Postpartum Belly Binding; The Pros and Cons

Pregnancy can wreak havoc on a woman’s body. There are mood swings, sweating, cravings, swelling, and let’s not forget about the giant belly. The belly slowly grows for nine whole months and stretches your skin, your muscles, and shifts your organs around on the inside. Once your bundle of joy arrives, your body will begin healing. Postpartum belly binding can be a big help in this healing. 

postpartum belly binding

Unless you are a celebrity who can afford a full-time nanny and personal trainer, it’s going to take time to get back to your pre-baby self. Belly binding is something that I read about when I was pregnant with my first child. I did some further research on belly binding and liked what I read.

Belly binding is a stretchy wrap that you wrap around your waist from your ribs to your hips. The wraps are generally adjustable and are secured with Velcro. What they do is they compress your abdomen and help, for a lack of a better term, squish, your midsection back together.

Belly binding has many benefits and there are so many wraps out there that you should be able to find one that you like. Below, I’ll discuss the pro’s and con’s to belly binding and I’ll give my personal experiences.

Pros of Postpartum Belly Binding

There are many positives to belly binding if done correctly. First and foremost, it will give you support. During pregnancy, you lose a lot of muscle strength in your abdomen and back. The wrap will give you the support you need for good posture and to help you move and walk easier after you have a baby. When you lose your muscle strength during pregnancy, simple things like sitting up in bed can be a challenge. If you use a belly binder, you will have the added support that your body needs to do the simple things that you could do pre-pregnancy.

postpartum belly binding

The Big Benefit for C-section Mamas

If you had a C-section, belly binding is perfect for you. It will secure your C-section incision and help reduce the swelling. Be sure to check your incision every day to check for infection. Having a C-section is major surgery, so if you have any questions or concerns, consult your physician.

Getting Everything Back in Place

Another added bonus to belly binding is that it is going to help your uterus shrink. Your uterus stretches to accommodate your growing baby, and according to parents.com, it can stretch up to “500 times” it’s original size. That’s insane! After your baby is born, your uterus will begin to shrink on its own, but a belly binder will definitely help this process go faster. The binder uses gentle compression to essentially deflate your uterus. Think about when you deflate an innertube. If you push on it or compress it, it goes back to its original state much faster. The same holds true for your uterus.

Belly binding will also assist in putting your organs back into place. When you’re pregnant, your organs move around to make room for your growing baby which is super cool. However, after the baby is born, your organs don’t just jump back in place. A belly binder will give your abdomen the gentle nudge and pressure it needs to guide your organs back to where they belong.

The gentle compressions of a belly binder can also help your skin regain its elasticity. By putting gentle pressure on your skin, your skin can recover faster and help rid your body of some of the swelling and excess fluids that you gain while pregnant.

Cons of Postpartum Belly Binding

One of the biggest cons to using a belly band is that in order to gain the most from it, you need to wear it 24/7 for about a month or two. That’s a big commitment. A belly binder feels like a continual squeeze around your midsection, so if you don’t like the pressure, it will be hard to wear it all of the time.

Belly binding can also interfere with your clothing. The wraps can be a little bulky and fitting them under your clothing can be difficult.

My Personal Experiences

I wore a belly binder after both of my pregnancies and I have recommended them to all of my expecting girlfriends. The wraps not only gave me the support that I needed, but it also helped shrink my uterus, and put my organs back in place which, together, gave me the confidence I needed after being pregnant.

My First Pregnancy

When I was pregnant with my oldest, I saw an advertisement for a belly binder in a pregnancy magazine and I didn’t know what it was, so, like any millennial, I Googled it. I did a little research on what belly binders were and I liked what I read. I ordered my belly binder after I had my daughter while I was still in the hospital and it came right away. 

Check out a couple of other postpartum belly binders we recommend;

I was dedicated to the wrap and wore it as much as I could and I found that my body was recovering quickly after my pregnancy. I wore my wrap nearly all day, every day for about a month and saw that my body was strong enough without it and I could no longer feel the “jiggle” of my organs. One month of squeezing got me back to feeling confident about my body which helped me with my postpartum depression, which helped me get out and exercise which helped me lose the last bit of baby weight.

