Best Postpartum Girdles (Tame Your Tummy)

Caitlin Goodwin, MSN, CNM, RN
Reviewed by Caitlin Goodwin, MSN, CNM, RNWritten by Neve Spicer Updated on April 19th, 2023

We only include products we know and trust. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Learn more about our review process.

Even the most secure woman on the planet can get upset after giving birth when she looks down at her tummy and realizes it has changed so much over the last eight months. Patience, they say, is a virtue. But you’ve got lots to do that requires you to climb into your “regular” clothing sooner rather than later. Your miracle garment? A post-partum girdle. Choose the right one, and you’re ready to go out solo – minus that little miracle you carried around for nine months!

What is a postpartum girdle?

For some women, just the thought of having to pull on an elasticized garment follow childbirth is torture enough. We feel your pain. But there are times when this body-constraining garment is a prescription for recovery–particularly if you’ve gained lots of weight, had twins, or underwent a C-section.

It is manufactured of a fabric blend that includes a large amount of elastic content, so the torso is encased in a garment that constrains and supports this area. The company even claims that healthcare providers regularly recommend this type of lingerie.

I’m an avid runner, so I often compare this type of garment to compression wear on steroids. Some styles come with hooks and eyes, Velcro, or snaps that help secure the girdle in place and help moms get in and out of them easily. Often, it’s the elastic content alone that does the job.

Some Eastern cultures have centuries-old traditions of post-pregnancy girdles worn long before the invention of elastic. Western tradition can be more egocentric! Girdles in western societies serve as figure-boosters, shaping and constraining at the same time. My grandma wouldn’t leave home without wearing one. Yours may tell the same story!

What are the benefits of wearing a postpartum girdle?

While returning to the world looking or feeling perfect is an unreasonable expectation after having a baby. It’s perfectly normal to worry about the changes in your postpartum body, especially if you’re returning to work quickly. Girdles can help in a variety of ways, both aesthetically and medically. Here’s how:

  • Supports abdominal muscles – Childbirth places an enormous amount of stress and strain on your abdominal muscles. The reality is you can be sore for weeks or even months. Postpartum girdles bind your torso and relieve your muscles of having to do some of their work. Moms report that this eases some pain and discomfort. It’s not clear whether this effect is physiological or psychological. But, hey, if it makes you feel better without causing any harm, why not give it a try?
  • Improves posture – Feeling a bit bruised and tender, it’s easy to let things go a bit postpartum. Your posture is one of the first to go. Heck, I was a terrible sloucher! This can be especially pronounced when breastfeeding. The problem is, bad posture leads to all sorts of aches, pains, or worse. So anything to help you to maintain a better posture is good by us.
  • Back Pain – Many moms shout about the pain-relieving benefits of girdles. Scientific evidence shows that stomach binding has a direct effect on reducing pain. Because it improves posture, it may also alleviate it indirectly. Personally, I found that wearing my girdle did seem to relieve my back pain; so much so, I didn’t leave the house without it for three months.
  • Self-confidence – Our bodies change in so many ways throughout pregnancy and childbirth. While we are going through it, it all seems to have a purpose, like growing our little miracle. However, once baby is out, this may impact the self-esteem of some women. Postpartum girdles allow you to get back into your everyday clothing quicker.
  • Help with post-surgical recovery – There is no scientific evidence (yet) to support the claim that girdles speed up post-surgical recovery. (Source) That said, the added support afforded by a postpartum girdle can take the fear out of sneezing, coughing, and laughing. You won’t need to worry about reopening stitches or staples after a C-section.

Different types of post-partum girdles

The first time I shopped for a girdle to wear after giving birth, I was delighted to find that I had so many choices, but who knew these products were sold under so many different names? The most common is a girdle, but you’ll run into the terms belly wraps, shapers, and corsets. Here’s the skinny on basic styles you’ll run into when you shop:

  • The Corset: This garment is constructed of fabric that is usually medical grade and features boning and snap enclosures that help get you in and out of this type of girdle. It’s considered the most extreme style of post-partum girdle because it offers the most constraint.
  • The Zippered Girdle: If you’ve been through hell and lived to tell about it, a zippered post-partum girdle gives you the support you need, and it’s easier to escape from this garment-especially compared to some styles of corsets. In my estimation, the more zippers a garment has, the better I like it.
  • The Wrap: This type of girdle may remind you of a waist nipper because it embraces your midsection and can be secured in either the back or the front. Constructed of multiple sections that mix stretch and non-stretch fabric, many women continue to use these as waist cinchers once they no longer serve as post-partum therapeutic garments.
  • The Pull-on: While healthcare providers disagree on whether women who have had C-sections benefit from this high-waisted garment, it does an adequate job of constraining the area stretching from below the breasts to the crotch. This girdle makes an ideal choice if you’ve already done the hard work by wearing a heavy-duty girdle and you need a bone-free garment that can take over after your first garment is retired.

