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Callie Corless                                                                                          

Comprehensive Childbirth Classes - Birth Doula Services                                 

Denton, TX

Callie provides childbirth classes in North Dallas and Flower Mound, TX and birth doula services in the Dallas - Fort Worth Metroplex. The Swaying Doula provides birth services for pregnant mothers and their families, as well as prenatal exercise and dance fitness to help pregnant mothers have a healthy pregnancy and prepare their bodies for labor, birth, and postpartum recovery.

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The Swaying Doula - birth, pregnancy, and breastfeeding information and natural birth classes in the Dallas Fort Worth Texas area including Flower Mound, Highland Village, Denton, Coppell, Lewisville, Grapevine, Irving, Plano, Frisco, and The Colony TX.

The Lowdown On Postpartum Belly Binding

Callie Corless

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*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?

Postpartum herbs - Not as weird as it looks! Simply mix with some coconut oil and rub on your belly. A flannel panel is placed over it to protect your clothes and wrap. If you aren't up for the mess, no problem. Binding alone can still be very beneficial. 

Postpartum herbs - Not as weird as it looks! Simply mix with some coconut oil and rub on your belly. A flannel panel is placed over it to protect your clothes and wrap. If you aren't up for the mess, no problem. Binding alone can still be very beneficial. 

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

Happy Postpartum!

Getting your "body back" after baby

Callie Corless

This isn’t a post about what to do to fit in your pre-pregnancy jeans as soon as possible, so if that’s what you were hoping for - sorry (but also not sorry!). I still think you’ll want to read this post - because I’m also not going to tell you that it’s wrong to miss your pre-baby body! This is a judge-free zone.

I am going to tell you how to get your body back. Or rather, how to feel at home in your body again. To become acquainted with the new you - and take the focus from just what you see on the surface, to the big picture. Your overall health includes so much more: emotional, mental, physical, spiritual, etc.

I don’t pretend to be an expert in this arena. But being involved in the world of birth has been powerful medicine for any body negativity I’ve struggled with. Seeing women in their most vulnerable and powerful moment, giving birth to a new life and becoming a mother, makes it almost impossible not to have an overwhelming sense of awe for how insanely awesome our bodies are. And if you are just sitting here thinking about how much you are in love with your body and can’t see any reason why you’d think otherwise, high five! That’s great news. Leave a note at the end of the post and share the body love with us. I bet there are lots of us who'd love to hear from you. 

If you’re struggling to feel like you again, here are some tips. And leave me some of your favorite tips in the comments! I’d love to build up my list.

Nourish your body

Feed your body well. Your body needs to recover and especially if you are breastfeeding, you need plenty of nutrients and energy for you and your baby. Now isn’t the time to diet - a healthy balance and variety in the food you eat is the best approach. Oh, and water. LOTS of water.

Practice daily self care

Eat, drink, sleep. It seems simple, but when you barely have time for the basics self care needs to become very basic too. Pick up a good book from the library to read while you nurse. Place a few snacks at “nursing stations”, where you often sit to nurse, and include fruit, nuts, whole wheat crackers, etc. Say yes to the friend who offers to help. If you find yourself stumped when people ask what they can do to help, start a list. Then the next time they ask, pick something from the list! (Trust me - they wouldn’t be asking if they aren’t up for it. Take them up on whatever is comfortable for you. It's so worth it.)
Find one thing each day to do for you. Even something as simple as sitting in the sun for a few minutes alone, calling a friend for a quick conversation with an adult, or drinking a few extra glasses of water. Whatever your body is telling you it needs.

Kick the negative self-talk to the curb 

There’s no room for comparison here. Or self shaming about how long it’s been since you’ve been pregnant, where you “should” be in size, shape, weight - whatever - just shut it down. Ain’t nobody got time for that. You just made a BABY. ‘Nough said! And if all else fails, the next time those negative thoughts creep in, picture what it would be like if you said it to someone you really love. Terrible, right? Well you don’t deserve it either.

Reconnect with you

Your body may feel like a stranger to you. Maybe at times you feel sad, unsettled, or just confused. But your body is still yours. It can take time to settle back in again. Keep doing the little things that leave you feeling nurtured and strengthened. Those will matter over time, and I promise, you'll feel like you again. If you find yourself struggling with persistent thoughts, depression, or you just don't feel right - get help. Many women will experience postpartum depression to some degree, and what's best for you and baby is to have a healthy, happy mother. 

In the end, you and your body are in it for the long haul, so treat your body well, and it will thank you!



12 Great Uses For Nipple Cream

Callie Corless

So you’re out of the baby phase and you find yourself with leftover nipple cream such as lanolin or those fancy little tubs that cost a pretty penny. What to do? Don’t toss it out just yet! Gather up your (clean!) extras and put them to good use. Here is a handy list of things to put that cream to good use!

12 Great Uses For Nipple Cream

*Can you guess number 12???*

1. Diaper rash

(If you’re cloth diapering, check what you’re using with the diaper manufacturers instructions to avoid staining or damaging your diapers!)

2. Drool-induced baby chin chafing

3. Baby neck rash

I love CJ's Best Boobie Butter and would use it on diaper rash or baby neck chaffing. 
- Kristina Seawell - Doula and BBCI in central N.C

4. Lip Balm

5. Winter colds/dry air

I’m always using my lanolin sample tubes for chapstick. The best [use] I’ve found thus far though? Keeping my nostrils alive during cold season! You coat your [nostrils] with that stuff and it keeps them from getting too raw when you’re blowing your nose every two seconds! 
Kate Williams  - BBCI in Algonac, MI

6. Dry Hands

Calendula Oil! Ooh la la! I use it as moisturizer and a general fixer of problems.
- Jillian Blakeman - BBCI in Fort Worth, TX

7. Soften cuticles

8. Grease a door hinge

Need a clean getaway at bedtime? That cream can help take the squeak right out. 

9. Cracked heels

10. Rug Burns

(I saw this firsthand as I worked on this post - my oldest got a wicked rug burn from playing rough on the carpet and she loved putting some lanolin on it! It provided a barrier and kept it from bleeding as it healed.)

11. Cradle Cap

And the last, but definitely the most entertaining...

Number 12...

Chafed nipples!!

Wait, I thought this whole post was about being past that phase?!? 

Oh, but we're not talking about breastfeeding woes here. Breast-feeders aren't the only people who experience nipple pain!

Sometimes [my husband] irritates his nipples with a cotton shirt while running, lanolin heals them right up!
- Rebekah Lewis - BBCD - North Dallas, TX

I hope this list gave you some ideas to get started using up that extra nipple cream...what will you use yours for first??

*If I missed any fabulous uses for nipple cream, drop me a comment - I bet there are more ideas to be discovered!