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Bengkung-Style Belly Binding


Postpartum belly binding in the style of the traditional Malaysian culture can be done as soon as a few days postpartum (in the case of vaginal birth; 2 weeks after a cesarean). The wrap is one long piece of non-stretchy cotton that is overlapped, pulled taut--but not too tight!, and knotted to keep it in place. It is wrapped from the mother's hips to her ribs to evenly compress her midsection, providing stability and support. While the hormone relaxin continues to flow through the mother's body for up to 8 weeks postpartum, the wrap should be worn for up to 12 hours a day. The remainder of the day the wrap should be left off in order to allow the abdominal muscles to be "trained" to perform the supporting core functions the same with or without the wrap.

Many mothers find postpartum belly binding helps with the "guts falling out" feeling of the immediate postpartum, breastfeeding posture (tendency to slouch the shoulders forward), supporting abdominal diastasis, and even with helping the body return to its pre-pregnant state. Many also find the snug feeling of the wrap to be comforting during those early days.

One study found the use of post-natal abdominal support "produced a statistically significant increase in abdominal muscles strength and a statistical significant decrease in waist circumference and waist hip ratio". "...wearing the binder immediately after the vaginal delivery provides greater stability to the woman’s body as it provides support to the stretched ligaments and muscles, as well as supports the spine and improves posture. Subsequently, reducing strain on lower back and pelvic ligaments and joints help in alleviating back and pelvic pain through taking the pressure off these regions. Reducing stress in these areas enhances the body’s ability to return to its pre-pregnancy alignment and shape and helps the woman to return to her normal activities and wardrobe sooner." "...the postpartum body garments provide support to abdominal wall, assist in abdominal muscles retraction, improve posture, stabilize loosened ligaments and provide support to the torso while vital organs returned to their pre-pregnancy position. So, many women reported returning to their pre-pregnancy sizes faster while using it." [1]

While abdominal exercises starting on day 2 postpartum were found to produce even more statistically significant results, many women are unable or unwilling to perform such exercise so early in the postpartum period.

[1] El-Mekawy, H. et. al. Effect of Abdominal Exercises versus Abdominal Supporting Belt on Post-Partum Abdominal Efficiency and Rectus Separation; World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology International Journal of Medical and Health Sciences Vol:7, No:1, 2013

I am currently in the process of becoming certified in the Bengkung style of belly binding. Once my certification is complete, pricing and availability will be updated.

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