Originally Posted by engineer_mom
If i remember correctly, my midwife advised something along the lines of it not allowing the back/stomach muscles to strengthen themselves. She did not seem to be a fan of them.
As a Licensed Massaged Therapist, I have done a lot of research on the physiological function of the practice--in traditional societies. In modern times we tend to see these binding devices only as a means to slim our bodies faster, however, thaat really isn't what this is meant to do at all. So the above notion is correct, however, only if you use them not as indicated. Like any other device that is meant to restrict movement or offer support, it is only functional for a short period of time. In the case of belly binding, it is only functional to support the body as and until the internal organs and muscles that were displaced by pregnancy find their natural place back in the abdominal cavity, which generally takes up to 6 weeks, sometimes less and sometimes more. Once your organs and muslces and ligaments have returned to their proper place then it isn't necessary to wear the binding, at that point it is in your best interest to allow your muscles to regain their tone and sstrength naturally by doing this supportive work themselves. Some women will continue to wear the bindings though because they like the way it looks under clothing, and this isn't a good idea--best to get SPANX since this is a slimmer, but doesn't interfere with the muscles function as much as a binding device would.
Its kinda like a splint for a sprained ankle--the sprint is necessary and beneficial during the acute phase of injury and initial healing period whe the ankle is so swollen that it needs to be supported while not being in use. However, after a period of healing and restricted use of the ankle the body has healed it enough to where it becomes necessary to start using it to regain the form and function and strength. When people don't do this they end up with longer recovery and less mobility and strength in the long term. However, if they don't use the splint in the beginning they will likely do far more damage than if they overused it. That acute period is really critical--as is the postpartum period, in repairing the body and setting it back up for optimal healing and THIS is why the binding iss so valuable. In our society most women are not 'babymooning' during the initial postpartum, as we used to historically. Many are getting up and cooking, cleaning, entertaining guests, shopping, having playdates for older children, ect--we have less help than our ancestors did and so we do more than they were required to do. I believe that THIS is part of the reason thaat our bodies don't recover as well after pregnancy and birth because we are not giving our bodies the time they need to rest and recover before asking that they get back to work.
Sorry this was so long, but it is a passionate topic for me since I am a bodyworker and see so many chronic issues in women that show up after pregnancy and childbirth.