Here is my handout on belly wrapping.
Why We Belly Wrap Postpartum
In an nutshell, childbirth leaves an excess of space between a mama’s organs. Excess space, especially in the pelvic bowl is ungrounding to the nervous system. Why should you belly wrap for at least the first few weeks postpartum?
- improves digestion and elimination
- calms the nervous system
- feels comforting and nourishing
- aids body in reestablishing connective tissue
- supports organs in realignment
- helps tummy regain shape
- decreases bloating
Mom’s often think that we belly wrap to look slim. Hippy moms might be less likely to wrap because of not wanting to buy into the social mores of what a women should look like postpartum. Don’t fall into this trap. Belly wrapping is good for your health both mentally and physically.
The roots of belly wrapping
Belly wrapping in an ancient ayurvedic postpartum ritual. Vata dosha, or the energy of wind, can easily be thrown out of balance postpartum. Vata may go out of balance due to birth trauma, sleep deprivation, imbalanced digestion or elimination, and other postpartum symptoms. Having a physical support around your lower chakras allows you to relax energetically. This is huge. If you feel support you relax. If you relax, energy moves downward, creating a rooted, grounded vibration for mother and child.
Belly Binding How-to Guide
Basically, there are new wraps and old wraps. The new wraps are convenient. Some brands offer bamboo cloth with velcro. They are quick to put on. Other belly wraps are simply a long and supportive fitting tank top.
The old wraps are simply a piece of material wrapped around your lower belly. Muslin has been used forever. Here is Ayurvedic Postpartum Mentor, Ysha Oakes advice:
“I suggest mothers find either new or old, about 5 yards of lightest weight muslin or or an old cotton dhoti, or take a worn out cotton lightweight sari and make about 5 strips lengthwise. A little hemming makes much nicer washes, of course, and prettier fabric can be worn on outside of clothing if Mom wishes, I’ve seen them advertised/sold that way even with hooks for closure (much less fabric).
In any case, if the Mom is involved in the wrapping demo, encourage her to wrap by what feels good. Fairly snug, and wrap a little diagonal for a couple rounds to take in opposite upper and lower hip area as well as directly across lower and mid belly. Feels wonderful. I just tuck, some like a pin, or the fasteners if you can bother with it!”
Cate’s advice: if you’re more of a hippy you’ll like the muslim. If you’re more of a yippee (yuppie-hippy) you’ll like the tank or wrap. The important thing is that you do wrap your belly for the first few weeks after your birthing.
This article and more is part of our ultimate prenatal & postpartum education e-course: mamabirthing!