Sarah says: today's guest post comes from Amelia Tummalapalli of Memphis Family Doulas, which offers belly binding as one of its postpartum services. I've had the pleasure of being wrapped, and I can tell you - it feels divine!
5 Benefits of Belly Binding
by: Amelia Tummalapalli
Belly Binding is a traditional method of wrapping a postpartum mother's abdomen for the purpose of returning the organs to their pre-pregnancy placement. A long strip of cloth is used. In ancient times, belly binding brought closure to the birth cycle, and provided support to the postpartum uterus, allowing the uterus to reduce in size more quickly. Herbal preparations were used to help reduce swelling and speed healing of the stretched-out skin.
While belly binding has been used for hundreds of years, I want to acknowledge that at this time that belly binding benefits are based on anecdotal evidence. However, when my clients tell me that they feel supported and comforted by wearing it, I tend to believe the benefits.
Modern belly binding helps return your uterus and other organs to pre-pregnancy placement. When you are pregnant, your abdominal organs are pushed out of the way for your growing baby. It takes time for your abdomen to reduce in size, and for the retained fluid to be dispelled. For this purpose, you would wear the belly binding for approximately 5 or 6 weeks.
If you are diagnosed with Diastasis Recti during your pregnancy, you will probably look forward to starting your belly binding as soon as possibly. Diastasis Recti is the separation of your outer abdominal muscles. Your primary physician will be able to refer you for physical therapy (and you may be able to refer yourself). Your physical therapist will assist you in the diagnosis of Diastasis Recti. Memphis Family Doulas will provide the actual Belly Binding, at the instructions of your physical therapist.
Meanwhile, you can avoid certain exercises that put pressure on your abdomen wall, like crunches, planks and sit-ups. Talk to your physical therapist to find out other exercises to avoid.
In addition to Diastasis Recti, Belly Binding benefits include:
1. Provides postural support, making and breast and bottle feeding more enjoyable.
2. Brings awareness to abdominal muscles, and brings organs back to their pre-pregnancy position.
3. Helps support the pelvic floor by stabilizing loosened ligaments.
4. Belly Binding is comfortable and helps bring a feeling of calmness to the new mother.
5. May assist in decreasing postpartum bleeding.
Sarah again: If you have questions about belly binding or want to schedule a postpartum belly binding session for yourself or a friend, get in touch with Memphis Family Doulas, 901-336-1459.