2. Wear a belly wrap.

I have a Taut (holla to also-momma-of-4 Brooke Burke!) but there is also the Belly Bandit, a host of medical compression bands and the low-tech-but-cheap Ace bandage method. At first blush, this seems like a bunch of hooey: Wear a big elastic belt and get a flatter stomach!! Except that many cultures have been doing exactly that for centuries. Women who have just given birth are in a special (read: anatomically freakish) place with their core. Your organs get all squished to weird places, your abdominal muscles detach from each other, all your ligaments get loose and your hips act as if they can’t stand to be in the same room with each other. Using a compression belt helps bring everything back to its proper place and hold it there. My delivery nurse, a lovely woman from Trinidad, told me that the fact that Americans don’t typically belly wrap after birth was a huge shock to her as everyone in her country did it and felt that not only was it more comfortable but it was medically advantageous. She was very impressed that I was doing it and even showed me a few tricks to use it properly (lay down when you put it on, start at the top and fasten it downward).

I’ll admit I first bought the Taut hoping to flatten my abs faster after birth but when I first put it on in the hospital, I gotta tell you it felt good. Really good. It supported my back and my stomach and put just the right amount of pressure on my hips. The website also claims it helps the skin reattach and tighten up faster. Who cares if my stomach still looked 6-months pregnant? It felt awesome! And, yes, I honestly do think it has made my stomach flatter faster than it would have been otherwise. After having 5 children I feel like I’m in a position to compare. This is my first time using a compression band and I feel like this is the fastest my stomach has ever deflated. Besides – have I mentioned this already? – it feels so nice!

Downsides: it does make you sweaty, the velcro sticks to your underwear and can rip it, and they can be pricey. Also, just to manage your expectations, a belly wrap is not a corset or Spanx – it isn’t meant to give you a smooth, flat silhouette. In fact, it looks a bit bulky under tight clothing but who’s wearing tight clothing at this point, anyhow?

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