For women eager to start a family, there’s no news more exhilarating than finding out that you’re pregnant. The joy and thrill you first experience when you receive this information can last for weeks or months into your pregnancy. However, by the time you get to the 28th week, which marks the home stretch of your pregnancy, you’ll start to feel a slew of aches and pains.
These crop up primarily because your body is changing to accommodate the size of your growing belly. I remember experiencing a bit of discomfort in my last trimester. Two essential accessories helped me get by: maternity belts and belly bands. These ingenious inventions are designed to provide coverage and extra support hence relieve you of some of the discomforts.
Are you a pregnant mom who’s experiencing discomfort due to your growing baby bump? Invest in one of the top-rated maternity belts and belly bands that we’ve reviewed in this post.
The difference between a maternity band and a maternity belt
While these terms are sometimes used interchangeably, they refer to two entirely different items. Let’s look at how these pregnancy support products differ.
What is a belly band?
A belly band is designed primarily to provide coverage. When you reach your 2nd trimester, your favorite pair of jeans or pants will probably not fit as well as they should. Chances are you won’t be able to button or zip them up. This is where a belly band comes in. It covers those areas of your skin that become exposed as your baby bump grows.
But some belly bands do a lot more than merely providing coverage. They offer mild compression, and others may even offer an element of support to your lower back and hips.
We also have postpartum belly bands designed to offer support during your postpartum period. Remember that once you get a baby, your body won’t snap back into shape immediately. It will take a while; therefore, wearing a postpartum girdle can promote healing by offering abdominal support. The best part is you can wear it as soon as a couple of days after your delivery. Consult your doctor before wearing one. If you receive the green light, all that’s left is to learn how to wear a belly band.
To wear the belly band correctly:
- Slide it over your head then position it over your belly.
- Slide it down, allowing it to cover your pants.
- If you’re using a band with Velcro closure, place its widest section under your stomach then fasten the straps behind your back.
What is a maternity belt?
Otherwise known as belly belts, pregnancy belts, braces, or straps, these wrap around your abdomen to support your lower back, abdomen, pelvis, and hips during pregnancy. In addition to offering support, they also help you maintain a proper posture. A recent study involving 90 pregnant women revealed that using a pregnancy support belt slightly improved posture in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd trimesters.
Typically, maternity belts are worn on top of clothing, although some are designed with such soft fabrics that it’s comfortable to wear underneath outfits. Compared to maternity bands, maternity belts are a little narrower and more strap-like. They’re also heavier since they need to support the weight of your growing baby.
Top 5 picks for the best maternity belts and belly bands
1. Belly Bandit Upsie Maternity Belt
If you’re looking for a maternity belt that can offer you all-day comfort, the Belly Bandit Upsie is your best bet. It’s slim, flexible, and highly-supportive.
I preferred to wear my belt underneath my clothing, so I like how this pregnancy belt comes encased in viscose material. Not only does this fabric feel incredibly soft against the skin, but it’s also really good at wicking away moisture. This makes it comfortable to wear in summer without getting too hot or sweaty. I also like viscose fabric because it doesn’t roll up when you sit or walk, and neither does it cut into your belly.
The Belly Bandit maternity belt includes a velcro strap, which allows up to 12 inches of adjustability. Plus it has the Belly Bandit’s SecureStretch feature, which causes the girdle to mold nicely to your shape. This also enables it to reinforce your core muscles while helping you maintain a proper posture.
2. Gabrialla Elastic Maternity Belt
Are you looking for something stylish but still functional? Gabrialla Maternity Belt is the answer. It’s available in multiple colors, which include black, white, and beige. It’s also not too strappy as is common with pregnancy belts, which gives it a neat look.
Examining this belt more closely, it’s evident that the manufacturer thought long and hard about its design. It has velcro straps on the sides and a pocket on the rear. The velcro strap enables you to fine-tune it to the right fit. You can then use the rear pocket to store a hot or cold pack to help with pain relief. And trust me, this is a handy technique for relieving pain.
