Sacred Bengkung Belly Binding
Sacred Bengkung Belly Binding is an effective and important part of a mama's recovery that aids the body to shrink and recover in a shorter time period (normally six to eight weeks). A belly bind provides a mama's postpartum body with 360° of support to assist the abdominal wall muscle retraction, improve posture, stabilize loosened ligaments, and provide support to the torso. while vital organs return to their pre-pregnancy size and position.
During pregnancy the body retains water, fat, and air which causes swelling and expansion in areas of the womb, such as the cervix and vagina. The water retained by those cells supports the amniotic fluid, and the retained air cushions the baby and the internal organs & bones, as the mama's center of gravity shifts and the baby grows larger and larger. This is why mamas become more and more swollen during the last stages of pregnancy. When a woman gives birth, the excess water, fat, and air are no longer needed, and the cells will naturally shrink back to their pre-pregnancy size. However, the purpose of a postpartum belly bind is to speed up this process by applying constant pressure to the abdomen and torso area.
The Sacred Bengkung Belly Bind starts by being bound around the mama's hips, goes up and over the torso, and ends just under her breasts. This long design provides a holistic support to all of the abdominal and pelvic organs and muscles as well as her back. This support is very important in the immediate weeks following birth, as the cervix dilates to 10 cm. when active labor is reached (equivalent to the size of an average bagel!). The steady, pressured support applied by the belly bind to the hip area, assists the cervix in shrinking back to its pre-pregnancy size and allows the pelvic muscles to heal without being further stretched, thus allowing the body to "close" more easily than if it were left unassisted in its expanded state. The back support given by the wrap relieves back pain associated with the immediate postpartum period, helps reduce strain involved in lifting and carrying a baby, and provides back support while breastfeeding, as most mamas don't realize they're slouching.
During pregnancy, musculoskeletal changes are stimulated by hormone secretions and the continuous expansion of the uterus. Some of these changes include:
Abdominal wall expansion & abdominal wall separation (diastasis recti)
The growing fetus and the increasing weight of the baby puts pressure on the abdominal muscles, and can stretch the abdomen as much as 50%. The abdominal muscles (rectus abdominis) on either side are joined by a narrow, fibrous strip (linea alba) that thins as it stretches. Hormonal changes which happen during pregnancy also cause connective tissue to soften.
When the muscles separate, their strength is reduced, which can lead to back pain. It is vital that the abdominal wall return to its pre-pregnancy location to protect internal organs and properly support the torso.
The bengkung style of binding, based in Malaysia, is known to help heal diastasis recti with the constant supportive pressure it provides to the abdominal area.
Spine & posture realignment
Posture is greatly affected as a baby grows larger in the womb. The pelvis tips forward to counterbalance the baby's weight, which causes the pubic bones and tailbone to move backward, increasing the arch in the lower spine and creating a lordotic posture.
The upper spine simultaneously responds to this structural change by increasing its curvature, rounding the shoulders forward, collapsing the chest inward, and sliding the head forward, creating a kyphotic posture. The combination of the kyphotic/lordotic posture results inthe classis "S" shaped sping of a pregnant woman, and is a direct result of a shifting center of gravity. This shifting of center of gravity can affect the nervous system and case aching, weakness, and numbness in the body.
Pelvic floor relaxation
The pelvic floor provides balance, body stabilization, and vital organ support. The pelvic floor is the base of the core muscle system, attaching to the abdominal muscles and the sacroiliac joints. Pregnancy-induced hormones cause ligaments to stretch, loosening the pelvic floor structure. This natural realignment allows the pelvic bones to open for the birth of the baby, and makes the mama feel a bit wobbly on her feet.
After birth, the pelvic floor can remain loose and unstable for up to five months. Because the pelvic floor acts as the support system for the lower intestine, colon, and bladder, these organs may be less supported during those months immediately postpartum. This lack of organ support is the primary reason why a mama can suffer with incontinence when coughing, sneezing, and/or laughing after giving birth.
For the best results you should begin belly binding as soon as you can after giving birth, ideally by day five, and continue to wear it each day for at least forty days or longer.
The wrap should be worn for 10-12 hours each day in the beginning if possible.
C-section mamas should wait six weeks, until their incision is mostly healed, before being wrapped.
For information on what's included in a Sacred Bengkung Belly Bind session, and pricing, see the 'Services' page.