Our most frequently asked questions questions can be answered below. If you have any other questions that aren't listed here, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
How do I put the Ab Tank and Ab Wrap on?
The Ab Tank can be put on overhead as you would any other tank or by stepping into and pulling it up. For the Ab Wrap, it is critical that it be put on with the bottom arm first around your hips and that it not be too tight. You want gentle support, not to feel like you are a sausage – tighter does not equal better – in fact it takes away from the effectiveness and can actually put you at risk for an increase in lochia (bleeding) in the early days/weeks postpartum and may prevent involution (the uterus from returning to its original size). Putting it on too tight can also encourage downward pressure on the pelvic floor which is of course not ideal! The aim is to provide a gentle hug externally to the muscles that have been stretched, torn and or cut, while you rebuild internal support by progressing through the Core Confidence exercises.
We have a based the size chart on third trimester measurements – ideally around your 30th week or later – you will measure under your bust and around your hips. We have tried to make this as applicable to everyone as possible, however every body is different. We have designed the product to be used in the first weeks postpartum (up to 8) when the belly is still shrinking. If the velcro ends of the straps go past the sacral pad a bit, that is ok. We chose the elastic specifically because the velcro attaches to it so you aren’t limited by it attaching just to the sacral pad. The sizing chart is based on your current measurements while you are still pregnant (ideally in the 3rd trimester). If you are at the low end of a size range and are beyond 8 weeks postpartum and have been advised by a women’s health physiotherapist that the wrap would still benefit you, we recommend ordering the size down.
Currently, our sizing comes in Small, Medium and Large. Extra Large will be added soon.
We want to ensure your satisfaction. Given the intimate nature of the garment we have some guidelines to follow for returns and exchanges. Here is our Return Policy – Bellies Inc Return Policy
Can I use the Ab System after a cesarean?
Absolutely! The Ab System is suitable for use whether you have a vaginal birth or a cesarean birth and in fact, many professionals believe it is an absolute must after a cesarean birth. The beauty of the Ab System is that you have versatility depending on the sensitivity of your incision. Some start with just the tank and then add the wrap a few days later. Some start with both right away while others wear nothing for a few days and then add the tank and wrap. We even had a midwife choose to wear it backwards with the lumbo-sacral pad over her incision because she liked more pressure on it. We have had feedback that the design of our wrap was much better than others because of the elastic arms and that it is put on from the bottom up, not as a large panel over another panel. This helps lift the belly away from the incision. As for the exercises, we recommend starting with the core breath, as you would after a vaginal birth but hold off on adding in the voluntary pelvic floor contractions for a week or so and just focus on the breath and visualizing the contract and relax of your pelvic floor.
What is the cost of The Ab System?
There are other postpartum belly binders available to you but many are missing key components. We’ve got you covered and provide you with everything you need to strengthen your core in pregnancy and restore your core postpartum – all for $157 plus tax and shipping. Other postpartum belly wraps range between $55 to $100 plus shipping and that is for 1 item only – and many do not shrink with you leaving the potential of needing to purchase 2. We are also one of the only companies to include the key exercises that both prepare your core for birth and restore form and function postpartum. With the Ab System you get 2 Ab Tanks and 1 Ab Wrap that will adjust to your shrinking postpartum belly. We also give you the laundry bag to wash your Ab tanks in (the wrap should be hand washed), + our informative eBook + the core confidence exercise program that you use in pregnancy and in your recovery postpartum – how’s that for one stop shopping! We’ve got you covered! You will receive immediate access to the Core Confidence Exercise program and eBook as soon as you make your purchase online. Your Ab Tanks, Ab Wrap, Wash Bag and Core Confidence Guidebook will then be sent out to you so you have them to use once your baby is born. Ours is the only product you’ll need!
Is it covered by insurance?
Some plans and providers will cover abdominal braces or binders but you will need to check with your provider and your specific plan to determine if it will be or not. We have had many customers submit their receipts and have it covered but it is different for everyone. Also ask if you have it “prescribed” by your doctor if it will be covered in which case you can speak to your doctor about having them prescribe it for you.
How long does shipping take and what is the cost?
We typically ship 3 times a week - Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. We ship from Vancouver, BC and ship with Canada Post Expedited. Shipping in Canada is a flat rate of $18 (free for orders over $100) and is typically between 2-6 business days depending on where you live. Shipping to the USA is a flat rate of $20 and is typically between 4-10 business days. Shipping to International destinations is a flat rate of $50 and times range between 7 – 21 days. Some US and International shipments will be charged duties which are on top of our shipping costs and beyond our control. Due to COVID-19 you can expect some delays which are unfortunately beyond our control.
For Canadian and US orders, you do also have the option to pick faster shipping options at check out.
How long should I wear my Ab Tank and Ab Wrap for?
