Postpartum belly binding has been practiced in many cultures for ages. It helps to retrain the core muscles and maintain good posture while carrying or nursing the baby. Belly binding assists in shrinking the uterus and the compression from the binder flushes out postpartum bleeding.
Belly binding is an ancient practice known as “Bengkung” in Malaysian culture. It has also been practiced for hundreds of years in Japan and Mexico. Many mothers use postpartum binders after natural births. However, they can be especially beneficial for mothers who gave birth through C-section.
What is Postpartum Belly Binding?
Postpartum binding is an important part of the postpartum recovery process. Your abdomen is wrapped comfortably with cotton, Velcro material, muslin, or silk cloth to support the body’s natural healing process.
Belly binding has long been used to give the postpartum body support to help retraction of abdominal wall muscles, improve posture, support loosened ligaments, and support the torso as essential organs return to the pre-pregnancy size and position. Wrapping can be done under/over the clothes with the help of an under wrap.
Benefits of Postpartum Belly Binding
The following are some of the benefits of postpartum belly binding
- Diastasis Recti Repair
During pregnancy, the uterus grows and pushes against the stomach. Due to this, two large muscles running down either side of the stomach area split. This is referred to as diastasis recti. By eight weeks after giving birth, your split stomach muscles should have returned to their normal position.
A wrap can help your muscles move back into their place by compressing and supporting them. Belly binding aids in bringing back together with the muscle bands. This enables the Linea Alba/connective tissue, to more effectively strengthen and support the muscles.
- Pelvic Support
Belly binding not only supports your abdominal area but also supports your pelvic area. A woman’s body creates Relaxin during labor. This helps the body loosen and become more flexible to giving birth to a child.
Relaxin is used in the body to bind postpartum by applying pressure on the pelvis and hips. This allows the body to return to its pre-pregnancy form more easily. As the Relaxin in the body decreases, this helps to firm and strengthen the parts that are left loose following pregnancy.
- Lower Back Support
Binding also helps to support the lower back. The connection between the abdominal and back muscles is important as the stomach and back muscles are crucial components of a muscular network. They provide the strength to keep the body upright and moving.
When the core muscles are weak, the spine faces additional strain as it supports the body. This raises the possibility of back pain or injury. Abdominal support is also important for the back. Lower back support, on the other hand, is more beneficial.
- Benefits for C-Section Mothers
Women who have undergone a C-section may benefit from wearing a post-pregnancy belly band. It can speed up the recuperation process by allowing more mobility, improving blood circulation, and strengthening the abdominal tissues.
The mild but firm pressure on the tummy can also help to reduce swelling, reduce surgical discomfort, and alleviate the pulling feeling that several C-section mothers feel while moving, bending, or coughing
- It Aids in the Relief of Postpartum Body Pain
The postpartum period is full of body pain. Several women suffer from diastasis recti, which causes back pain, pelvic pain, joint pain, and pain/discomfort (separation of the abdominal muscles). By supporting your abdominal region, a belly band can provide relief from numerous body aches and pains.
- Emotional Benefits
Many women prefer the privacy of nursing without exposing their stomach. Women value the process of caring for their bodies as well as the ability to focus on their recovery and healing.
They may devote time each day to self-care and getting in touch with their new self and role as a mother. Some mothers use waist binding as a symbolic or spiritual way to end their pregnancy, particularly if they did not have the delivery they wanted.
Types of Belly Binding
Traditional wraps involve carefully wrapping and knotting a stretch of linen around the hips and abdomen up to just below the bust. Bengkung belly binding, originating from Malaysia, is the most well-known belly binder.
Bengkung belly binding is typically made from a 9-inch-wide, 16-yard-long piece of fabric. The goal is to wear the binder for at least 12 hours per day for 30 days.
If you want something quick and easy to use, “pre-constructed” postpartum girdles are a good option. They,
- Come in different lengths from abdominal to the long line
- Rely on hook-and-eye style or Velcro closures to keep the binder securely shut
- Different price range to suit any budget
When and How to a Wrap Belly Binder?
When you start belly binding, it is dependent on
- How you had given birth
- The binding method you intend to use.
If you had given birth normally and want to use the Bengkung belly binder, you can do so right away. If you had a C-section, make sure that everything is okay with your incision before using it.
You can also use contemporary style binders or postpartum girdles immediately if you opt for them. However, before you start belly binding, see your doctor.
Regardless of which option you pick, you can wear the binder for as long as you need. However, experts advise that you just use them for 2 to 12 weeks, as prolonged use can have adverse consequences.
Safety Tips – Waist Binding Before and After
Whether you choose a traditional or contemporary method of belly binding, there are numerous therapeutic benefits. However, if done incorrectly, there are potential risks. Hence, before and after waist binding you should consider certain precautions.
- Wearing it Too Tightly
By gently holding your abdomen in place and giving support to the core and pelvic floor, waist binding aids in the healing process.
However, wearing a binder too firmly can put too much strain on your pelvic region. This is something you do not want because it can result in prolapse and hernias.
- Breathing Problems
This is something you must avoid. If you are having trouble breathing normally, it’s a sign that you are wearing your belly binder too tight. Take it off and readjust, in case you have to take shallow breaths.
Take off the belly binder and readjust it, in case you have to take shallow breaths. It is natural to feel some compression when wearing a binder. But, it should not be so tight that you cannot move or function normally.
Risk of Postpartum Belly Binding
Postpartum belly wraps are usually preferable after you have your baby by C section or cesarean section. While belly binders have benefits, they may also have certain risks.
These can include the following:
- Irritation or a rash
- Prolapse of the pelvic floor
- There’s too much pressure while wearing it.
Most of these risks are because of wearing the incorrect type of belly wrap or wearing it too firmly. The purpose of postpartum belly wraps is to support your recovering body. Too tight of a fit can cause more harm than good.
One More Tip Before We Go…
Remember that returning to your pre-pregnancy body shape is critical for your overall mental and physical health.
Exercising during pregnancy is very helpful since this is undoubtedly a process that necessitates commitment and patience. There are, however, a few tips and tricks that can help you during this time, such as shapewear, particularly corsets.
Read this comprehensive guide to determining the proper size.
Recovery following childbirth is a long process, but there are some things you can do to help your body along the way.
While there are some safety precautions to take, postpartum belly binding is a great way to help your body heal. It’s also easy to include into your everyday routine, whether you are recovering in the hospital or at home.