Category: healing

holisticfamilydoulas.com

Benefits of Belly Binding

Girdles, Spanx, support hose, corsets – mixed feelings come with all of these garments marketed to women but used by many, to liftshape, and mold one’s body to be more aesthetically pleasing.

Belly binding, while it sounds more like a torture device from the 17th century, has nothing to do with aesthetics, and everything to do with support.
After birth, vaginal or cesarean delivery, the abdominals and pelvic floor muscles are weak and distended. Months of internal pressure and weight of your baby and uterus pressing against these parts causes them to stretch. It is a stretch that does not rebound as soon as the baby is born.
If you have seen someone leaving the hospital or in their first days home after birth, they typically still look pregnant! It takes time to heal. Not just the immediate areas that you imagine birth to include, but your entire body.
One’s uterus slowly starts to decrease in size, and organs shift back into their pre-pregnancy position. In these weeks, it is common to have a support garment recommended by a medical provider – especially after a cesarean – to offer additional support while muscles regain their abilities.
Loss of core strength is part of the reason it is not recommended newly delivered people drive a car. Their reaction time, the range of motion to view their surroundings, and physical ability to lift and press pedals put themselves, and others in danger.
The support garments that are on the market are typically made of elastic and therefore can stretch after many uses, or do not offer sufficient coverage to give full relief when wearing. We like to suggest belly binding for recovery from birth.
Belly binding is the use of one continuous strip of cotton cloth, repeatedly knotted to form to your shape and does not stretch. While having a little stretch sounds nice, in reality, the secure tensions offered by belly binding is often described as a “hug in all the right places.”
Bengkung Belly Binding is a Malaysian method of postpartum recovery. While it is a method that can be placed by yourself, first wraps and instruction are best given in person to learn fit and technique. A belly binding is usually worn every day of the early postpartum period for 1-2 hours per day.

The benefits shared about Bengkung Belly Binding mentioned above and more:

1. Core Support – Abdominal muscles need time to heal, and while belly binding does not improve your muscles, it can support your frame while the muscles repair. Many suffer from diastasis recti (DR) during pregnancy or postpartum. DR is the separation of the abdominals, and often needs more than time to bring the abdominals together again.
2. Pelvic Floor Support – The pelvic floor is connected to your abdominals and glutes, and as the core is supported, so is the pelvic floor. A belly binding can be word during strengthening exercises that may be prescribed by a physical therapist to help with incontinence or weak floor support.
3. Low Back Support – You low back may have been hurting the majority of your pregnancy, but now that you have delivered, your back needs support as well. Belly Binding helps with posture and proper alignment even while resting.
4. Pelvis Support – the bones of your pelvis move during the end of your pregnancy because of a hormone called Relaxin. The purpose of the hormone is to loosen cartilage so the bones of your pelvis will flex and move as your baby moves through the birth canal.
5. Breastfeeding Support – If you are choosing to breastfeed, one of the most common mistakes is to bend forward and offer your breast to your baby, instead of bringing your baby up to your chest. While wearing a belly binding, your feeding sessions won’t be plagued with backaches or constant hunching over, as the binding will encourage good posture.
6. Can be a part of a “Closing Ceremony” to offer emotional and physical respect to the role your womb played at the beginning of this new phase in your life, and your child’s life.

Blessings, Rituals, and Ways to Honor Your Pregnancy Journey

Imagine walking into a pleasant and caring space where you are the focus of an afternoon. There is no one there who adds to your anxiety, and everyone who you hope to see when you are at your most vulnerable.

A gathering of positive influence, nurturing energies, and valued trust, embodied by the friends and loved ones you wish to be a part of your pregnancy and postpartum experience.
Often times when “Mother Blessings” or pregnancy rituals are mentioned, their magic and appeal are lost in translation of what happens at the gathering. Sometimes messages are written for support. Sometimes affirmations are shared openly in person, sometimes instructions are dispersed to center focus and energy at the news labor has begun or birth is imminent.
What happens at a gathering of this sort, at an Honor Circle, is we take time to recognize the grandeur that is taking place. Life is being created. A mother is being born alongside her child, and we walk closer and tighter with those people who have come to prove themselves available to see and share in the glory of these fleeting moments.
But creating these kinds of spaces can be overwhelming. What rituals to undertake? What reading would be just right? How to make people feel included, while always keeping the focus on the person the gathering is honoring?
Curating these spaces is one of the things we feel called to help provide. We have worked to study, acknowledge, and respect the cultural origins of many blessing ways, and in no way seek to appropriate spaces which are not meant for outsiders.
However, we do subscribe to the belief that all birth is powerful, all life is sacred, and a gathering of pure intent can be designed to honor each individual mother. We seek to honor you, the mother, and we hope to bond the ties you have with your most trusted support tighter for this time when you will be stretched and tested.
If you are interested in learning more about how an Honor Circle can be a part of your pregnancy celebration, we would love to help you plan and execute an event to your liking. Be it for a 1st, 2nd, 4th or 10th baby, we would love to foster the growth of your personal village and affirm you in this incredible rite of passage.

4 Common Pregnancy Complaints and Holistic Solutions

4 Common Pregnancy Complaints

and Holistic Solutions

We have put together some holistic solutions to some of the most common pregnancy concerns.

Nausea – For some, nausea never comes, and for others, it can last through the entire pregnancy. However, for most, nausea typically comes mid-way through the first trimester and continues until the beginning or middle of the 2nd trimester.

