The Rise And Rise Of Belly Binding

It may sound like a torture technique, but it’s actually a postpartum tradition that is common in many different cultures. Over my ten years working as a postpartum doula I have seen this practice being revived by many women around the world.


The internet was all a buzz when Kim Kardashian ate her placenta, but did you know she also practised the ancient art of belly-binding? So did Jessica Alba and Gwyneth Paltrow. Ann Pendergist said "It holds you in and makes you feel a little stronger.” Elle Macpherson found body binding so effective, she employed her own personal tummy binder to wrap her!

But belly binding is much more than a passing celebrity fad.

When I talk about belly binding, as I frequently do, women tell me their stories. One woman told me her grandmother was a midwife and that they used to tear up the old hospital bed sheets to make belly binding. Another woman told me that her mother gave all her daughter's very large and tight underwear, like old-fashioned Spanx, after they had babies. Some Aboriginal elders I spoke to told me they used to use warm paperbark!

In Mexico they use the rebozo, in Kenya they use kanga and in Malaysia, it’s called beng kung.

And there are many options now on the market. If you want you can DIY! I love simple Tubigrip (ask your midwife, doula or physio!) as it’s cheap, comfy and super easy to use. Or you can pay a doula to visit you at home and do your belly binding for you.

Check my directory for postpartum professionals in your area.