What Is a Maternity Support Belt?
Also known as a belly band, a maternity support belt is exactly what the name says — a belt or band that supports your growing body. Even though it fits around your belly, this band doesn’t only support your bump. It also provides plenty of support and added comfort to other areas.
Unlike the belt you wore in your pre-pregnancy pants, this one is much thicker and doesn’t have an ornate buckle. Instead, maternity belts are flexible and typically made from the same (or similar) material you’d find in compression garments.
While these items come in a variety of styles and shapes, most wrap around the body. This feature allows you to custom fit the band for your size right now and as your body changes throughout the rest of your pregnancy.
Why Wear a Maternity Support Belt?
Is a belly band a necessary part of pregnancy? For some women it is — at least, to remain comfortable throughout the last two trimesters. If you’ve never worn a maternity belt or aren’t sure why you should get one, these specialized garments come with plenty of pros.
One of the primary benefits of the maternity belt is its ability to reduce pain. This includes lower back pain, sacroiliac joint pain, and round ligament pain. Keep in mind, even though a maternity belt can help to stabilize this area of your body and may reduce pain, it won’t completely eliminate all pregnancy-related discomfort. If you’re still uncomfortable, talk to your doctor about other options.
Along with pain and discomfort reduction, maternity belts may also help to provide posture and balance support. A 2014 study concluded that maternity support belts can help to improve impaired balance — especially in women in their third trimester. Improved balance can reduce the fall and injury risk for some expected mothers.
If you exercise regularly, you’ll want to do everything possible to decrease the likelihood of a fall. Not only can a maternity belt do this, but it can also help you to feel more comfortable during physical activity. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that runners or walkers wear a belly support to reduce discomfort.
How Should You Wear a Maternity Support Belt?
The answer to this question depends on the belt’s style and use instructions. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and consult your medical provider for proper fit and use. A belt worn lower on the hips may help to reduce pelvic pain (such as ligament discomfort), while one worn higher up may help back pain.
Some belts are made for over-the-clothes wear. While this might take away from your overall maternity style, the trade off in comfort and safety is worth it. Other belts offer the option to wear the band over or under your clothing. If you don’t like the look of a visible belt, this is the choice for you.
When it comes to belt choice, select a band that you feel comfortable in. An adjustable belt made from a flexible, breathable fabric typically provides the greatest comfort. But that doesn’t mean you’ll feel at your best in this type of style. If you feel soreness, excessive pressure, or any additional discomfort, choose a different belt.
It’s possible for a comfortable belt to cause sudden discomfort in some special circumstances. Hot, humid weather and sweating during physical activity may make it difficult to wear your belt. Always talk to your medical provider about a change in comfort, pain, or proper maternity band use.
Do you need a maternity support belt? Contact Corner Home Medical for more information.