HCG is not pregnant. But we have a lot of friends who are. When hanging out with pregnant chicks, one learns a good deal about the experience of pregnancy and its ups and downs (from what I know, the downs are outweighed by only one significant up: getting a baby out of the deal). My sister CF is the mother of two girls and my #1 source for all things baby. CF is prone to randomness, so I wasn't surprised when she told me she was dropping nearly $50 on some contraption to wear around her belly after having a baby. But I was surprised when it worked.
The apparatus pictured above is not a mini yoga mat - it's the Belly Bandit. The official product description is "abdominal compression binder" but we prefer "large piece of stretchy rubber." In simple terms, the Belly Bandit is a piece of polyester/lycra that you wear around your midsection immediately after giving birth to help your body return to its pre-pregnancy shape. Sounds like a gimmick, right? Wrong.
CF didn't wear the Bandit after her first baby, but she did with her second, and she found that she regained her pre-baby shape incredibly quicker the second time around - thanks to the Bandit. Today, we share her wisdom with you.
HCG's tips for making the most out of your Belly Bandit:
- Put on the Bandit as soon after you have the baby as possible. CF started wearing her Bandit in the hospital 12 hours after she gave birth. If you decide to give the BB a try, remember to pack it in your hospital bag.
- For maximum results, wear the Bandit constantly for 6-8 straight weeks (even while sleeping and working out). Remove the Bandit only when showering. Warning: this thing isn't exactly flexible, so sleeping while wearing it takes some getting used to. However, the site claims that it helps mothers who are breastfeeding maintain good posture.
- Size Down. Check out these sizing tips to figure out what size you'll need. CF recommends measuring yourself at the 7th or 8th month of pregnancy. She waited to measure herself until her 9th month and had to downsize to a smaller Bandit only 2 weeks after her baby arrived. Note that the Bandit is made with lycra and closes with velcro - it will stretch out.
- Go Nude. CF opted for a flesh-colored Bandit since it could be worn under both light and dark clothing. If you buy one of those lame print versions, you're officially crazy. Despite the claim on the BB site that they "actually think it's kinda cute", it's not. Its purpose is solely functional.
- Buy Two. Since you have to wear the Bandit constantly, you don't have time to wash it and allow it to air dry. If you're dedicated to using the Bandit as recommended, buy an extra one so you can wear it while your other one is being laundered.
- Expect Some Discomfort. Who is comfortable right after having a baby, anyway? (Look at me acting like I know.) Despite the stiffness of the BB, CF found that wearing the Bandit actually made her feel better. In her words, "After you have a baby and you look down at your belly, you feel sad because it looks like a water balloon that was left outside for a week. Being strapped into that thing actually felt good."
Maybe we should send that quote to the BB people so they can use it on their site right under testimonials from celebrities.