Ready to learn one of the best self-care practices to heal your womb after birth? Postpartum belly wrapping is an essential practice for mamas who want a speedy and healthy postpartum recovery. Widely practiced by traditional cultures around the world, belly wrapping has been helping new mamas recover from childbirth for thousands of years.
Every new mama deserves a giant hug after birth. One that is both supportive and nurturing. No matter what your circumstances are, you can get this kind of hug everyday. With the self-care practice of postpartum belly wrapping, you can be assured you are getting the perfect healing hug your body needs. It may quite literally be, your main squeeze.
What Exactly Is Postpartum Belly Wrapping?
Postpartum belly wrapping is the practice of compressing your abdomen for the first 40 days after birth.
Traditionally it is done with a long piece of cotton cloth, which is wrapped many times around your entire torso and hips (ultimately producing a fabulous hug!).
This secure container supports your organs in returning to their pre-pregnancy size and position, helping you heal faster and more completely.
Why It’s Important After Birth
During the later stages of my pregnancy, I was big – and pretty darn uncomfortable. I needed to pee every two seconds, my stomach felt like it was in my lung, and oh – the heartburn! I ate a pint of ice cream every day to cool it down (Yes I really did that, and no I don’t recommend it!).
These sensations are all reminders that many of our organs have had to move and stretch to accommodate our precious child growing inside of us.
Wearing a wrap that compresses your waist, will encourage those rogue organs return to their original size and position, ultimately helping you to regain your shape and hasten your postpartum recovery.
Benefits of Postpartum Belly Wrapping
In addition to gently compressing the torso and guiding the organs back to their pre-pregnancy condition, belly wrapping also aids postpartum recovery by:
- helping repair Diastasis Recti
- helping support and close the pelvis and hips
- adding additional warmth to belly and kidneys
- supporting the abdomen and lower back
- helping maintain good posture when breastfeeding
- helping you establish a daily self-care routine
- can signify a closure to your pregnancy process and birth
Types of Belly Wraps
Nowadays, there are plenty of belly binding products out there to choose from. It can be difficult to know which one is the right one for you.
Modern Wraps & Girdles
The more modern style postpartum girdles can come in different sizes, have different closure systems and are sometimes not machine washable.
If you plan to go this route, it is wise to do your due diligence before your baby arrives. Make sure you buy the right size, are comfortable with the material, as well as the closure system. I recommend products that support your hips, belly and waist like Tirain 3 in 1 Girdle, Hip Mall 3 in 1 Girdle and Chongerfei 3 in 1 Wrap.
The more traditional-style of belly wrap is using a very long piece of cotton cloth, that is wrapped around the entire torso and hips, until your midsection is comfortable and secure.
Added benefits of using this traditional-style maternity sash is that it’s generally “one size fits all”, as well as being comfortable, breathable, and machine washable! The Bengkung Belly Bind is a beautiful wrap that is made in the traditional style of Malaysia and a popular product amongst natural mamas.
There is the also the option of making it yourself, which is SUPER easy.
How To Make Your Postpartum Belly Wrap
- Go to the fabric store and buy 15 feet of either breathable cotton muslin or quality cotton stretch knit fabric.
- Cut it into strips 10 ” wide (possible to have this done at the craft store).
- Voila! You now have 5 belly wraps to use for your postpartum recovery!
How To Wear Your Postpartum Belly Wrap
This postpartum belly wrap is meant to be worn 10-12 hours a day during your 6 week postpartum window. For mothers who birthed by C-section, contact your doctor before wearing a belly wrap.
Postpartum Belly Wrapping Instructions
- Start with one end of the cloth and pin it to your right hip with your hand. Wrap around your hip 1 X.
- Bring the wrap up to the bottom of your left rib cage and wrap around your back.
- Bring the wrap down to your right hip and wrap it around your hips.
- Wrap one time around your tummy.
- Start the process again until you run out of fabric.
- Tuck in the end of the fabric into the wrap itself. Alternately, you can pin it, if that feels more secure.
In my experience as a postpartum doula, most women are interested in wearing a belly wrap, but for one reason or another, it just doesn’t manifest.
For some modern mamas
- the belly binder they chose ended up being the wrong size or just wasn’t comfortable.
For some new mamas
- they didn’t realize how much they would want their belly wrapped until the baby was born.
Still other mamas
- plan to make their own, but just don’t get to the fabric store before their baby is born.
Generally, once the baby is born, all bets are off.
Because of this fact, whenever I go to a blessing way or baby shower, I ALWAYS bring the soon-to-be mama a maternity sash. It’s a simple gift but significant – and one that is often forgotten.
Please remember to include belly wrapping in your postpartum care plan and make sure that you are happy with your belly wrap before your baby arrives! This is a simple postpartum care practice that will contribute significantly to your healthy recovery after birth.