Postpartum Belly Support
BELLY BINDING 4
All information is from IPPA
Belly binding the the process of using long fabric to tightly wrap a postpartum woman's abdomen and hips after birth. This is done across many cultures in some method or type, whether that be just putting fabric around the stomach, knotting, twisting or layering. There are also more modern and commercial belly binds like the Belly Bandit which uses velcro or corset type notching.
After a woman gives birth her body is considered to be depleted and having a lot of open or empty space. The body needs to replenish the iron, warmth and Qi that were consumed during the pregnancy and birth. It is the belief that a woman needs warmth to stimulate blood production, to move the blood to the areas of the body that need healing such as the womb, abdomen and vaginal area. Heating the womb also encourages Qi to distribute to the wounded areas of the body as well as removing an stagnant or obstructed Qi. Mother roasting or wrapping the mother in warm blankets, keeping her near a fire or other heat source, no cold foods, lots of hot liquids and much rest protects the mother’s empty space from getting cold, which can discourage healing and replenishment. In many countries it is believed that it prevents evil and negativity from entering the mother’s body. Mother roasting has been practiced in many cultures around the world, originating in Southeast Asia. In Malaysia this done by placing heated rocks over the womb while others make compresses from herbs, heated sands and oils.
By binding the abdomen and hips you are sealing the warmth in and preventing coldness from leaking into the body. Binding also encourages your stomach muscles which have separated during pregnancy, to strengthen back together in a shorter period of time, helps to reshape your hips, can assist with diastasis recti and helps to support posture while breast feeding. It also reduces the postpartum “pooch” that many women experience as their womb and stomach organs protrude out due to poor muscle control in the abdomen.
Belly binding is done 24 hours postpartum for a vaginal birth and no sooner than 2 weeks postpartum for a surgical birth. You want to allow time for the incision to seep and breath before covering it. You should wear the belly binding most of the day, even throughout the night for the first 30 days post birth. A good suggestion is to alternate wearing it day and night.
The benefits of the belly paste are similar to using the warm oil stones. The paste is rubbed into the mothers lower stomach area and covered with a panel of Saran wrap. It does stain, so you do not want it to get on clothing or the belly bind.