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As the old adage goes: necessity is the mother of invention. In this case, that mother was Lori Caden. In 2005, Lori was buying cat food when a store employee offered to carry her load, a nice gesture to assist a pregnant woman. The only problem was she had given birth weeks before! Horrified, she went home; first she cried and then she called her two best friends – her sisters, Jodi and Kari.  These three entrepreneurs were determined to find a solution to the post-pregnancy body blues.

Belly binding is normal in many cultures

What the sisters didn’t realise when they first started this journey was that Lori was not alone in her distress. As long as procreation’s been around, savvy women everywhere have searched for easier methods to speed up postpartum healing and recovery.

In many cultures, belly binding (postpartum compression) after giving birth is as normal as breastfeeding. For centuries, Japanese mothers have used their “Sarashi” to speed up bloating/water weight/stomach size and toning of the abdominal muscles and skin after childbirth, while Hispanic mommies use their “faja” to help bring all the muscles used in the birthing process back together again. No matter what they call it, women in Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Latin America, Mexico, Spain, England, and the Philippines have benefited from using an abdominal compression wrap after childbirth.

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The invention of Belly Bandit®

In 2008, the sisters’ research, perseverance and support resulted in the creation of Belly Bandit®, and the doctor-recommended and mom-endorsed Belly Wraps that would revolutionise the “body after baby” marketplace.  The Belly Bandit® Belly Wraps modernised the ancient practice of belly binding and now moms worldwide practise postpartum compression and use the Belly Bandit® Belly Wraps to help slim and support their belly, waist and hips.

“… belly binding takes advantage of this softened state and pushes the hips and the separated abdomen back together as the body firms up.”

The question that many women have is, “how do the Belly Wraps work?” And the answer is relaxin! Relaxin is a hormone that increases significantly during pregnancy. Its job is to relax the intrauterine ligaments and cervix and allow the body to stretch and loosen things up for childbirth. The thinking goes: belly binding takes advantage of this softened state and pushes the hips and the separated abdomen back together as the body firms up.

Women are encouraged to start wearing the Belly Wrap immediately after delivery. Wearing it soon after delivery allows the product to work while the body still has elevated levels of the relaxin hormone. It’s recommended to wear the Belly Wrap 24/7 (except for bathing) for six to 10 weeks, although many women choose to wear it longer for additional benefits, such as encouraging proper posture – and helping prevent back pain during breastfeeding.

Belly Bandit® offers four different Belly Wraps

The Original Belly Bandit® Belly Wrap shares the same construction as the Couture and Viscose from Bamboo versions. The difference is in the material. Where the Original Belly Wrap is uncovered, the Couture Belly Wrap is covered in a smooth, printed fabric, and the Viscose from Bamboo Belly Wrap is covered in a super-soft, hypo-allergenic and anti-microbial (you saw this one coming) viscose material, made from bamboo.

The BFF Belly Wrap differs in construction and material. BFF stands for ‘Body Formulated Fit’, achieved with the patented design of six support panels and two compression panels. Two-tab closures help deliver our most customisable fit. The silky-soft fabric covers the BFF, which is also slightly shorter in height (eight inches compared to the nine-inch height of the other three wraps). Women who are short or short-waisted tend to prefer the BFF for that reason.

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A powerful belly hug

What makes Belly Bandit® Belly Wraps stand apart is their exclusive Power Compress Core, which applies targeted compression to help:

  • Strengthen core muscles weakened during pregnancy (especially helpful if women have an abdominal separation, also called diastasis recti).
  • Slim and support the belly, waist, and hips.
  • Promote mobility, helping new moms get back to their daily activities more quickly.
  • Ease back pain.
  • Provide comfort after C-section.
  • Encourage better posture, especially important during breastfeeding.
  • Offer support while exercising.

The Belly Wraps are all latex-free, offer up to nine inches of adjustability so you can continue to tighten the wrap as you size down. The ideal fit for the Belly Bandit® Belly Wrap is a snug one, with constant pressure on the belly but without any impact on breathing or circulation.

Are there any medical benefits?

In terms of medical benefits Lori Caden says, “Doctors do recommend our Belly Wraps and they are sold at hospitals, OB/GYNs’ offices and birthing centres all over the world. Our Belly Wraps were designed with OB/GYNs and other medical experts, and are FDA approved.

Of course, in terms of results every woman is different. Many women report seeing results in the first five days of wearing the Belly Wraps while others within the first two to three weeks. Of course, other factors, including diet, exercise and breastfeeding, can affect results. As much as we wish they could be, Belly Bandit® Belly Wraps are not magical products. They were designed to assist women in their efforts to return to their pre-pregnancy size. How long the results of those efforts last are based on individual habits and something that cannot be predicted or guaranteed.

Entrepreneurial innovation

Lori’s tears spurred the creation of the Belly Bandit® but is was the combined passion and dedication to innovation that has led the “sister-preneurs of shapewear” on a mission to empower all women to look and feel their absolute best… before, during and after pregnancy. “We pride ourselves on combining functionality with fashion and are committed to designing innovative products that give women confidence as their bodies and needs change,” says Lori.

Now a recognised leader in the maternity industry, Belly Bandit® has evolved from its signature product, the Belly Bandit® Belly Wrap, and expanded to include maternity wear, nursing bras, athleisure and a complete line of compression shapewear, the Mother Tucker® Collection. Belly Bandit® products are available in over 1 000 retailers and 86 countries. The brand also has a long list of die-hard fans and celebrity customers, including the Kardashian sisters, Christina Aguilera, Kelly Rowland and more!

For more information and sale enquiries, visit Born Fabulous at bornfabulous.co.za

Also read:

How to relieve postpartum gas
How I embraced my post-baby body & self

SOURCEBorn Fabulous
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