belly bands. Dr Alan Gibstein, an assistant professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the NYU College of Medicine, and a teacher at the LIJ North Shore
Health Care System, as well as the women's health expert on JustAnswer.com, believes that exercise – not a girdle-like garment
– is the key to losing the post-baby pooch.
"There is no factual evidence that a garment, by itself, does anything to slim the waist or abdomen," says the doctor. "Hot yoga has the better idea; which is exercise, stretching
and strengthening while sweating in a thick cotton fabric."
His prescription for the postpartum poundage? Plain old diet and exercise – and breastfeeding. Gibstein says you can eat up to 1400 calories a day and still lose weight when nursing.
Belly bands are budget-friendly compared to cosmetic surgery
It certainly doesn't hurt to try out a wrap while you diet and exercise. That is, of course, if you're willing to part with a little cash: Tauts and Belly Bandits will cost you around
$60 each. Pricy, but a heck of a lot cheaper than a tummy tuck!
More ways to slim your postpartum tummy