What are belly bands?
During pregnancy — and after — women often utilize maternity support garments to help alleviate pain, remain more active, or support their pre-pregnancy wardrobe. Maternity support garments such as belly bands can help alleviate discomfort, lower back pain, and pelvic girdle pain throughout your pregnancy.
However, belly bands should be worn in moderation and with caution to avoid any potential adverse effects.
Belly bands are stretchy tube-shaped garments that mothers-to-be wear around their belly. They can cover unbuttoned shirts or pants to accommodate your growing tummy, but the belly band can also help support your lower back and hips through light compression.
Belly bands are also known as belly sleeves, maternity bands, or pregnancy bands. They are similar to belly belts, which are more rigid and offer greater support for your abdomen, hips, pelvis, and lower back. Postpartum belly wraps or girdles — which offer structured support for postpartum recovery — are sometimes referred to as belly bands.
Why Would I Need a pregnancy support band?
Pain and discomfort. The primary reason moms turn to the support of a pregnancy support band is to relieve aches and pain. As your baby grows bigger, he puts more pressure on your body. You may begin to walk and stand differently to compensate for the extra weight, causing pain in your muscles and joints.
Additionally, during the second trimester, your ligaments loosen to accommodate your growing baby. You may feel increasing aches in your hip, groin, and legs as your pregnancy progresses.
Physical activities. If you enjoy being active, a pregnancy support band is a great addition to your workout. Even if you don’t need extra support on a daily basis, having it during exercise may help you maintain a more effective workout.
It can also prevent you from getting hurt during a workout by providing some compression to your abdomen. You should always take it slow working out while you’re pregnant and take extra precautions to stay safe.
Outfit hacks. Even though your belly is growing, your hips and legs may not be. So you can pull your favorite pants up, but not fasten them. A pregnancy band can act as a buffer between your pants and your tops – covering your belly and the upper band of your pants.
Plus, if you bend over, your band will spare you the embarrassment of showing your back or belly as your clothes get smaller.
Posture. You change how you walk and move to support your growing baby, and your posture takes a hit too. By compressing your lower belly and lifting the baby off of your hips, your pregnancy support belt will also help you sit and stand up straight.
With added support to your lower back, bad posture won’t be a concern. This is great because bad posture can mean added strain on your body, leading to more aches and pains.
Postpartum healing. The benefits of your pregnancy support band don’t end with your pregnancy. You can keep using the band for support after giving birth. Pregnancy and birth take a huge toll on your body, and it takes time for your body to heal. Maintaining additional support for your lower back and abdomen has many benefits, including faster healing.
Tip of wearing a belly band during pregnancy
- While wearing a belly band can offer benefits to many pregnant and postpartum women, there are risk factors to consider. No matter what the purpose of your belly band, it is essential that you only wear the band for a few hours at a time. Overuse of the belly band or any support garment can weaken your muscles and promote overdependence.
Belly bands should be used as a part of a core strengthening regiment during pregnancy and after. While belly bands can offer pain-relief and support, they cannot replace core strengthening exercises.
- Before using any compression or support garments, always consult your physician. Belly bands or pregnancy belts can cause changes in your baby’s heart rate, increased pain, muscle weakness, and skin irritation.