by Rebecca de Azevedo Overso LMT/Birth Doula
One of THE most important things to do when recovering from birth is to BIND your BELLY.
This has been done for a loooong time in Asian cultures and other places around the world... who also have a traditional "lying-in" period, where the woman who has given birth does not leave the house for 30-40 days while she rests, recovers, and heals.
(WE SHOULD SOOOO DO THIS IN THE USA!)
I read once that in some cultures, the woman does not stand up after giving birth until her belly is bound.
Here's WHY belly binding is a good idea:
1. Helps bring back together the abdominal muscles that have stretched and separated during pregnancy.
2. Helps support proper function of organs
3. Helps support the uterus as it heals
4. Encourages proper posture, recovering pre-pregnant posture
5. Helps with breathing - supports the respiratory diaphragm
6. MAY help you fit into your skinny jeans faster. Just kidding. But wouldn't that be nice???
7. Flattens your tummy. Come on. We all love that.
WHAT YOU NEED:
13-17 yards cotton muslin fabric. I like natural materials, so I chose that, AND I chose a natural/undyed fabric. This is a LOT of fabric. Consider if you are petite, plus size, average, etc and you will use more/less fabric depending on how tight you want your bind to be as well.
I just used 7 1/2 full outstretched arm lengths, as I show in the video. If you have too much, you can always cut off the excess and turn it into a cool turban for your head. ;)
Cut the fabric into one long strip that is about 8 inches wide.
If you are super fancy with sewing ((UNLIKE ME)) and have access to a serger - go ahead and serge the edges so it doesn't fray so much!
What I'm most excited about is that when I learned about belly binding, I was only shown how to do it for someone else. As a postpartum woman, I had someone come over to do it for me. But now I'm super stoked that I figured out how to do it with my own two hands! I gave birth on October 9th so I myself am employing all the tricks I teach my clients!
HOW TO DO IT:
Watch the video of the finished result here (and while you're there, LIKE our facebook page if you haven't already...)
Ideally you want to wear the wrap for several hours a day for the first six weeks postpartum, or longer if needed. If you had a c-section, you may want to wait until your incision has healed before you wrap.
If the fabric creeps up, simply pull it back down one layer at a time.
To go to the bathroom - which you know we do quite frequently to pee, to change pads, etc - just pull your pants/undies down, do your business, and pull back up either OVER the wrap, or try to tuck it back underneath the wrap. Or just take it off and re-do; you get really fast at it with a little practice.
Let me know if you have any questions - you can post them here, or on our facebook page under the belly binding video, or shoot an email to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.