7 questions to ask when you shop

I don’t know about you, but I always consult friends before I venture into a new type of garment area if I’m unfamiliar with what’s out there. If your besties have been through the post-partum girdle experience, make some coffee and grill them to get the skinny on their experiences, then ask these questions when you shop:

  1. Is it comfortable? If you intend to wear your girdle for extended amounts of time without breaks, this question is extremely important. Make sure the fabric feels soft next to your skin.
  2. Does it behave? You seek a comfy mix of compression and support that impacts your body in positive ways. That includes an ability to stay in place without riding up or rolling over.
  3. Will it stay the course? Washing and drying intimate garments can be a hat trick. Buy cheaper girdles and you may find that they neither keep their shape nor hold up as long as you need them.
  4. Will it show itself? This question is no laughing matter for women who worry that the girdle style they choose could inadvertently reveal itself under clothing or cause unsightly bulges.
  5. Can I get it on easily? Getting in and out of post-partum girdles can be a struggle. This is where proper sizing, textile quality, and zippers and snaps come into play.
  6. Will I wear it long enough? Discomfort can cause moms to abandon post-partum girdles before they do the job, so at the first sign of a problem, try a different brand or style. If your skin is sensitive, make sure the textile “breathes.”
  7. Can I afford it? Girdles come in a range of quality and price. As ever, you get what you pay for. If you want a medical grade one, then be prepared to shell out for it. That said, we’ve rounded up some very decent girdles that won’t cost you the earth.

Our top picks of the best postpartum girdles

Best postpartum girdle after c-section

Our opinion

If your OB recommends a medical-grade post-partum girdle following your C-section to help heal that incision, consider this Bellefit corset. Constructed of medical-grade fabric, it is designed to deliver compression benefits following birth and for up to six months after the baby is delivered.

The Bellefit features a reinforced abdominal panel that can be adjusted (for tightening/loosening) via two rows of hooks and eyes. It also provides groin access via a front flap with hooks. This means it stays securely in place until nature calls – at which point you get quick access to your important bits; essential for many moms post-birth.

However, the price may be more than your budget can sustain.

What we love
  • Properly sized, it molds to the body like a second skin
  • Offers a snug and uniform pressure all round
  • Helps resolve diastasis recti issues
  • Comes in five popular sizes
  • Weighs just one pound
  • FDA certified
Watch for
  • Pricey Some tall moms have reported finding it a bit short
Our opinion

The Belly Bandit is a popular and affordable choice following a C-section or vaginal birth. Its PowerCompression Core strength feature will help speed healing while helping to stabilize core muscles. This belly wrap comes in 5 popular sizes, from XS to XL, and comes in black, nude and grey colors.

What we love
  • Closures adjust to body contours as the body slims down
  • 100-percent Latex-free
  • Medical-grade fabric and high-quality stitching
Watch for
  • May ride up or roll up causing discomfort
  • Can’t be returned if it doesn’t fit properly

Best pull up postpartum girdle

Our opinion

The price is right and it’s easy to get on and get off, so if you’ve had a vaginal delivery and want to give your body TLC while it heals and recovers, this high-waist UpSpring Shaper is a good choice. It doesn’t have any bands, hooks, Velcro or other fasteners, which make this girdle comfortable and easy to use.

Because it’s affordable, you may decide to buy both the black and nude versions to coordinate with other undergarments, and since it weighs just a few ounces, you needn’t worry about adding body bulk to your silhouette.

What we love
  • Comfortable and easy to wear
  • Great option for women needing minimal compression following delivery
  • Soft, lithe fabric mix launders like a dream
  • Can be worn as regular shapewear down the road
Watch for
  • Not designed for moms who have undergone C-sections
  • This style of postpartum girdle has fewer therapeutic benefits

Best postpartum girdle for plus size

Our opinion

At first blush, this belly wrap looks like a work of art; a complex weave of geometric strips of cloth that could win a design prize. The Gepoetry is made up of three components: belly, waist and pelvis wrap. This allows you to target and finely adjust just one area using the appropriate binding.

