What exactly is belly wrapping?
In short it means that, during pregnancy, you tie a wrap (a long woven wrap that can also be used to wear your baby) around your body to support your posture. You'll stimulate your spine to keep its natural active position, while your body carries the increasing weight of your belly. This never means that you'll wrap your entire belly! It also doesn't mean that your muscles will grow weak. On the contrary: since the wrap itself won't carry any weight your own muscles will be stimulated to keep a natural active posture.
How can belly wrapping benefit you?
During pregnancy you might suffer from backache. You might be short on breath. Perhaps you find it difficult to keep moving and to continue doing your daily things. Your own body might feel heavy and cumbersome and you might experience uncomfortable pressure on your pubis and/or hips. These are all well-known "ailments" that go with pregnancy. Many simply accept that being pregnant can be quite painful. But it doesn't have to be!
If, during pregnancy, you support your body in a certain way using a wrap, the aforementioned discomfort will be alleviated significantly. Supporting your belly with a wrap is called belly wrapping, and is a technique that has been developed by gynaecologists, physiotherapists, midwives and babywearing consultants, and is intended to support the mother's posture during pregnancy.
What happens to your body during pregnancy?
During your pregnancy big changes in musculature and body balance take place. Especially the abdominal and back muscles adapt in order to continue supporting the increasing weight of the belly. At the same time a change in hormone regulation causes your muscles and joints to become more flexible and relaxed to compensate for the increasing body weight. These changes are in preparation for giving birth. Despite all of this being a very natural process, it can be accompanied by pain. This is related to the function of the spine.
The spine, in its natural function, supports a "positive" posture: you're standing up straight without much effort. When you're pregnant you'll suddenly experience much more pressure on your lower back. This causes your posture to change: you're inclined to lean your upper body forward and to bend your lower back too far. This posture is unfavorable and exercises extra stress on the muscles, potentially causing other problems. It is therefore important to maintain a good posture throughout the entire pregnancy. This can be a difficult task and that's why a wrap in support of the spine and the belly can bring great relief.
Warning: if you want to support your belly it's important that you don't start experimenting by yourself. An incorrectly tied wrap can squeeze your baby. It could also be the case that you do feel relief, but that you're inflicting harm on your body in the long run by using an incorrect technique. Supporting your pregnant belly with a wrap is something that can only be done after instruction by a professional.