What is belly binding?
Belly binding is the ancient practice of using various types of binders to wrap and support the abdomen and core after birth. Many cultures across Africa and Asia perform belly binding and consider it to be an important post birth care practice. Modern binders made of velcro and other synthetic materials are frequently marketed to new mothers.
How belly binding done as part of traditional Indian postpartum care?
Traditional Indian Belly Binding is done with special binder which is a long strip of undyed, handspun, handwoven organic cotton cloth. The abdomen is bound from hips to ribs by an experienced practioner. A herbal paste or specific oils may be applied to the belly depending on the mother’s healing body postpartum. Belly binding is typically done after Abhyanga and Swedhana or bath. The bind is worn for 2-6 hours and retied daily.
What is the reason for belly-binding?
Binding the stomach offers support and stability to the hips, pelvic and spine, and comfort to the womb. It supports abdominal muscles and internal organs while the postpartum body heals and repairs itself.
During pregnancy the core muscles have been stretched and much weakened. Binding the abdomen supports the core preventing over use of back muscles and backache.
Binding is a great way to heal the muscle walls and also support the spine and posture realignment. Binding is also considered very emotionally healing for postpartum mothers. Pregnancy physically and energetically opens and fills up the body with life, and binding “seals” and closes the bones, helping the new mother feel centered, grounded and stable in her body again. Binding can also be very healing after a miscarriage.