What is a pregnancy belt?
Maternity support belts are wide, reinforced fabric belts designed to provide support and comfort throughout your pregnancy. They fit right under your stomach and help lift it slightly, relieving some of the weight from your stomach and back. If you walk a lot or are uncomfortable during your pregnancy, or if you are expecting twins, you should probably invest in a pregnancy support belt.
Not to be confused with belly bands, worn for comfort and coverage when your regular clothing no longer fits, and designed to fit underneath your clothing like pantyhose.
Support belts, abdominal belts and maternity belts can be used either during pregnancy or for extra support after childbirth
The 5 reasons why you need a pregnancy belly band
1. Belly bands help relieve your pain
Back and joint pain during pregnancy can be frustrating and make it difficult to participate in everyday activities. A study in Spine Journal looked at the prevalence of back and pelvic pain during pregnancy. They found that 71 percent of women report back pain and 65 percent report pelvic girdle pain.
Wearing a belly band while pregnant can help support your lower back and baby bump during activities, which can result in less pain overall.
Sacroiliac joint (SI) pain.
SI joint pain is also common during pregnancy, as a result of increases in relaxin, an aptly named hormone that causes the hip joints to become loose and less stable.
It is a sharp and sometimes excruciating pain in the lower back near the tailbone. Abdominal bands and braces that support this region help stabilize the joint, which can prevent pain during activities.
circular ligament pain
This symptom occurs during the second trimester. It is described as anything from a dull ache to a stabbing pain in the front of the hip and under the abdomen.
Caused by the extra weight and pressure on the ligaments that support the growing uterus, this is a temporary but sometimes unbearable problem. Belly bands help distribute the baby's weight across the back and stomach, which can help relieve pressure on the round bands and relieve pain.
2. Belly bands provide gentle compression during activities
Have you ever run without a sports bra? Sounds awful, right? The same principle applies to a growing baby bump. The gentle compression of an abdominal band can help support the uterus and reduce discomfort from movement during physical activity.
A word of caution: Over-compressing the abdomen can impede blood flow and have a negative impact on blood pressure. It can also contribute to heartburn and indigestion.
3. They provide external cues for posture
Belly bands provide external cues to your body to facilitate proper posture. By supporting the lower back and upper body, abdominal bands promote proper posture and prevent overextension of the lower back. The typical "swayback" appearance of pregnancy is due to the extra weight being carried in front of the body combined with the stretching and weakening of the major core muscles that support the spine.
4. They allow you to comfortably engage in daily activities
Exercise during pregnancy has many positive health benefits. A study in Current Reviews in Musculoskeletal MedicineTrusted Source shows that prenatal exercise is beneficial for health.
Exercise increases muscle tone and endurance and decreases the incidence of high blood pressure, depression and diabetes. Many women are unable to exercise or continue working due to pain and discomfort during pregnancy. Wearing a belly band can help relieve discomfort and enable participation in daily activities, resulting in physical and financial benefits.
5. They can be worn for support after pregnancy
In the weeks after the birth, there is often a reduced trunk musculature. Muscles and ligaments that have been stretched and strained during pregnancy need time to heal. Weakness combined with the demanding task of caring for a newborn can be challenging and lead to injury.
Many women find that wearing a belly band after childbirth provides extra support to the abdomen and lower back and reduces discomfort. An abdominal band can be beneficial for women who have experienced separation of the abdominal muscles (diastasis recti) by physically bringing the abdominal muscles back together. Combined with targeted exercises, this can help to close the gap between the abdominal muscles.
Remember that a belly band is a temporary solution. It does not cure the underlying disease or dysfunction. Supporting the abdomen allows the underlying muscles to be “turned off”, leading to increased weakness over the long term.