Activewear and compression garments have become increasingly popular in the last few years and many of us would admit to wearing them all day due to the comfort. However it is really important to note that when you are pregnant, not all compression garments are recommended for use whereas others can be used as a medical aid to help support different ailments. In pregnancy, we always recommend buying a pregnancy specific garment due to the location of the abdominal waistband and the pressure that it applies. If anything is too tight across the belly, it can create more pressure through the abdominal region and actually press down and strain on your pelvic floor.
There are many different brands (that are all at varied price points) that create both pregnancy and postpartum compression garments. These brands include SRC, 2XU, Supacore, Active Truth and many more.
During pregnancy, compression garments can be really helpful to aim to reduce lower back and pelvic pain by helping to either support the abdominal core muscles, or gently holding and supporting the pelvis and pelvic ligaments. This support can differ from either choosing an above or under the bump garment. It is really important to note that any over the bump garment should never be too restrictive and should stretch and grow with the bump. Under the bump options are good for women who get really hot, and come with adjustability to increase as your pelvis grows. With either garment, you should feel that your lumbopelvic region is supported and there shouldn’t be as much strain on your pelvic floor. At the clinic, we stock a variety of the SRC shorts and can order in any size or legging option that is required. SRC are highly recommended by healthcare professionals including obstetricians as they offer a high quality of support.
Postpartum women need a completely different level of support and for that reason we always recommend a specific postpartum or recovery garment and never continue wearing the pregnancy garments. Research shows that postpartum garments may help speed up the recovery from abdominal muscle separation (DRAM), C-Section and Perineal wounds as well as continuing to support women with lower back and pelvic pain. You can start wearing these as soon as comfortable post birth, the research states best effectiveness with wearing them within a few days after deliveries but you shouldn’t feel any strain getting them on and off. The garments will feel compressive but should always be comfortable. If you have any specific questions or concerns please speak to your Osteopath prior to your delivery or your midwife in the hospital. It is recommended that you continue using these for at least 8-10 weeks following the birth for best results.
As these compression garments can really add up in price, we always recommend checking with your private health insurance provider as some extras policies will have a rebate available for these. If they do, generally all you need is a form filled out by your health provider to be able to make a claim.
If you aren’t sure about whether you will like the feel of the compression of a complete garment but are still wanting some support, tubigrip is another fantastic option. This can be cut to size at the clinic to either cover the full pelvic and abdominal region or just be over the pelvis. Tubigrip generally doesn’t look as pretty and tends to move around a bit but it really does do quite a fantastic job.
As always, if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us at the clinic on 9787 7702.