Belly bands are definitely a buzzword when it comes to pregnancy, especially if you are experiencing low back or pelvic pain. In this blog we are going to discuss the why and when associated with belly bands. We will also give you our favorite bands to choose from!
Pelvic girdle pain and low back pain are common during pregnancy, but don’t have to be debilitating. These tend to be the main reasons women look to belly bands. Common risk factors for developing these types of painful complaints during pregnancy are a history of low back pain previous to pregnancy (especially if left untreated), low back pain in previous pregnancies, pelvic girdle pain in previous pregnancies, pelvic floor muscle weakness, altered motor control, and even work satisfaction. Although this is a common thought, current research actually suggests that there is NO link between the relaxin hormone and pelvic girdle pain in pregnancy.
One of the biggest risk factors I see in my office is the lack of motor control. The muscles surrounding the pelvis and lumbar spine have an important job to do – create stability and protect the body during movement, whether loaded or not. As pregnancy progresses, our bodies have a more difficult time achieving the optimal amount of motor control which can result in pain, weakness and reduced force closure.
Although a belly band may help with acute symptoms, it is always important to consult your healthcare provider for further treatment and patient education.
Ultimately, I would love my patients to be able to manage their pregnancy-related symptoms with movement, but sometimes that is not the case. Acute and/or chronic pain during pregnancy can lead to inactivity and fear avoidance behaviors that can unfortunately affect more than just our musculoskeletal health. Therefore, if the support of a belly band can give a woman the confidence to continue to walk and take breaks from sitting while at work I am 100% all for it.
Belly bands are meant to be worn whenever you feel like you need them, but they tend to be uncomfortable if you are sitting for extended periods of time. I find that my patients who benefit the most from them are teachers, healthcare providers and anyone else who is standing for extended periods of time in a day.
Ultimately, belly bands aren’t for everyone and that is okay! If you have more questions about if a belly band is right for you, feel free to email me!
I tend to recommend the brand Belly Bandit to my patients. They have a large variety of different belly bands for pregnancy and the postpartum period, in addition to support leggings, nursing wear and cesarean support products. Here are two of my favorites:
2-in-1 Bandit: A great option during pregnancy and the postpartum period that is inexpensive and effective. The low profile also makes it nice to wear under your clothes.
Upsie Belly Pregnancy Support Band: Has more support than the 2-in-1 Bandit and is a great option for low back pain, pelvic pain and slightly lifting the belly. This band is meant to be worn only during pregnancy and is slightly more expensive.
Check out our personalized link by clicking HERE if you are interested in purchasing any of their products!