After learning about bellybinding during my Sacred Pregnancy course, I planned to try it after Tanner’s birth. In October before his birth, I got a message about reviewing a new product from Pelv-Ice: The Mama Strut, which is a postpartum support brace. Of course I said yes! What perfect timing! The actual Mama Strut arrived on the very day Tanner was born. How’s that for even more perfect timing?! While it isn’t as pretty as a traditional bellybind, it is very functional and has lots of beneficial extras that are not present on a traditional belly wrap.
The Mama Strut is a wearable soft brace that is uniquely engineered to deliver heat/ice therapy to reduce pain, swelling and cramping from vaginal deliveries, c-sections and vaginal prolapse, while also supporting the back and abdomen with medical-grade compression. The all-in-one shorts and abdominal/lower back support design is adjustable, fits comfortably and discreetly under clothing, and is made with moisture-wicking, anti-microbial fabric for supreme comfort. The Mama Strut offers women increased relief and mobility, as well as the ability to take care of baby without the need for heavy pain medication.
via PELV-ICE LLC
After the births of all of my other children, I distinctly recall the feeling of not being able to stand up straight for days after their birth. This isn’t just a psychological or emotional feeling of being “wrung out” from giving birth, it is physiological—core strength is really affected by pregnancy and our mama abdominal muscles do struggle to keep our bodies upright. I remember leaning on the sink, kind of hunched over, trying to brush my teeth. And, I remember leaning on the wall of the shower to support my body. After my daughter’s birth in 2011, my afterbirth contractions were centralized, very painfully, in my lower back as well.
One of the nifty things about the Mama Strut is how it is “customizable” for each woman. It has hot/cold packs that can be inserted into pouches for the lower back, abdomen, and perineum. My favorite thing about it was the back brace support though. It was just what I needed. I tried the Mama Strut for the first time about two days after birth and it felt amazing. And, after I took it off, I still felt like my core muscles were benefiting from the support. I could stand up straighter and my abdominal muscles felt like they had been brought back together. My only critique is that the perineal support strap was not removable (all the other additions velcro off and on) and since I didn’t want/need to use it, it just dangled down the back like a tail (it does tuck into a pouch on the back when not in use, instead of tail-dangling, but I found it then made a hard lump against my back, so I left it to dangle instead). Since I have labial tearing following births, rather than perineal tearing, the last thing I want is something tight against my tender body! For the same reason, I also wish the shorts were detachable. However, my type of tearing is unusual and I can see how many women would benefit from the perineal support, particularly those who experience the sensation of their insides “falling out” or their organs dropping.
The Mama Strut made a noticeable difference in my posture, the intensity of my afterbirth contractions (particularly in my back), and my sensation of core strength and support during the early postpartum period.
Here are some “before” pictures that my mom took of me at two weeks postpartum:
And, here are some pictures of me using the helpful support!
Disclosure: I received the Mama Strut as a complimentary product for review purposes.
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