Belly bands are meant to relieve the pressure and pain that's often felt in your abdomen, back, and thighs during pregnancy due to the weight of your growing baby, explains Abby Bales, PT, DPT, CSCS, founder of Reform Physical Therapy. "A support belt can make a big difference in mom's comfort level," she says.
According to Dr. Bales, belly bands can be used as a first line of treatment any time a pregnant person feels excessive pressure. If someone has pubic symphysis, or they're pregnant with more than one baby, a doctor or physical therapist might recommend wearing a band, she says. Beyond the belts, if you're in need of some more help, seeing a pelvic floor physical therapist who's trained to treat pregnant people can be useful because they can provide pain relief, safe exercise prescription, and keep you moving throughout pregnancy, she says.
If you're game to try a belly belt, ahead are a few smart options to consider. But keep in mind that fit is everything. "You'll want to make sure the belt isn't too tight and isn't too large," Dr. Bales says. "It should be fitted well enough to provide support, but not restrict breathing or feel like there's pressure on the abdominal cavity. If it's too loose, it may as well not be there."
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