Or, “Getting my ISH together.” Either one is the perfect fit for the subject of my post today. Like many first time preggo girls, I read every magazine I could find about pregnancy, staying fit during pregnancy, how to best accessorize my new and humungusly expanding bump, and how to essentially survive the nine months of carrying a huge bowling ball around, and the months that followed, caring for an infant. These magazines, although different in content and layout, aways ended with the last 5 or so pages of advertisements for “must haves!!!” for the preggo gal and her new baby. One day, a particular ad caught my eye. It was for a popular post-partum binder that promised to shrink my post-baby belly back to it’s normal pre-baby self in 6-8 weeks. The idea was to wear it day and night after giving birth, and my stomach would go back to its otherwise not gigantic self. Really? Get my stomach back to it’s normal pre-preg self in a matter of weeks, and with no working out required!?! WHERE CAN I SIGN UP??!!!!
I found the company online, paid my $45.00, shipping included, and started to fantasize about my pre-preg stomach fitting into my Lilly Pulitzer dresses once again. Once the binder arrived in the mail, I tucked it away in my closet for the next few months, and waited for Jake to be born so that I could try this new contraption out. A post-partum binder is pretty much a corset type of girdle. The one I ordered was basically a huge elastic band that is wrapped tightly around your stomach, and held together by velcro. Or, in simpler terms, your gut is stuck in the middle of a giant bamboo finger trap. That you strap yourself into all day. Post-partum binding is nothing new- many cultures have been doing this type of thing for centuries, and I’m no scientist here, but let me tell you- it worked wonders on this post-partum belly!! In fact, it worked so well, that after wearing it every day for 8 weeks, as recommended by the manufacturer, I was back down to my pre-preg self in NO TIME! Holy skinny jeans, batman!
Now, it’s no weight loss miracle here people- there actually is a little more to it. Apparently a pregnant woman’s body releases some sort of hormone that allows for the binding to work, and while I credit my success to wearing the binder, I also worked out daily, (once cleared by my doctor), and put a stop to eating two apple cider doughnuts whenever I damn well pleased, as was the case when I was pregnant. But for me to notice a change that quickly, I was totally impressed. So impressed that after giving birth to my second child this past September, I brought my binder with me to the hospital and started using it within 24 hours after delivery. This time, not only did my pre-preg self regain its shape quicker, but I ended up getting back down to wedding weight, circa 2005. And again, I worked my butt off by running 3-5 miles on the treadmill and went back on the diet wagon.
Binders have received a lot of lip service recently, as Jessica Alba admitted to using two of these things to whiddle back down to her pre-preg body, and Kourtney Kardashian was seen sporting one of her own designs after having her baby.
Here I am wearing my binder after Jake was born. This was taken at his one week birthday.
A lot of my girlfriends have asked me how I was able to get back to my pre-baby self, so there you have it- my new momma belly shrinking secret is now out in the open. Remember that this isn’t for everyone, and you should always ask your doctor about this sort of thing, and I am by no means an expert on this, or anything, for that matter, but I hope you find this information helpful in making your own decision on whether or not to use a binder.
And here I am two weeks after having Oliva this past September. Belly Binding 4 Life ova here.
Mommas- anyone out there ever use a binder? Did you have similar success? I’d love to hear what you think!