Alex James is a postpartum doula and nutritionist based in
downtown Toronto. She believes it's possible for all families to have an awesome postpartum experience, where they
are honoured, celebrated, rested, and well fed.
Bengkung belly binding is a traditional postpartum practice in Malaysia. After birth, the midsection is firmly but gently wrapped with a very long and narrow strip of muslin cloth, which is usually worn for a minimum of 2 weeks and up to 6 months postpartum.
Belly binding is a sacred practice that honours the person who has just given birth. Birth is an experience of openness, of being raw and vulnerable - physically, mentally, spiritually. Belly binding helps close and seal the experience of pregnancy and birth, bringing everything back into place, bringing warmth, and encouraging healing.
The physical benefits are as follows:
Your Bengkung belly binding service includes the following:
Full service (as described above): $80. If you wish to have a coloured wrap, please add an extra $10. For a batik patterned wrap, add an extra $20.
Wraps alone are available for purchase (free shipping in Canada): Plain $45 | Coloured $55 | Batik patterned $65
I am pleased to offer traditional Bengkung belly binding as a complementary service for all clients who purchase a postpartum doula package. Your belly binding session will occur as part of the hours that you purchase, during one of my postpartum visits. All you need is a wrap, which can be purchased from me or elsewhere. If you would like a belly binding session, just let me know when you book your postpartum doula package!
How soon after birth should I do the bind?
It’s recommended to do it as soon as possible after your birth, provided it was a vaginal birth. (See note on C-section below.) The bind is most effectively used in the first 8 weeks postpartum. It may be harder to see the benefit if you wait several months postpartum to do it.
How long do I wear the bind?
The first week, wear it 24/7 or as long/often as you want! You can even sleep in it. Of course, you can take it off to bathe, and then put it back on. During the second and third week, you can still wear it the majority of the time, just take it off for a period of at least 3 hours each day. In the weeks following, just wear it as needed.
Can I do belly binding if I’ve had a Cesarean birth?
Yes! We just need to wait until your incision has completely healed, usually about 2-4 weeks. Consult with your care provider to be sure.
How is this different from other corsets, girdles, and gadgets?
The wrap is customized to your body each and every time you put it on. Some of the other products on the market may not offer as much flexibility. The unbleached muslin cloth is comfortable, breathable, and can be worn under your clothing and baby wraps/carriers, as you go about your activities. Don’t forget, the practice itself is a traditional, sacred one. It is a way of honouring you, the birthing person. The act of wrapping is very different than slapping on a mass-produced postpartum “belt”. It is a calming and relaxing (some might say spiritual) practice.