Thougths on Post Pregnancy Belly Bands - Do They Work???

Updated on August 16, 2011
C.C. asks from Crown Point, IN
4 answers

i am 9 months post partum and although I am down to my "pre preg weight" my stomach is not like it used to be. After my first without any dieting or excercise my stomach went back to "normal" but I look like I'm still 3 months prg and my organs feel like they are moving every which way and I have saggy, loose skin. Was wondering if these bands work, which brands are good if so and since its been 9 months since I had the baby will it still work for me???

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answers from Chicago on

The bands will not help the loose, saggy skin. Nor will they help your organs shift. They have been back to where they should be for awhile now.

The bands CAN help retrain the muscle, IF you're working out, too.
Meaning, if you have a small diastasis, and you're binding your abdomen while you workout, you can prevent it from getting worse by holding the abdominis rectus together. With strength, they will hold that closed position.
This works well in the early post partum weeks.

At 9 months, if you still look pregnant, you may have a diastasis in there, and the muscles are very stretched out.
I'm in that boat. At the end of the day, I look 4 months pregnant, and let's not even talk about loose skin. I workout 5x a week and quite a bit of intensity. I do quite a bit of core work, and it hasn't helped a bit.

I'm actually scheduled for a tummy tuck November 1 to correct it, since it's clear that exercise isn't going to be enough.

So, in short, don't waste your money.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Savannah on

I am not positive, but I was under the impression that those bands are for immediately after delivering. I think you have waited too long for it to be beneficial. I am in the same boat. We moved cross-country when my son was 4 weeks and my band disappeared in the move. We just found it a couple of weeks ago, but It has already been 8 months. Oh well!


answers from Dallas on

Isn't it kind of cruel how with your first, everything goes back to normal, so you think it'll do the same with subsequent babies?!! :-) I know not all women are "normal" after their first, but it's the same story for me. My skin was a little looser after having baby #1, but my belly muscles went back to normal quickly and it didn't even look like I had a baby...well, unless you looked at my slightly loose skin. My 1st baby was 7 lbs.

Then I had baby #2. I definitely did not go back to normal with him. But he was almost 11 lbs (and I'm under 120 lbs post babies). He stretched my muscles and skin pretty bad. Now I'm on baby #5, and so far they've all been bigger babies (not almost 11 lbs, though!). It really messes with the belly. My skin has lost elasticity and has gotten REALLY loose and saggy.

Like the first poster said, you sound like you have a diastasis. It's a spacing between your belly muscles. A belly band won't cure that. It also won't cure the loose skin. Nothing will fix the loose skin, except to have it removed.

Back to the diastasis, if you have a 2 finger wide spacing or LESS between your muscles, then you can do exercises to fix it. If you have more than a two finger spacing, then you're pretty much out of luck, as no exercising will completely fix it, and the only way to fix it is to have surgery where they bring your belly muscles back together and stitch them.

As the first response said, if you use the belly band to help hold your muscles in place, it can be helpful for you to exercise and get those muscles back where they should be. There is a book called, "Lose Your Mummy Tummy" by Tupler. She has specific exercises to get your post-baby belly muscles back in place. No matter how big the spacing is, you will see some improvement with the exercises, but it won't fix it completely if you have a large spacing. I highly recommend that book to any and all moms who want to get their bellies back!

To see if you have a spacing, lay on your back on the floor. Have your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Find your belly button and place your fingers there. Then VERY GENTLY lift your head. You want to lift it just enough to feel where your muscles are. Don't lift it too much or else it'll make the results inaccurate - just enough to find the borders of your muscles (shoulder blades should remain on the floor). However many fingers you can fit between the muscles is how many finger spacing you have. (Oh, and don't do situps or crunches to try to fix the spacing - that makes it worse!).

Anyway, so if you have a diastasis, depending on how bad it is, exercises can fix it...or if it's bad enough, only surgery can. Mine is bad enough that only surgery will fix it.

You should also be aware that getting it fixed is NOT for just for emotional or vain or cosmetic reasons...there are real medical reasons for it. If you have a diastasis, it leaves you at much higher risk of developing an umbilical hernia. This means your guts will have the chance to try to poke out through your hernia. At 28 weeks prego (about four weeks ago), I was just diagnosed with this after having severe belly button pain (it's really excruciating! though luckily it hasn't hardly hurt since that day). It also means you will likely have pretty bad back issues that will only get worse as you age because your core muscles aren't working like normal to support your back. So, it's not necessarily a good idea to just automatically opt out of fixing without really looking into it.

When I have my baby, my doctor is going to try to fix my hernia, as well as repair my diastasis (it needs to be repaired to prevent another hernia). But since she's doing it right as I'm having a baby, the diastasis repair might not work very well. If that's the case, 6-8 weeks later, she'll refer me to a plastic surgeon to have my muscles repaired. It would be considered a medical necessity, since I have a hernia, and insurance should cover most, if not all, of it. If I see the plastic surgeon, I'm planning on having the skin removed. It's pretty gross, and if they're there doing other stuff, why not have that fixed. I don't mind looking like I've had babies...but the loose skin is fairly severe (at least to me), it looks almost like an empty bag of skin that hangs there. It's not nice pleasantly loose like it was after my first!

Anyway, I know I've gone on and on about this, but I just wanted to share some things. I was never one to consider plastic surgery, and I thought tummy tucks were only for vain people. But now I understand there are different severities when it comes to post-baby belly problems. I was pregnant with one baby the size of twins. That's not really normal...and I don't think my left over issues are exactly normal either! Especially now that I have a hernia, I really want to get things fixed. I have a ton of lower back pain that I really want to hopefully get under control. I think there's a time and place for fixing the belly. If you have a very bad diastasis, just know that it leaves you at risk for other potentially serious issues.

Tummy tuck will fix the muscles and fix the loose skin. You can even see your regularly doctor and see if they think it's a medical necessity to have it fixed, and if so, they can write something so that insurance should cover it. That's what my doctor is planning to do.



answers from Dallas on

I love mine! Didn't w/ 1st and I felt the same way. I got the "Bella-Band" brand. I'm only 3 weeks post partum, but WAY smaller belly than at this time last preg. Also, for when I'm out and about it makes me 'look' like I have a flat belly when I don't :o)

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