The 10 Best Maternity Belts
This wiki has been updated 36 times since it was first published in August of 2015. If you're planning on staying active while you grow in size, you can get helpful support and relief from back and hip pain with one of these maternity belts. As well as relieving the common aches experienced during pregnancy, they can also help to promote proper posture, prevent stretch marks, and support weak abdominal muscles -- even after you've given birth. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
August 28, 2019:
The NeoTech Care Belly Brace took the top spot for comfort on the list for its reinforced Velcro closures and the top strap that functions to keep the whole unit from sliding around. It also features a higher and wider lumbar support to make it tops for relieving back pain. Even the best rated maternity belt won't be for everyone, though. All that extra reinforcement means its very likely to show under clothing that isn't loose.
The Azmed Abdominal Binder is also ranked high for its durability and comfort. While the support provided is gentler than the NeoTech, Moms-to-be like this one a lot because it doesn't show as much as others under clothing and it redistributes the pregnancy weight well.
We added the Cabea Compression Therapy this time around because it provides unique groin bands for women with extra discomfort in the groin and pelvic area. This targeted support will make it possible for some pregnant women to walk again without pain.
Benefits Of Wearing Maternity Belts
Using maternity belts helps to evenly distribute the weight and avoid excess pain in these areas.
Maternity belts are sold as back supports for the extra weight of pregnancy. This is an adequate basic understanding of their function, as at least half of all pregnant women complain of lower back pain, and maternity belts help them relieve it. There are a few different types of pain that maternity belts may help with. The usual back pain pregnant women complain of is a pain in the sacroiliac joint. Pregnancy causes changes near the sacroiliac joint that lead to sharp and sometimes severe pain right near the tailbone. Wearing a maternity belt may help ease this pain over time.
Using a maternity belt may also help with round ligament pain, which is a pain that comes on in the second or third trimester. Round ligament pain is a more dull ache than sacroiliac pain, and presents itself more in the front of the hips and in the legs just below the belly. Using maternity belts helps to evenly distribute the weight and avoid excess pain in these areas. Another benefit of using a maternity belt is that it acts as a reminder to keep a correct posture. A maternity band supports the lower back, thus preventing overextension and reminding the body to keep the spine straight and the core tight. This makes daily activities easier, and may even keep you going longer before it is time to rest.
Wearing a maternity belt also holds the belly in place, albeit very gently. This gentle structure reduces discomfort from physical activity, much like a sports bra protects the breasts. This is important, as physical activity helps keep the body in shape and regulate hormones during pregnancy. Exercising to regulate body weight before and during pregnancy is crucial, as maternal obesity can affect the health of both mother and growing child. Working directly with their OB-GYN, many women find it is simple to add a gentle workout to their daily routine to help protect them and their babies from possible complications. Exercise during pregnancy can also decrease the risk of depression, hypertension, and even diabetes. Many women cite pain or discomfort as reasons they do not workout during pregnancy. Using a maternity belt may be the best way to reduce those symptoms and get the workout you need.
Risks And Considerations When Wearing Maternity Belts
The benefits of wearing a maternity belt while pregnant are clear, but there are some very important things to consider before buying and using a maternity belt that can shape your personal experience. As the hormone relaxin floods the body in the time leading up to labor, the ligaments in the pelvis and hips become loose. This process is meant to help the pelvis and hips open as the child goes through the birth canal. The added complication here is that the ligaments and muscles in the hips and pelvis cannot support as much weight.
Women with a history of early pregnancy or a history of labor that follows back pain should talk to their doctors before purchasing a maternity belt.
Excess weight from pregnancy and the extra stress on the surrounding muscles compensating for the pelvis often leads to back pain, even while using a maternity belt. While maternity belts can greatly reduce back pain, pain is a sign that the body needs to rest. It is important to take special care of your body while pregnant and to listen to any signals it has for you. Resting your back whenever possible may seem unproductive, but it is best for your health and the health of your unborn child.
It is also crucial to pay attention to the type of back pain you are experiencing. Back pain can be one of the signs that you are going into labor, as the muscles relax even further in preparation for the baby’s body. Women with a history of early pregnancy or a history of labor that follows back pain should talk to their doctors before purchasing a maternity belt. This can help reduce the chances of not noticing signs of labor. A professional should always help you fit the maternity belt the first time. Improper use may lead to an increase in back pain, skin conditions like heat rash, and may even raise the heart rate of the baby. An OB-GYN or certified midwife will gladly help get your maternity belt fitting just right.
Other Ways To Care For The Body During Pregnancy
Wearing a comfortable maternity belt is just one step towards a perfect pregnancy. There are many other important considerations for taking care of both mother and child during pregnancy. One of the most crucial things for pregnant women to really understand is that creating a new human requires extreme amounts of energy. This means staying hydrated and eating particularly well to provide the body with enough nutrients to feed and nourish what is essentially two bodies. Variety in the diet is especially important, as the growing fetus needs vitamins and nutrients from all possible sources. Pregnant women tend to feel hungry throughout the day, and should take care to eat many smaller meals instead of a few large meals.
Wearing a maternity belt will help support the muscles while active, but it is equally as important to take the belt off and rest often throughout the day.
With this large energy expenditure comes the often overlooked issue of rest. Rest may be the single most important factor for pregnant women. Rest, especially sleep, allows the cells to heal and repair, and makes generating new cells for a growing baby much easier. Wearing a maternity belt will help support the muscles while active, but it is equally as important to take the belt off and rest often throughout the day.
In addition to exercise and general stress-reducing practices, many women also choose to receive gentle massages or acupuncture sessions while pregnant. Alternative therapies like acupuncture help reduce stress on the body and relieve many pregnancy related symptoms. There is also research suggesting that acupuncture may help induce labor in cases where women do not go into labor naturally. Education is also vital, especially for first-time mothers. Many women take classes, or work directly with a midwife and doula to learn all they can about the pregnancy process. Asking questions during regular checkups can help bridge any gaps in understanding, and there are plenty of books on the topic of pregnancy. Ultimately, the best knowledge of pregnancy comes from one source — your personal experience.