Bengkung Belly Binding – Pros and Cons + when NOT to bind!

Postpartum belly binding is becoming a popular trend as a way to promote healing and return faster to your pre-pregnancy shape. There are so many belly bands and binds on the market, it can be overwhelming choosing which is best for you. 

Here we’re going to focus on one of my personal favorite options, Bengkung belly binding. Let’s talk about the pros and cons to this method along with when it shouldn’t be used, and help you decide if this is a good option for YOU!

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Bengkung Belly Binding

This Malaysian style wrapping technique consists of using a long, thin piece of non-stretch fabric and wrapping it around your hips and abdomen. The beautiful knots created in the tying technique make it very visually interesting and appealing to many. 

Bengkung belly binding is meant to support your healing body while your muscles retract, it supports your organs so they return to their pre-pregnancy size and positions, and promotes warming of the body after the cooling process of childbirth.

As with anything in life, there are pros and cons to this style of postpartum belly wrapping to think about before you start. Let’s start with the fun stuff!

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Pros to Bengkung Belly Binding:

They are beautiful! 

Bengkung belly binds come in plain muslin, dyed muslin, cotton, or even silk fabric! If you don’t want to pay the extra $$ for a colored bind, you can always dye it yourself! My favorite place to buy these is on Etsy, my New Little Life Shop is currently closed but there are many other makers available!

Even the plain Bengkung belly binds are beautiful too! 

One size fits most

You won’t need to buy multiple sizes when you start to heal and need a smaller size. When you first start binding, you may not quite be able to go all the way up to the rib cage but as your postpartum body adjusts you will likely have more and more yardage to work with each time. 

If you’re plus-sized, try to find a longer wrap. Standard size is 14-16 yards, so maybe look for one 18-20 yards. 

Completely customizable

bengkung belly binding

Since you wrap it new each time, you can put extra pressure on places you want or lesson up those you don’t. Any size, any shape works here! 

The custom-ability of Bengkung belly binding is personally my favorite “pro” because you don’t have to worry about finding the right size, shape, or returning it when it doesn’t fit right or only fits well for a week. C-section mamas usually start a little looser on the bottom over the incision and tighten up over time. It’s completely adjustable using the same wrap for all stages of the postpartum healing period. 

Inexpensive

You can get a plain muslin Bengkung belly for around $20-25. They come with either serged or raw edges and can easily be dyed if you want to add some color. If they are made of silk it can be tricky to add some color, but here’s a video to show you how to dye your own Bengkung belly bind!

Comfort

This is the most comfortable wrap I’ve tried. There is no velcro scratching you, not boning digging into your ribs, and very little slippage up your hips. If you bind your belly directly on your skin under your clothes, it’s very easy to use the bathroom without removing the bind. 

It also keeps your stomach covered for a little extra modesty while breastfeeding. There’s no worry about lifting your shirt to get breast access for your little one when you have your beautiful belly bind on. It makes for a more comfortable experience overall. 

Time 

This is also listed in the “Cons” section, but it all depends on how you choose to look at it! This is one of the more time-consuming wraps to apply, but it forces you to slow down and take some time for yourself. Use it as an excuse to love your new postpartum body and wrap your healing organs with care. The spiritual and emotional benefits of this wrap clearly outweigh the others in this aspect because of the ritual and time you spend wrapping. See this post on the Physical, Spiritual, and Emotional Benefits of Bengkung Belly Binding to read more about this part of belly binding. 

Involve your partner!

Just a fun little idea:

Have your partner wrap your belly! It’s a great way to get them involved in loving and respecting your new postpartum body. If you schedule a session with your local Bengkung belly binding specialist, she’ll likely wrap you up herself and could even teach a partner how to do it. There are many YouTube videos to show this as well and I’ll post one soon!

** These are also very easy to DIY! Here’s a video showing you how!**

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Cons to Bengkung Belly Binding:

Time 

These do take time to put on. A beginner may take 10-15 minutes to put a Bengkung belly bind on, but it only takes a few wrapping sessions to speed up dramatically. Soon you’ll be able to do it in under 5 minutes. 

If you’re looking for the fastest, easiest postpartum belly bind this one may not be for you. This is where you determine if the pros outweigh the cons 🙂 

This time factor was also listed in the “Pros” section too, so make sure you didn’t miss that up top!

Washing 

These are difficult to wash, but you really shouldn’t need to wash them frequently. Most are fine in the washer, but you’ll want to hang dry these binds since you can image the 16 yards of a balled-up mess that would result in using a standard dryer!  

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When NOT to bind

There’s a few times when belly binding of any kind is not a good idea. You should always check with your health care provider if you have questions if it’s right for you or problems arise. Here are a few common scenarios to watch out for.

C-Section

You can ABSOLUTELY still use a Bengkung belly bind after a c-section! However, you should wait until your incision heals. Usually, 4-6 weeks is the recommendation for c-section moms but it’s always a good idea to get the OK from your provider whenever recovery from major surgery is involved. 

Pelvic Organ Prolapse

If you know you have pelvic organ prolapse, you definitely shouldn’t belly bind. 

When wearing the Bengkung belly bind or afterward if you feel a pulling sensation or heaviness in your vagina or perineum, you might be experiencing a little prolapse.

If you tie the wrap too tight or don’t go all the way down including the hips, it puts a lot of pressure on your midsection which pushes your internal organs down. Your pelvic floor is already weakened from childbirth, so it’s an easy spot for organs to go if they’re being pushed out of the way! You can try again with the wrap looser and making sure to go all the way down to the pubic bone, but always go see a health care professional if you think you might be experiencing prolapse. 

Hemorrhoids

This doesn’t mean you can’t wrap, but you do need to be gentle at first. Almost every woman who just went through a pregnancy and childbirth has experienced hemorrhoids, and if they’re actively inflamed you’ll want to go light on the pressure you use when binding your belly. Extra pressure on the abdomen sends blood downward to get trapped in the happy little hemorrhoids, which is fun for no one! 

It’s usually not a problem, but bind lightly at first and increase the tightness as your perineum continues to heal. 

Pain

Anytime binding hurts or causes other unusual symptoms, something isn’t quite right. If you’re fine medically, the most likely culprit is that the wrap is too tight or wrapped wrong. 

Please don’t be in such a rush to push your body back to it’sformer shape that you compromise other things. The intent of Bengkung belly binding is not to be a waist trainer or fat disappear-er. It is to support your body as you heal and warm the abdomen after delivery. (More about Physical, Spiritual, and Emotional Benefits here)

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Bengkung belly binding is a great way to heal, honor, and warm your body after childbirth but guess what, you can do this anytime! Some women use their Bengkung belly binds years after birth to heal diastasis recti, provide lower back support, and many other things. It’s so comfortable and supportive to the body and mind, it will be a tool in your back pocket for many, many years. 

Do you think this option is right for you? What questions do you have? Comment below! 

~ All things for you and your new little life ~

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Bengkung Belly Binding - Pros and Cons + when NOT to bind!

1 Comment

  1. Jody on May 9, 2020 at 07:04

    Can this technique be used to help support a bad back? I broke my tailbone as a child resulting in pain ever since. I’m looking for a bit of support but not hard, rigid back braces.



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