It has been shown that spontaneous healing of diastasis recti (as measured by the inter-recti distance) happens in the first 8 weeks. Healing continues beyond that however we want to harness that initial 8 weeks. We believe in providing external support while rebuilding your internal support in those first 8 weeks to give the muscles the best chance of repositioning and for the connective tissue to heal. Ideally you will wear your Ab Tank and Ab Wrap together as soon as possible after giving birth and for as many hours a day as possible for the first few weeks. From there you may start to wean off the wrap and just wear the tank. Some will wear the tank and wrap for the full 8 weeks while others will wear the wrap for the first few weeks and then wean to just the tanks. There are also some people who will benefit from the tank and wrap beyond 8 weeks but we advise you be assessed by your pelvic floor physical therapist for ongoing use. You have complete flexibility based on your body and your recovery. Some find that as they become more mobile they wear just the tank as the wrap can slide a bit with a lot of movement or with poor sitting/standing posture. We recommend you spend more time resting and less time moving in the first week or two.
How do I wash my Ab Tank and Ab Wrap?
In your complete system you receive 2 Ab Tanks and 1 Ab Wrap and 1 delicates laundry bag. When it is time to wash one of your Ab Tanks place it in your delicates bag all by itself (meaning without the wrap) and machine wash in cold water and then hang to dry. Good news is that you have your 2nd Ab Tank and Ab Wrap to wear while the other is being washed! To wash your Ab Wrap we recommend hand washing it then hanging to dry to preserve the Velcro and the elastic. Because you wear it over your Ab Tank you will not need to wash the Ab Wrap as much.
Should I wear the Ab Tank and Ab Wrap at night?
This is personal preference. In the very early days after your baby is born we recommend wearing it 24/7 so yes, to bed but if you are moving a lot while sleeping then you may want to wear just the tank. After the initial few weeks it will be based on your comfort. Some wear the tank and wrap to bed and love it while others prefer just the tank to sleep and both during the day only.
Can I wear the Ab Tank and Ab Wrap separately?
We designed the Ab Tank and Ab Wrap to be worn together. The Ab Tank is a form fitting base layer that provides support itself, however with the addition of the wrap you get amazing pelvic, low back and abdominal support. Some worry about the Ab Tank and Ab Wrap showing underneath clothing and we made great efforts to make them as sleek as possible so they are not visible. If you would like to wear them separately you may but like chocolate and peanut butter, they are best together.
Some similar products recommend that I buy 2 sizes so that as I shrink I switch to a smaller one – As my belly gets flatter will I need to buy more than one system?
No – all you need is one complete system and it will take you through the entire 8 weeks. The Ab Tank and Ab Wrap are designed to accommodate every body and adjust with you as your midsection heals. We have made it easy for you and packaged it all in a convenient system – 2 tanks (so you always have one to wear while the other is being washed), 1 wrap, 1 laundry bag (to wash your tanks), AND an 8 week exercise program! That is tremendous value!
Will the Ab Tank and Ab Wrap flatten my tummy?
The purpose of the Ab Tank and Ab Wrap is to provide support to the pelvis as well as the healing connective tissue and muscles in the abdominal wall. It is a postpartum recovery garment, not a waist trainer or an ab flattening system. It is not a magic solution for making your abdomen flat but rather part of a holistic system that aids in supporting and rebuilding your core from the inside out. A great side effect of wearing the Ab Tank and Wrap in conjunction with doing our Core Confidence program is that your midsection will be stronger and typically flatter too!
When should I start wearing my Ab Tank and Ab Wrap?
As soon as possible after your baby is born is ideal.
I am past the 8 week postpartum period – will the Ab Tank and Ab Wrap still help me?
While the Ab Tank and Wrap are ideally designed for use in the first 8 weeks postpartum it may be helpful for women with really weak connective tissue or a large separation. Wearing a wrap beyond the 8 weeks is recommended for women who have been advised by their women’s health physiotherapist that their connective tissue is very weak or that they have a non-functional diastasis. It is also appropriate for women who are awaiting surgery to fix their diastasis. The condition of the connective tissue and the need for surgery should be determined by a women’s health physiotherapist rather than self-evaluation. We recommend seeing one of our trainers and pelvic floor physiotherapists to help determine if the AB Tank and Wrap is right for you.
I have Spanx – should I just use that?
Spanx serve a cosmetic purpose for many women however it is often far too restrictive especially for new moms. New moms need something that provides support but that allows for functional movement and breathing without creating downward pressure on the pelvic floor. The Ab Tank and Wrap were specifically designed with the healing core in mind and provides light compression in the base layer (The Ab Tank) and an additional, fully adjustable wrap layer that is put on from the bottom up. Also keep in mind that it is not just the Ab Tank and Wrap – the exercises are just as, if not more important in healing the abdominal wall.
Do you have other colours?
During our design and development process we polled hundreds of women and maternity retailers. The answer to our colour question was black and nude. In the future we may offer colour choices however currently each complete system comes with 1 black Ab Tank, 1 beige Ab Tank and 1 beige Ab Wrap so it can be worn as a layering piece with as little evidence as possible!
Where is your product made?
The Ab Tank and Wrap are made in beautiful British Columbia, Canada. Proudly Canadian!
The product feels amazing and light but I do get hot – is this normal?
