Postpartum Services

Are you newly postpartum or nearing the end of pregnancy and searching for ways to experience a restful and healing early postpartum season? Postpartum belly binding is one way for new mothers to find support, healing and rest in those early weeks following the birth of their baby.

 

Postpartum Belly Binding

What is belly binding?

I use the bengkung technique of belly binding, which comes from Malaysia and involves wrapping and knotting a long strip of cloth around a new mother’s hips, abdomen, and ribcage. This means that the binding is completely customized to your shape. This custom fit, along with its length, makes it different from one-size-fits-all postpartum girdles that often include uncomfortable boning or Velcro.

Traditionally, bengkung belly binding also involves applying a warming paste to the abdomen before binding. This is optional for my belly binding clients, and an essential oil blend may be used as a substitute as well.

What are the benefits of belly binding?

Postpartum belly binding is just one of many ways to provide emotional and physical support for a new mother. During pregnancy your organs shift to accommodate your growing baby, the hormone relaxin loosens your joints to allow for your baby’s birth, and your muscles adjust and stretch to support your changing body.

After birth, belly binding helps to bring in and pull back together your hips, abdomen, and rib cage, providing support for the healing process, encouraging rest, and helping to prevent the “nursing slouch”.

Perhaps most importantly, postpartum belly binding is a healing and nurturing ritual, a way you can care for yourself, a way others can care for you, and a way of honoring that tender and sacred time of transition following the birth of your baby.

FAQ

When should I be bound?

Ideally you should be bound within the first 4-6 weeks after your baby is born. The hormone relaxin is still present for several weeks after birth so belly binding is most effective during the time, although some women find it to be beneficial after this window as well.

How long should I wear the binding?

In traditional Malaysian culture, new mothers wear the binding 24/7 for 30-40 days. This isn’t practical for most mothers, so I recommend wearing it for 6-12 hours a day for at least 5 days, but up to several weeks, depending on the mother’s needs. I have a 3-day binding package and a 5-day binding package, and my goal is always to teach the mother how to bind herself so that by our last visit, she or her loved ones can bind her as often as she desires.

How does belly binding affect my mobility?

Cultures that regularly practice belly binding also practice a time of postpartum confinement in which the mother is encouraged to rest and heal, so part of the purpose in belly binding is to encourage that rest. You can certainly go about necessary activities while wearing your binding, but for it to be most effective, you should rest as much as possible. Your binding may shift and bunch if you are up and about too much. It is usually fairly easy to re-adjust, but remember that postpartum belly binding is just one small piece of your holistic postpartum care, and a big piece of that postpartum care is rest!

Can I go to the bathroom while wearing my belly binding?

Yes! Initially, when I bind you, the binding will come down over your underwear, but when you need to use the bathroom you simply tug them loose and then pull them back up over the binding when you’re done.

Can I use belly binding if I have a c-section?

Yes, but you should wait until your incision heals! This sometimes happens within those first 4-6 weeks when belly binding is most effective. If it takes longer than that, belly binding may still be beneficial, but the results will take longer to see. Here‘s a great blog post by my trainer that explores later belly binding.

Can I use belly binding if I have a miscarriage or a stillbirth?

Yes. Much of the benefit of belly binding is in the self care and emotional support it provides. Contact me for my special bereavement pricing.

Will belly binding weaken my pelvic floor or abdominal muscles?

When done correctly, belly binding will not harm your body. However, because it acts as a sort of splint to your muscles, using it for a prolonged period of time may result in the weakening of your pelvic and abdominal muscles.

If belly binding is done incorrectly, often with a girdle that only covers and puts pressure on the abdomen, the downward pressure may exacerbate existing pelvic floor weakness.

If you are wearing it while doing a lot of standing, walking, and other activity, it may also contribute to weakening of the pelvic floor, but this weakening is likely caused by too much activity than by the binding itself. Remember, a significant part of its purpose is encouraging rest.

Belly binding is just one piece of your postpartum healing and care. Getting adequate rest along with using gentle, core-strenghthening exercises in addition to belly binding will support optimal healing.

The importance of preparing for birth and caring for your pelvic floor before pregnancy and birth is also often underestimated. As with any care or routine postpartum, listen carefully to your body and please communicate with me about any belly binding concerns.

 

Belly Binding Packages

3-Day Package

  • 3 days of belly binding in the comfort of your own home
  • Belly bind and panel for you to keep
  • Optional warming past or essential oil blend for use before binding
  • Instruction in belly binding for you and a support person (spouse, mother, friend, etc.) so that you can continue to bind for as long as you desire
  • $175

5-Day Package

  • 5 days of belly binding in the comfort of your own home
  • Belly bind and panel for you to keep
  • Optional warming past or essential oil blend for use before binding
  • Instruction in belly binding for you and a support person (spouse, mother, friend, etc.) so that you can continue to bind for as long as you desire
  • $250

Additional charges may apply depending on distance.

Contact me with any questions or to schedule postpartum belly binding services.