You’re in your last trimester and wondering, how will I ever make it to the end? The weight of the baby is making you tired and you need some relief - now! By learning how to use a wrap, you can support your growing abdomen and back throughout your pregnancy. Talk to your midwife before using belly wraps so she can advise you. See the links below for further review of belly wrapping and its uses.
Before birth, Rebozo wraps can be used to support the weight of the baby and hips in the last trimester. By wrapping the material around your midsection, it provides extra support. You may choose to use a woven, jersey, or muslin material which provides a little “give.” Proper wrapping will provide firm but gentle support for the lower abdomen, hips, and back. You should feel supported but have no difficulty in breathing and wrap should be loose enough so it doesn’t decrease circulation. Belly wrapping can also minimize fluid retention and stomach bloating. It promotes good posture by having you sit up straighter and walk taller.
During labor, you can use your wrap in many ways (pictured). Your support person or midwife can use it to help you or the baby move into different positions, which can ready the baby and you for birth.
After birth, many cultures use belly wrapping or binding to provide comfort and support. Bengkung belly binding, an ancient way of healing, uses long strips of cloth tied around the abdomen to give support to the uterus in the 4-6 weeks postpartum period. Some women prefer to use an abdominal binder, especially after a c-section birth. By using a wrap around the belly after the baby is born, the compression of the abs may help the uterus return to a normal size quicker. This can also help to minimize bleeding and reduce pain. By using a wrap, you may feel like moving more which gives you more energy sooner.
After you are through the postpartum period, you can use the wrap for babywearing! (See our post on babywearing.)
You can purchase wraps in different sizes and colors, or you can make your own. There are other types of wraps on the market, so take the time to research which is the best for you. Wraps are not intended to help with weight loss. The best way to lose baby weight is slowly through diet and exercise. Remember that it took 9 months to gain the weight, so give yourself plenty of time to lose it. Be sure to check with your midwife before using any type of belly wrapping product, especially during pregnancy or after having a C-section.