The delivery truck pulls up to your house. The delivery guys get out of the truck, walk around to the back and slide open the door. They’re all ready to take out your new refrigerator but they do one more thing before they begin: they put on their support belts. Why? Because they’re going to be lifting a heavy object and they want to make sure they don’t strain their backs.
Or go to a gym, particularly one that is geared more toward weightlifters. What do you see many of the lifters wearing? Support belts. Why? Same reason as above.
This is a long way of asking an obvious question: why don’t more pregnant women wear support belts? Aren’t they also carrying extra weight – especially during the third trimester - which can result in back problems and neck pain, not to mention the strain it can put on the knees and ankles?
But unlike bodybuilders and delivery people, a pregnant woman has a bigger issue: she can never put the weight down. It’s always there. She can alleviate it somewhat by sitting or lying down, but until the baby is born, that bowling ball situated in her uterus is a constant companion. And make no mistake, that ball take its toll: In fact, 80% to 95% of women experience pregnancy-related problems especially during the last trimester, including lower back pain, discomfort with lowering of the uterus, heavy and painful legs, varicose veins, loss of balance, and stretch marks.
According to a recent article in Today’s Parent, the concept of belly wrapping has been around for centuries and has roots in Asian and European cultures. “Unlike a corset, which makes your abdominal muscles weaker, a belt will help them gain strength,” the article explains. Many doctors recommend maternity support belts as an excellent abdominal and lower back support to reduce pressure from the spine. Clearly, this will help reduce the back pain that often accompanies pregnancy, especially during one with substantial weight gain.
But the benefits don’t stop there. This article outlines the top five benefits to wearing a maternity support belt:
- Eases ligament and joint pain
- Makes physical activities easier by lessening discomfort
- Helps you regain proper posture
- Makes standing up and sitting down easier
- Won’t hurt your baby even if you wear it throughout the night
Of course, there’s another benefit that, all by itself, can be a convincing reasons to wear a maternity support belt: stretch marks. There are a number of ways to help reduce the incidence of this undesirable pregnancy side effect, such as lotions, creams, nutrition, and exercise. The addition of a well-constructed maternity support belt, in conjunction with the other approaches, can be an extremely effective way to either minimize stretch marks or potentially avoid them completely by providing much-needed support to the uterus.
An important point to keep in mind: there is a distinct difference between a belly band and a maternity belt, although many companies – and even pregnancy experts – use them interchangeably. A maternity band, aka pregnancy belly band, is mainly designed for proper coverage and to extend the life of your pre-pregnancy wardrobe. A maternity belt can double as a belly band, but it also lifts and supports your tummy, taking pressure off of your back. In other words, bands are primarily for appearance; belts offer true, medical support.
Given their documented benefits, why don’t more women wear them? Although there is no specific documentation to answer this question, we believe there are two primary reasons:
Lack of awareness.
Quite simply, there are many women who aren’t even aware of their existence. If more women knew about them, they would likely embrace their benefits. According to research firm Technavio, the global maternity support products market will grow at a CAGR of over 9% during the forecast period of 2018-2022. Decent growth numbers, but increased awareness would increase those numbers substantially.
There are different accounts of the benefits that maternity belts provide, as well as conflicting information about how long you can wear them, which ones are the best, etc.
For both issues, there are two things you can do as a pregnant woman:
- Talk to your obstetrician about the benefits of maternity belts. Let them provide you with their experience and insights on what a maternity belt can and can’t do.
- Visit the Gabrialla Not only will you find unbiased information about the benefits of these ingenious items, you’ll be able to choose from a wide variety of styles, colors, fits, and prices to suit your individual needs.
We believe that Gabrialla produces the best maternity belts on the market. Well-constructed, natural fibers, and no tummy straps that can add unnecessary strain to your growing bump. What’s more, they’re perfect for therapy treatments: our Deluxe Breathable Medium belt is made 6" wide tapering down to 3" in the front with a back pocket for hot/cold therapy relief.
Maternity belts can offer a wealth of benefits that can make your pregnancy easier and more comfortable. Get all the facts about them. And if you decide that a maternity belt is right for you, visit the Gabrialla website. Just like your baby, we’ll be expecting you.