Belly binding has been done for thousands of years in cultures around the world. It is a method of using clothes or strips of fabric to wrap the abdomen from the ribcage to the hips on a woman after she has given birth to help align the organs, and to support the spine, pelvis and hips. Traditionally this custom is done as soon after giving birth as possible and changed daily for 40 days.
While many cultures use binding as a part of the postpartum recovery it is typically thought of as Bengkung or Malaysian binding or corseting. There are many interesting rules that come with this East Asian or Indian tradition. There are numerous potential benefits of belly binding:
- Supports good posture especially when nursing baby
- Helps to relieve back strain
- Supports ligaments that have been loosened from Relaxin during pregnancy
- Aids in the postpartum physical healing process by applying constant counter pressure
- Assists in healing the abdominal muscles particularly in regards to diastasis recti
- Organs are encouraged back to their pre-pregnancy position
- Helps to warm the body to aid in healing
- Provides balance to the body
- Seals the gateway opened during birth
When scheduling a belly binding appointment with Kansas City Doulas you should keep the following things in mind:
- Massage abdomen with olive oil, sweet oil, or any other cold pressed oil. Do 10 stroked fro the top of the abdomen to the pubic bone. Do circular motions around the belly button
- Binding is not done on bare skin. Most woman find it comfortable to wear a lightweight tank top or cami. Keep in mind that if you are breastfeeding you will be doing so while wearing the binding fabric. You may want to choose a shirt that allows for easy breastfeeding from the top or has a flap that can be unhooked.
- We will schedule for an hour long appointment but often times we are done before an hour. It may take a couple of times to ensure the wrap is on properly. Please consider having a friend or companion at your appointment. We will teach one person how to replace the binding so you may shower each day. The service comes with one binding cloth but you may purchase more so you can trade out. Women sweat a lot after giving birth. This is completely normal as fluids are being pushed out of the body that are no l longer needed. The wrap will need to be laundered.
- As postpartum doulas we are also concerned about your overall health both physically and emotionally. Please feel free to ask us any questions on any topics while we are with you for your belly binding appointment.
For a vaginal birth binding may be done once home from the hospital or for home or birth center births, it can be done on day 2 or 3 following birth. For Cesarean birth clients we advise you wait at least 2 weeks so that the scar has time to close and heal some before we do the binding.