● By Digital Media Director
By: Eleanor Turner, Lemonade Babies
Have you or someone you know ever been surprised by how your body looks and feels right after you give birth? Ever experienced the “jelly belly?” (Ladies, I know you know what I’m talking about…)
Here’s the thing: during pregnancy, your body produces a hormone called relaxin. This hormone helps the pelvic ligaments soften and stretch for childbirth, but it can also affect the muscles in your abdomen, separating them a small amount to allow room for an expanding uterus. This is important because it allows your body to create enough space to grow a happy, healthy baby, but it can also mean that it takes time to reverse once your little one is born – a condition known as diastasis recti.
For some women, particularly women who have been through several pregnancies, the looseness they feel post-pregnancy in their tummies is uncomfortable and unexpected. They also develop a slouch from feeding their baby so often, and combined with a loose-feeling belly, their posture becomes affected.
Here’s where postpartum belly binding can help.
In many traditional cultures, belly-binding professionals visit the homes of postpartum women for several weeks after the birth. Through the application of specially selected herbs and pastes, a binder is woven around the abdomen to help with postpartum physical recovery and posture. The binders are soft and comfortable, and worn for most of the day and night under clothing for discretion.
Belly binding, combined with the expert advice of a physical therapist who knows their stuff about diastasis recti, can help the process of knitting back together those pesky abdominal muscles. It can also help the loose-tummy feeling, which is common after pregnancy, postpartum blood loss and the posture associated with feeding a new baby.
Many choose belly binding about a week after their baby is born, but it’s useful any time within the first six months.