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If you're pregnant and have got growing tummy pains or simply feel like you need some extra belly support during your pregnancy, you may need to start looking for a pregnancy support belt. Doctors suggest that wearing pregnancy belts can possibly provide pain and fatigue relief during your pregnancy.
The best pregnancy support belts:
Carriwell Comfort Maternity Belt
JoJo Maman Bebe Support Belt
bbhugme Maternity Support Belt
Physiomat Confort® Maternity Belt
BeSafe Pregnancy Belt
Love your Bump Band Pregnancy Belt
Flexguard Plus-Size Maternity Support Belt
Belly Bandit Upsie Belly Support Belt
Gabrialla Maternity Belt
Cantaloop Maternity Support Belt
Recovery Belly/Waist/Pelvis Belt Shapewear
TOROS Group Maternity Support Band
What is a pregnancy belt?
Pregnancy support belts are wide re-enforced fabric belts designed for support and comfort during your pregnancy. They fit just under your bump and help lift it up slightly, alleviating some of the weight from your tummy and back. If you walk a lot or are feeling uncomfortable during your pregnancy, or if you're expecting twins, you will probably want to invest in a pregnancy support belt.
Not to be confused with belly bands: those are worn for comfort and coverage once your regular clothes stop fitting, and fit under your clothes like a pair of tights.
Support belts, belly belts and maternity belts can be used either during your pregnancy or for extra support post-partum.
There are a lot of maternity belts available to buy, but which ones should you choose? Here are our favourite pregnancy support belts that you can buy in the UK:
This pregnancy belt gives you a strong hold and doesn't roll down over your bump, which can happen with other maternity belts. The belt ranges from sizes 10 to 22. Another good thing about this belt is that it gently increases support as your tummy grows to make you comfortable all the way through your pregnancy.
A best-seller from JoJo, this support belt is ideal if your pregnancy is causing you back ache. It's medical grade, designed to relieve tension on the lower back and support the abdomen during pregnancy and also after birth. Available in black or white, in sizes S, M and L.
Keep your core muscles activated with this support belt, as it stabilizes and supports your pelvis and lower back. What they say: "The bbhugme Maternity Support Belt is designed and developed by female chiropractors specializing in pre-natal healthcare." It's made out of soft, breathable high-tech Italian fabric, the same kind used in athletic sportswear.
It looks a bit space-age and technical, but works in the same way as the other support belts on our list. It's easy to put on and take off, and keeps you comfortable while you're standing or walking (it's recommended to take it off while sitting or lying down).
This is a dedicated all-size support belt that can only be hand washed. This pregnancy belt has been specifically designed to be used while you’re travelling in the car, especially if you'll be seated for a long time, and you can attach it to the car seat belt for extra safety too.
This belt is designed to do two things: to support your belly and help get you in all those clothes that don’t quite fit during pregnancy, and, after your baby is born, it can be worn like a boob tube to give you some discretion while breastfeeding. It's machine washable and fits all sizes.
This support belt goes up to a 62-inch bump circumference, which makes it perfect for bigger bumps. It's also totally adjustable, so it will expand as you get bigger. This belt will help you correct any poor posture, with the extra benefit of a lifetime warranty to boot.
This is one of the best-rated support belts for pregnancy and maternity. It comes in sizes 8 to 26. Besides being really comfy, it aims to help minimise stretch marks, relieve bladder discomfort, increase circulation and blood flow and decrease varicose veins, hernias, and haemorrhoids.
If you love wearing your jeans, this maternity belt can help you get the most comfort out of them and is almost invisible. Gabrialla is an American brand well-known in the USA and has received a lot of favourable reviews. This belt adds a fair amount of compression while keeping you comfortable.
This maternity belt is made with smooth stretchy fabric. It can be used for a longer time as it has elasticated fibres that stretch and relax with your body. Some mums say it’s so comfortable you can forget you are even wearing it.
This is a three-in-one set of maternity belts for after you give birth, with one belly band, one waist belt, and one pelvis belt which you wear at the same time. The advantage of wearing this set is that it speeds up the postpartum healing process. During this time you need a bit more pressure to heal, but this belt still manages to keep you very comfortable.
If you like running and want to keep doing it during pregnancy, this support belt will make you feel much more comfortable by protecting your belly and giving more support to your hips, back and pelvis as well as your belly. Another big advantage is that it's designed to keep you cool through those hot flushes.
Should I be using a pregnancy belt?
There is some debate about whether pregnancy belts are safe but generally speaking, if used properly, they are. It's not recommended to use a pregnancy or a maternity support belt while sleeping but you'll get plenty of use out of it when you're out and about.
Like shapewear, pregnancy belts work by ultimately compressing the body, so it's important to find one that fits properly and is fully adjustable - always make sure to try a maternity belt on before you buy or check the returns policy.
Sherry A. Ross, MD, author of 'She-ology, The Definitive Guide to Women’s Intimate Health. Period', says, "Maternity shapewear that is too tight and puts too much pressure on the body is never a good idea. If you have trouble breathing, or you're in pain while wearing your shapewear, that's a sign that it's probably too tight for you. Discomfort, pain, reduced blood circulation and heartburn are some of potential issues from maternity shapewear that is too tight or worn for prolonged periods of time."
In addition, prolonged use of a maternity belt can lead to reliance on it for support, which is counter-productive. Instead, focus on developing your own core strength to support your bump and only use a pregnancy support belt as an extra aid.
Other criticisms of using maternity belts range from fastenings such Velcro and poppers irritating skin or clothing, and regular adjustments throughout the day (like after eating or when sitting down and standing up) being an inconvenience.
Homemade support belt alternatives
If you're apprehensive about splashing out on one of the above products, you can give yourself some support using a homemade pregnancy support belt out of a scarf or sarong.
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