This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Aeroflow. All opinions are my own. Seek medical advice before using any of the products mentioned.
One of the most downloaded episodes of my Milspouse Matters Podcast is Episode 28, Self-Care and Wellness for Military Spouses: Permission to Take Care of YOU! In it, Ashley Gammon, a women’s health coach and personal trainer, talks about issues affecting women’s health, especially in the postpartum period. She shares practical tips for building pelvic floor and core strength, dealing with diastasis recti, and and how to keep your own health and wellness a priority as a military spouse. It’s no surprise it’s such a popular episode! Military moms are juggling so many things at once, that it can be easy to put our own health needs on the back burner.
During one of my four pregnancies, I carried the baby in such a way that my third trimester was marked by constant leg pain due to sciatica. I know I’m not the only mama who’s experienced that, but unfortunately I wasn’t aware of any resources at the time that could help. Apparently my doctor wasn’t either, other than his vague admonition to “get more rest.” There didn’t seem to be anything to do but wait until I delivered the baby to get some relief, so that’s what I did.
These days, there’s so much more available for new moms, and TRICARE does a great job of covering most items military spouses need during pregnancy and the postpartum period that they didn’t even a few short years ago! But if you hear about compression garments for the time during or after childbirth, you may instantly think Kardashian or a starlet desperately trying to “get their body back” after having a baby. That’s obviously not the real world that most military mamas are living in!
But did you know that “belly bands” (i.e. maternity compression garments), compression socks, and postpartum recovery garments are more than vanity…they can actually aid in comfort and healing during these months? In fact, they’re FDA listed medical equipment covered by most insurances!
Let’s break down the benefits of these pregnancy and postpartum supplies, and then read on to find out more about how TRICARE covers some or all of the cost. (You may already know that TRICARE covers breast pumps and breastfeeding supplies. Learn more about that in my post, Resources for New Milspouse Moms!)
Pregnancy and Postpartum Supplies for New Military Moms
The Benefits of Maternity Compression (aka Belly Bands or Maternity Belts)
Belly bands can help support your growing baby’s weight and spread the distribution more evenly across your hips, which can aid in reducing lower back or sciatic pain. In fact, to help prevent issues, it’s recommended you start wearing a belly band as early as three months into your pregnancy.
Many women report that maternity compression helps their tummies feel supported, while decreasing pain in their abdomen and back. Whether it’s your first baby or your fourth, it’s worth checking with your healthcare provider to see if maternity compression might be beneficial to you. One expert shares:
“As the pregnancy progresses, the weight of the baby presses down on the nerves and blood vessels that run down to the hips and legs. Maternity compression gently lifts the abdomen and can relieve the pressure of the uterus on these vessels, which improves blood flow to and from the lower body parts.”– Rebekah Mustaleski, Certified Professional Midwife and Compression Director for Motif Medical
During my first pregnancy, I worked at a job which kept me on my feet for 12 hours a shift. My feet were throbbing and swollen after standing for so long. Compression socks were a godsend during this time! Many pregnant mamas suffer from varicose veins along with foot swelling and pain during pregnancy, especially if they’re on their feet a lot like I was. Compression socks can promote good circulation and help reduce the risk of varicose veins.
While you may equate compression socks with your elderly relatives, you’ll be glad to know there are much cuter options available these days! Here’s an expert tip if you find you could benefit from wearing compression socks:
“If you do struggle with everyday swelling during your pregnancy and want to use compression socks, I recommend putting them on before you get out of bed in the morning. Swelling in the feet and legs is usually the lowest when you first wake up because sleeping in a horizontal position prevents gravity from resisting the return blood flow from the lower extremities.”– Rebekah Mustaleski, Certified Professional Midwife and Compression Director for Motif Medical
Postpartum Recovery Compression
You don’t need to suffer in silence after you’ve given birth! Whether you’re recovering from a c-section, have diastisis recti (a condition in which the abdominal muscles are weakened and separate), or simply need some extra support, postpartum recovery garments can greatly improve how you feel during this time. These compression garments are designed to be worn under your clothing to support your abdomen, hips, and lower back and even help with better posture.
Moms recovering from c-sections will appreciate how postpartum compression can help reduce swelling and promote healing. They can even speed up the postpartum recovery time, which is a win for busy military moms! Women with diastasis recti will be glad to know that these garments may be covered by insurance as part of their treatment plan.
“The three main treatments for moderate to severe [diastasis recti] are exercise, physical therapy (PT), and surgery. Additionally, Postpartum Recovery Garments are often covered through insurance and can improve comfort while providing abdominal support.”– Dr. Jessica Madden, Board-Certified Pediatrician and Neonatologist, and Medical Director for Aeroflow Breastpumps
Good news! Most expecting or new military mamas will qualify for these pregnancy and postpartum supplies to be covered by TRICARE (a prescription from your doctor is required). Want to get more details and find out if you qualify? Visit Aeroflow Breastpumps to learn more about these TRICARE pregnancy benefits.