As your baby grows you will notice your tummy not only expanding but getting heavier too. You might feel a twinge of discomfort as your little bundle of joy causes your belly to swell, but you don’t have to wait until their due date for relief. You can get the extra support you need with the help of a belly band.
What’s A Belly Band?
A belly band or maternity support brace is a circular piece of fabric that wraps under the pregnant belly and connects with velcro. They are made out of soft, stretchable fabrics like cotton and spandex to have the ability to stretch and grow with your belly. Most belly bands are adjustable to fit your individual shape and size as an expecting mother.
Some options such as belly wraps are more like tube tops. They’re circular strips of fabrics that are knitted and seamless.
Belly Band Benefits
1. Pregnancy Pain Relief
Maternity support bands are generally recommended to help support the weight growing babies in the womb and to relieve pain due to having a heavier uterus.
This is because during the second trimester your round ligament that connects the groin to the front of the uterus changes to support your growing embryo. As a result, it changes positions and gets placed under additional pressure and may cause dull achy pain in the hip, groin, or abdomen.
During the third trimester, you may have to waddle instead of walk to balance with your baby’s excess weight which puts pressure on your lower back, ligaments, joints, and muscles. In some cases, this pressure can be painful.
The sacroiliac joint (SIJ) is a pair of joints on the sides of your pelvic area responsible for stabilization during physical activities and for absorbing shock to the lower body. During the third trimester, certain pregnancy hormones loosen and stretch the joints to prepare your body for birth resulting in patient pain and possible instability.
2. Comfort During Physical Activities
You wouldn’t hit the gym without your trusty sports bra to keep your ladies in place, right? Well during pregnancy, those who are on their feet a lot can see their normal routine as an exercise. From walking back and forth all over the office to chase meetings to having a physically demanding position such as a cop or nurse, a belly belt or band can help.
By providing comfort with a little compression physical discomfort can be reduced from the uterus and the belly. This will help you get through your work out and help take your mind off discomfort to better concentrate at work.
3. Outfit Hacks
Being pregnant is full of adventures and surprises. For example, one day your favorite pair of comfy jeans fit and the next day they don’t. However, you don’t have to panic and throw them out. You can use your belly band to bridge the gap between your shirt and pants.
It will provide a fashionable layered look with the privacy of covering your stomach. Many women can comfortably cover their unbuttoned pants and relax instead of squeezing into them and dealing with the discomfort of button imprints.
4. Posture Enhancing
Your maternity belt will also help you maintain proper posture, especially during the third trimester when your lower back and spine fall under increased weight. As your core muscles that support the spine weaken you’ll be more prone to extending your lower back. This can occur during your normal daily routine with activities such as walking or even sitting. However, your pregnancy belly band will give you the necessary support to stabilize your lower back and torso.
5. Postpartum Healing
Don’t put your belly band away after giving birth. It can help with postpartum healing as your muscles and ligaments that stretch during birth need time to heal. Strains and weakness can make it difficult to care for your newborn. The support provided by your belly band can decrease comfort.
How To Use A Belly Band
- First, check with your doctor to discuss using a belly band. They aren’t suited for women with hypertension or poor circulation.
- Then choose the right size based on your pre-pregnancy size. Many brands have sizing charts that correlate with pant sizes to help you choose the properly fitting option.
- If you have a tube belly band slide it over your head and position it over your stomach. Slide it down until it covers your pants line.
- For belly bands that have velcro snaps, place the widest point under your stomach to support it and fasten the velcro straps behind your back. Some options attach in the front or on the sides, so refer to the instructions included with your band.
- You want to feel gentle compression. If your belly band is too tight it can cause indigestion, heartburn, and impact your circulation and blood pressure.
- Only wear your maternity support band for 2 to 3 hours at a time. Becoming over dependent on them can weaken your lower muscles due to too much stretching. Take a break and give your body time to strengthen and prepare for giving birth.
- Belly bands should be paired with daily exercise to shed extra pounds and build up strength.
- If your maternity support band doesn’t relieve pain or you find daily activities to be painful speak with your doctor to address any underlying conditions. You may be recommended to a physical therapist.
Information provided on the Aeroflow Healthcare blog is not intended as a substitute to medical advice or care. Aeroflow Healthcare recommends consulting a doctor if you are experiencing medical issues or concerns.