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I mentioned in a previous blog Annie’s Story about the use of recovery shorts/ support pants for helping in the immediate and longer term recovery from birth, particularly with respect to Rectus Diastasis. I have always recommended early support for the abdominal muscles and the pelvic region through strong support undies, but it wasn’t until my lovely friend, Jacinta, became the Brisbane agent for SRC Recovery shorts that I asked Jacinta to come along and tell me more about the garments. I decided to stock them for a year and see how they went.
The week before Jacinta came, I had a patient who had a hysterectomy about eight weeks before and was having unusual, ongoing, generalized pelvic discomfort. Jacinta had a new product that was especially designed for post operative recovery following gynae repair surgery and she suggested that these shorts might be useful for Mel and invited her to trial the shorts as a study and provided the shorts for Mel to try. I asked Mel to write a blog for me as to how she found them. Her feedback follows.
Hi Sue,
Here is the feedback about the support pants. Once again thank you so much for telling me about them and getting me into the study group.
I hope the information I give is not too much, I did write a bit, however I wanted to be as clear as possible.
To begin with before using the pants I had five main types of pain.
1. I was waking at night with stabbing  pain in my lower left hand side that then moved over my bladder.
2. At times the pain was like a hard ball throbbing over my left hand side.
3. I had been experiencing a lot of bloating and cramping, with the pain extending down from my diaphragm and to my pubic bone. Typically over a day my stomach would swell up and down several times.
4. Sometimes I would get an aching tightness around all six incisions. If I accidentally pushed my stomach up against a sink or something like that it is tender and painful.
5. After using stairs, bending, lifting I get an ache in my vagina and the entire sheath throbs and is painful.
It took a few days to get used to the pants needing to wear them for short periods at a time and increasing. I now wear them for about four hours in the morning and four or five at afternoon and evening. On the occasion when I have a bad day and feel sick I am not able to tolerate them at all.
I don’t wake with pain any more
The pockets of pain are much less and clear more quickly
As I increased the time I noticed the pain changing. When the bloating  pain started it would clear much more quickly. I now have no bloating pain. Sometimes I swell but there is no pain with it.
My incisions are much less tender
I do still get an ache in my vagina when I have a couple of big days and am still carefully pacing myself. If I listen to my body and rest I recover well, sometimes that’s not as easy as I would like it to be. However there are huge improvements.
I think the pants have been an enormous benefit to me, and am so glad I have to opportunity to have them. The hospital gave no advice as to support afterward and information online ranged from use support bandage to never use support.
In regards to other patients of yours having surgery I don’t think I would have been able to use the pants until at least a month after surgery they are very tight around the top band. I do highly recommend them though.
Thanks for your help with this,
Having stocked the range for a couple of months now, I have had many patients purchase the shorts because they had heard about them from friends and wanted them, and others I had recommended they get them as they had a significant Rectus Diastasis. The feedback has been excellent and one of my patients kindly offered to write a paragraph about her post-natal recovery.
From Sandra:
Going into my third pregnancy I felt my body was starting to fail me. I had an existing urethrocoele and as my pregnancy progressed my stomach muscles were already starting to separate significantly. When my beautiful son was born I was concerned how my stomach was going to recover from a 7cm separation and the swelling from a caesarean section.  In hospital I was given tubi-grip to wear for support but found this uncomfortable as it was thick and continuously rolled up and out of place.  Then I heard about SRC Recovery Shorts from my Physio. When I tried them on the difference was instantly clear, they were comfortable to wear and streamline.
My body began to recover and bounce back quickly and after a matter of weeks my separation had already halved and my swelling was almost non-existent. The SRC Recovery Shorts gave me the support I was looking for in all areas that I needed. This gave me so much more confidence to move and get back to life as a mum of now three.
I have already begun recommending them to my friends and anyone I know who’s having a baby. The comments I was getting from people about how small my waist was didn’t hurt either.
Now the reason I have posted these two stories is firstly it’s nice to hear feedback about a product from patients who have issues and have had success with using them. Secondly, SRC Recovery Shorts cost $189-$198 which is a significant investment when it also coincides with the other expenses of childbirth or gynae surgery. But if your recovery time is speeded up, if pain and swelling diminishes more quickly and abdominal muscle separation improves, then the investment is worthwhile. Many frivolous gifts are given to women at this time – flowers which are not cheap, chocolates and champers which are not necessarily good for the waistline. So maybe groups of friends or relatives would be better off banding together and contributing to the purchase of a pair of the shorts to assist in the post natal/post operative period.
Just a thought!
PS. Thank you to my two very articulate patients!