Belly Binding FAQs
How can belly binding be useful for pregnancy?
During pregnancy the hormone Relaxin works to loosen up all our joints in preparation for birth. This enables the baby to move more easily through the normally rigid pelvic area, as it allows bones and joints a greater range of movement. Unfortunately this can also result in greater discomfort during pregnancy when the pubic bone begins to separate. Sitting, laying down, and normal day-to-day movements sometimes become painful or even impossible. The bind can be tied short, giving support to your growing belly as well as your hips and pelvic/pubic bones. It is easier, however, to simply use a scarf, short baby wrap, or rebozo to wrap the hips, rather than have someone come bind you every day. (Please note: misuse of the belly bind during pregnancy without support from a professional can lead to restricted fetal growth and worsened pain, and is not advised).
What makes belly binding different from western postpartum girdles like Belly Bandit?
The length and custom fit! A Malaysian Belly Bind is a long wrap that covers from under the chest all the way down to below the hips. This way, it doesn’t just work on the waist, but also helps the ribcage and the hips go back to their former dimensions. It also stays put when you move, and so it doesn’t press on the abdomen. Girdles that only bind the abdomen also push down on the pelvic floor muscles and organs, potentially causing or worsening pelvic, uterine, or bladder prolapse. The custom fit cannot be found anywhere else, and this improves the results you will see.
How effective is belly binding compared to a postpartum girdle, like the ones you can buy at Wal-mart or Online
Imagine the difference between buying pants that claim to fit everyone, regardless of size or shape and getting custom-fitted by a professional. What would be more comfortable? The custom fit is, of course, going to give you the best results. Likewise the traditional belly bind is a custom fit every time. It’s made of soft materials instead of having boning or Velcro like most girdles, which can dig into your skin and be painful when you sit or lay down, especially if you’ve had a cesarean. The Malaysian belly bind is the best option for your time and money if you want the results mentioned above.
I've heard some women/experts say that belly binding prevents the pelvic floor from healing, causes prolapse, or weakens the abdominals. Is this true?
It's so hard to say with individual experiences. When done incorrectly (usually when a girdle or corset-type bind is used) belly binding can put downward pressure on the pelvic floor, making already existing weaknesses more prevalent. If a woman does not rest while wearing the binding, but instead is standing, walking, running errands, cleaning, etc. Then that also contributes to weakening the pelvic floor but it is more likely caused by her lack of rest than by the bind itself. Another factor is if they wear it too long without adding in appropriate exercises to strengthen their core and pelvic floor. All of my clients receive a book containing gentle appropriate exercises for the first 6 weeks postpartum to start healing your pelvic floor.
Prenatal preparation is important, too. If you don't take care of your pelvic floor before delivery, it will be weak. Belly binding may emphasize that weakness, but does not cause it. People always look for something to blame and never want to accept responsibility for their own actions. As long as you take care of your body and belly bind correctly, you have no need to be concerned.
Forceps or vacuum delivery, along with episiotomy and repair can contribute to weakening the pelvic floor. Some women aren't good candidates for belly binding if they feel excessive pressure or fullness in their vagina after giving birth, have a known uterine, bladder, or rectal prolapse, experience severe incontinence issues, or have had recent surgery.
How do I go to the bathroom while wearing the belly bind?
I recommend having the belly bind wrapped beneath all of your clothes for the best fit and most comfort and convenience. The most effective belly bind stretches from just below your bust to about mid-hip, near your pelvic bone. For modesty’s sake (and because of heavy postpartum flow) you’ll want to wear whatever underwear (mesh, etc.) while binding. It is still easy enough to pull your underwear out from under the bind the first time you use the bathroom and when you’re finished, simply pull them up over the bind or tuck them back underneath.
My belly bind bunches, rolls, or moves during the day. How can I keep it from doing that?
The belly bind moves because you move! Realize, the cultures that do this also practice confinement, which is a period after birth where the woman remains in bed the majority of the time. If you are up and moving postpartum, the belly bind is going to shift, bunch, and roll. The only way to prevent this is to move less. Part of what belly binding does is encourage you to be down and resting.
How do you deal with complications at birth?
I take each client on a case by case situation. If you have had complications at birth, I would be happy to help find solutions to how a belly bind can help or refer you to another practitioner with more expertise in other services.
Am I too late to belly bind if I'm x-number of months/years postpartum?
The short answer is no. You can still receive benefits belly binding after 8 weeks postpartum.
Can I still belly bind if I have a c-section?
You can still receive belly binding if you have a c-section. We will wait until 4 - 6 weeks postpartum, based on your healing and recovery. The belly bind still has many benefits within the first two months.
Can I still belly bind if I have a miscarriage or still-birth?
You can still receive belly binding if either of these situations occurs, and in fact, the belly bind will speed your emotional as well as physical healing. Contact me for special bereavement pricing.