Belly Binding

Belly Binding Services

After months of getting used to a growing belly, learning to balance with a different center of gravity, and sleeping in different positions, once baby comes there is a whole new body to get used to all over again. Something that is often not thought about though is the recovery that the body is going through. Not only do we have the uterus shrinking down, our skin loose, and our hips going back in, but our muscles have a large amount of healing to do as well. The great news is belly binding can help with all of the above!

d7451a7ea65f8c49daec8427d248bd36                                                                                                                         Photo used with permission from Myrriah Raimbaut

What is belly binding?

Bengkung belly binding has been used and is still being used across the globe as part of an effective postpartum recovery. Using 100% cotton or other non-stretch fabric the abdomen from the lower hips to the rib cage under the breast is wrapped snuggly in order to support your body’s natural healing process. Belly binding supports the postpartum woman’s body in assisting the abdominal wall muscles to come back to their pre-pregnancy position, improves posture, supports loosened ligaments and provides support to the body while vital organs return to their pre-pregnancy state.

What are the benefits of belly binding?

 

  • Diastasis Recti

According to the Mayo Clinic During pregnancy, the growing uterus stretches the muscles in the abdomen. This can sometimes cause the two large parallel bands of muscles that meet in the middle of the abdomen to separate — a condition called diastasis recti or diastasis recti abdominis.

Graphic used with permission from mutuststem.com
Graphic used with permission from mutuststem.com

The Malaysian technique of Bengkung binding is helpful in bringing those bands of muscles back together in order for the Linea Alba, or connective tissue, to strengthen and support the muscles more effectively.

Pelvic Support

During pregnancy, a woman’s body produces something called Relaxin, this is a hormone that causes her ligaments and joints to become more flexible to allow baby to come down through the pelvis. Relaxin stays in the body for up to 5 months postpartum so we take advantage of this increased flexibility in the body by putting pressure on the hips and pelvis to go back to their pre-pregnancy state more easily.

 

  • Lower back support

The abdominal muscles are directly related to the back muscles. You can ask any personal trainer or physical therapist and they will tell you that when strengthening either of these muscle groups, you want to also equally work on the other. According to www.spine-health.com“…The abdominal muscles and back muscles are key components of [a] muscular network, and provide the strength to keep the body upright and for movement. When these core muscles are in poor condition, additional stress is applied to the spine as it supports the body, and back injury or back pain is more likely”. Paying attention to these muscle groups are also directly related to proper posture.

  • Breastfeeding support

When the mother’s posture and supported, it makes breastfeeding a little easier. We always want mom to bring the baby to the breast and not the breast to the baby. When bound, the mother is less able to slouch forward while breastfeeding, saving her back, neck, and shoulders from straining.

 

  • Emotional/Spiritual benefits

Breastfeeding can be difficult for some women who are typically very modest and worry about their bellies showing while feeding. Having their binds on can be an added benefit by providing a more “modest” feeling for those moms.

It can also be very mentally and emotionally healing for a postpartum mom to take time out each day to focus on herself. Spending the time to bind one’s self can be the “me time” she needs to feel refreshed and ready to take on her day and her new role as mother.

Sometimes if a woman doesn’t have the birth she envisioned, or has a traumatic experience during birth. Many women choose the process of binding as a spiritual “closure” to their pregnancy in order to recover from and emotionally accept the aspects of their birth experience that they were not happy with.

Why shouldn’t I simply buy a belly band from the store?

Belly bands from the store can be wonderful if a woman has the right body type. Unfortunately, women have a vast array of different body types and shapes and these store bought bands may not fit “just right” for her unique body. The benefit of having a belly bind is

  1. It conforms to her unique body type no matter what that type is
  2. It accommodates all of the changes her body of going through as she heals from her birth and her organs shrink etc. by continuing to conform to the body that changes.
  3. The wrap is placed from the lower hips/pelvis region all the way to the bra line/breast. Many store bought bands are not tall enough to affect such a large region.

When should I get wrapped?

As long as you are cleared by your care provider it is recommended that for a vaginal delivery, you be wrapped within the first week postpartum and if you have had a cesarean 4-6 weeks postpartum. You will continue to wrap for each day, for between 4-10 hours or as long is comfortable. Many women bind up to around the 40-day mark but many others do it for much longer.

What is included in my fee?

When you schedule your belly binding session, you can expect the binding specialist to teach you how to wrap yourself so you are comfortable with the process. After you understand how to do it she will wrap you the first time making sure that everything feels good and answer any of your binding questions. You will receive a handmade 100% cotton wrap made with unbleached muslin or you may choose to upgrade to a colorful wrap in a fun fabric. We also offer an optional belly warming paste to rub in your skin under the wrap which also is thought to help the healing process!

How do I schedule a Belly Binding Session?

  • Contact At First Sight Doula Services to choose your package and reserve your session date!

If you are a doula and would like to be a liason for a belly binding workshop please contact us to set up a date and time.

 

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