Author: Hana Halim
The bengkung (binder) which is traditionally used in the ‘Malaysian Pantang’ rituals is probably one of the best tools to help repair the mother’s postpartum body during her Postpartum Recovery period.
Traditional Malay Bengkung was designed to be worn directly below the breasts to cover around the rib cage and extends all the way to cover the pelvic girdle and the pubic bones.
Just like a cast, a mother is expected to wear this binder for as long as they can throughout the day. As a result, this physically helps improve conditions of flaring ribs and prevents further injuries or pain of a pubis symphysis.
The correct wearing of the binder helps support the bones of the pelvis, rib cage, and the surrounding muscle groups. It must also be worn from bottom up to prevent internal organs from being pushed down creating unnecessary pressure on the pelvic floor.
With caesarean birth becoming more available and common nowadays, many women find the traditional binder to be uncomfortable as it presses on the wound. For normal vaginal delivery, some women find it inconvenient to wear the traditional binder and therefore skip this step during their confinement period.
Some even will opt for a modern girdle, thinking a binder is only to help them get back in shape. These girdles that only compress the abdominals do not provide the benefit of support to the bones of the rib cage and pelvis and may not provide enough support for the entire torso.
Our modern binder, shown here, which has been adapted from traditional binder, is still the best alternative for mothers who find the traditional binders hard to use.