Bengkung Belly Binding: What It Is and Why You May Need It

Belly binding is a tradition that we can trace back centuries, and Bengkung belly binding is a Malaysian practice using a cotton or muslin cloth to wrap a new parent. Keep reading to learn more.

You may have heard about the velcro wraps and belly binders that some new parents use after birth, but what about the Bengkung-style of binding? It’s a unique and beautiful practice to help honor and support someone who has just given birth.

woman wearing a yellow bengkung belly binder
Photo credit: BelliBind

In general, what is postpartum belly binding?

Belly binding can begin anywhere from a few days to a few weeks postpartum. It is repeated as part of the healing process every two to three days and has various benefits for someone who has just given birth.

If you’re interested in learning more about Bengkung belly binding, you’re in luck. This article will discuss the benefits of Bengkung belly binding and how to incorporate this practice into your postpartum recovery.

Four reasons you should Bengkung belly bind

At a glance, here are some of the benefits:

  • Decreased pain during recovery
  • Lessens swelling after birth
  • Closes the abdominal walls
  • It supports your pelvic floor
  • Provides emotional support opportunities

Let me begin by clarifying that the primary purpose of belly binding is not to lose weight or “bounce back” to your pre-pregnancy weight.

Remember, it took months to grow your baby. Postpartum is the time to give yourself (and your body) some much-needed grace.

1. Can decrease pain during recovery

After delivery, your body will have contractions, called uterine involution, and binding can reduce the after-birth contraction pain and discomfort they cause.

2. Can lessen swelling after birth

You’ll feel swollen from the extra blood in your body during pregnancy to any medication you are given during labor. Binding will reduce swelling and increase circulation.

3. Can close the abdominal walls

Diastasis recti is a gap between the abdominal walls. Pregnancy can separate the abdominal walls, but diastasis recti can develop if they don’t heal properly.

The abdominal walls are held together with belly binding to speed recovery and prevent diastasic recti.

4. Supports your back and pelvic floor

Belly binding also supports your body. When belly binding, your back, tired from holding and feeding a baby, will feel supported.

Binding protects your pelvic floor, which we often neglect during recovery. This support is so crucial while healing.

mom with hands on her abdomen in grey sweater

Emotional benefits of belly binding

There are emotional benefits to belly binding. Traditional Ayurvedic approaches believe that giving birth creates air in the womb that needs to be warmed and nourished, and belly binding provides that comfort.

Some describe belly binding as a warm and supportive hug, which new birth parents often need.

Birth parents often put themselves last during the early days with a newborn. But setting aside this time to take care of your body shows that you’re prioritizing yourself.

It sets the tone for caring for yourself in the future.

If you have a specialist visit you in-home, you’ll also create a safe space to process your feelings. You can share your wins and your worries.

This is also a way to have a birth worker check on you before your official six-week appointment; they can give non-medical support on your postpartum recovery or your baby.

doula helping new mom with yellow belly binding

Getting started with Bengkung belly binding

Getting started with Bengkung belly binding is relatively straightforward, but there are some essential considerations to keep in mind.

Get cleared for binding

First and foremost, you want to ensure you are cleared for binding. The most significant consideration for this is how you gave birth – vaginally or with a c-section.

Vaginal birth: you can begin belly binding a few days after delivery.

Cesarean birth: please check with your medical provider, but you could start after the first few weeks have passed.

Purchase your Benkung belly wrap

There is a variety on the market, but generally, look for a long strip of cloth made of natural fibers.

A few Bengkung belly binder options:

Then, once your body is ready, begin wrapping. You can do it yourself by watching videos or finding a specialist to help.

Wear the correct clothing

You can choose to either wrap it against your bare skin or over a thin protective layer at first. If you are breastfeeding, make sure your underlayer is nursing-accessible.

Follow step-by-step instructions

The easiest way to learn how to tie a Bengkung belly binder is to watch a binding tying video. It outlines all the steps you need to know to properly and comfortably wear your binder.

woman wearing a pink bengkung belly binder in early postpartum
Photo credit: BelliBind

Final tips for Bengkung belly binding

1. Set aside time

You will need at least fifteen to twenty minutes to apply the bind properly.

2. Don’t wrap it too tightly

Remember, the goal isn’t to lose weight; it’s to help your body recover and heal. It shouldn’t feel uncomfortable but snuggly supportive.

3. Know when to wear it

Once you’ve wrapped, keep your bind on anywhere from fourteen to forty hours. It should feel comfortable this entire time. Then, take a day or two off in between wrapping sessions.

4. Listen to your body

Some days might feel better than others – that’s not only okay, it’s perfectly normal. Honor what your body needs in each moment, and it will repay you with more profound healing.

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Gigi Vera Vincent

Postpartum Doula

As a postpartum doula, teacher, and mother, I’m here to streamline the newborn learning curve and help birth parents, partners, and other family members. There isn’t one way to have and raise a little human. I’m here to guide parents to find their way to become confident parents.

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