If you’re a new mama who is itching to get back into her pre-pregnancy jeans, the Belly Bandit or the Bellefit can help you do that and much more. But which one is better?
Both brands offer a range of products to help you to look slimmer in the belly, waist, and hip area, while also supporting your core muscles, most important during those first few weeks while your internal organs are busy resuming their usual places. By applying medical grade compression to the torso, both the Belly Bandit and the Bellefit provide support during breastfeeding and can also help to accelerate the healing process, particularly if you had a C-section or are experiencing abdominal separation (a.k.a. diastasis recti).
However, the two brands are very different in style, comfort, functionality, and price point. While many mamas prefer one over the other, as many like to have one of each for different situations. We’ve compared all of these different factors to help you choose the best postpartum girdle for you…
Belly Bandit – prettier, lingerie inspired look
The Belly Bandit Original is, essentially, rather like a very wide belt that closes over the waist with velcro. It is available in several colors as well as a rather fetching lacy version. It also comes in a variety of fabrics, including bamboo-derived viscose and organic cotton, and the medical-grade elastic in each is 100% latex-free. Their B.F.F. model is “corset inspired,” and features two additional inches of velcro as well as six panels for an even more custom fit than the Original.
The overall style of the Belly Bandit product line is reminiscent of lingerie, an idea which is definitely helped along by the beautiful models wearing the products: none of whom look as though they gave birth recently (if ever!), though all of the Belly Bandit products can be worn right after delivery. While Belly Bandit is the prettier of the two to look at, it falls down on how it looks under clothes. Read on to the comfort and functionality section to see why.
Bellefit – no-nonsense, functional looks
By contrast, the Bellefit brand offers a “no-nonsense” approach (their words, not mine!) and the overall style of their product line is better described as a more traditional girdle or medical undergarment. Unlike the Belly Bandit, the Bellefit products are pulled on like underpants, and are fastened between the legs with a row of hooks.
Where the various models differ from each other is in the closure across the belly: the most popular, called the Dual Closure, offers two rows of hooks and eyes across the belly (for more room or less) as well as a zipper over that. Others offer a single row of hooks or a zipper up the side. The Girdle Pull-Up does not have a closure over the belly but is instead a continuous fabric panel. See all the different styles here
Unsurprisingly, the Bellefit is also made of medical grade elastic that is latex free. Though all models can be worn immediately after delivery, some mamas who had a natural childbirth prefer to wait or wear it with the bottom flap dangling or tucked under for greater comfort.
Fit and Functionality
Many mamas find the Belly Bandit and Bellefit about equally comfortable to wear (so far as corsets go!), provided they carefully followed the recommendations provided by the sizing calculator available on each brand’s website. However, mamas find that each brand has unique advantages in day-to-day lifestyle situations.
Visibility under clothes
While decidedly the less sexy of the two in terms of the garments’ overall look, most mamas find the Bellefit outperforms the Belly Bandit in terms of its appearance under clothes.
Many find the Bellefit is hardly noticeable under clothes because it covers all the way up to the bra-line and over the rear, so there are no visible lumps or bumps. Most prefer it for wearing outside the house, particularly for special occasions, because the Belly Bandit is significantly more visible under clothes. Longer-waisted women in particular find that because there is a gap between the bra line and the top of the front panel, which is a bit bulkier than the Bellefit, there is a visible seam or bulge over the midsection. Curvier mamas sometimes find the Belly Bandit creates the dreaded “muffin top” and sometimes also a similar effect across the rear. Not cute!
Ease of getting on and off
Where the Belly Bandit shines, however, is in its ease of use. Though it is recommended to wear the Belly Bandit (and the Bellefit) all day and at night, too, for maximum effect, mamas who find they don’t need continuous support prefer to take it off for nursing or other seated activities.
Taking the Belly Bandit off and putting it on couldn’t be simpler, no matter what else you are wearing, while the Bellefit is definitely more complex, especially if you are also juggling an infant who is ready to nurse and you’re wearing pants or leggings. For this reason, mamas strongly prefer the Belly Bandit for “around the house” wear, and often put it on top of a light nursing tank. An underlayer helps reduce how frequently the garment needs to be washed, a key factor because it takes up to 12 hours to dry, and many find they sweat like a mother while wearing it – just one of the many joys of that post-partum period!
And then, of course, there are the million-dollar questions: which one gets you into your skinny jeans faster? Does either one keep all of its promises?
Well, the anecdotal evidence abounds in favour of both: many moms swear that the Belly Bandit and Bellefit provide the physical (and emotional!) support they need as well as speed the recovery process (in comparison with their own earlier pregnancy recoveries). Both brands offer scores of dramatic before and after photos of happy mamas on their websites. But you’ll have to look long and hard (or at least longer and harder than I have!) for any kind of hard scientific evidence in support of their “slimming” claims, if that’s your thing.
Though both brands offer a variety of price points, on average, the Bellefit is quite a bit pricier than the Belly Bandit.
So, which one is right for you?
If you expect to wear it at home most of the time and are attracted to the ‘convenience’ factor of being able to take it on and off quickly, the Belly Bandit might be your best bet, especially if you’re on a budget. However, if what you’re after is continuous support that no one knows you’re wearing, you’ll likely be best off forking out the extra money for a Bellefit. Of course, if the budget allows, one of each would cover all of your bases!
Good luck with your decision, and congratulations on the new little one in your life!