If you're pregnant and have growing tummy pains or simply feel like you need some extra belly support during your pregnancy, start looking for a pregnancy support belt. Doctors suggest that wearing the best pregnancy support belts can provide pain and fatigue relief during your pregnancy.
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, which 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.
The best pregnancy support belts 2021
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BeSafe Pregnancy Belt
Best pregnancy support belt for car travel
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.
Mum-to-be Amazon review: "Excellent, keeps the seatbelt over the top of the thighs rather than over the bump exactly as it's meant to. Can't imagine travelling in a car without it now."
Babymoov Dream Belt Sleep Aid
Best pregnancy support belt for sleep
This belt is designed for sleeping and has two side reinforcements made of morphological foam to help support your bump as you sleep and fill the gap between the sides of your stomach and the mattress. The central area is made of elastic cotton and two rubber bands that optimally support the stomach, adjustable with the Velcro fastening. It'll help provide you with the optimal support you need as a side sleeper, and is the perfect belt for all expectant mums' body shapes, whatever their stage of pregnancy.
Mum-to-be Amazon review: "I’m 28 weeks pregnant and measuring big. I’ve spent the past two months becoming increasingly uncomfortable at night from the weight of my stomach. Turning over was agony, I’d feel sick, having to sleep in weird positions was giving me backache. Last night was the first pain-free night for months. I got into bed wearing the belt feeling like I wasn’t pregnant, I could flip from side to side quickly and pain-free, my stomach didn’t pull and made me feel sick. No backache. I still had a tiny bit of hip pain but I think that comes with pregnancy hormones and sleeping on my side. The belt wiggled around a bit overnight but not so much it became annoying or stopped working. And it felt a bit funny sleeping on a foam wedge at first but then it moulded to my body and was like a hug for my tummy."
Flexguard Plus-Size Maternity Support Belt
Best pregnancy support belt for bigger bumps
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.
Mum-to-be Amazon review: "Carried twins for 7 months and this was a lifesaver. I would not have a sciatic nerve today without it, sleek under clothing and very discreet."
Belly Bandit Upsie Belly Support Belt
Best pregnancy support belt for comfort
This is one of the best-rated support belts for pregnancy and maternity. It comes in sizes eight 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.
Mum-to-be Amazon review: "Excellent product. Only just heard about the Upsie Belly by Belly Bandit 6 months into my 3rd pregnancy and got it straight away, next day! I'd made do with high street support bands big support pants for previous pregnancies which don't compare... These hold their value well so I can sell after finished with it. Well worth it and doubles as a corset/girdle for first few weeks post partum. Perhaps I could have avoided some stretch marks if I'd used this earlier. It's strong, comfortable and very well designed with plenty of adjustment room for all shapes and sizes."
Gabrialla Maternity Belt
Best pregnancy support belt for exercise
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, great for exercise throughout pregnancy.
Mum-to-be Amazon review: "I almost gave up on running at 16 weeks due to the discomfort I was feeling on my bladder and lower part of the stomach, then I came across this bad boy on an internet search!! It is brilliant. I would describe it as putting on a brilliant support bra, but for the stomach. Don't get me wrong, as it does not completely eradicate any aches, BUT makes running (for me anyway) a lot more enjoyable and that need to take a pee every 2 mins has gone! Just want to add that I wear this also when I use the cross trainer and when I do spin class twice a week and it has been a dream!"
Babygo® 4-in-1 Pregnancy Support Belt
Best pregnancy support belt recommended by obstetricians
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 been recommended by obstetricians and has a good sizing range from S to XXL.
Mum-to-be review on Amazon: "I compared a few different support belts during this pregnancy, as I suffered with SPD in my last pregnancy and wanted to be prepared. I also have sacroiliac joint dysfunction anyway, and this seemed to fit the bill, with positive reviews. I ordered this belt at 28 weeks, when things were just starting to get that bit heavier and aches were creeping in, and delivery was very prompt. The quality of the product is very good - soft, comfortable fabric, with a fit that's in line with my size (I used the measuring guide to work out the most suitable size for me). I was most impressed with the booklet that comes with the belt - giving advice on using the belt during the four trimesters (including after birth) and some really handy guidelines for exercises during these periods, as well."
ASBYFR 3 in 1 Postpartum Belt
Best post-partum support belt
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.
Amazon review: "Bought this for my sister-in-law and she said it really helped her after having a C section. Made her feel more comfortable after having the baby."
TOROS Group Maternity Support Band
Best pregnancy support belt for staying cool
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.
Mum-to-be Amazon review: "This belt has been great. From week 29, I could no longer go running, or even long walks. With the belt on, I've been able to go for long walks again, and I use it in the gym with the bike and cross-trainer. I still can't run, but don't think any product would help that at this stage!"
JoJo Maman Bebe Support Belt
Best pregnancy support belt for relieving lower back tension
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 supports the abdomen during pregnancy and also after birth. Available in black or white, in sizes S, M and L.
Mum-to-be JoJo Maman Bebe review: "It's the third day I've been wearing it and it has definitely taken the pressure from my back. It didn't curl. I'm a size 8/10, at the beginning of the second trimister, and ordered size M and it's big enough to last the rest of my pregnancy."
Cantaloop Maternity Support Belt
Best pregnancy support belt without irritating seams
This support belt will help alleviate backaches and pains during pregnancy by removing the irritation of seams. The support will expand as the baby grows so you can stay in optimum comfort throughout. With sizes S-XL this is a great purchase at a low price.
Mum-to-be John Lewis review: "I cannot express how much of a lifesaver this belt is. When I was in agony this made a real difference in supporting me to lug around a huge baby (especially while looking after my toddler!). I've also bought other brands of bump support before and they are nowhere near as good as this one, trust me - this will instantly save your back and give you back some life. I recommend this to absolutely everyone, top pregnancy purchase!"
Physiomat Tonic© Belt
Best pregnancy support belt for wider hips
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 belt is a great support to those with wider hips or with looser joints as it exercises the back muscles and strengthens the lower abdomen.
Lolau Lykke Bamboo Maternity Support Band
Best pregnancy support belt overall
Mother&Baby 2021 Shortlisted Best Pregnancy/Maternity Product
The Lola Lykke maternity band is the most supportive belt available for pregnancy. It comes with reinforced back support and its double layer design with two adjustable compression straps that helps lift up the belly and support the back. A handy hot/cold pack sits neatly in the back pocket to alleviate back pains.
Our mum tester Vanessa said: "Before this I suffered from sciatica every single day during my pregnancy, I looked for a belt on the market and as we all know there are loads, even though this is pricy it’s the best thing ever! Can’t recommend it enough ! It has helped my back so much and I no longer need to take painkillers. It’s very comfortable and you forget you're wearing it."
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 or for long periods of time, 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 the 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 as 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.