From the 21st week of pregnancy, in addition to affection, the belly of a pregnant woman begins to bring discomfort. The correct choice of a pregnancy support belt will help a future mother eliminate the problem of back and muscles pain, will prevent the occurrence of stretch marks.
With the onset of pregnancy, every woman is looking forward to the moment when the belly begins to grow. However, with each subsequent month, pleasure is replaced by pain in the back and waist, as well as the appearance of stretch marks. In such situations, a pregnancy support belt becomes very useful for future mothers.
What is a Pregnancy Support Belt? What is it for?
A pregnancy support belt is a device that provides the support of the stomach (but – without squeezing!), as well as the correct position of the fetus in the uterus. Also, the belt prevents premature lowering of the fetus.
Modern support belts are designed to avoid many undesirable phenomena during pregnancy. Such as feelings of physical fatigue, exhaustion, annoying pain, and heaviness in the whole body and legs.
From the second trimester of pregnancy, the spine, abdominal cavity and back receive an increased load. The fetus, actively developing, increases in size. This is the cause of the occurrence of systematic pain in the back, general fatigue, etc.
Complex support of abdominal muscles is ensured by equal distribution of the load on the back and spine, without squeezing the belly. A good pregnancy support belt will make a woman forget about constant pain in the back and muscles. The skin of the abdomen and thighs will be reliably protected from hyperextension, which, later, will save from the appearance of stretch marks and other deformations. Also, wearing a support belt reduces the burden on the bladder. This will allow a woman to forget about the problem of the frequent urge to urinate.
Main Indications for Wearing a Pregnancy Support Belt:
- An active lifestyle.
- Working during pregnancy.
- Pain in the lower back, osteochondritis.
- Pain in the legs, varicose veins.
- The appearance of stretch marks.
- Multiple pregnancy. The second, third, fourth, and, strictly speaking, repeated pregnancy, when the abdominal wall is stretched more than during the first pregnancy.
- The threat of premature birth.
In fact, there are practically no contraindications to wearing pregnancy support belts. Still, there is a big difference in the opinions of doctors, obstetrician-gynecologists regarding the need for their use, especially for healthy women who don’t experience obvious discomfort.
Some doctors believe, for example, that this is unnatural. This is one of those questions where “many doctors, many minds”. Therefore, it is better not to neglect the instructions of your attending physician and the peculiarities of the course of your pregnancy.
How Long Should you Wear it?
Obstetricians-gynecologists recommend wearing such supporting belts from the moment of active fetal growth because it is followed by an intensive increase of the belly. In most pregnant women, this period begins after the 21st week, rarely – later. If the future mother is waiting for twins, the use of a pregnancy support belt may be required before 21 weeks.
Since the rate of abdominal enlargement in each case is individual, a woman should listen to her own sensations. If you started feeling heaviness when walking, mild pain in the lower abdomen – it’s time to put on a pregnancy support belt.
Kinds of Support Belts for Pregnant Women
Currently, the most common are two types of pregnancy support belts. But they have presented in such a large assortment that pregnant women have plenty to choose from:
- Bandage-belt is the most common type of an elastic pregnancy support belt. Thanks to the wide velcros, a pregnant woman can adjust the size of the belt. It is the bandage-belt that is the universal device which, when changing the position of the velcro, can be used both during pregnancy and after it.
- Bandages-panties can be both prenatal and postnatal. Depending on the period when it is used, the insert on the abdomen is aimed either at supporting the growing abdomen or at its contraction.
A correctly chosen belt helps to cope with a number of dangerous conditions during pregnancy: pelvic presentation, the threat of miscarriage, polyhydramnios, multiple pregnancies, varicose veins, osteochondritis, etc.
How to Choose a Pregnancy Support Belt?
To find the appropriate size of the belt, one must take into account the circumference of the abdomen and the size that the woman wore before pregnancy. Usually, you need to choose a belt one size bigger than the size you used to wear before getting pregnant. If weight gain during pregnancy is significant, then the belt can be 2 sizes bigger.
The material from which the belt is made must be natural. Thus, it will not cause inconvenience and allergic reactions to the skin. Elastic inserts can be made of elastin or microfiber. If you choose the universal belt, then a great number of fasteners and velcros will be only a benefit. They will reliably fixate the belt at different periods of its use.
How to take a Pregnancy Support Belt On?
Choose a pregnancy support belt according to your own sensations: it should support your belly without squeezing it. Take the belt on while lying. The fact is that in such a position the muscles of the abdomen are not stretched.
Thus, accordingly, this is the position that should be kept during the day. At first, the belt should be fixated under the belly by fastening the velcros, then the other velcros are fastened. Some models of belts have side flaps, which allow you to expand the belt as your stomach grows. The wider the belt, the more convenient and safer it is. Keep in mind that narrow belts can curl down, squeezing the stomach.
Rules of Wearing a Belt
The opinion that a pregnancy support belt squeezes the stomach and thereby harms not only the child but also the mother – is a mistake. High-quality material, as well as a properly chosen size, is the guarantee of absolute safety of the product for the pregnant woman and the fetus. The belt, which fits the future mother, will immediately cause relief in the back and eliminate the pain. However, it is not recommended to wear it for more than 3 hours in a row. Experts recommend taking breaks from half an hour to an hour.
Naturally, you should correctly take the belt on. Do not squeeze the belly. There is absolutely nothing complicated here. You will understand that you’ve taken the belt on wrong by an elementary sense of discomfort.
Moreover, each version of a pregnancy support belt has an instruction with illustrations. If you buy a belt in a maternity clinic, the doctor or nurse will teach you how to take the belt on correctly. In any case: if you follow the recommendations and rules of wearing the belt, then, it does not represent a danger for the baby, vice versa, it brings only benefits.
Born in Belarus, 1985, a pedagogue and family psychologist, mother. Taking part in procedures of social adaptation of the foster children in new families. Since 2015 is a chief editor of the motherhow.com project, selecting the best and up-to-date material for those, who are planning, expecting, and already having babies.