This support binder comes in two options; cotton-lined and elastic-lined. The cotton-lined version has a soft feel meaning it’s comfortable to wear under clothing. The latter is better worn over clothing. When it comes to choosing Gabrialla Maternity belt sizing, you have the option of choosing from up to 10 sizes that run from small to 2XL. Overall, this pregnancy belt does an excellent job of supporting your growing baby bump.
3. Neotech Care 3-in-1 Maternity Support Belt
Some maternity belts are loved for their simplicity, but Neotech Care Support Belt is versatility at its best. It doubles up as a pregnancy belt, postpartum belly band, and pelvis band. Ranked among the best maternity belly bands, it wraps around your belly and waist to provide support, minimizing the burden caused by pregnancy weight.
You can also wear this in your postpartum period. In this case, it supports your abdominal muscles, helping you regain your pre-pregnancy size. As a pelvis belt, it offers sufficient support to your back and pelvic muscles. Whether you’re buying this for yourself or as a gift for an expectant mom, you’ll be pleased to know that it comes in 3 different colors and 5 different sizes. This makes it incredibly easy to find something that works for you.
Even if it doesn’t fit right on your first try, it’s completely adjustable, so all you need to do is fasten/loosen it. This level of flexibility makes Neotech Care the best belly band for pregnant women.
4. ChongErfei 3 in 1 Postpartum Belly Band
If you’re recovering from a C-section, you will want to avoid clothing that could squeeze your incision. Enter the Postpartum Girdle by ChongErfei. It’s a 3-in-1 belly band tailored to address your recovery needs from a C-section. It’s made of a stretchy mesh material, which makes it highly breathable hence suitable to wear for an extended period.
The fact that it has a simple hook-and-loop closure system is another attractive attribute for those recovering from a C-section. It means you can put it on without exerting too much pressure on your C-section site. The belt’s built-in boning is the icing on the cake. Not only does this support your lower back, but it also enables you to maintain the right posture when you’re breastfeeding.
Overall, the ChongErfei wrap is the best belly band after C-section. Its ease of wear and use, mesh fabric construction, and built-in boning doesn’t compromise your recovery from a surgical operation.
5. Bestnewborn Postnatal Band
If you don’t find the postpartum girdle by ChongErfei comfy, the belly band by Bestnewborn is a superb alternative. Like the ChongErfei, this is also a 3-in-1 bundle. Bestnewborn belly wrap includes a belly band, waist belt, and pelvis belt in the package. This means that you can fine-tune the fit of each belt independently. It’s this aspect that makes the set suitable for C-section patients.
The construction of this maternity belly band is another key selling point. It consists of 80% polyester and 20% spandex which makes it super stretchable.
Why you should invest in maternity belts and belly bands
If you’re new to pregnancy support girdles, you may be hesitant to buy one. Are maternity belts really necessary? Do belly bands work?
Well, in my experience, these support belts and bands are beneficial. And yes, they do work. A maternity belt, in particular, offers a great deal of support and encourages proper posture.
Another overlooked benefit of a pregnancy belly band is that of enhancing your safety. Wearing this support binder improves your balance, which in turn minimizes your risk of falling.
Flaws but not dealbreakers
So far, we’ve seen the benefits that a pregnancy belly support band and belt offer. But are there any drawbacks to wearing these support girdles? The truth is they can result in negative consequences, but this only happens if they’re misused.
You need to pay attention to the length of time you wear these belts. You only need to wear them a couple of hours every day to reap the benefits (2-3 hours is a good duration). Wearing pregnancy belts for extended periods can cause you to become overly dependent on them. The muscles supported by the girdle can become weak, which can lead to muscle atrophy or wastage.
Another aspect to consider is how tight the belly band is. Wearing these belts and bands too tight and for a long time can impede proper blood circulation.
If you’re shopping for maternity wear, pregnancy support belts and bands should be at the top of your list. Maternity belts help redistribute your growing baby’s weight over your abdomen and lower back, relieving pressure from your lower body muscles. Belly bands, on the other hand, offer gentle compression. They also provide coverage for those sections of your skin that remain exposed due to your growing belly.
That said, don’t wear these support girdles for more than 3 hours. It’s also wise to seek professional advice before using any of these support products.