Binding in C-Section Recovery

In my last post I mentioned binding as an alternative to heavy pain killers after c-section delivery. I first saw binding used during my time in the peace corps in Africa. It is one example of how centuries old healing wisdom has been supplanted by dependence on pharmaceuticals. So what is it and how does it work?

Binding is an ancient healing tool for both pain control and affective healing. Bandages are an example of medical binding. When used for a wound, surgical or not, the binding creates compression at the site of the wound. Compression presses the body fibers together, reduces swelling and tearing and at the same time offers some protection for the incision.

Soft abdominal binders can also help support the body changing with pregnancy, as well as for both post vaginal delivery & cesarean section recovery. Unfortunately the ancient healing art of binding is less well known today as I discovered after my own emergency c section.

Cesarean Section birth requires special recovery care because surgery is stressful, painful and now a new baby requires your loving attention. Binding will reduce both your pain and scar. Abdominal binding or wearing a belly belt, also makes it easier to get out of bed because compression helps to

reduce swelling, stabilizes the skin,muscles and internal organs to shrink back in size. Basically compression from binding presses tissue of the incision back together because it makes the space in between the fibers smaller through pressure. Compression is most effective done with binding, though massage or holding of the area are two other means. Ideally a combination of the three will be used for maximum benefit.

Binding can protect and support your incision from day 1. Many women, myself included say they feel like their insides are going to fall out the first time they rolled over to get out of bed. Compression supports your abdomen so you feel comfortable and confident to move. It will also help reduce scar tissue density. Many women do not realize that the doctor cut into 6 layers through the abdomen, and then stretched open the muscles. With binding you can have the feeling of being supported and stable, rather than vulnerable to gravity and afraid to move.

Binding also supports organs to go back to their original size and location. Bladder, intestinal and reproductive complications can arise from a c-section or other abdominal surgeries. The support of binding means less tearing, which means less scar tissue, inside and out. Less scar tissue means more comfort and fewer secondary complications and a better looking scar. With belly binding you can avoid the tearing and complications that lead to possible abdominal adhesions, painful periods, and a lumpy scar.

Some hospitals provide post surgery binders (and many more don’t), but they are generally stiff and not very soft. When I had my emergency c section the hospital gave me… a bandage! Can you imagine, with an incision like the one above what it would feel like to attempt to wrap a bandage around your tummy over and over to create  the effect of a cesarean binding belt?

The uniquely designed C Section Recovery Belt of Maui Healing kits does not contain elastic, making it perfect for immediate use after c section birth or other abdominal surgery. It is designed it to be as adjustable as possible to allow you to find the perfect binding pressure and adjust it as you heal. It also comes with the detachable Bikini Belt, which does contain elastic, for another level of fully adjustable support, font or back. I have to say when I first saw it I said to myself, now why didn’t I think of that.

The same company produces the Hem It In Belt which is great for post vaginal delivery, laparoscopic abdominal surgery, and from about 2 weeks after the cesarean, when you want stronger compression and support. The cotton covered elastic provides firm support when you are getting back to your daily routine, or just going to the car with baby. Because the incision is through 6 layers, and our muscles were then stretched open to get the baby out,  holding them closed is a good thing and gives you an immediate freedom and mobility that would otherwise be weeks away.

Both the C Section Bikini Belt and the Hem It In Belt are available individually. They also offer a C Section Recovery Kit which includes the AbdoMend Recovery Belt & Bikini Belt, a dry skin brush and C-Section Recovery Massage Therapy Guide with detailed instruction and over 100 pictures. There is also a Deluxe kit which also includes a Hem It In Belt. The binding belts designed for maximum adjustability and are available in 5 sizes.

What is really inspiring about this company is that it was born from it’s founders own emergency c-section experience and the belts are designed for women by women. 


image used with permission of Maui Healing Kits llc