Postpartum Belly Binding with My Second Pregnancy

With my second pregnancy, I was ready and prepared for the belly binder. I brought it with me to the hospital and began wearing it the same day that I delivered my son. The second time around, I felt that my body needed the wrap even more than the first time because everything had more jiggle. My uterus felt extra large and stretched out, my skin was extra stretchy, and my insides felt so displaced. This time around, I needed the wrap to feel stronger and more supported versus the first time when I did it more for the vanity.

After wearing my belly binder for a total of two months, my body was finally looking like it had before my second pregnancy. This helped with my confidence immensely and made me feel good about my strong and capable body. The female body is a remarkable thing. We can stretch our bellies to the max and then train our bodies to be strong again.

In Conclusion

Overall, the pro’s outweigh the con’s on belly binding if you ask me. They give you the strength in your midsection, help with swelling, shrinking your uterus, put your organs back in place, and even help secure C-section incisions. If you can get past a little midsection squeezing, the benefits are worth it. There’s a reason belly binding has been around for centuries and I’m sure it will be around for centuries to come. Be sure to check out all of our favorite belly wraps here!

 

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Mommy and Me Classes [6 Types You & Baby Will Love]

Everything changes when you become a mom and it can be hard to figure out new routines and activities that are beneficial to both you and your baby. Even though it may seem a lot easier to just stay cooped up at home, both of you need to get out of the house every once in a while! There are all sorts of mommy and me classes out there which will not only get you out of the house but help you to make new mom friends. 

mommy and me classes

These classes will be entertaining for your baby or toddler, but they will also be enriching. They often help to teach new skills and help the two of you bond. Being around other babies gives your little one a good foundation of social skills as well. Best of all, because there are so many types of mommy and me classes you can really find something that interests you or that you enjoyed pre-baby. 

6 Types of Mommy and Me Classes

The Classic Rotating Mommy and Me Classes

While the classes we talk about below will offer a specific service, you can also find a weekly class that rotates activities. Activities may include learning songs, artwork, or simply playtime on their indoor playgrounds. This kind of class is offered from Gymboree, one of the original Mommy and Me class providers. You may also have a My Gym, Kidville, or YMCA near you that offers the same kind of thing. 

Gymboree makes it very easy to find a class near you; check it out.

Music

Mommy and Me music classes are very popular, and I think it is probably because most babies really enjoy music. These classes really keep their attention allowing the two of you to have plenty of fun together. Music classes are great for both little babies who love to be bounced along to some good tunes and toddlers that will dance around and maybe even pick up an instrument. Not to mention, dancing and singing together with your little one is a great way to let go and just bond. Who knows, you might just be setting the foundation for the next Mozart or John Mayer, whatever is more your thing. 

Music Together has a widespread reach, and so does Kindermusik. 

mommy and me classes

Mommy and Me Swim Classes

Swimming lessons can really start at any age, and if your family is frequently around water than the sooner the better. Mommy and Me swim classes will likely focus on familiarizing your baby with water and help you to get a little exercise in. While some families choose to begin earlier, a good time to start swim lessons is usually around 1 year old. Mommy and Me swim classes can also be helpful in guiding you on water safety tips and helping you lay the boundaries for your family when it comes to water activities. These classes can usually be found at the YMCA, but you may also have a local company offering them! 

Walking Groups

I know you have seen that big group of moms walking around the neighborhood pushing their strollers in a pack and wondered what the heck inspires them to get up and get their exercise on. Well, what you are seeing is a Mommy and Me walking group and their inspiration for cardio is probably the company of other new moms! Not to mention, pushing that stroller around is actually a really great workout that requires no gym membership and no babysitter.

Some of these groups will be more casual and others will really focus on fitness, like FIT4MOM. You can check out their Mommy and Me Stride 360 Class here and look for a location near you. 

mommy and me classes

Playground Groups

Once you got a rambunctious toddler on your hands, you will be on the search for the perfect playground to keep them entertained. I recommend checking out a playground group that has scheduled meetups so that your toddler can make some easy friends and you will have other moms to chat with while you push the swing or pull your 2-year-old off the slide they have climbed up the wrong way for the 7th time today. 

You can probably find one of these groups by searching in your local area on Facebook. 

