Do post-partum belly binders really work?

February 16, 2012 12:00 AM by

Every year it seems like numerous celebrity moms grace the covers of magazines back at their pre-pregnancy size mere weeks after giving birth. While most women don't have access to a team of professional trainers who are dedicated to helping them drop the baby weight, there is one secret weapon of the stars that they can try – belly binders.

Recently, Brooke Burke Charvet, host of Dancing With the Stars, made headlines when she launched her own line of belly binders after noticing how much easier it was to shed the extra pounds while wearing an ACE bandage post-delivery. The mother of four told Good Morning America that bands designed specifically for new moms help provide the support the abdomen needs to slim down and regain tone.

Pregnancy websites have been filled with testimonials from moms who have tried one of the several belly binders on the market. While many have reported positive experiences, some have had particularly dramatic results, including Ann Pendergist – a New York City mom who was also featured on the GMA segment.

"You would say it's miraculous because within a month you're back in your pre-pregnancy jeans and you didn't have to do anything," Pendergist told GMA. "It's not like you have to diet or exercise. You get to just enjoy being a mom."

Abdominal binders are frequently used after surgical procedures like tummy tucks or liposuction to improve blood circulation, reduce swelling and promote healing. These same qualities are beneficial post-partum.

However, many physicians emphasize that belly binders cannot substitute exercise and a healthy diet, which are both particularly important after delivery. 

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