Childbirth is a miracle, as the saying goes—but what comes after that? The six weeks immediately after the birth, a.k.a. postpartum, is an incredibly intense period for mums, both emotionally and physically. Whether you have opted for a natural birth or caesarean section, the postpartum period is a crucial time for recovery. The hormone relaxin—which helps your ligaments soften and loosen up during pregnancy—is still coursing through your body, meaning that they are still malleable.
But your hips and abs (which have widened and spread apart during pregnancy) will not necessarily move back into place on their own, which is why many women rely on supportive compression garments like binding wraps to help them bounce back during the postpartum period. Nowadays, a lot of clinics offer binding as part of their postpartum recovery services, but as with anything health-related, it’s important to be discerning. To help you make the right choice, we asked the experts over at Restoring Mums for a few tips on what to look for when selecting a postpartum belly binding treatment.
While we normally love being the first to discover hidden gems, there are some instances when you definitely do not want to be the first to head into unchartered territory, such as postpartum care. Look for a clinic that has been rated highly by the only people who have gone through the same thing as you—fellow mums. Social media platforms like Facebook are great for this—you can check out reviews on the business’s official page or search previous posts on “mummy groups” to see whether people are raving about the service or leaving less-than-glowing testimonials.
Postpartum binding is popular because of its ability to compress the body. However, used alone, it’s just treating the symptoms—loose skin and muscles—rather than the cause. According to Karen Loke, the founder of Restoring Mums, the root cause for postpartum bloating and sluggishness can be anything from a build-up of lymphatic fluid to a “cold” womb, a term used in traditional Chinese medicine to refer to a uterus with poor blood flow. Thus, postpartum binding is best used in tandem with other treatments, such as topical masks and massages to help reduce lymphatic build-up—otherwise, you are only treating symptoms that are skin-deep.
While it’s common practice to measure your progress in pounds lost, anyone who has tried to slim down will know that weight does not exactly fall off the way you expect it to. Sometimes, things will not look any different at all despite the number on the scale dropping, or you end up losing fat in the places you were not targeting—and that’s before you even factor in all the extraordinary physical changes that happen during pregnancy.
“A lot of women find that they lose the weight, but don’t return to their pre-pregnancy size,” Loke says. “What helps women get back into their skinny jeans is realignment—of the hips, abdominal muscles, and ribs.” By marrying binding with other techniques, like lymphatic massages and topical ointments, you can kickstart the realignment process and speed it up all in one go—some mums even swear they see physical changes within a few days.
Just as every pregnancy is different, so is every postnatal recovery journey. We’ve established that different factors are at play in every mum’s recovery—so clinics that take a one-size-fits-all approach to binding without trying to suss out the root cause for postpartum bloating may not be the best choice for fast-acting, long-lasting results. It almost goes without saying—considering that the postpartum approach is such a personal matter—but it is highly advised to opt for a company that tailors their postpartum binding solutions to you.
We know, we know, it’s a lot to think about. That’s why experienced therapists who are familiar with different treatment methods—like the ones at Restoring Mums—are worth their weight in gold. But don’t just take our word for it—check out the hundreds of five-star reviews and testimonials from happy mums on Facebook.
Loke, who has given birth three times, has taken inspiration from Malay postpartum massage techniques and traditional Chinese medicine concepts to create the slimum® treatment, which has helped thousands of mums (herself included!) get back into their pre-pregnancy jeans. The wellness treatment utilises a multi-pronged approach comprising massage therapy, topical masques made from edible organic ingredients, and tried-and-tested binding techniques to help drain excess fluid, reshape the waistline, realign and “shrink” the hips, and break down and drain stagnated fat postpartum.
The treatment is specifically tailored to suit each client’s body condition following an evaluation from one of Restoring Mums’ expert therapists. Impressively, some women have even noticed a dramatic reduction in their abdominal muscle separation (a common postnatal condition called diastasis recti) following their first few slimum® sessions. And of course, all the treatments are done in the comfort of your own home—because even if you’re not observing confinement, why would you want to travel within those first few weeks after birth?
If this all sounds great to you, then you’ll love Restoring Mums’ upcoming promotion. This Christmas, slimum® packages purchased and scheduled to be used in December will come with a few additional perks—including an immediate $1,000 cash discount, a free treatment session, and a 30-minute breast lymphatic wellness treatment. For more information, check out their website.