What is Bengkung Belly Binding?
Bengkung is a traditional Malaysian belly binding method. Essentially it is a practice of tying a long strip of cloth around the abdomen during the postpartum recovery period to ensure a strong support to our womb after childbirth.
During pregnancy a mama’s body retains water and air which causes her body to swell and expand, including the organs in the womb area such as the cervix and vagina. The water retained by cells supported the amniotic fluid and the purpose of the air was to cushion the baby, mama’s internal organs, and bones as her center of gravity shifted and her baby grew bigger and bigger. This is why a mama gets more and more swollen during the last months of pregnancy. When a baby is born, the excess water and air are no longer needed and the cells will naturally release and shrink back to their pre-pregnant size. However, the purpose of a post-pregnancy wrap is to speed up this process with constant pressure on the abdomen and torso area. A post-pregnancy wrap provides a holistic support to all the abdominal and pelvic organs, including the muscles in the pelvic area. Support to the pelvic area is very important in the immediate weeks after birth as a mama’s cervix dilates 10 cm when active labor is reached, this is the equivalent to the size of an average bagel. Therefore the pressure of a longer wrap on the hip area helps the cervix shrink and allows the pelvic muscles to heal without being further stretched. Steady, pressured support on the hips allows the body to “close” more easily than if just left in its expanded state. The Bengkung style of binding is known to help heal diastasis recti with the constant supportive pressure on the abdomen area.
What makes a Bengkung different from western postpartum girdles like Belly Bandit?
A Bengkung Belly Bind is a long wrap that covers from under the chest all the way down to below the hips. This way, it doesn’t just work on the waist, but also helps the ribcage and the hips go back to their former dimensions. It also stays put when you move, and so it doesn’t press on the abdomen.
Wrapping the belly is an effective and important part of a mama’s recovery in the postpartum stage of her journey. It aids the body to shrink and recover in shorter period of time, normally six to eight weeks. A Bengkung belly wrap provides a mama’s postpartum body with complete support to assist abdominal wall muscle retraction, improve posture, stabilize loosened ligaments, and provide support to the torso while vital organs return to their pre-pregnancy size and position.