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Binding Addendum; Prenatal Edition.

Binding Addendum; Prenatal Edition. A Quick Guide for Safe Prenatal Binding for Mental Health Benefits with Bryna Sampey (they/them), IBCLC.

This is an addendum to the Binding, Lactation and Mental Health for Transmasc and Gender Non-Binary Individuals, however, specified for the prenatal period.

For the social media version of this, see the Instagram post. Black and white text is written on an ombre style background depicting the colors purple, peach, and pink. The text reads as follows:

Queering Perinatal Mental Health

(because the heteronorms of the perinatal world are suffocating).

Prenatal Binding Mitigates Mental Health Risks

Prenatal binding can be an effective tool for wellness and lasting positive mental health during the prenatal period.

If well supported and managed, it may make the difference between a parent who opts to chestfeed or not (their own initial desires depending) AND lessen the risk of developing a Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorder.

Both have long-term impacts on a new family and should be considered with seriousness and care.

Addressing the Changing Needs of the Changing Body

Milk production in a gestating person may begin to develop as early as 14 weeks. There is no need to stop binding at that time.

There is a need to become more familiar and attuned to the newer sensations of the body. If binding begins to hurt or become uncomfortable, please take more frequent breaks.

Additionally consider using an older, stretched out binder or a sports garment instead. If this does not resolve the issues, please try to work with a knowledgeable, affirming provider.

There is a chance, depending on the needs of the body, that one may have to stop binding, but options of exploration do exist.

Minimizing Risk & Dysphoria

While dysphoric feelings may still come up with body changes, life changes, and all of the other things that baby-having brings up, binding is a safe and functional option for people to explore within their emerging identities as parents-to-be.

Here are some additional tips from Bryna Sampey, IBCLC extraordinaire:

  • Use a half, not full/tank binder.

  • Keep it under 4 hours, if possible, or consider taking more breaks, more often.

  • Massage after binding, if possible.

  • Stop if it feels hot or gets red, use ice.

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