Yes, it is a little more complicated than other options, but it comes with directions for application, care and washing, and maybe the best option if you want more control over which area receives compression.

The Gepoetry comes in two sizes: “one fits all” and “plus size” (for women weighing over 190 pounds).

What we love
  • Allows for targetted compression to the area you want
  • Full refund if the product doesn’t satisfy you
  • Large girdle fits most plus size women
Watch for
  • This product will show every line and bulge if you wear tight clothing
  • May push up your breasts forcefully, leaving them feeling tender
  • Fabric a little scratchy if your skin is sensitive

Best postpartum girdle to rebuild figure

Our opinion

Who said your postpartum girdle had to be boring? If you’re looking to put some color back in your wardrobe, check out this pick from Dilanni.

The pink and black construction looks a lot like standard corset-style lingerie, but it has the shaping, and waist-training capacity moms need to rebuild their figure after baby thanks to spiral steel boning.

It’s a high compression pick that’s great for moms with a long torso and claims that it can help reduce waist size by up to four inches. Three rows of hooks mean that this pick is adjustable, but the fit is a little less flexible than Velcro-fastened postpartum girdles.

What we love
  • It’s bright and colorful, while most postpartum girdles are white or beige
  • The corset-style design looks attractive while also providing essential support to mom
  • There are three rows of hooks so that the fit can be adjusted
  • It may help to reduce up to 3-4 inches of waist size with continuous wear
Watch for
  • It’s not as flexible or forgiving as girdles that use Velcro for a closure
  • Because it’s a high compression pick, there’s always a danger that circulation can be cut off, which is not good for recovery and must be avoided

Best postpartum girdle that doesn’t ride up

Our opinion

Of all the post-partum girdles profiled in this review, this high-waisted corset gets props for being pretty and utilitarian. Beautifully embellished with a lacy floral pattern, it’s strong and solidly constructed. The “Power Cinching” feature provides compression to your lower back and tummy after pregnancy, but you may want to keep it in your lingerie drawer rather than retire it.

It comes in three colors: nude, black and white. And it offers three hook and eye columns for custom adjustments.

What we love
  • Won’t roll down thanks to the boning network
  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Open bottom design for convenient bathroom visits
Watch for
  • While the top won’t roll, the bottom may, producing a pronounced panty line
  • Can be a little tricky to put on

Best postpartum girdle for diastasis recti

Our opinion

You’ve already met the Bellefit brand, so you won’t be surprised to learn that this postpartum girdle comes with a hefty price tag. It’s the most expensive item in this review. That stated, this is likely the girdle your healthcare provider had in mind when he recommended one designed to help you recover from Diastasis Recti.

This girdle features durable medical-grade fabric and construction and has a handy side zipper plus adjustable front hook and eye system. It is approved by healthcare providers for post-surgery recovery. This is the one if you are serious about quality and health benefits.

What we love
  • Accelerates C-section recovery time and tissue healing
  • Handy side zipper gives easy access
  • Easy-to-reach groin flap with hooks
  • Customer service is responsive if returning or exchanging sizes
Watch for
  • Can be uncomfortable initially
  • Women with long torsos may find this girdle won’t cover their entire belly

Easiest postpartum girdle to use and wear

Our opinion

This mid-priced Leonisa post-partum girdle is styled to match classic shapewear prized by women who want a little help with tummy-taming but also acts as a postpartum abdominal compressor.

The Leonisa’s front panel has two layers of PowerSlim and DuraFit fabric layers, which will tame your tum and help you regain proper posture. But the main strength of this girdle is just how easy it is to use. It features velcro sides for quick, streamlined adjustments to suit your changing body contours.

What we love
  • Slips on easily and adjusts to fit in a flash
  • High waist enhances upper abdomen control
  • Won’t roll up along the leg/hip juncture
  • Fabric mix makes bumpy wrinkles or folds nearly impossible
  • andy hook/gusset configuration at the crotch
Watch for
  • This garment can’t be machine washed or tossed into a dryer
  • May not support your lower abdomen as much as your upper abdomen


When should I start wearing a postpartum girdle?

