Why it's best to not just let it all hang out post pregnancy....
The care that we give our post pregnancy body is just as important as the care which we provide for ourselves during the 9 months. During the 9 months of pregnancy our abdominal region stretches to make way for the growing foetus. Once a woman gives birth the organs, ligaments, muscles etc remain in those locations. Our body is not like a lacky band whereby we stretch it, let go and it goes back to the original form.
There are a few things that we can do to assist our post baby belly heal and return the items back to where they were pre-pregnancy.
1) Coupled with moderate cardio, a postpartum workout should focus on building up the muscles of your torso (which took a beating when you were pregnant). Every new mum can benefit from core strengthening. “The rectus abdominal muscles are stretched during pregnancy in a way that makes it impossible to exercise them during that time." Some women also experience a separation of the abdominal wall muscles, which is called rectus abdominis diastasis. Exercises that target this condition can bring the muscles back together again and a woman's physio is a great port of call to get the low down.
2) A postpartum belly band, wrap or our supportive leggings band (folded) is sometimes recommended, since they can help your C-section incision heal. But you may have seen women with vaginal deliveries touting the benefits of these products as well.
While postpartum belly wraps won’t actually cause weight loss, they may provide some benefits. They help tighten your stomach after pregnancy, improve circulation, reduce swelling through compression, and support the abdomen and lower back. What’s more, these postpartum belly bands may be especially helpful for those with diastasis recti.
Ask your doctor or woman's physio if you want to use a belly band and remember, you still need a healthy balanced eating and exercise plan to help your body heal...
So you are off to the Hospital to deliver you baby… what are the essential items to pack into the bag?
Packing your pregnancy bag is a job you will either do too early or too late. It's never too early to gather together all the essentials you'll need during labour and birth, and for after your baby is born. Even if you're not planning to have your baby in a hospital or birth centre, you may need to go in unexpectedly, so try to have a bag packed by the time you're about 36 weeks pregnant.
Create a checklist and get ticking :)
What Mum needs for her hospital pregnancy bag:
- Maternity bras
- Nighties including an old one or a large t-shirt to wear in labour. It will probably get a bit messy, so don't buy anything special or tight to wear in hospital.
- Dressing gown. This will be useful if you end up pacing hospital corridors in early labour. You'll probably also want one on the postnatal ward. Hospitals can be very warm, so a lightweight one may be better. A dark colour or busy pattern will help hide any stains.
- Casual day clothes: include a pair of leggings that have supportive belly band with non intrusive seams. It helps with the repair of this area.
- Slippers/shoes: Backless slippers that are easy to get on and off. Thongs work well, too.
- Breast pads
- Maternity pads plus lots and lots of undies
- Heat packs. Many hospitals have a limited number of heat packs but are happy for you to bring your own. Check first, though, that your hospital allows microwaved heat packs (some have banned them), and has a microwave available so you can heat the packs.
- Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Makeup, Hairbrush, Deodorant, Shampoo, Conditioner plus Hairbands, clips or a headband. If you have long hair, you may want it tied up or clipped back. And if your hair is shorter, you can keep it off your face with a soft headband especially during labour.
- Lip balm: your lips can dry out quickly on a warm labour ward and from the air conditioner on the ward.
- Any medications you have been taking (please bring the medication to the hospital to show your admitting doctor and arrange for this medication to be returned home)
- Your Medicare card, details of your health insurance (if you have private insurance) and any hospital paperwork you need. Your birth plan (if you have one) and antenatal card, if you were given one.
- Storage containers for glasses, contact lenses, hearing aids, or dentures. Note that your glasses may fog up when you're in the throes of labour, and you won’t be able to wear contacts if you're having a caesarean.
- Things to help you relax or pass the time, such as books, magazines, games, knitting or a tablet. You may also want to download some fun and distracting apps on your phone to keep you occupied during early labour.
- Music device, Phone and charger
- Snacks and drinks for during and after the birth. Most women are able to eat and drink during labour and those early few days of breastfeeding when you can eat anything in sight. The hospital will have food and drink available, but you may prefer to pack a few things that you know you like. Great ideas are: Fruit, unsalted nuts, chips, muesli bars, honey sandwiches or and popcorn are all good options.
Some optional extras depending on the type of birth and/or what you have put into your birthing plan:
- Massage oil or lotion if you'd like to be massaged during labour. You may also like to borrow or invest in a massage roller or similar aid, so your birth partner can massage you for longer.
- Birth ball. This can help you find different positions of labour, and may also help you manage the pain of contractions. Check whether the hospital has the right size for you. If not, take your own. Remember to bring a pump so your birth partner can inflate it for you.
- Oil burner, if you'd like to use aromatherapy oils. Check with your hospital because most have won't allow open flames, but you may be able to use an electric burner.
What baby needs:
- Baby clothes and a blanket to take your baby home in
- Newborn nappies and extra wipes (especially if you like a certain variety)
- Dummy or pacifier if you choose to use one
- Formula, bottles, teats and sterilising equipment, if you plan to formula feed
- Olive, apricot, almond oil for coating baby's bottom before the first nappy goes to make cleaning easier
Do I really need Maternity leggings?
Comfort and support are the most important features when it comes to maternity clothing and leggings are no different. All of our pregnancy leggings have been specially designed to allow for the growth of the bump and belly while providing absolute support and comfort. Featuring a high waistband that can be worn during pregnancy, or folded down for extra support postpartum
Many woman experience different disorders while they are pregnant, but some of the symptoms are the same such as pelvic pain, swelling, stiff hips and the added strain on the lower back. Therefore finding the right maternity leggings to help relieve and minimise these types of symptoms is essential for comfort during and after pregnancy. Our specially designed maternity leggings have been constructed to support you in all the right places. By keeping the weight off your pelvis and reducing the pressure on your muscles and ligaments around the bottom half of your body that is growing so much!
So what do they do?
- Light compression to the legs, hips and if they are over the bump; the belly and lower back as well.
- Support under the belly to take some weight off your hips and pelvis by providing a layer of support, they can help to lift up and alleviate the pressure on the pelvis.
- Help to assist in keeping your weight in the right spots to put your body back into natural alignment.
You can wear them under the bump in early pregnancy, then over the bump later in pregnancy. MUMMACTIV pregnancy and postpartum leggings can be worn under or over because:
- Over-the-bump leggings have a light compression panel above the waistline that stretches and pulls up over the bump.
- Under-the-bump leggings have a vee at the front of the waistline so the bump can sit in the middle.
With over the bump leggings when the compression panel is folded over (doubling the layer) and you wear it under the belly they give you even more bump support so the weight of your organs and bump isn't sitting on top of your hips as much.
They are essentially a belly band attached to pants. Many woman buy a belly band during pregnancy or for postpartum. Whereas, maternity leggings already have the belly band attached as a panel above the waist. Because the band is longit can be folded over during pregnancy to really provide support like a belly band, then after-baby, fold it down to help push your tummy in and support it.
Had or having a C-section?
When maternity leggings are for you...The compression panel scoops low at the front to provide the ultimate in comfort for any c-section scars. After a c section you don’t want to wear any clothing with seams that sit on the scar simply because they will irritate you. We've had customers regularly commenting that our leggings are the only pants they could wear post-baby after a c-section because of the way the seam cuts down and doesn't aggravate or irritate the scar.