I know I'm only halfway through this pregnancy, but I'm already working at gathering supplies and trying to find bargains on the things I really value. After being pregnant a few times, I have a good idea of what I think will work best for me during the final months of pregnancy, and postpartum.
One of those things is belly binding/wrapping. I didn't belly wrap after birth with Elizabeth, read up about it before Nathanael, but didn't order my wrap in time to have in the first few weeks after birth (I got mine at BestBabyOrganics.com - they offer 15% off coupons fairly regularly).
I wrapped using things around the house the first week, during the day. I wrapped a little less often during week 2, and hardly at all during week three. My Belly Bandit arrived at the end of week 3, and I wore it day and night (with a few hours of exceptions here and there) until about 7 weeks.
I think belly wrapping makes a difference, certainly in comfort. I don't know that belly wrapping made much difference for me in my overall postpartum body shape.. It can only do so much when I eat 9 cupcakes over the course of 3 days.
Compared to my first week postpartum with Elizabeth, I felt much better after Nathanel with the belly wrap, even just using what I had on hand (a twin sized sheet and my moby wrap). I didn't feel like my innards we jiggling around and falling out as much. Consider - all those organs and intestines were quite compacted by sharing space with a baby. Suddenly, the baby (which provided some extra pressure and support to those organs in the expanded belly) is gone, and the organs are flopping around in space that had previously be occupied by a baby. The compression of the belly wrapping helps.
I know it caused me to think about pulling in my abdominal muscles more often, too, which ultimately helps with posture and getting the body back in shape.
When if comes to wrapping my belly, I figure that centuries of cultures around the world can't be that wrong! This time around, I'll be sure to have my belly bandit on hand, and I think I'll order the next size up for the first few weeks. I know last time, the size I got at 3 weeks was just about right for then, but would have been too big immediately after birth.
I choose to use a Belly Bandit, but there are other brands (and non-brands) that sell postpartum abdominal supports and wraps. You could even invent one of your own making, using a long piece of fabric, but the nice thing about a specially designed wrap is that it is a little less conspicuous.
(Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with or compensated by Best Baby Organics or Belly Bandit. Just giving you info about what and where I got mine.)