As the name suggests, a postpartum girdle is made to be worn after you’ve delivered your baby. If you’re wondering when the safest time to begin wearing your girdle is, the answer is about 24 hours after you’ve given birth. It’s a huge undertaking, and it’s important to give yourself at least a day of healing before you start worrying about anything other than your baby and your immediate recovery needs. Always follow your healthcare provider’s advice when to begin wearing it to avoid complications.

How long should I wear a postpartum girdle after giving birth?

Postpartum girdles offer an abdominal recovery boost while also helping to streamline and smooth the appearance of your post-pregnancy figure, but how’s a mom to know when it’s time to ditch the bulkier, more supportive girdle for her regular shapewear? You will reap the most benefits from your postpartum girdle in the four to six weeks after a vaginal or cesarean birth.

What risks should I look for and how can I avoid them?

Given the nature of this undergarment and the compression it forces the body to tolerate, allow pain to be your guide – an abnormal amount means something is amiss. If your postpartum girdle feels tight to the point of being uncomfortable or is causing you any significant pain, it’s important that you figure out why in order to avoid damage to your body. Women who have had pregnancy and delivery complications may have issues when using a postpartum girdle, and the absolute best way for moms to avoid issues is to follow their healthcare provider’s advice regarding girdle wear.

Some signs that you should stop wearing your postpartum girdle include:

  • Signs of infection at your incision can include redness, visible pus, swelling, heat, tenderness, and sharp pain. Putting pressure on an infection is dangerous because it is an impediment to healthy healing; contact your healthcare provider right away if you think you may have an infection.
  • Skin that is red, hard, hot, and painful may be an indication of either cellulitis or a blood clot, both of which are serious medical conditions to which compression shouldn’t be applied; again, contact your healthcare provider right away.
  • Redness, tenderness, tingling, and loss of feeling can indicate that your girdle is restricting your circulation. Internal blood circulation is part of what helps your body to heal, and limiting it is especially problematic when recovering from a c-section.

What can I expect after wearing a postpartum girdle?

It is important to understand that the results that wearers reap from their postpartum girdles can vary significantly from person to person. While some mothers do feel that the girdle helps them regain their physical shape, their primary function is to help postpartum moms with their healing.

The most common benefits moms experience when wearing postpartum girdles include:

  • Strengthening and healing of the abdominal muscles, organs, and tissues through support provided by the girdle
  • A reduction of pressure to your cesarean section incision site, which can make healing easier
  • Minimal reduction in the appearance of loose skin. Girdles can’t take the weight off, they can only provide shaping via compression to healing skin

Will a postpartum girdle really benefit me?

Like nearly every part of pregnancy and motherhood, it’s safe to say that your mileage may vary here. Not all healthcare providers tout the benefits of postpartum girdles for all moms, but they’re a gear pick that’s regularly advocated for in the case of c-section recovery. Abdominal compression girdles proximate separated ab muscles and offer exceptional support and pain relief for many. Our parent-professional answer here is that, yes, as long as your healthcare provider gives the go-ahead, it’s likely you’ll experience at least some benefit from a postpartum girdle.

Can a mom recover from a c-section faster by wearing a postpartum girdle?

There is no scientific data (yet) that supports this claim, but women who are scared to death that a violent sneezing fit or the wrong move could open stitches or staples will feel reassured by wearing a girdle.

Our top pick is…

Having applied due diligence while searching for the holy grail of post-partum girdles, our journey begins and ends with the Bellefit Postpartum Corset – whether or not you’ve had a C-Section. Mom report that the sizing is accurate (unlike others), and while this girdle is prepared to see you through your recovery, it weighs only a pound, so you won’t feel as though you’re still lugging the vestiges of baby weight around.

Between awesome compression capacity – especially against the abdomen itself – and the ease with which you can get in and out of this girdle (thanks to hooks and eyes through the midsection and those keeping the groin closure snug), this corset is the real deal. Wear it for up to 6 months if you need the extra time to heal.

Yes, it’s a pricey piece of lingerie, but your baby is getting the best of the best. Don’t you deserve it, too? Your organs will thank you and auxiliary to getting into body-after-baby shape, there’s a good chance your posture will have improved, too, so you will step out looking like a million bucks.

Caitlin Goodwin, MSN, CNM, RN
Reviewed by Caitlin Goodwin, MSN, CNM, RNWritten by Neve Spicer Updated on April 19th, 2023

Pin for later

The best postpartum girdles for taming your tummy.