Welcome to my belly-binding diary! Before I left for Singapore, I was finally ready to take my first step to get back into my prenatal body. Jamu is a great way to start, as you can start soon after giving birth (2-3 weeks after a natural delivery, and 4 weeks after a C-section, or until the wound is no longer painful.)
Jamu has been a popular postnatal treatment mums opt for to get back into shape. I did it with my first, and I did it again for my second.
This time, I did my treatment with Restoring Mums; here is my diary documenting my day-to-day experience, so you can have a better idea of what belly binding is all about.
Restoring Mums is founded by momtrepreneur Karen Loke in 2011. Being a mother of three, she has experienced the transformation from Jamu therapy and how it has helped her restore her body and get back into shape.
Through this experience, it ignited a passion within Karen, and that is how Restoring Mums began. Her vision is for mothers to embrace the importance of self-care. She believes in supporting women to restore their own well-being following the birth of a child, by providing them with the tools for recovery and rejuvenation to support a happy, healthy growing family.
Restoring Mums offer treatments from belly binding (under the slimum® Treatment range) to breast lymphatic massage. (They are not all listed on the website, so worth contacting them directly to ask.) Their treatments can be done both at the comfort of your own home or at their clinic in Sheung Wan. Their Sheung Wan Clinic is easy to find and very close to the MTR station. (5 mins walk from Exit A2). Their clinic is very clean and pleasant, a nice little escape away from home and the kids for some much-needed me time.
Restoring Mums is a company that cares. You can feel Karen's passion and desire to help her clients on their postnatal journeys. She is friendly and knowledgeable and will take the time to understand her client's needs to ensure her therapists can help you get the best results.
They are very professional and organised. I was blown away by their service. Their booking confirmation email was very detailed and clear, so you know what to expect. They will even send you your therapist's Covid electronic testing record before your treatment, so you have peace of mind.
They have great therapists; as I went to Restoring Mums for their belly binding and breast lymphatic massage, I tried 3 different therapists. All 3 of them have been very professional, and their technique was consistent.
I was pleased with my final result, and it definitely gave me the push I needed to start my postnatal journey.
My Belly Binding Diary
Day 1 - At Sheung Wan Clinic
For the first day, I went to their clinic in Sheung Wan. I wanted to get out of the house without the kids for some much-needed alone time.
When I arrived, I was greeted warmly by Karen. She explained what Jamu was all about, what their slimum® Treatment includes, and how it can help me restore my body to my former self. Before they start the treatment, the therapist will look at your body to see where your problem areas lie.
The treatment is split into two parts. The first part is the Tummy Masque and tummy massage by both hot stone and hand techniques. Sometimes they do a Tummy Scrub as well, but this depends on the individual's need. The second part is the slimum® tummy binding.
The highlight of the treatment was definitely their massage. It was heavenly and such a treat for me. I love a massage, especially a hot stone massage. (My favourite!). It was so relaxing and comfortable that I could happily drift off for a quick snooze.
As this was my first treatment, the therapist did a Tummy scrub before the Tummy Masque as well. The scrub exfoliates dead skin cells and encourages the production of fresh cells. I love their Tummy Scrub because it is made from natural ingredients, which are both good for the skin and the environment.
They used a Jamu Masque for my tummy, and the slimum® Masque for my back. Their Jamu Masque helps rid gas in the uterus and abdominals, aids involution, improves circulation and rids lochia. Restoring Mums' Jamu Masque is formulated without limestones, unlike conventional Jamu formulation, which may cause skin allergy. This is a great Masque to start with, so I can get rid of any bloating before targeting the fat.
Their signature slimum® masque deals with stagnated fats, the fats that don't seem to go away. Eliminate toxins, aids constipation, and increase lymph drainage. This is their secret fat-busting formula!
We went pretty tight with my first binding because the tighter the binding is, the better the result. However, I found it was too tight for me. I thought I could handle it, but after five and a half hours, I needed to take it off, as I started to have a headache and felt a bit nauseous.
Day 2 - At Sheung Wan Clinic
For day 2, the therapist used their in-house slimum® mask for both my tummy & back. I told my therapist the binding was too tight for me yesterday, so she loosened the waist part of the binding a bit, making it more comfortable during the day. I could move around easier, but I still found bottle feeding hard because of the way I was sitting. So I had to ask my helper to help with the feeding. However, I managed to have the binding on for 8 hours this time, which is the minimum recommended duration.
Day 3 - Home session
I switched to home session because I didn't want to travel after my binding. I also decided to have the binding on overnight instead, as I wanted to try sleeping with the binding on.
It did take me a while to fall asleep that night, and I couldn't get into a deep sleep. However, I preferred having the binding on at night, as I could have it on for much longer, and I found it more comfortable.
On day three, I managed to have it on for 9 hours, my best record so far.
Day 4 - Home Session
As I wanted to have a better night's sleep, I asked the therapist to loosen the binding slightly. It still felt tight, but it was just loose enough to be more comfortable.
On day four, I managed to sleep through for 13 hours! Which is the longest I have ever managed. (Including my first pregnancy). So I was pretty chuffed with myself.
Day 5 - Home Session
We are halfway there! Hurray! We took photos of the progress, which wasn't that noticeable, but I found my bras less tight, so it is working.
We did the binding with the same tightness as yesterday. The idea was that we rather have it slightly looser and have it on for a longer time, rather than having it tighter and removing it sooner.
On day five, I managed to have it on for 13 hours again. It is also the weekend, so I can have a bit of a break.
