There are a lot of not-so-fun side effects that come with pregnancy, and some of them are unavoidable—but some of them have viable solutions. If you experience lower back or abdominal pain while pregnant, a pregnancy belly band may be for you.
Belly bands can provide a number of benefits for active women, especially during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy.
Both back and joint pain are extremely common during pregnancy, and most women think it’s just a part of the deal. It can be frustrating and makes everyday activities difficult or nearly impossible. According to the Spine Journal, 71% of women report lower back pain and 65% report pelvic pain. Although it is part of the deal, your pain can be greatly decreased with a belly band supporting your lower back and your baby bump.
Sacroiliac, or SI, joint pain frequently occurs during pregnancy. This pain is a result of an increase in the hormone relaxin, which causes your hip joints to loosen up and become less stable. This can lead to excruciating pain in the lower back near your tailbone, but belly bands bracing this region can prevent it.
In addition to SI joint pain, round ligament pain is common during the second trimester. The ligaments that support your growing uterus are going through a lot of changes with extra weight and pressure, and this can lead to dull aches and sharp pains on the front of the hip below the belly. While this is a temporary problem, you don’t have to suffer through it. A belly band will help distribute the weight of your baby so there isn’t so much direct strain on your ligaments.
The key word here is “gentle.” Too much compression can impact your circulation and your blood pressure, contributing to heartburn and indigestion. If you have issues with these things already, your doctor may advise against using a belly band.
If your doctor gives you the go-ahead, belly bands can make physical activity much more comfortable for you. If you’ve ever gone for a run without a sports bra, you know the kind of discomfort we’re talking about. Supporting your uterus while moving around will make all the difference in the world.
By supporting your lower back and your torso, pregnancy belly bands encourage your body into correct posture. In doing this, you avoid overextending your lower back. The typical leaning stance you see most pregnant women in is due to the extra weight being carried in front of the body. I think we’d all agree that holding this stance for nine months doesn’t sound pleasant and surely couldn’t be great for your spine or your core muscles.
It’s important that you don’t wear your belly band too often, though—you don’t want your body to become overly dependent on it. Try to limit wearing it to two or three hours at a time.
Most of us know the positive benefits of exercise, but did you know that exercising while pregnant can have positive health benefits for your baby? Prenatal exercise will increase your muscle tone and endurance, as well as decrease hypertension, depression and diabetes. Many women who exercise regularly pre-pregnancy find that it’s no longer comfortable, but belly bands can more easily allow you to maintain your normal routines while pregnant.
Finding your core muscles weak in the few weeks following birth is extremely common—your muscles and ligaments were stretched and strained during pregnancy, and now they need time to heal. This initial weakness plus the added strain of carrying around your newborn can cause extra discomfort or lead to injuries.
While your body is adjusting after birth, a pregnancy belly band can offer extra support. This can also help if you experience separation of your abdominal muscles—a belly band and specific exercises can help in closing the gap between them.
For more information and premiere maternity care, contact Regional Medical Center today.