The market is flooded with lot many types of support garments for pregnant women and new moms. This vastness of pregnant and motherhood clothing can just lead us to a lot of confusion in determining which product is really essential and which is not. Leaving aside all these cons, the one essential pregnancy garment that should find its place in a pregnant woman’s clothing rack is a pregnancy support belt also popularly called pregnancy belly belt. Having said this, let us look into why we say pregnancy belly belt is quintessential.
What actually is a pregnancy support belt or pregnancy belly belt?
They are belts used to wrap the abdomen to support stomach, hips, lower back and pelvis in the pregnancy. Don’t get confused they are also called pregnancy or maternity braces, belts, or straps.
They are typically wrapped around the belly and are worn on top of the upper clothing, nevertheless, a few women wear them beneath. Usually, these belts are a little bit dissimilar to belly bands. They are more strap-like and narrower in comparison to belly bands and this can be noticed especially of the part that surrounds the stomach’s front part.
The major function of these belts is to offer support to pregnant women by sharing part of the weight of the developing belly.
Here are the potential benefits of belly belts:
- Can encourage correct posture. Pregnancy belly belts can assist in stabilizing a pregnant woman’s lower back and abdomen. They share the weight of a pregnant lady’s belly and also even out the centre of gravity. A study in 208 that involved 90 carrying women noticed that sporting a pregnancy support belt marginally enhanced the posture during all the 3 trimesters.
- Can lessen the risks of falls. Belly belts can lower the chances of accidental falls in carrying women as they improve their balance and stabilize their pelvis. A study in 2014 that consisted of 90 pregnant women noted that wearing a pregnancy support belt enhanced balance and lowered the chances of falling all through the 3 trimesters.
- Easy for exercising. As per the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, wearing a maternity belly belt during the later phases of pregnancy can assist in making some actions, such as walking or running more easy and comfortable. This belt can also assist pregnant women to evade injuries during exercises.
- May assist in lowering a few types of pregnancy pains and aches. Belly belts could assist ease a few pains and aches that can happen at the time of pregnancy as they take some part of the stomach’s weight and aid in stabilizing the body and posture.
- Reduces pelvic girdle pain. A study in 2017 consisting of 46 pregnant women found that wearing a pregnancy belt as many times as possible for short durations helped to reduce the intensity of pelvic girdle pain besides making easier for them to manage daily tasks. The study also recommended wearing them in intervals rather than wearing for long periods at a stretch.
What could be the potential cons of belly belts?
Well, every pro has a con side of it and so is the case with belly belts. Here are a few cons associated with belts:
- They are not suitable for continued usage. Usually, they should not be worn more than 2-3 hours in a day. Continuous wearing without regular gaps can lower the flow of blood to the growing baby and also the abdomen.
- Can be costly. Most of the pregnancy belly belts of some notable quality are costly and this is true for the ones that have thick padding and are rigid. If you compromise on the price it means you are compromising on quality which is not suggested in this case as they have a functional character rather than a beautifying character. So, not buying is better than buying a low-cost belly belt that lacks quality and good structure.
What to keep in mind before buying pregnancy belly belt?
It is a confusing and hectic task to buy a belly belt and the main reason for this is, more choices and lack of methodical approach in buying them. However, keep the below things in mind:
- how comfortable will I be in this product?
- know body shape and size well
- product quality, price and durability
- get advice beforehand from your gynaecologist
- check if you really need it by knowing your comfort levels