Day 6 - Home Session
By day 6, I had gotten used to the feeling of having the binding on for a long period of time. My target minimum duration of having it on is 13 hours, but this is only the target I set myself. Anything over 8 hours is a bonus. Their advice is minimum 8 hours.
Today is also when I found the best ways to pump and breastfeed most comfortably with the binding on. When I sit down, if I am sitting near the edge of the chair, I found it more comfortable, so I am not in a complete 90 degree when I sit. It just gives my hip area a bit more give when I sit this way.
For breastfeeding, my favourite position was feeding while lying on my side in the bed. This allows me to have my body straight, so the binding feels more comfortable.
Unfortunately, after Day 6, we had to take a break, as I had mastitis. I had a fever and was advised by my doctor to take a break until my mastitis was over. (If you have mastitis and need help, please read my "How to prevent and deal with mastitis" blog post here.)
Day 7 - Home Session
After a week and a half break, we are back with day 7. Even though we had a week or so break in between. I managed to retain the result from the previous six sessions.
I had to get used to the feeling of having the binding on again. So even though the therapist did the same tightness, it felt tighter than before. I still managed to have it on for 12 hours, even though it felt less comfortable than Day 5 & 6.
Day 8 & 9 - Home Session
Feels like everything is back to normal; my body quickly adapted and got used to the feeling of having the binding on again.
Both of these days I managed to have it on for 13 hours again! Woohoo!
Day 10 - Home Session
Final day! On my last day, I was happy and sad at the same time. I was happy because I no longer had to have the binding on, but sad at the same time, as that means no more massages. (Boooo). Plus, I really liked my therapist. Our sessions felt like catch-up sessions with one of my girlfriends.
As today is my last day, I was determined to have it on for 13 hours again, and I did.
I would highly recommend Restore Mums. If I had to give them a star rating, I will give them 5 out of 5. I had such a good experience with them, and I am pleased with my results.
My muscle separation is completely gone, and my restoring journey towards my postnatal body is on its way. Here are my results after 10 sessions:
Total reduction: 12cm
Here are my before and after photos:
Even though it doesn't look like a big difference in the photos, I can feel it when I wear clothes. Please bear in mind, I had a week plus off during my sessions. I believe, if I had done the 10 sessions back to back, my results would have been even better.
What I was most happy with is that I didn't bounce back even after I stopped my treatment. When I first moved to Singapore, my diet was horrific. (Burgers, fries, cakes, basically all the comfort food you can imagine.) I was purely on survival mode before my helper arrived, so I was just eating whatever I felt like. Luckily, thanks to the slimum® Treatment from Restoring Mums, I didn't gain any weight. For which I am very grateful!
Know your limit
Everyone is different, and everyone's limit is different. If you can't have the binding too tight, it is ok. It is better to have the binding slightly looser and have it on for longer than have it tighter and remove it sooner.
I will say my tolerance is pretty low. When the binding is too tight, I get headache, nausea, and, frankly, hard to breathe. However, on the days that I had it on slightly looser, I could happily wear it for longer.
Know your body
You know your body's shape best, so take note of how the binding forms around your body.
I found as I moved, the way the binder hugs around my body moves slightly as well. When the binding was first on, the waist area was nice and flat; however, as I moved around throughout the day, the waist area tends to dip in, which is when the binding felt very uncomfortable.
The reason why it kept doing that was because of the shape of my body. My waist naturally goes in quite a bit, so even without the binding on, that part of my body tends to crease inwards when I sit down. So when I had the binding on, it dug into my body, making it very uncomfortable.
Communicate with your therapist
This part is very important. After every treatment, I always tell my therapist how I felt. Whether the binding was too tight, too loose, or where the binding was digging in.
You need to let her know so she can adjust accordingly. Even as she is binding you, let her know if you feel that part of the body is too tight. So she can loosen it and make it more comfortable for you. Belly binding is not the most comfortable, but it shouldn't be intolerable.
Wear a vest
This is a tip for those who have sensitive skin. On the days I didn't have a vest on, my skin felt quite titchy, and I had red marks all around my tummy when I took off the binding.
But this issue was solved once I wore a vest underneath the binding. Having that extra layer of fabric between the skin and the binding made a big difference.
As Hong Kong's weather is so hot, I would suggest wearing a thin vest, even if you plan to stay in an AC room the whole day. I just bought one from Uniqlo, and it worked like a charm.
Be realistic with your expectations
Everyone loses weight differently. It is quicker and easier for some people, and it takes longer for others (like me).
Some of us also got more stubborn fat, and it just takes longer for the pounds to drop off. If you have stubborn fat like me, and want more noticable results. Then I would advise you do another 5 or 10 more sessions to help your body burn off those stubborn fats.
Pros and Cons of Home Session and Clinic Sessions
Lovely room, it is peaceful and quiet.
I prefer the massage table as it is more comfortable.
It is a good way to get out of the house for some fresh air, and alone time.
Traveling back home with the binder was not very comfortable.
Don't need to travel after binding.
Saves time, as you don't need to travel. So you can get back to whatever you need to get on with after the treatment.
It is in the comfort of your own home.
Harder to switch off, as I can hear my kids outside.
If you would also like to book your slimum® Treatment with Restoring mums, please contact them here. And if you book 10 slimum® sessions, you can get a $300 Restoring Mums product voucher with my promo code.
I hope my Jamu diary has been helpful and useful, and give you a better idea what Jamu is all about.
Sending you love & positive thoughts,