Several cultures have a history with deep roots in the belly binding practice as a part of postpartum recovery. All the methods or practices are very similar with slight differences. The main difference is the name given to it, and as I said, the little differences.
Bengkung originated from Malaysia with its roots in Asian culture. Native Americans use a sash binding process which includes an application of healing herbs before the belly wrap goes on. Latin American cultures use a big cloth called a ‘faja’. Regardless of the type of cloth used, all styles and techniques are used for the same reason; postpartum healing and recovery.
How Bengkung Belly Binding Works
Bengkung is an art of wrapping some form of cloth or fabric around a postpartum woman’s belly and hips. The wrap generally wraps around the hips and goes all the way up the ribcage. Postpartum belly binding helps provide physical support and promotes healing.
Soon after giving birth the mother’s belly will be wrapped tightly. Not too tight that it causes pain, but just tight enough to hold the area in place to help the healing process. If a mother has had a c-section, she will have to wait a few weeks before her postpartum belly binding can begin.
If you struggle to get yourself wrapped you can always ask for help. It’s actually a good idea to talk to your doctor and maybe have them go over the wrapping process with you if you’re unfamiliar with it. Belly binding can be troublesome if you’re not wrapping the area properly.
How Long To Wear A Belly Binder
Believe it or not, you should wear a postpartum belly binder every single day until you’re fully healed. Put it on when you get out of bed in the morning and leave it on for 12 hours. After wearing it for 12 hours, take it off and leave it off for 12 hours.
Bengkung Belly Binding Benefits
- It can help alleviate aches and pains. The compression helps keep your belly in place and so the less movement the better. The movement is what leads to the extra soreness.
- Belly binding can help speed up the recovery time. This is also due to the limited motion of the belly due to the wrapping.
- Helps bring your body back to its natural shape.
- Can help prevent and repair Diastase recti.
- Improves posture. Any form of waist training can help improve your posture by keeping your body aligned as it should be. Your spine stays straighter and slouching is prevented.
- Belly binding helps provide much needed support for your back and abs. Your body will be sore, weak, and tired after nine months of carrying the baby and then delivery. Top that off with caring for the baby.
Postpartum belly binding should only begin once you get the OK from your doctor. Many women start binding a couple of days after birth. However, in some situations you may have to wait a little longer. Women who have c-section births will need at least two weeks before they are safe to use a postpartum belt.
Make sure you choose the right style postpartum belt for your body. There are several styles. The Postpartum Belly Binder by Misty Phases is a good place to start! You want something comfortable and durable.
How To Reduce Your Tummy Pouch After Delivery
A post-baby belly can take some time to naturally shrink. Consider that it took nine months for it to grow as big as it was, and now that you’ve given birth it will slowly decrease in size. However, keep in mind that sometimes a woman’s body might slightly change shape.
Some women like to do exercises during their pregnancy in order to prepare for the changes coming. This makes it easier to trim and tone your tummy pouch. Regardless, there are a few different things you can do, in combination with one another, to get your pre-baby bearing body back.
How Long Before Seeing Obvious Results
It can take anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks before the womb or uterus will be fully contracted to the size it was pre-pregnancy. So, know that it will take some time before you will see obvious results.
Every woman is different; how fast and how much your body trims and tones up will vary on several factors.
- Your size and shape before the baby was conceived
- How much weight gain occurred during pregnancy
- Your current activity level
If you plan on trying to lose weight whether through diet changes, exercise or both, make sure you talk to your doctor and have a postnatal check. You may want to lose weight, but it’s best to make sure that it can be done safely and in a healthy way, especially if you’re breastfeeding.
Types of Belly Fat
There are two different types of belly fat, visceral and subcutaneous. It is important to target both kinds of fat in order to reduce that tummy pouch.
Visceral is an abdominal fat and it can be dangerous. It can’t be measured or seen as it surrounds our vital organs. This type of fat can lead to serious health issues if not managed. Visceral fat buildup can clog arteries. It requires lifestyle changes, as well as diet and eating habits.
If you are trying to be rid of visceral fat you should focus on cutting back or completely cutting out saturated fats. Increase your dietary intake of complex carbs, and exercise for about an hour daily.
Subcutaneous fat is under the surface of our skin. It is more noticeable and easier to track when gained or lost, unlike visceral. The most common areas this fat is stored on the body is the abdomen, hips, and the booty.
Subcutaneous fat is what our body stores for energy. When we consume more calories than we need or are using, everything extra is stored in the fat reserve. Diet and exercise will help you shed this type of fat.
How To Lose The Pouch
- Use A Postpartum Belly Binder: A belly binder will help the healing process by limiting the movement of the entire abdomen. It also applies a slight pressure which can help with the sore achy feeling.
- Healthy Eating Habits: Healthy eating habits consist of more than just choosing healthy foods to eat. You also have to eat when you should and avoid those late night snacks. Your body is going to go through a repair and restore phase, so essential nutrients, and plenty of them, would be much appreciated by you and your baby.
- Cut Back on Sugar: Some cravings are hard to resist, especially if you already have a sweet tooth. When your body and taste buds start whispering for you to hit the cookie jar, make a detour and grab some fruits or juice. Natural sugar is healthier.
- Targeted Exercises: Remember, get that postnatal check before starting any exercises at all. Once you’ve been given the go ahead, choose a couple of exercises that target your problem areas. Of course, you’ll be putting focus on the belly, but any other areas you’d like to see slim down can be added too.
- Target Both Belly Fats: Make sure you focus on targeting both of the main types of belly fat. It’s a good idea for anyone who has gained weight to make sure they stay healthy by limiting the fat increase.
If you’re pregnant now and simply planning for the future you should look into using a belly band during your pregnancy to find out how it can benefit you just as much as wearing a postpartum belly binder.