So you are excited to be pregnant and are glowing with the miracle that you carry inside you. What you didn’t expect was the task it would be on your spine to carry your (literally) bouncing baby around in the front of you like a low slung bag of weights. While your burgeoning belly grows, the strain on your back greatly increases. Some find that the use of a maternity support belt can relieve some of the strain that your back must endure to carry your precious cargo.
- Choosing the right support belt for you. There are a couple different types of support belts made in different sizes and offering varying degrees of support. Most are made of cotton and elastic with adjustable velcro straps. I will describe here the most common ones I have found. There is the maternity girdle that is just a pair of underwear with elastic sewn in the right places to add extra support where it’s needed most. The next one is a simple, wide elastic with velcro to secure it. This belt offers a little more adjustability and more support. The last product that I have found is the one that I got the most use out of. It is modeled more after the support belt you would use if you are doing heavy lifting. It consists of two belts, an inner belt and an outer belt. It offers the most adjustability and support.
- How to wear your support belt. I’ll start with the product that I have found to be the easiest and least cumbersome of all the support products--the maternity girdle. You just slip the maternity girdle on like regular underwear. A maternity girdle is the best choice if you need only light support; it is also the coolest option.
The next type is the simple one-strap wide elastic belt with a velcro fastener. To use this belt, you wrap it across your lower back around to the front, wrapping low under the swell of your belly, pulling the strap snug and overlapping the velcro ends to secure. This belt is easy to use and provides a moderate amount of support.
The third type is much wider and has two sets of straps for more adjustability and support. The first strap is a cotton pad that is placed around the waist under the belly and secured in the back. Then the larger strap goes over the smaller one across the back and is pulled snug and secured with velcro in the front. These larger belts sometimes have soft boning sewed in the back for extra support. While these supply the most support for your back, they can sometimes be a little bulky and very warm.
- Finding a support belt. Your doctor can make a recommendation on the type and amount of support that would be best for you. Maternity belts can sometimes be found at your local Wal-Mart or Target as well as at specialty maternity stores. They can also be located online at many of the online baby sites as well as other online retailers. I would recommend purchasing yours at a store where you can try it on first, but you may be able to find an online retailer that will allow you to return it if you purchase one in the wrong size. Check the store's return policy before you make your purchase.
If you are having back pain during your pregnancy from carrying around all that extra weight in the front, I highly recommend getting a maternity support belt before ever taking any kind of medication. They are usually very affordable and you won’t regret the purchase. Good luck and congratulations on the soon-to-be addition to your family!