Updated: Aug 11, 2020
The Ancient Wisdom Ways of Holding Our Womb
The use of the Faja is an ancient healing technique that unfortunately over time, has mostly been lost. It consists of wrapping a long, thin fabric around the abdomen and tying it. It is specifically used after birth, to help support the abdominal and pelvic muscles stay lifted and to hold the womb in place after undergoing birth.
Birthing a child is one of the most major rites of passage that womb holders will experience and move through in their life. It is an experience that deserves immense recognition by the community. Recognition that is shown through supporting emotionally, mentally and physically - to the MOTHER.
When to use the FAJA
After birth is a very beneficial time to use the Faja. It helps the loose muscles and organs come back to their designated region and recover their tone. During pregnancy, all the internal abdominal organs shift from their natural place to accommodate the growing baby in the uterus. One the baby is born, the body has to readjust all of the organs again and the process of the organs and uterus coming back to shape, size and location can often times be a long process if no support is given to the body. In fact even after the mother "heals" she could still struggle for years with a loose uterus from the muscle never fully regaining its tone. The faja really helps the recuperation process, speeding up recovery time, because it works against gravity to encourage the organs to lift.
Other Important Uses
The faja’s use is very supportive not only after birth, but after any pregnancy release (abortion/miscarriage). Essentially, whenever you are postpartum.
After an abortion or miscarriage, you are also postpartum. Yep, postpartum is not just at time reserved for people who end their pregnancies with an actual full term baby. Usually after abortion/miscarriage, there is bleeding for varying amounts of time, sometimes accompanied with cramping. The faja is important during this time to bring heat to this recovering area. I recommend wearing the faja and covering your womb/abdomen for at least the first 40 days postpartum.
Using a faja or wrap during menstruation/bleeding times is beneficial for physical warmth & support as well as energetically containing the womb and abdominal space. Heat improves circulation and blood flow which brings oxygen, healing & new life to your cells. Therefore, it can really help with menstrual cramps because of the increased heat. Kind of like having a mini heating pad or hot water bottle with you all the time. When I am at home and can lie down, I use an extra application of heat in some form. Then if I need to get up and walk about, I will wrap up with my faja. This all applies to any postpartum experience as well.
Illustration by Harriet Lee-Merrion
Secondly, the Faja assists to energetically protect our abdomen. Sometimes with an exposed abdomen, we can take on external energies that are not ours. Often times in modern culture, people will wear shirts that show the stomach (I do it all the time, I love crop tops and will continue to wear them), but my Mayan Abdominal Massage teacher from Guatemala told me how people like myself who dress like this have an increased chance of energy leaking out from ourselves into the world, and/or have an increased chance to take on energy that is not ours to begin with.
This can happen regardless of whether you were shirts that show you stomach. Our abdominal area is such a vulnerable area, not weak, just vulnerable. It houses all of our vital organs! Its where our belly buttons lie which is where we received the first nourishment of life force through connection to our mothers.
Think about it, we are the only mammals that walk around with our abdomen shown front and center to the world. All the other mammals out there walk on 4 legs with their abdomens pointed down towards the earth. Hm…maybe that’s another reason why animals are more in tune with the Earth…just a thought that I am having right at this moment as I write this. Anyway…
So while I am bleeding, I will wrap my abdomen to offer more protection to myself. ESPECIALLY while bleeding, because menstruation is a time when we as womb holders have our own wise magic more accessible and attuned. Therefore we can benefit having this extra layer of protection. I mean when you think about it, when you bleed, do you sometimes wish you could just put up a field around you while you need to go to the grocery store, or go to work? (even though I advise not doing these things if you have that ability the first 2 days of your cycle)…but sometimes the reality is that we must exit our cozy nest of a bed and enter the big world. And when you do, do you wish you had a force field around you that protected you from all the busyness that the big world holds? Well I sure do wish that. I sometimes envision that field around me, with a sign on the front of it that says, please do not disturb.
I found this a little amusing...
The Faja is your energetic field that is no also physically holding that space. It is a protector from all energies and is a reminder to draw your energy inwards; to wrap, cocoon and rest during this death and release of bleeding. We are more sensitive beings to all energies while we bleed. Which is a good thing! It is our superpower of insight & wisdom.
Sometimes I can forget that I am bleeding and to take all things at a slower pace, making sure I am taking the time to listen to the wisdom. The Faja helps me to remember that.
When I wear my faja I feel supported, nestled and held in my process of shedding.
Try it for yourself. All you need is a long, thin fabric (use a scarf) and wrap it around you two times. Not too tight, but pretty snug.
Enjoy being held.