By Hilde Tavares, Chiropractor and Founder of bbhugme
You’re considering a maternity support belt, and you’re wondering if it’s worth your while.
We see mums-to-be weighing the idea pretty often, and thought we’d shed some light on all the reasons why we’ve seen mums-to- be reach out for a maternity support belt.
You could be at any stage of your early motherhood journey: perhaps you’ve just found out your pregnant, or you’re feeling that first little flutter, or you’re thirty-something weeks along, and you’re learning to get really comfortable with the baby bump.
At any of those stages, though, you could begin to experience pain and discomfort. It’s only natural - your body’s shifting and changing every day to make room for the little life-ball that’s growing inside you.
Many times, you’ll feel better by just sitting down, taking a breath, and waiting for the pain of discomfort to pass.
When that doesn’t cut it, however, is when mums-to-be tend to turn towards some form of support to help navigate through the trimesters a little bit easier.
Pain relief is just one way in which maternity support belts help. Perhaps you’re an active mum and want to keep hitting the trails for your run? Or maybe you’ve got to stay in action with your other little ones – school runs, football games, ballet lessons, mealtime?
Here are some of the biggest reasons why mums-to-be wear maternity belts:
To ease back,hip and pelvic joint pain
Back,hip and pelvic joint pain can appear at any time during your pregnancy, and it can get in the way of literally everything.
Day-to-day activities can leave you completely drained if and when it strikes, and it’s hardly uncommon.
According to a study in the Spine Journal,71% of women report lower back pain, and 65% report some degree of pelvic girdle pain.
Your body also releases more of a hormone called Relaxin during pregnancy. As the name suggests, its job is to loosen up and relax all the connective tissue in your body, including the ligaments in your pelvis, preparing your body towards the birth of your child.
However, as a result of this loosening up, you could experience a sense of loss of stability, especially in your pelvis.
A good maternity support belt helps to ease lower back, hip and pelvic pain and discomfort. The bbhugme Maternity support belt is soft, dynamic, and flexible so that you can do what you need to do, remain active, and go about your day feeling well-supported.
Support during exercise
If you’re an active mum and don’t want to lose the gym habit, or running practice or your regular yoga class, good on you!
It can, however, be smart to provide your belly and pelvis with some durable support through your sweat sessions. A maternity support belt is a great way of ensuring support while keeping you moving and grooving! Zumba fan, anyone?
All of us at bbhugme, backed by our panel of experts, are all for healthy and happy pregnancies.
Dr. Hilde Tavares, bbhugme Founder, and Chiropractor specializing in pre-natal care, recommends hot water activities for mums who find themselves struggling with too much pain or discomfort for other types of exercise.
As baby grows, your belly gets heavier and your center of gravity changes. In example, to help stay I balance the curve in your lower back gradually increases throughout your pregnancy.
So, the way you move, bend forwards, backwards and so on changes completely. Postural support can be key to alleviating some of the discomfort around all of this.
A flexible maternity support belt works by providing external cues to help keep your spine aligned comfortably, to make movement and day-to-day activities easier.
Support after baby arrives
One common postpartum effect is that your core muscles will need some time to recuperate after being stretched out during the pregnancy. Some may also experience an even greater extent of abdominal muscle separation, known as diastasis recti.
There are of course various core exercises you can do to coax your belly back into shape, but your body needs time to heal after the birth, so that should not be your main focus in the beginning. A maternity support belt can act as your own “personal little helper” through those first few weeks if you have the need for it.
Your hard-working postpartumcore muscles may actually thank you for the literal hug that a great belt feels like!
All of these reasons basically point to one thing: A maternity support belt is designed to help you be more comfortable as you navigate the changes during and after pregnancy. Our intent with the bbhugme maternity support belt is tohelp you with the support you may need so that your main focus can be on adjusting to your life as a new mum.
The Maternity Belt Overdependence Concern
One common concern is that regular external support from a maternity belt can lead to 'overdependence,' or the gradual weakening of your core because of the belt.
While some rigid belts might restrict movement and do almost too much by way of support, the bbhugme belt is a flexible support belt designed to provide gentle support that allows for more and easier movement, not less.
As a general rule of thumb, when you're looking for any kind of external support gear during your pregnancy, you want to steer clear of anything too rigid that limits motion, locks up your joints or deactivates your core muscles.
Dr. Hilde recommends that her patients wear a maternity support belt mainly when they are doing activities that would typically cause them discomfort or pain. This can be during work hours, training, walking kids to daycare, grocery shopping, or fixing dinner.
“I always tell them to take off the belt for extended periods of sitting or lying down. Your back and pelvis don't really need to be supported when they are not under what we call loading stress," she advises.
About the author
Hilde and her husband run a family chiropractic practice just outside of Stavanger, Norway. She works with pregnant women, new moms, and their babies every day. Her work reaches beyond treating only aches and pains, and centers around helping women understand their true physical strength and connecting with their inner voice that already knows what is best for them and their babies. As one of the founders of bbhugme, and part of the product development team, Hilde has a close relationship with all the bbhugme products.