Imagine going running without a sports bra. Sounds miserable, right? The same principle applies as your tummy grows larger and larger during your second and third trimesters. The extra weight in your abdomen brings unwelcome discomfort, not only during exercise, but also during everyday activities. A maternity belt is meant to lift and support your tummy and the baby, taking some of the pressure off of your lower back and therefore decreasing your discomfort levels.
Why You Need a Pregnancy Belt
Moms rave about how much the maternity belt saved them from a lot of discomfort and pain during their pregnancies. If you are experiencing round ligament pain, sciatic pain, pelvic pain, sacroiliac joint pain, or even general lower back pain, a belt will help alleviate the pressure and agony. Especially if you're on your feet a lot at work or at home, are expecting twins, and/or have gained more weight than expected, a belt can help ease some of the added stress your body experiences during pregnancy. A maternity support belt can also be worn after birth for extra support while your postpartum belly heals. On top of all of that, a belt can double as a maternity band if worn on the outside of you pants, therefore contributing greatly to your maternity clothing.
Belt vs Band
While these two products are similar, they are different products and have different design intentions. A belt, which is being reviewed in this article, is designed to lift and support the weight of your tummy in order to decrease discomfort. A band, on the other hand, is purely designed as an accessory to extend the life of your pre-pregnancy wardrobe by allowing you to wear your jeans and pants unbuttoned and/or unzipped. A belt can double as a band, but a band cannot provide the extra support that a belt can. For more details on the difference, read our article on Pregnancy Belly Band vs. Maternity Belt. For our top picks for belly bands, see our mom's picks article on The Best Pregnancy Belly Band to Keep You in Your Pants Longer.
Best Maternity Belts
This belt by GABRIALLA has been the recipient of "Top Choice" and "Family Choice" national awards for the past five years and has over 1,000 reviews on Amazon. It's designed and proudly made in the USA and comes in a variety of sizes, colors (e.g., beige, white, black), and strengths (light, medium, strong). This pregnancy support belt is completely adjustable and is meant to guide you through your second trimester all the way through postpartum recovery. This belt was created with the stress of running and exercising in mind, but is also great for extra support throughout the regular day.
This products is Amazon's Choice when it comes to maternity belts. The soft and breathable fabric helps cradle your little passenger and give extra back support for your spine. There are over 1,000 reviews on Amazon, 65% of which are 5 stars. It's one size fits all, but only comes in one color: beige. The band is slightly thicker in the front compared to the Garialla, which provides slightly more gentle compression in the abdominal area.
This maternity belt by NEOtech Care Brand goes the extra mile in the support design of their product: it includes an abdominal lift attachment which gives lift without unnecessary pressure, holding the belly belt in place, and preventing the belt from rolling. It features a multi-layered laminate, breathable fabric with a cotton/nylon elastic lining. Plus, reinforced velcro makes adjusting a breeze. It comes in three sizes (small, medium, and large) and NEOTech uses their own sizing chart so measure before you buy. There's also three colors available: beige, black, and white.
This maternity support band is slightly different because it is actually a baby belly band but it offers more support than a traditional band. It can be worn from beginning to end, pregnancy to postpartum. The abdominal band is the base component of the system and is made of a soft, flexible neoprene (latex free) fabric which is extra durable. You can also purchase the add-on shoulder straps for increased back and abdominal support, especially during twin or multiple pregnancies. It's machine washable and comes in 5 different sizes that accomodate plus size women. The downside is that you will end up spending more money by buying both products separately.
Pregnancy belts can be amazing accessories to pregnant women and women who are recovering post partum. A maternity belly support belt should fit comfortably and should be made of stretchy material. It can be used prenatal and as a post pregnancy belly wrap, and can relieve back pain associated with altered posture, large stomach size, hip / joint pain, and more!
However, it's important to only wear for two to three hours at a time to prevent over dependency. You should strengthen the core muscles and this will help speed up recovery in the long run. Otherwise, a belt can be a lifesaver when it comes to relieving the pain and discomfort associated with carrying a little human.
"Love this band. Easily adjustable and you feel the support. I use it to run." -Sarah
"Amazing... don’t know what I’d do without this. Have had so much abdominal pain. This has been a lifesaver." -Amy
"I’m so glad I went ahead with this purchase." -Liz