Julia is a partner at Bellies Inc., where she is helping give core confidence back to every woman. This is an exciting time; the Bellies Inc. AB Tank is here and selling quickly. We thought this was a great time to introduce you to the product, while talking about the tradition of belly wrapping upon which it is based. Here is something Kim Vopni, also of Bellies Inc., wrote and originally published on the Bellies Inc. website. Enjoy (and then order your own AB Tank)!
In many cultures around the world, recovering from pregnancy and birth is honoured and filled with many beautiful traditions. One of the main practices is Belly Wrapping—a process designed to help eliminate the fluid retention that is common after birth, heal the tissues in the abdominal wall, and support the spine and pelvis that are in a vulnerable state after all of the changes from pregnancy and birth.
The Belly Wrap Tradition
Malaysia is one of the countries where Belly Wrapping is practiced, and it is even encouraged by the government: every woman receives 6 2-hour body treatment sessions and belly wrapping for free! Wouldn’t it be amazing to see this come to Canada and the USA? Unfortunately, prevention and proactive restoration are rarely—if ever—thought about, let alone practiced. The mother’s body has been through a lot and is often left in an injured state. The muscles and tissues in the abdomen and pelvis have been stretched beyond normal length, nerves have been compressed and stretched, yet little to no attention is given to this transformation. Because birth is ‘natural’, the need to support the body after birth is overlooked.
How does it work?
Wrapping the belly helps the new mom feel supported—it is like a gentle hug to her abdomen, low back, and pelvis that help realign the muscles, heal the connective tissue, rid the body of the excess air and water that increased during pregnancy, reduce swelling, and promote circulation.
Wraps should provide light, even, and consistent pressure around the entire core from beneath the rib cage to the pelvis and should be worn daily for the first 6-8 weeks postpartum.
A study by Coldron et al published in 2008 found that spontaneous healing of the abdominal wall occurs in the first 8 weeks postpartum. By wearing a belly wrap, honouring the body with nourishment and warmth, and by practicing restorative exercise, women can harness this 8 week healing time and rebuild their core from the inside out.
In our quest to bring more of the honoured healing rituals to North America, we created a more modern day version of the Bengkung (the traditional Malay abdominal wrap) that supports the belly, the spine and the pelvis while offering more freedom of movement and ease of use than the more traditional wraps.
We created a functional base layer—the AB Tank—that is made of light, silky compression material and designed to support the entire core while allowing full access to the breasts for breastfeeding. It is lightweight, breathable and feels amazing!
The second layer is the AB Wrap and is designed to accommodate all body shapes and sizes. It shrinks with you and provides an additional layer of support to the spine and pelvis while encouraging the abdominal muscles to realign.
Worn together, the AB Tank and Wrap provide new moms with the support they need to help heal their bodies. Recognizing that wrapping alone is not enough, we have added a comprehensive e-book and our core confidence exercise program to the AB Tank and Wrap to make a complete system so women can be stronger mummies with flatter tummies once their babies are born!