Belly Binding for Prenatal Comfort and Postpartum Healing

Rebozo

All tied up with my Ellaroo wrap

Have you heard of belly binding?  I hadn’t until I took Gena Kirby’s Rebozo class, where she demonstrated (among the many uses of Rebozo) prenatal belly binding for comfort and support.

Belly binding has a long history in many different cultures, including West Africa, South America, and Asia, where both prenatal and postpartum belly binding are popular traditions.

Considering the fact that most women gain somewhere around 30lbs during pregnancy, most of which is carried in our bellies (putting considerable strain on our backs), belly support can be an incredibly helpful way to prevent or treat the body pain associated with pregnancy.

I am now 35 weeks pregnant, and have had the usual round ligament pain, as well as some pubic bone pain.  Belly binding has been a tremendous help.  The difference is immediate and incredible.  I have my husband tie me up tightly (not so tight that nerves are pinched or blood flow is constricted) and wear it all day; we use a woven wrap but you can even use a scarf if that is all you have.  This instructional video shows how to use a baby-wearing wrap to do prenatal belly binding.

Belly binding is not only for prenatal comfort– it can also help with postpartum healing.  This instructional video shows the traditional Taiwanese form of postpartum belly binding, which is a bit intricate, but simply using a wrap to tie yourself up for support (as in the previous video) can work as well.

Postpartum belly binding is often touted as the way to get a “flat tummy,” but I do not emphasize the aesthetic reasons as much as the health aspect.  Pregnancy causes your abdominal muscles to widen and stretch, and if they do not heal from this separation after birth (known as Diastasis Recti), it can lessen your core strength and contribute to serious back pain.

Postpartum belly binding helps keep these muscles in place and strengthen them after baby is born.  Along with safe postpartum exercises that do not exacerbate Diastasis Recti, belly binding can be a tremendous help.  There are several products out there to consider for postpartum belly binding, but I personally prefer the old-fashioned wrapping.  Note: belly binding is NOT to be confused with the popular belly wraps sold these days.  Belly binding is not about making your waistline appear temporarily smaller– it is for actual therapeutic healing.

As usual, check with a trusted healthcare professional before starting any new exercise routine.

Pregnant mamas– try binding your bellies and let me know how it feels!  :)

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Categories: Kristen

Author:Kristen Tea

Hello Wise Mamas! I am Kristen Tea; I’m a 29-year-old artist, activist, feminist, eternal student, free spirit, radical human, and proud former single parent. I practice attachment parenting, radical parenting, gentle discipline, and unschooling, among other things. I have been interested in alternative, conscious, compassionate living since I can remember, so transitioning into natural parenting was an easy process for me. I had a surprise pregnancy that was full of uncertainty due to several issues, including my status as a low-income single parent, but I have turned it into the most empowering, liberating situation possible. I am now married to a wonderful partner and expecting my second child in April 2014. My goal is to empower parents and non-parents alike with information that can better their lives. We have enough suffering in our world; it’s time to do something about it, and we can start with our children.

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2 Comments on “Belly Binding for Prenatal Comfort and Postpartum Healing”

  1. Chklt Drop
    March 10, 2014 at 7:28 am #

    Hi Kristen, this is good info. Thanks.
    Also,what is the reason for having password protected posts if you would like to educate all mothers and mothers to be? You seem to have very informative articles, but I can’t read them. How do I go about receiving the password?

    • March 10, 2014 at 7:59 am #

      The purpose of the password-protected posts is to teach my Healthy Pregnancy Class. Unfortunately, WordPress has a lousy setup that sends every protected post out to our subscribers. We still have helpful public posts going out every week :)

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