Yes and it is actually by design. Our holistic system has been inspired by the healing traditions of belly wrapping and mother roasting in other cultures. These cultures understand that birth opens the body and leaves it vulnerable to ‘cold’. In the first 6-8 weeks postpartum steps need to be taken to close the body, nourish the new mother and warm the body while protecting it from ‘wind’ (cold) while it heals. Western cultures fail to recognize the importance of rest and healing and at Bellies Inc we want to change that. Embracing the wisdom of mother roasting, we have created a wrap that supports, heals and warms the postpartum woman while promoting a gradual return to function.
The wrap slides up – what can I do?
We designed the Ab Tank and Wrap as a recovery garment. We are challenging the ‘super mom’ norms and encouraging women to rest in the early weeks postpartum. Ideally in week one you will spend more time resting in bed with little time upright. This will allow time for the tissues to begin healing without the influence of gravity. The Tank and Wrap are perfectly supportive during this time. As you begin to sit more, the wrap can slide up so some choose to take the wrap off and just wear the tank during nursing. If you sit with a more neutral pelvis, it will help prevent the wrap from sliding up. As you become more mobile, if you are still wearing the wrap, you can wear a pair of yoga pants over the wrap to help hold it in place. The thing to remember is that it is a recovery product. Many will wear the tank and wrap for a few weeks and then wear just the tank as they become more mobile.
Can I use your Ab System/Wrap if I have a prolapse?
Yes, you can use the Ab System or Ab Wrap if you have a prolapse. We designed our wrap to be put on from the bottom up with the most support given to the pelvis and lower abdomen which will help decrease the likelihood of downward pressure on the pelvic floor. Women sometimes feel that tighter is better or that the support should be over the waist, and entire abdomen, especially with the aim of healing diastasic recti but this is not ideal. The key to optimal healing is rest, limiting the influence of gravity in the first week or two, support around the pelvis (like a gentle hug), support that can be put on from the bottom up and restorative exercise that focuses on the pelvic floor. Should the wrap exacerbate the symptoms of your prolapse, check in with your posture, how much movement/lifting you have done, your breath and where you have the wrap placed (and how tight).
What kind of fabric is the Ab Tank and Wrap made with?
We searched high and low for the fabric that would meet our needs. We wanted a smooth and silky feel in a lightweight, breathable material that would also promote tissue recovery through warmth. The Ab Tank fabric is a 82% polyester and 18% spandex. The Ab Wrap is made with wooly stretch nylon, a padded lumbar support and we have gripper elastic on the lumbar pad that is made with 27% polyester and 73% rubber (contains latex).
Can I do the Core Confidence program in pregnancy?
YES! We designed the program so that it is safe for pregnancy AND for core restoration in the early weeks postpartum. We recognize that recovering from pregnancy and birth starts while you are still pregnant and the Core Confidence program is a key piece of that. You do the program in your pregnancy to help minimize diastasis and then you re-start the program once your baby is born and gradually progress back to doing the entire 8 exercise program. There are the same exercises – nothing new to learn and since your body already knows them and has done them, it is quicker to recover.
Why should I buy your product and why is it more expensive than others?
While we’re not sure what products you are comparing ours to, we will tell you that we tested many – the most well known ones and others that were cheaper on amazon. We wanted to address what we felt was missing from what was on the market at the time (we began our research in 2010). The biggest piece that was missing was exercise – no one was addressing the rebuilding and retraining of the inner core unit. The next thing we found was that the binders on the market recommended wearing it over a form fitting tank. We decided to make our own base layer tank. Next, we found that other binders were not adjustable for torso length so we addressed that. Finally, we found that most binders focused on the waist and abdomen and none were supporting the pelvis which is key to overall healing so we addressed that as well. We then set out to source fabric and everything else needed to bring our product to life. We decided to manufacture in Canada because we are proudly Canadian and love supporting local. We could control the process much better by keeping it here rather than going overseas but this also means higher pricing. We polled our focus groups and early customers and we consistently heard that it was important to them that we were not manufactured in China. When we did our pricing we looked at others knew we would be somewhere in the mid to high range of our main competitors. When you consider the price of our wrap on its own, we are right in the middle. Our biggest competitor is between $59 and $99 – we are at $87 AND we provide the exercise program and ebook where our competitor does not. In the complete system you get 2 tank tops, 1 wrap, a wash bag, the exercise program and our ebook for $157 which again is not much more than our main competitor who provides only the binder. Many of our customers used our competitor’s product prior to ours and we consistently hear that they like ours better. We are proud of our product and our mission and feel we are very fairly priced. We pride ourselves on our customer service and the team behind the design and production of the product. The ‘mother roasting’ philosophy is not well known in North America and we are hoping to change that. Aesthetics is not our main motivator but we were consistently asked by people to show images of users which is why we include some before and after photos. As for cesareans, the design of our product was meant to support women regardless of the type of birth they had. For cesarean moms, some wear just the tank to start and add the wrap later, while others wear the wrap right away and love that it lifts the abdomen off of the incision. We even had a midwife wear it backwards with the sacral pad over her incision because she liked more pressure on it. Our product is versatile and gives women many options for support based on their comfort preferences and we hope you will see the value we provide.