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Unlike the Victorian contraptions most of us (okay, I) imagine upon hearing the word girdle, the postpartum support undergarments on the market today will probably not cause you to swoon every time you pass a chaise lounge or handsome stranger.
But the good ones can do lots of beneficial things for your postpartum body. They can smooth your belly and waist for a slimmer look while you’re wearing them. They can offer physical support to your core muscles during the healing process to help everything feel tighter. This support, while making you feel more together, can also help to get your mid section looking more like it did pre-pregnancy.
So which postpartum girdles can help with all these good things?
We’ve picked out the top 3 that consistently receive good feedback from hundreds of real mamas who have tried and tested them on their postpartum bodies. These top three brands do have their unique pros and cons; read on to discover which one of them is right for you.
Creates a smooth silhouette, disappears under clothes
Made of medical grade, latex-free elastic, the Bellefit line of post-partum girdles fit like a strapless swimsuit, providing seamless coverage from the bra-line on down to the panty-line.
All of the various models fasten between the legs with a row of hooks and eyes, and differ from each other only in the way they are secured across the belly. The Dual Closure, one of the brand’s most popular, offers two rows of hooks and eyes up the middle (for a tighter or looser fit) as well as a zipper on top of these. The other models are secured by a single row of hooks or else a zipper up the side. Only the Girdle Pull-Up does not have a closure over the belly, and fits more simply like a pair of very, very high-waisted underpants.
Because the Bellefit offers such a sleek look, it is many new mothers’ top choice for wearing back to work or out in public, especially for special occasions.
Super easy to put on and take off
In contrast with the Bellefit, the Belly Bandit Original is less like a traditional girdle and more like a super wide belt that is fastened with velcro. It is available in a range of neutral colors and fabrications, including a super-soft bamboo-derived viscose and organic cotton, as well as a very pretty lace version; all are also 100% latex-free. Their “corset inspired” B.F.F. model offers an even more custom fit, with two additional inches of velcro as well as six panels.
All but the slimmest of new mamas generally find the Belly Bandit to be significantly more visible under clothes than the Bellefit, and the curvier among us say it can create a terribly unflattering muffin top across the top and bottom; however, the Belly Bandit’s signficant upside lies in how quickly and easily it is taken on and off. Many mamas prefer it for “around the house” wear, preferably over a light nursing tank for maximum comfort (and fewer washes).
Bellefit and Belly Bandit are by far the two most popular brands that come up in recommendations for postpartum support. We’ve compared the two in more detail here. While somewhat lesser known, Leonisa is another brand definitely worth looking at…
Very soft and silky, competitively priced
Much like the Bellefit, the Leonisa Slimming Braless Body Shaper fits like a one-piece bathing suit but also offers the additional feature of adjustable, multi-position straps at the top. It closes across the belly with three pairs of hooks and eyes as well as an “ultraflat” zipper over top of them. Many women find it offers “just enough” compression to be comfortable, and describe the PowerSlim™ and DuraFit™ fabrication (a blend of 82% Polyamide and 18% Elastane) as very smooth and “silky.”
The shaper is available with a “boyshort” or a “classic panty” fit at the bottom, where it fastens with clasps that, apparently, take a bit of flexibility and practice to master. However, much like the Bellefit, the Leonisa is virtually invisible under clothes and is a great choice for wearing back to work or just out and about. The cut of the boyshort is generally the more flattering across the bum as it doesn’t give you a panty line which the Bellefit does on some mamas. It’s also a rather more affordable option by comparison.
Which one is right for you?
If you expect to wear your girdle at home most of the time and anticipate taking it on and off throughout the day to suit your activities, the Belly Bandit is probably your best bet. However, if you’re seeking very discreet, all-day-long support, you’ll probably be happier with a Bellefit or Leonisa, and it’s worth noting that the Leonisa is the less expensive option of the two.
Of course, there are a number of even more cost effective options made by lesser known brands out there as well. Unfortunately, we can’t recommend (or not recommend) any of these products because our articles are based on a high level of feedback from real moms, and there just aren’t enough reviews of these products out there yet. We can tell you, however, that the commonly reported downfalls among the less expensive, generic products include rolling down, riding up, not providing enough compression or support, and poor workmanship.
Best of luck finding your “main squeeze,” and congratulations on the new baby!