Mommy and Me Yoga

We highly recommend Mommy and Me yoga! In fact, we have a whole article about it that you can check out which explains when your baby is old enough to start attending and why it is so beneficial to you both. In short, though, we love that yoga is often based on self-care and encourages you to look inward. New mamas can definitely use some of that. As for babies, yoga can help them motor and sensory skills. You can probably find a yoga studio near you that offers a Mommy and Me Class, and I would also recommend checking out your local YMCA. 

 

If you are looking for new mama friends and a community to lean on, be sure to check out our Rookie Moms Facebook Group!

55 Mother & Son Quotes That Will Warm Your Heart & Make You Weep!

Being a mom to a boy can be crazy, loud, and messy but it is also a great blessing. Seeing your sweet boy grow up into a man is one of my favorite things of being a mom. As a mom of 3 boys, now 16, 14, and 13, I remember the days of hot wheels and soccer games, but now as they are growing older, while I am still there to take care of them, often I find my boys are always the first to help mom. Here are some of our very favorite mother & son quotes. 

mother son quotes

Our Favorite Mother & Son Quotes

Mother Son Quotes

  1. “Raising boys has made me a more generous woman than I really am.” -Mary Kay Blakely
  2. “To be a mother of a son is one of the most important things you can do to change the world. Raise them to respect women, raise them to stand up for others, raise them to be kind.” -Shannon L. Alder
  3. “His little hands stole my heart, and his little feet ran away with it.”
  4. “Mother is her son’s first god; she must teach him the most important lesson of all, how to love.” -T.F. Hodge 
  5. “Superheroes are often disguised as sons.”
  6. “Every mother hopes that her daughter will marry a better man than she did, and is convinced that her son will never find a wife as good as his father did.” 
  7. “Happy is the son whose faith in his mother remains unchallenged.” -Louisa May Alcott 
  8. You may have tangible wealth untold; Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold. Richer than I, you can never be. I had a mother who read to me.” -Strickland Gillilan
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  10. “And she loved a little boy very, very much—even more than she loved herself.” -Shel Silverstein 
  11. “A son makes love stronger, days shorter, nights longer, bankroll smaller, home happier, clothes shabbier, the past forgotten and the future worth living for.”
  12. “A mother is the truest friend we have.” -Washington Irving 
  13. “A man loves his sweetheart the most, his wife the best, but his mother the longest.”
  14. “To wake up to the sound of my son saying ‘Mama, mama!’ It’s the best sound ever.” -Miranda Kerr 
  15. “Mothers are inscrutable beings to their sons, always.” -A.E. Coppard
  16. “My mother is my root, my foundation. She planted the seed that I base my life on, and that is the belief that the ability to achieve starts in your mind.” -Michael Jordan
  17. “No matter your age, you always need your mom.”
  18. “Men are what their mothers made them.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson 
  19. “Son, you will outgrow my lap, but never my heart.”
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  21. “Heaven on Earth is looking at my little boy.” -Jenny McCarthy 
  22. “It doesn’t matter how old a son is. Even big and strong he is always a small boy for his mother.”
  23. “So there’s this boy. He kind of stole my heart. He calls me ‘mom.’”
  24. “No man succeeds without a good woman behind him. Wife or mother, if it is both, he is twice blessed indeed.” -Godfrey Winn 
  25. “Sons are the anchors of a mother’s life.” -Sophocles
  26. “The eternal love between man and woman really exists. It’s the love between a mother and her son.”
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  28. “My mother said to me, ‘If you are a soldier, you will become a general. If you are a monk, you will become the Pope.’ Instead, I was a painter, and became Picasso.” -Pablo Picasso 
  29. “Sometimes when I need a miracle, I look into my son’s eyes and realize I’ve already created one.”
  30. “There has never been, nor will there ever be, anything quite so special as the love between the mother and a son.”
  31. “I asked God to send me a man who will always love me. So he gave me a son.”
  32. “You are loved for the boy you are, the man you will become, and the precious son you will always be.”
  33. “It takes one woman twenty years to make a man of her son – and another woman twenty minutes to make a fool of him.” -Helen Rowland
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  35. “All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” -Abraham Lincoln
  36. “Moms are as relentless as the tides. They don’t just drive us to practice, they drive us to greatness.” -Steve Rushin
  37. “Silence is golden. Unless you have kids. Then silence is suspicious.”
  38. “You’ve been a blessing from the start. I love you, son, with all my heart.”
  39. “To my son, never forget that I love you. Life is filled with hard times and good times. Learn from everything you can. Be the man I know you can be.”
  40. “My mother is not a CIA agent, but she’s an Italian mother, and she’d do anything for her son.”  -Adriano Giannini
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  42. “Your son will hold your hand only for a little while, but he will hold your heart for a lifetime.” 
  43. “A man who treats his woman like a princess is a proof that he has been born and raised in the arms of a queen.”
  44. “Mothers are better than the CIA – they know you did it, how you did it, who you did it with and can hear you trying to hide the evidence.”
  45. “My son makes me smile when he stands up for what he believes in, even if it’s his right to have a second portion of dessert.”
  46. “I have a son, who is my heart. A wonderful young man, daring and loving and strong and kind.” -Maya Angelou
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  48. “Home is where your mom is.”
  49. “A woman with all sons will be surrounded by handsome men for the rest of her life.”
  50. “Yet now in my arms, I was holding a helpless baby boy who would grow into a man. I cannot imagine that soft little face one-day having whiskers.” -Rhonda Stoppe
  51. “The only man who has stolen my heart is my son.” -Sandra Bullock
  52. “Even more than the time when she gave birth, a mother feels her greatest joy when she hears others refer to her son as a wise learned one.” -Thiruvalluvar
  53. “To have a son means to have a protector, a buddy, a support system, and to live out one of life’s greatest adventures!”
  54. “A woman is not able to re-educate any man. But she is able to bring up her son to be a real man.”
  55. “A man, who has managed to become great, was brought up by a woman, who made him believe himself.”

