This week I thought I would give you guys a little update on my belly at 5 months postpartum. I know I stopped doing the belly shots in my monthly update videos around the time I went back down to my pre-pregnancy weight - this was because I didn't see much point in repeating myself month after month! But I have gotten a few requests, especially to give my review of the Belly Bandit so here it is!
As you probably already know, I gained a total of 24lbs while pregnant and if I remember correctly it took about 2 - 2.5 months to lose it. I accredit most of this to breastfeeding as well as moderately healthy eating. I really don't work out, I just walk the dogs for an hour and that's about it! Now at 5 months postpartum I weigh 2lbs less than my pre-pregnancy weight but my body composition is definitely different. My waist used to be 23/24" and it is now 25" but I also can see a difference when I look at my stomach, it's not as flat as it used to be! I don't mind though...in fact I'm pretty happy with my post-pregnant body :)
I did get some stretch marks around my belly button...thankfully I didn't get anymore than that but now I do have a wrinkly old lady belly button, ha ha ha! Here's a close-up for your viewing pleasure because nobody ever believes me when I mention it in videos or at least the lighting doesn't show them properly!
Something that I definitely do think helped shrink my stomach back to its normal size was the Belly Bandit and I wore this for about 2/2.5 months after giving birth. I got the bamboo one in nude which is €82.50 from Jellybean. You can also get the original Belly Bandit for €59.50 but I really liked how the bamboo fabric felt on my skin, it wasn't irritating at all and is supposed to be good for absorbing moisture and keeping your skin fresh. This is actually quite important because I leaked a LOT in the beginning when my body was regulating how much milk to produce so the belly bandit got pretty soaked but it evaporated straight away and never felt damp or uncomfortable.
I wore this almost everyday for the first 2/2.5 months or until I felt comfortable with my belly. I definitely did feel like on the days I forgot to wear it that my tummy looked jigglier/bigger whereas on the days I did wear it when I took it off at night before bed, my stomach looked tighter & more firm. Maybe this was just my imagination but other friends I've spoken to who wore it agreed! I chose not to wear the belly bandit at night, just because I wanted to be more comfortable and unrestricted. Not that it was uncomfortable to wear during the day but you definitely feel like your stomach is being sucked in. However I liked this as it made me feel more confident about my postpartum "jiggle"!
The Belly Bandit is also supposed to be good for C-section recovery and good posture while breastfeeding, although I will be the first to admit that I bought it purely for vanity reasons! Having said that I did find that it helped keep my posture straight & upright while feeding which is very important. (I didn't have a C-section so I can't say whether it helps or not for that.)
I get a lot of questions on how to wear the Belly Bandit - so here's how it should look when it's on but keep in mind I am back down to my normal size...when you first put it on it will look different and not as "neat". But you should notice that you can wear it tighter and tighter the smaller your stomach gets. It's important to wrap it around your lower ab area as well so that you are getting the full effect and the belly bandit can do its job properly! This is visible (slightly) through regular tops and shirts but to be honest, I didn't mind that as I knew it would be worth it in the end.
The size I got was XS but I recommend either you check out the Belly Bandit's sizing videos or get fitted professionally like I was. Apparently you should go by your regular waist size, so that's how we calculated mine but there is a lot of info online which will help you determine which size to get.
I know the Belly Bandit is quite an investment and I am in no way trying to claim that this alone will make you lose weight...I just think it's a great tool for helping the body go back to normal and I do believe it gave me more confidence in the weeks after giving birth. If you have used this or something similar I would love to hear your thoughts! Did you think it was worth the money or just a gimmick? Let me know what you think!