The birth of a child is a joyous event, but your body has undergone the stress of delivery and a major surgery if you had a cesarean section, your body needs assistance in healing. With all that is happening in your post partum life- the physical demands of caring for your baby, interrupted sleep patterns and learning new daily routines- it is challenging to let your body rest, recover and heal properly, especially from the cesarean surgery.
A use specific post partum support garment can provide you with the support and stabilization of the abdominal region and incision site to aid with comfort and incision healing. In caring for your baby you will be standing and sitting for long durations during feeding and performing a number of repetitive activities that place significant stress on the Cesarean section incision and abdominal area while the incision is healing, abdominal muscles are recovering from post partum changes and organs are re-positioning.
Your body needs the assistance with stabilization and support provided by a proper support garment.
An Overview of Post Partum Physiology
After your baby arrives, your body will begin the transition back to its pre-pregnancy state. It took your body months to prepare to give birth, and recovery can take some time. If you've had a cesarean section, it can take even longer.
Your body spent 9 months changing to accommodate the growing fetus, in the last trimester your abdomen was in a completely altered state, both stretched and expanded. How much was your abdomen altered? The rectus abdominus muscles can be stretched and altered by as much as 50 percent from their pre-pregnancy state.
The abdomen and pelvic floor are the basis for our strength and balance. After months in an altered state, your abdomen will need time to recover, the stretched muscles will feel “loose”, strength and balance in the abdominal area can be in a reduced condition for 6-8 weeks post partum.
Why is the abdomen loosened during pregnancy, and how? The abdomen muscles are loosened during pregnancy as the fetus grows and the uterus expands, hormones including estrogen, relaxin and progesterone are released to allow the abdominal muscles to relax and expand. Abdominal Separation (also called Diastasis Recti) and Abdominal Wall Expansion are two common terms used to describe the abdominal area in the changed state during pregnancy.
The abdominal muscles take time to strengthen and recover, many times it can take up to six months for full pre-pregnancy strength to return to the abdominal region. During the healing the “loose” feeling is the most common description and complaint.
And How Does a Post Partum Body Garment Help?
A postpartum body garment can give you the support you need to feel confident in caring for your newborn. Wearing a support garment will promote:
• cesarean incision healing
• abdominal support
• back pain relief
• spinal realignment
• posture improvement
• organ repositioning
• ligament stabilization
A post partum garment will support and stabilize the entire abdominal region, assisting with the healing around the incision and while supporting the abdominal muscles and organs. During the post partum healing, organs will be shifting, moving and re-aligning, occasionally you will feel discomfort, as an organ is moving. A garment will help provide support and stability as the organs are re-aligning.
Support Garments Following Cesarean Section Delivery
Women leaving the hospital after a Cesarean birth are encouraged to avoid lifting anything over 10 pounds and limit activity to reduce unnecessary trauma to the incision site. Muscle tissue underneath the incision, which was separated to allow for the baby’s birth, will take several weeks to mend.
A post partum body garment provides superior support and stabilization than other products. A body garment protects the incision area, keeps the abdomen flat on either side of the incision to reduce the severity of scarring, and provides light compression to mitigate fluid accumulation.
A postpartum body garment that specifically addresses the needs of a woman who has undergone a Cesarean birth offers support to the entire torso, abdominal wall, and assists in incision healing. Furthermore, a body garment stabilizes the pelvic floor and supports the spine, giving a woman greater body stability and confidence that she can care for her child as she transitions back to her daily life.
Support Garments Following Vaginal Delivery
A support garment can offer greater stability to a woman’s body after a vaginal delivery. The garment acts to retract the body by drawing in stretched muscles and providing structure to the torso, subsequently reducing strain on ligaments and joints in the lower back, pelvis, and buttocks. Reducing stress in these areas enhances the body’s ability to return to its pre-pregnancy alignment and shape. Additionally, a garment can offer support to the abdominal wall as the muscles retract to their pre-pregnancy position.
Support Garments & Abdominal Muscle Healing
A support garment can assist in the process of returning the rectus abdominus muscles to their pre-pregnancy state by providing structure to the torso and light compression to the abdominal wall.
Additionally, as shifted and constrained organs return to their pre-pregnancy locations, the wearer of a postpartum support garment will feel held in place and more confident in her body movements.
Support Garments & Spinal Alignment following Childbirth
Postpartum, a support garment can assist in returning the spine to its natural pre-pregnancy alignment by providing support to the trunk and lumbar area thereby encouraging proper posture in the wearer. Proper posture lengthens the spine and assists in the return of the body’s center of gravity to its pre-pregnancy position. A postpartum support garment also provides the wearer with a feeling of confidence and can reduce back pain associated with poor posture.
Support Garments & the Pelvic Floor following Childbirth
A support garment can offer greater stability to the pelvic floor, postpartum. The garment acts to retract the body inward thereby reducing strain on ligaments and joints that support the pelvic floor. Reducing stress and providing support to the pelvic floor results in improved balance and enhances the body’s ability to return to its pre-pregnancy alignment and shape thereby returning vital organ support.