A pregnancy belly band, also known as a maternity belt, is a device worn around the waist to support the stomach and reduce stress on the back. Belly bands can be helpful during late-term pregnancies, when the baby is growing larger and the uterus is becoming heavier. They can also be worn post-pregnancy to help support the abdomen as it returns to its pre-pregnancy size. There are many different types of belly bands available, so it’s important to select one that is right for you. Here are some tips on how to wear a pregnancy belly band.
But first off, how do I know all of this?
Hi — I’m Hilary — The Pregnancy Nurse 👩⚕️. I have been a nurse since 1997 and I have 20 years of OB nursing experience, I am also the curly head behind Pulling Curls and The Online Prenatal Class for Couples. 🩺 I have helped thousands of pregnant women figure out ways to help their pregnancy aches and pains. A belly band has been a good solution for many of them!
Problem: Carrying around a growing baby for nine months can be hard on your back. You might be looking for a way to help support your stomach and reduce the stress on your back. A lot of women experience pain in their backs during pregnancy. This is often due to the added weight of the baby and the uterus.
Solution: A pregnancy belly band, also known as a maternity belt, is a device worn around the waist to support the stomach and reduce stress on the back. Belly bands may be helpful during your later pregnancy, when the baby is growing larger and the uterus is becoming heavier. There are many different types of belly bands available, so it’s important to find one that is right for you.
And, as always be sure to talk with your provider before wearing a belly band. There may be issues with you and your pregnancy that may adjust which kind you purchase. This is just broad information on how they are used.
Btw, Feeling like you have a lot to talk to your provider about? There’s a spot just for that in here. Plus to-do lists, appointment information and more! It really has all you need to do and remember in one spot!
What is a Pregnancy Belly Band
It is something that supports or covers your belly as it grows during your pregnancy. They come in a lot of different types.
Fashion Belly Band / Shirt Extenders
These cover your belly so if shirts don’t come long enough or pants slide down you’re covered. These do NOT provide support, but a lot of women prefer it vs having some belly “sticking out”
There are also these that do something similar, but also say they are supportive.
How to wear a fashion belly band:
This is pretty self-explanatory as they go just as a band below your bra area. These do have a silicone band, so make sure that it’s not rubbing on your skin and causing any issues like that.
Supportive Belly Band
These are worn tight around the waist to help support your lower abdomen and back as baby grows. They also have some that have straps above the belly, and also ones with “suspenders”.
Here are some of the most popular ones:
This one just goes over your lower belly and provides support to both it and your back. However, no additional support is given.
This one covers more of your belly.
This one has an upper strap that will help support your lower abdomen by tying that area in as well.
This one includes suspenders and could be just the lower band as well. I do like how mcuh coverage that gives in the back (rather than a smaller span).
How to Wear a Waist/Abdominal Belly Support Band
You will fit it to your lower abdomen, and then do the straps as tight as is comfortable, following the manufactures guidelines.
Make sure that it’s not folding or twisting.
Make sure you’re taking the cues from your body that you’re maybe doing too much as well. Obviously there are things we have to do, but letting your body rest (and putting your feet up) is important during pregnancy. You can even do this while you rest to feel productive!
Tips for Belly Support Bands:
Make sure that you are still getting good blood flow to the area
Over-tightening the band may lead to decreased circulation to you or the baby, as well as limiting baby’s movement, so be mindful of that. Talk with your doctor or midwife if you have any questions about that.
You may need to try out a few types of these bands (ones with the strap above, or the suspenders) to see which ones work best.
Try to wear it as little as possible as it can limit blood and movement. Make sure you’re stretching after removing it.
If you’re trying to decide which one will work best for you… I would think about where your pain is, if it’s mainly in your lower from abdomen, that first one might be good, but if it’s more your entire back that one with suspenders might not be a bad idea.
If any of you guys have worn any of these, tell us in the comments!
Hip Belly Straps
These are worn lower on the hips to help any pelvic or SI joint issues
I like how thin this one is. It seems like it might be less likely to rub on your belly.
How to wear a hip band
These are a bit harder, since they aren’t typically made for pregnancy, however you should be wearing them low enough, that it should not dig into your belly (but it depends on how you are carrying).
This should be worn much lower almost on top of your hip joint.
You don’t want it so low that it digs in when you sit down, or too high that it isn’t stabilizing your pelvis and that joint.
I did wear one of these with my last pregnancy. You will initially put it on your hip area, and then tighten the side straps almost as much as you can to provider good pressure to your pelvis.
Again, any questions ask your provider or a physical therapist.
How to wear a pregnancy belly band if my hips and belly ache?
I would just wear a regular pregnancy belly band, but lower than it might be pictured on the box. You may have to move it up or down to see what works best for you. I thought this one looked like it was worn lower, so that might be a good place to start.
And of course, any questions please talk with your providers.
Also, if your hips are aching, I’d ask to see a physical therapist or a chiropractor. See if your OB or midwife thinks they can help (and has a good one to recommend or refer out to).
This is also another option I found:
Kenesiology Belly Straps
These are “tape” like straps that are put on your belly to help support your belly (it stimulates nerve endings rather than actually supporting it). Kinesiology tape is beyond the scope of this article, but I think it is an interesting option and is fairly low-cost to try.
To me, it seems to have less risks as there isn’t as much pressure on your abdomen, and studies have shown it to be helpful for lower back pain in pregnancy.
A belly band can be a BIG support to you during your pregnancy, so I hope you found this article helpful.
I have found a brand that seem to cater towards pregnant women: MummyTape use coupon code PREGNURSE for 20% off your order
Another really supportive option (although in a different way) is taking a prenatal class. Take The Online Prenatal Class for Couples from a highly experienced nurse. In it, you’ll get prepared in just a few hours. So many couples actually think it’s fun too!
Save 10% with coupon code PREGNURSE
And, if you’re not quite sure you’re ready for that whole thing, check out the free lesson from it. It’s your first step toward getting in the driver’s seat of your birth.
- About the Author
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A nurse since 1997, she has worked in various fields including pediatrics, geriatrics & hospice. She has 20 years of labor and delivery experience in the San Jose, CA and Phoenix, AZ areas.
As an evidence-based prenatal educator Hilary has delivered thousands of babies and has educated hundreds of thousands of parents from a diverse patient population to help them have a confident birth.