Maternity Belts are one of the most useful, yet one of the least known pregnancy products on the market. Designed to support your bump and lower back during pregnancy, using a maternity belt or maternity band can reduce or remove pregnancy related pain and can make your entire pregnancy more comfortable - some say it can even reduce the number of stretch marks you get!
Throughout your pregnancy your body produces a hormone called Relaxin which softens the tendons and ligaments around your pelvis enabling it to widen during the labour process. However, as the Relaxin starts to enter your body, your pelvis can start to relax earlier than it should.This relaxation leads to movement in the pelvis which reduces the support your pelvis can provide to your back and, when added with the extra weight put on as your bump grows, can result in severe discomfort and pain.
In extreme cases this can cause pelvic girdle pain where the women can experience pain almost anywhere in her body, from lower back pain and discomfort in the pelvis to shooting pains up the body or down the legs and across the abdomen. In some cases, this increase in movement in the pelvis along with the increased pressure can result in the pelvis locking and the individual being unable to move for varying degrees of time. This can be distressing but, if it happens frequently, can be debilitating and result in the need for crutches for support or even incapacity.
However a maternity belt can support your back and your bump to reduce these pressures and can put a stop to pregnancy related pain altogether.
A good maternity belt sits under your bump and is designed to slightly lift your bump, taking some of the weight off your pelvis and thus reducing the movement that can cause the pain and resulting side effects. The belt also wraps around your lower spine, supporting the back to give you a more correct posture and should ensure a more comfortable position for your bump, which should make your whole maternity experience more comfortable.
But this is only one benefit of a maternity belt.
The maternity belt can provide a bra like support to any bump which is why a growing number of women who have never experienced any sort of pregnancy related pain are starting to agree that they are a vital part of your maternity underwear.
Just as we wear bras to support and define our busts, we can now provide the same support and definition to our pregnancy bumps.
As you grow during your pregnancy the maternity belt can help carry some of your increased weight in your everyday life to ensure that your pregnancy is as comfortable as possible.
When you become pregnant after already having a child you will find that your body changes and grows much quicker than it did the first time around, as if your body remembers what it needs to be doing and so gets on with the job. This means that you will probably have a larger bump for longer than you did - and that can wear on your body. The maternity belt can give you that extra lift, just to make sure you don't start getting weary and experiencing the back pain we are so keen to avoid.
Or if you having a multiple pregnancy, where you have even more to carry, then a maternity belt can sometimes be the difference in whether you can make it through the day or not!
And there is even a school of thought that says that if your bump is supported and not pulling down on your skin, then there is less stress on your skin which can cause stretch marks. This has yet to be proven, but who wants to take the risk!