 

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Postpartum Massage: Why Every Mama Needs One!

After you have a baby, your body goes through a rollercoaster of changes. Heck, when you’re pregnant and after you have the baby, your body goes through a rollercoaster of changes. While pregnancy is a beautiful, magical, and crazy thing, our bodies do a lot of amazing things which can be stressful and hard on your mind, body, and soul. How can you help with the postpartum changes? With postpartum massages, my dears.

postpartum massage

Massages are amazing and they can do so much for not just your body, but for your mind and your overall wellbeing. Massages are known to help people relax, reduce stress, and loosen muscles, but a postpartum massage can do even more for your recovering body.

What can a Postpartum Massage do?

Postpartum massages help with a multitude of things, but best of all, they help speed up the overall recovery process.

Relaxation and Stress Relief

When done correctly, a postpartum massage can bring about a whole new sense of relaxation and alleviate some of your mom-stress. Having a new baby is hard work. Whether it is your first baby or your fifth, those little bundles stress you out and make you tense. As a mom, you worry about everything. We face so many stressors in our daily operations and they make us tense and stressed out.

A postpartum massage is going to give you that little bit of “me” time that everyone needs. We can barely get 5 minutes alone in the bathroom, so an hour massage by a certified postpartum masseuse can really do your body and mind some good.

If a professional massage is out of your budget, that’s fine! Ask your partner to give you a massage with Dr. Teal’s Relax & Relief Body Oil (it smells so good!). Have them dim the lights, put on some soothing music, and tell them that it’s all about you. It should be quiet and calm in the room. If they need pointers on what a good postpartum massage should include, have them read this book: Mother Massage: A Handbook for Relieving the Discomforts of Pregnancy. It provides a lot of information on postpartum depression and massage techniques during pregnancy, labor and postnatal. Therefore, buy this book for your partner while you are pregnant and ask for weekly massages throughout your pregnancy and after! This is a win-win!

Reduced Swelling from Postpartum Massage

Massages help loosen muscles and increase blood flow. When you get a postpartum massage, the massage will increase your blood flow which can help to reduce any swelling you may have. 

For example; if you have swelling in your feet and hands when a masseuse massages them and then works on the rest of your body, those fluids in your feet and hands are being distributed throughout the rest of your body, thus, reducing the amount of fluid you have in a particular area.