Holistic options to consider:
  • Ginger – be it tea, a ginger chew, or a cookie, consuming ginger has helped many with pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting.
  • Peppermint – Drinking peppermint tea, eating peppermint candy, or even smelling peppermint through a diffuser can be helpful. *Peppermint can adversely impact breastfeeding relationships once the baby is born, however, using during pregnancy is not typically harmful
  • Eating small but frequent meals with protein, like yogurt, nuts, or chocolate milk.
  • Acupuncture – Nausea is one reason of many that having a relationship with an acupuncturist through pregnancy can be helpful.
* Acupuncture: There are well-known pressure points on the body that have been used for centuries (sea sickness wrist bands come to mind). Acupuncture is an ancient form of Chinese medicine that works to help with physical, emotional, and mental ailments. Some reasons pregnant people choose to see an acupuncturist during pregnancy: swelling, headache, stress, breech position, digestion, anxiety

 

Muscle soreness/cramps– Your body is working hard, and you are probably feeling it. Not only overall fatigue is normal in the first trimester, but muscle soreness and cramping are not uncommon.
Holistic options to consider:
  • Regular stretching in the morning and evening, such as yoga
  • Staying hydrated
  • Taking deep breaths throughout the day to help expel any build up of lactic acid
  • Increase potassium consumption such as bananas, sweet potatoes, or spinach
  • Begin receiving regular prenatal massage
  • Get plenty of rest

 

Constipation – A common pregnancy complaint is constipation. Changes in hormone levels and slowed digestion, coupled with added pressure on your pelvic floor means you may be experiencing constipation.
Holistic options to consider:
  • Diet rich in fiber
  • Staying hydrated
  • Chiropractic care for alignment support
  • Regular exercises, such as pregnancy yoga or walking
  • Toilet Stool
  • Finding ways to reduce stress

 

Incontinence and Frequent Urination – It can be frustrating while pregnant because it is possible to experience incontinence AND constipation – they are not mutually exclusive. Incontinence is the lack of control over urination. The changes to organ placement, and the pressure being placed on the pelvic floor makes urinary incontinence a common pregnancy complaint.
While frequent urination may not be entirely relieved until your baby is delivered, there are some things to consider, for both it and incontinence.
Holistic options to consider:
  • Establishing a relationship with a physical therapist with training in pelvic floor health
  • Consider Yoga courses with a focus on pelvic floor
  • Breathing and full relaxation when using the restroom to allow for your bladder to be emptied entirely
  • Schedule and take frequent bathroom breaks
We love to work with our birth doula clients to help them relieve whatever symptoms they have in pregnancy.   Please comment what has worked for you during your pregnancy!  Connect with us on Instagram and Facebook

Self Love This Valentine’s Day

Self Love this Valentine’s Day

While many people are thinking about passion with Valentine’s day arriving soon, perhaps a little compassion will be extended as well. And not generally speaking – but love and compassion for working towards a healthier you.

Looking inward and having a vulnerable personal conversation about what you want, what you need, and how you wish to walk through the world is a gutsy gift to yourself this Valentine’s day. The questions get asked over and over, and how often do we stop and find a real answer to, “What do you want?”

What do you want to give in relationships?

How do you want to be treated?

What impact will you have?

However, before all of that. Before looking outward, the brave first step is to love your whole self and practice radical acceptance. All of your parts – those you are proud of and those you hide because of embarrassment or shame – all of those parts together make up the body, mind, and spirit of the unique you: a person who is deserving of the best and is capable of individual thoughts and feelings and change.

Connecting with ourselves is more than self care practices like an herbal bath or a pedicure (which are important too!). It’s taking an in-depth look into what helps us feel whole, and the things we each need to belong genuinely. For many, there is a need to heal wounds that get inflicted as we assimilate into a culture or society.

Take time for yourself to explore what needs attention.   One way to do this is to tune into Stephi Wagner as she describes the “mother wound” and helps people understand that there is an innate need for healing. More so, that we are all born into a pattern of being a person who is ready to re-connect, but that our parents, and ourselves as parents, are often not supported socially enough to then give to our babies and children.

Ways we might experience the mother wound, from Stephi Wagner:
  • Feeling like we are “not enough”
  • Feeling like we are “too much”
  • Being tone policed by others for our authentic feelings
  • Feeling shame about our authentic feelings
  • Struggling to make and maintain boundaries
  • Shame storms: “I AM a bad mistake” (shame) rather than “I made a bad mistake” (guilt)
  • Feeling responsible for other people’s feelings
  • Accepting poor treatment from other people
  • Self-sabotaging by backing away on the brink of a success
  • Attenuation: trying to stay small in body, mind, impact,
Does anything stand out in this list? A significant first step could be writing about your reactions to these points and exploring where your memories and feelings take you. If conversations come from your writing, find ways to be gentle with yourself as you involve others in your healing process. Also, if necessary, consider the professional guidance of a therapist.
Learning to love ourselves and make changes necessary to reflect the support we need is part of the process of self-healing.
So this Valentine’s Day, while giving love, and showing gratitude to others in our communities with treats and decorations is a beautiful tradition, consider your deeper needs, and investing time is something that could have a lasting positive impact on you.

Do you have any thoughts you would like to share about your healing journey?  Please post below and join us on our Facebook Page.