The Ultimate Guide to Belly Binding
Belly binding is a fairly universal postpartum care practise around the world. Nearly everyone I’ve ever interviewed about traditional postpartum care knows about it. It’s not for weight loss, but it is very comforting and soothing and grounding.
Of course there are many, many belly binding techniques, but the one I use (and that is the most culturally appropriate for me) is simply using a tubular bandage like tubigrip or tubularform.
Belly Binding Benefits
Belly binding grounds your nervous system by preventing air and space elements from entering the body, helps your organs come back into their proper positions, aids digestion, aids posture and helps with the application of therapeutic oils.
But there is one more reason (and I think it is the only one that matters.) Belly wrapping after childbirth FEELS SO GOOD!!! Most women love it, they feel comforted and held and nourished, it's like an all-day hug. Of course some women don't like it, and that's fine too. If it doesn't feel good, just leave it out of your postpartum rejuvenation plan.
Belly Binding Guidelines
I have not found any strict guidelines or timeframes in Ayurveda or any other tradition for that matter. Some people wear them for just a few hours a day when they are up and about. Other people wear them 24 hours a day - even at night. Generally I’d suggest you start with the larger size immediately after birth, and some women are ready for the smaller size even a week or two later. Wear whichever size works best for you right now. You may even change between the two sizes in one day.
Belly binding can even be used during pregnancy for lower back support or round ligament pain but it won’t reach your rib cage - as long as it is comfy that’s fine.
After your baby is born you can start wearing your belly binding as soon as you feel ready and comfortable, even with 24 hours of giving birth.
You can wear belly binding all day every day if it feels good!
After 4-6 weeks, or whenever you don’t feel like you need to use belly binding anymore you can stop. I know of one Indian grandmother who still bound her belly at the age of 90! Even if you stop some women like to wear belly binding again when they start to exercise or become more physically active and feel they need some extra support.
Washing Belly Binding
You can machine wash your belly binding. If you have used it over massage oil then hot wash your belly binding with a tiny drop of dishwashing liquid to remove oil.
If your baby was born by caesarian I have not received any official protocol about when to start belly binding. Ayurveda does not give specific times, so just be guided by her comfort, as always. It’s worth asking your health care professional, although be aware they may try and tell you belly binding is nonsense. Ignore that bit! If it feels good it’s not nonsense :)
Some big brands that sell belly binding say it is perfectly safe, and even recommended within 24 hours of surgery. I would simply suggest you start when it feels comfortable. Be aware of keeping your incision clean and dry.
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