Regulating Hormones

Our bodies produce a lot of hormones during and after pregnancy: progesterone, estrogen, cortisol, relaxin, prolactin, and oxytocin. (I’m sure there’s more, but let’s not overwhelm ourselves here.) That’s a lot of hormonal changes for anybody! A postpartum massage is going to help with all of these hormones. Massages help people relax which reduces cortisol (your stress hormone), can reduce the pain you may feel from your relaxin hormones (that stubborn hormone that is responsible for the pain you feel in your ligaments), and can help with milk production by stimulating your prolactin (milk hormone) and your oxytocin (labor hormone).

Increase Milk Production with a Postpartum Massage

postpartum massage

Remember that prolactin hormone we just discussed? It is responsible for allowing your body to produce milk. A postpartum massage will allow your body to relax and allow your prolactin hormones to rise. A breast massage might be something you feel more comfortable doing yourself or allowing your partner to do. Breast massage may also help you from getting clogged ducts or even Mastitis.

Aid in Better Sleep

Massages are relaxing and help ease our minds and our bodies. If you are getting a postpartum massage, you can believe that you have a lot of aches, pains, and stressors that are keeping you up at night. Getting a massage can help you feel more relaxed and at ease.

Massages are also tiring. When the massage therapist gives you a postpartum massage, they are going to move a lot of fluid around as we mentioned earlier, and help with all of those hormones too. This is a lot for your body to handle and it will naturally wear you out. As a mom to a newborn, you’re tired as is. The massage is going to relax you and ease some of those pains that you still have and send you into a nice, relaxed, deep sleep.

postpartum massage

Fight Postpartum Depression with a Massage

Postpartum depression is real. I mean very real. It can hit you like a ton of bricks or it can slowly creep up on you. After having a baby, your hormones may be all over the place and the fact that your body might look completely different doesn’t add to the “good feels.” Getting a postpartum massage can help with that pesky hormone, cortisol. Relaxing and finding just a little “me time” can make anyone feel better. It’s amazing how just an hour of pampering and relaxing can change your mood. If you are feeling depressed, be sure to let your health care provider know immediately. You don’t have to go through postpartum depression alone. They will be able to further guide you into a treatment plan that is right for you.

Questions About Postpartum Massage:

Now that you’ve had your baby, and you slept (maybe), you may have some questions regarding postpartum massages. Are they safe? When can you start getting massages? How often can you get them?

What positions are safe?

All of them! Now that your little bundle is out, you can lay on your belly again! However, if your breasts are swollen and sore, laying on your belly may not be a good option for you. If this is the case, ask your massage therapist if you can lay on your side while getting your massage. Massages are all about relaxing, so make sure you are as comfortable as possible.

You can also lay totally flat on your back for long periods of time again. Woohoo! Who would have thought that laying down flat could be so joyous? When lying on your back, your masseuse may massage your abdomen, feet, legs, hands, and chest. These are all going to aid in reducing your swelling, enhance your recovery and they just feel good.

When can you start getting postpartum massages?

You can start getting postpartum massages as soon as you feel up for it and as long as you get approval from your doctor. Massages are therapeutic for your body and mind, and it is always important to check with your doctor before you start a new healthcare routine. Some women start the week they have the baby, and others wait for a month or so. Do whatever feels right for you. It’s always important to listen to your body, but it is even more important to listen to it during and after pregnancy when you and your body are going through so many changes.

How often?

This is another time when you need to listen to your body and do what feels right. Start slowly so you don’t wear yourself out feeding the baby and then running to appointments. Just do what feels right for you!

How to find a good postpartum masseuse?

When looking for a good postpartum massage therapist, there are a few things you want to look for. Look for a therapist who is licensed, check out their education and any other credentials they may have. You can also ask friends for recommendations or go ahead and ask good ol’ Google. When you find one you might want to try, read their reviews online. Still trying to find one you like? Try amtamassage.org or abmp.com/public.

So, in conclusion…

Overall, postpartum massages are beneficial for nearly all postpartum women. Selfcare is not often discussed or prioritized, but it is important to be physically and mentally strong. Taking time for your self to reflect, relax and have a solid thought without a crying baby is important in the postpartum world. Postpartum depression is all too common and very rarely discussed. Make sure that you find time to relax and unwind. If you are stressed and in pain, your baby is going to sense it and then make them stressed too.

Postpartum massages are very beneficial in helping the body and mind heal. Allow yourself to feel relaxed and rejuvenated. You deserve it!

 

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