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Have you heard of postpartum compression garments like leggings, belly bands, or corsets? They’re all the rage right now, as new moms try to find a way to support their changing bodies and get their bellies looking and feeling like they used to.
But with so many options out there, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one. That’s why I wanted to let you in on a little secret–something that not many people know about.
Are you ready? drumroll…
A lot of the garments made for postpartum compression actually do more harm than good!
I know, right?
Stick with me, and I’ll tell you why. A lot of the items we see advertised for postpartum compression actually put extra pressure on your pelvis, increasing your risk of pelvic complications such as prolapse.
And as someone who’s had prolapse and surgery to repair it, I can promise you–you want to keep the pressure off your pelvis!
I review ALL my pelvic health content with qualified physical therapists, and through them, I’ve learned which compression garments work and which ones shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near your belly.
Some of our absolute favorite options of ones that WORK are postpartum compression leggings. Unlike a belly band, which can push everything in your body down depending on how it’s fastened, a good pair of postpartum leggings with gentle compression in the waistband can go a long way toward holding those abdominal muscles together, supporting your low back, and providing the lift you need to support your pelvis.
In this article, I’m sharing my absolute favorite postpartum compression leggings to help your body heal.
Are Compression Leggings Good for Postpartum?
We love the benefits of wearing good compression leggings after giving birth, and for many months to follow.
There are 3 main reasons we suggest compression leggings in the days and weeks after baby is born:
- Promotes healing: Compression leggings can improve circulation and, thus, help reduce swelling and inflammation, which promotes healing.
- Provides support: Pregnancy takes a toll on the abdominal muscles and pelvic floor muscles. Compression leggings can provide the abdominal support new moms need to help these areas heal.
- Improved comfort: Thanks to their soft, stretchy fabric, compression leggings are more comfortable than traditional postpartum garments, such as girdles or binders. Plus, by the very nature of being pulled up from below your abdomen, they work against gravity to help lift while also gently pulling abdominal muscles back together.
And these benefits don’t end once your body has gone through basic recovery. I love wearing postpartum leggings for the abdominal support even in the years after baby is born, especially while babywearing and exercising.
How Soon After Birth Can You Wear Compression Leggings?
“I always say 1-2 weeks of your maternity leggings or belly band and then go to the compression leggings. You can technically move towards them sooner, but for most people, they don’t fit quite yet.”
Remember, your body still has a lot of work to do after baby is born, and it won’t immediately be significantly smaller. This is very normal.
As swelling decreases, your uterus contracts back down to a smaller size, and general healing occurs, you’ll be able to more comfortably fit into your postpartum leggings.
Best Postpartum Compression Leggings
Let me be clear about one thing, though–not all leggings are created equal! It’s easy to find comfortable pants with a high waist to add to your new mom wardrobe, but if you’re looking for the best leggings to provide compression and support to your changing body, look no further.
These are seriously the best out there! Not only are they super comfy and soft, but they also provide an amazing amount of support for your post-baby body. Seriously, they’re a game-changer.
The compression technology helps to support your core and pelvic floor.
And let’s not forget about the little details–llike the pockets (yes, pockets!) that are perfect for holding your phone or keys while you’re on the go. Plus, they’re made with moisture-wicking material, so you can stay cool and dry during even the sweatiest of workouts (yes, by “workout” I do mean wrangling the car seat back into the car).
(Note: These are sized for postpartum, NOT pregnancy, so do not size down thinking your belly will shrink!)
The whole Mother Tucker line from Belly Bandit rocks the postpartum compression game–they’re seriously amazing when it comes to postpartum support.
These leggings provide fantastic compression support for your core and legs and are great for c-section recovery.
The fabric is breathable and moisture-wicking, so you can stay cool and comfortable all day long.
Mother TuckerÂ® Postpartum Compression Leggings – $79.95
from: Belly Bandit
Whether you’re lounging at home with your little one or out and about running errands, these leggings are perfect for any occasion.
These leggings provide fantastic support for your core and legs without compromising on comfort. And the best part? They’re perfect for any outfit and occasion, whether you’re running errands or out for a night on the town.
I love Seraphine’s pants with good coverage that are comfortable on a postpartum belly; trust me, this brand will be your best friend!
Made with soft, breathable, and moisture-wicking fabric, these leggings are perfect for any occasion. They provide gentle compression for your core and legs, while the high waistband offers support and coverage for your post-baby belly.
But don’t just take our word for it–here’s what some customers had to say about the Ingrid & Isabel Postpartum Leggings:
“I was hesitant to spend so much money on leggings, but I’m so glad I did! They are so comfortable and supportive. I wear them all the time, whether I’m running errands or working out.”
“These leggings are amazing! They provide the perfect amount of compression without feeling too tight. And the fabric is so soft and comfortable – I never want to take them off!”
A foundational post-baby piece every new mama will appreciate. Give your postpartum bod… [More]
Please believe us when we say that these leggings are a must-have for any new mama.
Blanqi is famous in the world of compression, and while I’m partial to BeoBei for a level of pelvic support that Blanqi just can’t match, the comfort factor means this pair of leggings still has to make our Top 5 list for the best postpartum compression leggings.
They provide good compression, moderate support, and when they call the fabric “luxe,” they aren’t lying. These seriously are leggings you might want to live in.
What to Look for When Shopping for Postpartum Compression Leggings
When shopping for postpartum compression leggings, the biggest thing to look for is gentle compression and support for your post-baby belly.
Since you’ll likely be shopping online, the best place to learn about compression and support is from the reviews! Other mamas have worn these to support their own motherhood journeys, so why not learn from their experiences?
Gentle lifting compression helps promote healing and comfort after childbirth and can even help support diastasis recti.
Another important factor to consider is comfort. You’ll likely be spending a lot of time in your postpartum leggings, so it’s important to find a pair that is both comfortable and breathable.
Look for leggings made with soft, stretchy fabrics that are gentle on your skin, and consider features like moisture-wicking and breathability to ensure that you stay cool and comfortable all day long.
For fabric, look for a blend of high-quality, stretchy materials like nylon, spandex, and polyester. These fabrics provide a comfortable, supportive fit that gently hugs your curves without feeling too tight or restrictive
And of course, with a new baby, let’s not forget ease. Many good leggings will say to avoid fabric softener and dryer sheets, but be sure to at least make sure your leggings are machine washable.
By keeping these factors in mind when shopping for postpartum compression leggings, you can find a pair that provides the support, comfort, and functionality that you need as a new mom.
Which postpartum compression leggings have you loved on your postpartum journey?
Katy Huie Harrison, PhD, is an author, mom, recurrent miscarriage survivor, & owner of Undefining Motherhood. She lives in Atlanta with her husband and 2 children (Jack & Branham). She believes our society puts too many expectations on women that make womanhood and motherhood restrictive. Her goal is to shift the paradigm about what it means to be a woman and mother, giving all women a greater sense of agency over their own lives. You can find Katy and her work featured in places like CNN’s Headline News, Romper, Scary Mommy, Love What Matters & more.