Postpartum Belly Wrapping - All You Need to Know
Many cultures around the world use postpartum Belly Wrapping to help new moms recover and heal from pregnancy and birth - can it help modern day moms too?
ASK THE EXPERT
Kim Vopni, The Vagina Coach, Bellies Inc.
Your Postpartum Body
After birth, a mother’s body has been through a lot. The muscles and tissues in the abdomen and pelvis have been stretched beyond their optimal length, nerves have been compressed and stretched and the body has adapted to a shifting centre of gravity that can sometimes hinder core control. In short, pregnancy and birth are very demanding yet little to no attention is paid to how to best recover from the many changes encountered in pregnancy and birth. Because birth is ‘natural’, often the need to prepare or recover is overlooked but with intentional birth prep and healing strategies, women can restore form and function and be even stronger than before they had their babies.
Belly Wrapping has been part of the postpartum recovery process around the world for centuries. In Malaysia they use the bengkung (traditional Malay abdominal wrap) to keep the mother warm and help hasten the recovery process after childbirth.
Mother Roasting or Mother Warming is the name given to the practices of supporting the new mother in the first 40 days postpartum. The belief is that the body, after being 'opened' for birth, needs to 'close' and belly wrapping, heat, massages, and warm nourishing foods are used to support the body, replenish the lost 'chi' (life force in Chinese Medicine) and protect the body from 'wind' or cold.
Mother Roasting, Warming
So, what exactly is belly wrapping?
Also called belly binding, this technique traditionally uses long strips of cloth that wrap around the abdomen from the hips to the ribcage. Women are wrapped as soon after birth as possible, ideally on day five and then it is worn for 40 days or longer as needed.
Inspired by this tradition, Bellies Inc. designed a modern-day version so new moms could reap the benefits of support to the healing tissues and muscles without being subjected to the tedious wrapping and restricted movement that comes with benkung wrapping.
The Ab Wrap by Bellies Inc. supports the pelvis and lower abdomen while offering freedom of movement and ease of use compared to the more traditional wraps. It is worn for up to 8 weeks, but many are weaning off it after the first few weeks since Bellies Inc. also includes a restorative exercise program so that internal support can be rebuilt rather than relying on the Wrap to do the work of the core. They encourage women to buy the Wrap, or complete system while they are still pregnant, so they have it to wear immediately after birth. The AB System includes the wrap as well as 2 base layer tank tops that are made of light, silky compression material and designed to support the entire core while allowing full access to the breasts for breastfeeding. The wrap is worn on top of the tank top and is adjustable to varied torso and hip sizes. Not to be confused with waist training, the Ab Wrap is a temporary support for the body as it heals.
It shrinks with you and provides support to the spine and pelvis while encouraging the abdominal muscles to realign (diastasis recti). Worn together, the Ab Tank and Wrap provide new moms with the support they need to help heal their bodies.
The Ab Wrap
Why Do Women Do It?
Wrapping the belly helps the new mom feel supported—it is like a gentle hug to her abdomen, low back, and pelvis. Wraps should provide light, even, and consistent support around the pelvis and low belly, not the waist. Wrapping can help to realign the muscles, heal the connective tissue, rid the body of the excess air and water it accumulated during pregnancy, reduce swelling, and promote circulation.
Belly wrapping provides external support while inner support is rebuilt with restorative exercise. Wrapping and exercise help retrain and restore the core to ensure an optimal return to form and function.
The AB System
The Ab System provides you with the prenatal Core Confidence Exercise Program to help you prepare, the Ab Tank and patented Ab Wrap to help your pelvis and abdomen recover AND the restorative Core Confidence Exercise Program to help rebuild and restore your core from the inside out.
The Ab Tank and Wrap
Visit the Bellies Inc website for all we offer women to prepare, recover and restore.