Thursday, February 21, 2013

Ab Binders and Wink Shapewear

My best friend
Today's post is dedicated to my friend MBG, a new and proud mom of twins. She also inspired the idea for this post, because after hearing that her son and daughter were delivered via C-section (I believe her toddler came into this world "the old-fashioned way"), I felt compelled to email her and ask if anyone at the hospital had given her an ab binder yet. And now I feel compelled to tell anyone out there who's pregnant about these magical accessories. (Is that the right word? Probably not.)

I had a C-section with Baba G after 24 hours of unsuccessful labor. I had read NOTHING about the procedure and remember just closing my eyes as they wheeled me into the operating room, thinking, "Here goes nuthin'." So in the days that followed, I had no idea that the lower half of my body would swell up like I was a character in one of Eddie Murphy's fat-suit movies. It was CRA-ZY. They strapped these pneumatic boots onto my legs that were constantly massaging my calves in order to help deter blood clots and reduce the swelling. I loved those things. I'm gonna look into whether or not I can buy some, now that I think of it!

ANYWAY, on the last day before we were checking out of the hospital, one of the doctors in my OB-GYN's practice (the only guy, as it were) gave me an ab binder. I was like, "You are insane if you think I'm letting anything NEAR my incision any time soon." I could barely even stand to think about it. All he said was, "Some people find it's much more comfortable with this on."

He was right. An ab binder is just a thick, rectangle-shaped piece of fabric that uses some heavy-duty Velcro to close. It looks like this, and can be used by anyone post-delivery, C-section or not:

I never wore it directly on my skin, and I can't imagine anyone would want to. What it does is help you feel normal again, even though you might not LOOK normal for quite some time. You won't be afraid to laugh or cough or move the wrong way. And if you're like me, it might even serve to help your self-esteem a bit since otherwise most women still appear to pregnant for quite a few months after the kid is on the outside.

For that very reason (and because I loved the hospital-grade ab binder so much), I started to look into what else was on the market that might be easier to wear once I actually had to go out in public. That's when I came across Wink Shapewear's site. Here's what caught my attention from their FAQs page:

"You can start wearing your Wink™ Shapewear slimming garments immediately after a normal delivery. Our exclusive patented fabric is made for post-surgical procedures, which makes them ideal for a post-cesarean delivery. In fact, our slimming system can actually help with recovery. Our patented specialty fabric will aid in healing, discourage fluid accumulation and encourage you to engage your back and core muscles."

Yep, even this.
SOLD! I basically went nuts and ordered like 5 of their products (which aren't cheap) in the size I thought I should be based on their guidelines. Imagine my depression when I could barely fit a toe through those items. (But in my eternal optimism I kept that stuff and re-ordered everything in the next size up, spending another crapload of money. I never wore the originals.) Thankfully, the bigger size worked out.

I became obsessed with these products and had them on 24 hours a day. I couldn't stand the feeling of my stomach just hangin' out without a binder or one of Wink's products on. I wore them for months, well into the summer (BG was born in January), which was when I learned that the Wink stuff wasn't exactly breathable and could make one quite sweaty and miserable in hot weather. I then realized that while I still had a ways to go to get back to my "before Baba G weight" (STILL not there... hmm, I never go to the gym, so what's the problem here?), I could finally pass for a normal, not-pregnant person again without any secret undergarments.

The bottom line: If you're pregnant or plan on having another kid and didn't use any sort of ab binder product the first time around, TRY ONE. I cannot recommend them highly enough. Ask for one while you're still at the hospital, because then you might get it for "free." (HA.) If you can't get one in the hospital, it looks like Walmart sells them for around $16 (I'm sure a ton of other places do, too). If you are going to be hanging around the house for a while, it might be all that you ever need. But if you want something that's a little more manageable with out-in-public clothes, you could look into Wink's products or any of the less-expensive-but-probably-just-as-good brands out there. The point is, get something to help you feel more comfortable in those early weeks.

Anyone use/like a different brand aside from Wink?


  1. One of the fun features about this type of slimming garment is that it won't even show any form of trace that you have it under your clothing. The construction techniques and the materials are the combinations used to give you the perfect result you've been longing to have. For more information on shapewear for women, check out my site:

  2. All the information are really nice this is very valuable information for all. Thanks for sharing such amazing post.

  3. Thank you for the useful article. I'm 2 months post partum. I just got the wink Shaper today. Do you think it will help my tummy go down? I also had a c section.

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