Bengkung Belly Bind - a postpartum tradition
Updated: Jul 23, 2022
Bengkung Bellybinding is a is centuries old tradition that and has its roots in Indonesia and Malaysia. In this practice a long cotton cloth is wrapped around the belly of someone who has given birth to honour and support the postpartum recovery.
Why and when is bellybinding beneficial?
It is possible to begin this practice as early as a day after giving birth, however even months into postpartum and later is still just the right time to begin binding your belly.
It is important to say that this old tradition was never meant to be a quick "slim me down" and I deeply encourage the mothers and parents I work with to aknowledge that it took nine months to grow and carry their little one. The body will not just bounce back in a few days.
This is where bellybinding comes in to hold mothers* in their processes on so many levels.
The art of the sacred Bellybind:
During pregnancy and as the belly grows a gap between the abdominal muscles forms called "diastasic recti". Bengkung belly binding supports the body in healing and closing this gap between the abdominal muscles and can prevent a lasting separation.
Bengkung belly binding supports the hips, back and pelvic floor. The bengkung belly bind isn't just wrapped around the belly. The wrap begins around the hip bones and ends just bellow the breasts. This way there are no unbalanced pressure points - the belly bind creates a frame around the hip bones and rib cage instead of pushing into the soft belly and muscles. (This is also the BIG difference between the bengkung belly bind and synthetic "one size fits all" postpartum wraps) Bengkung Belly binds fit like a glove because they are shaped around the individual body type and needs of of each person wearing them.
Beyond the many physiological benefits of bengkung belly binding, it is an opportunity for the person who has given birth to take a moment of stillness and presence. Within the overwhelming time of postpartum these 15 to 20 minutes it takes to bind your belly can be a meditative practice of selfcare. It is a moment of honouring yourself, your body and what you are capable of.
The bengkung belly bind supports the posture. Especially while nursing the little one it can easily happen that you find yourself pulling the shoulders forward and remaining in this positing for a while. Binding the belly allows much needed support of the back, ensuring a straight posture and that the baby is brought to the breast and not the breast to the baby.
Feeling held and supported gives so much strength. Bengkung belly binding is like a nourishing and warm hug. It is not just a wrap around the belly, it gives security and comfort to a very vulnerable and possibly still aching area. The soft and beautiful fabric around the healing body just feels good.
Now how to safely Bengkung belly bind?
It is important to have clearance depending on what kind of birth you have had. After a Cesarean birth for example it is recommended to wait around a week or two before you begin. However, it is best to consult your midwife or doctor and make sure it is safe to bind your belly.
The belly bind can be worn above or beneath clothes, just make sure your underlayer is nursing-accessible if you are breastfeeding. Oh and that your underpants don't get stuck unter the bind, so you can go for a pee without unbinding the whole thing.
Don't bind too tightly, to receive all of the benefits of bengkung belly binding the rule is not "the tighter, the better". Find a bengkung belly binding instructor to introduce you to bellybinding and give you all the tools you need, from Ayurvedic clay pastes to oil rubs - there are many things you can include in this ritual to make it perfect for you.
In my post partum packages that you can find on my website I always include a belly binding session however you can contact me for a one on one session as well of course or find a belly binding instructor in your region.
Finally all postpartum bodies are beautiful, regardless of what they are capable of. They are beautiful because they are.
Photo : Lori Yerry Photography, Website: https://book.usesession.com/i/-wKks4Del