*Disclaimer: I am not a healthcare provider. I strongly encourage you to seek out the advice of your healthcare provider and to see a physical therapist who specializes in postpartum pelvic floor restoration as part of your postpartum recovery plans. Belly binding is intended as a tool for support while your body heals, not as a treatment plan or a cure for a postpartum condition.
Traditional belly binding is used in many countries around the world, and the Bengkung Belly Binding method as shown originated in Malaysia. It uses a very long strip of woven fabric - which means non-stretchy - that you wrap in a specific way around your belly postpartum to support healing after birth and shorten recovery time.
I wasn’t entirely sold on the idea when I first heard of it, but like most things - don’t knock it ‘till you try it! (Or at least until you hear about the kind of benefits/results you can get from it.) Once I became more familiar with belly binding and had the opportunity to try it out firsthand, I was fairly amazed at what a great tool this can be for postpartum mothers. (And did you know it can be worn to help reduce cramping and discomfort while on your period? Genius.)
How can belly binding help?
When you are pregnant, your uterus expands, putting pressure on the abdominal muscles and causing them to separate. (If you’ve heard this many times before, stick with me here, there’s more! I promise.) Your hips also widen, and your pelvic floor and surrounding ligaments are stretched and weakened. Once your baby is born, your body is left without a lot of support to encourage it back towards its original position. Our bodies have amazing capabilities to stretch and give, but they also need a lot of love and support as they heal and come back together.
Belly binding is a great option for women that want to be proactive in supporting their bodies in the immediate postpartum period. When wrapped properly, it can support these muscles and areas that may have a hard time on their own. The point is not to just “shrink your tummy” - although many women report a noticeable difference when wrapping on a regular basis after baby.
When we talk about Diastasis Recti(separation of the large abdominal muscles), this is more than just developing a “pooch”. It is a sign of core and pelvic floor weakness that can lead to other issues such as incontinence, uterine prolapse, or back pain, etc. Supporting these muscles just makes sense.
How do you wear a belly binding wrap?
The wrap is first anchored firmly around your hips, then carefully tied and knotted upwards over your belly until it is finished off and tucked in a few inches above your belly button. When you hire a belly binding professional, they will teach you how to wrap for comfort, and how to apply herbs if desired(there are certain herbs that can be rubbed onto the belly underneath the wrap that may assist in the recovery process). Not into herbs? The belly binding itself is still extremely beneficial.
Since the objective of binding is to support your postpartum body, it is important to have someone who understands how to use it to assist you. Binding incorrectly can actually be more damaging than not binding at all if it is done in such a way that it is pushing the uterine and abdominal muscles downwards. We want to be lifting and supporting this area.
In the end, belly binding can be a great addition to your postpartum recovery plan, especially as a head start to healing well before you begin an exercise plan.
Have more questions, or are interested in scheduling your own Belly Binding in or near Denton County, TX? Find more info. about belly binding here.