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Pregnancy + Postpartum

The complete guide to pregnancy belly bands according to our experts

Jul 09, 2020Dr. Caitlin Abusamra, PT, DPT15 min
A Pregnant Woman

What is a pregnancy belly band or support belt?

A belly band or support belt is a comfortable band that wraps around or under the belly, in order to help your body manage some of the postural changes that happen during pregnancy.

Do I need a belly band or belt?

A support band is not required or necessary for every pregnancy. Whether you need one depends on your posture, ligament laxity, core strength, how your baby is sitting, and other factors. The right band can help with pain or strain in the back, belly, or pelvis. Some women may enjoy the feeling of support and find that it makes daily activities, walking, or exercising easier.

How do I choose the right band or belt?

Support bands are created for different purposes, and not all are created equal!  We’ve pulled together some of our favorite products and are giving you the scoop on what they will do for you. We recommend you waiting to buy one until you need it, since you can’t always anticipate which type you’ll need. When in doubt, consult a women’s health physical therapist so you don’t waste your money on a product that isn’t right for you. If you have many weeks ahead before you deliver, make sure to pick a size that allows you room to grow.

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Our favorite bands by type

The best pelvic support belt

The Serola Belt, starting at $44.00 on Amazon

Source: Serola Belt

This belt is great for women with pelvic girdle pain, including:

How it works

This narrow, stiffer belt should sit low on the hips. Because it sits below the belly, you can tighten it quite a bit to create strong compression through the pelvis, which stabilizes the sacroiliac and pubic symphysis joints.

How it feels

It feels like a hug for your pelvis and instantly makes walking easier. It does not provide any belly lift or support, and is not especially comfortable for sitting.

The best overall belly band

The Upsie Belly by Belly Bandit, starting at $69.95 at Belly Bandit

Source: Belly Bandit

This band is great for women with general discomfort, including:

How it works

This belt is the ultimate in low back and belly support. It lifts and redistributes the weight to improve your posture and decrease strain on your back. It may help decrease pressure on the bladder, and will help with round ligament pain by supporting the uterus.

How it feels

This belly band is super soft and comfortable. It provides high support and moderate compression. The band also includes insertable cold and heat therapy packs, which can help manage discomfort without medication.

The best belly band on a budget

The Maternity Belly Band by KeaWorld, starting at $15 on Amazon

Source: KeaWorld

This band is good for belly support when pain isn’t too severe. There are other similar brands available on Amazon.

How it works

Like the Upsie Belly, this band helps redistribute the weight of the belly, holding it in closer to your center of gravity and decreasing strain on the low back.

How it feels

It’s definitely less comfortable (and has fewer bells and whistles) than the Upsie Belly. It’s not as soft, but it’s an affordable place to start. This band also only comes in 2 sizes. If you are having some pelvic girdle pain, here’s a trick we teach patients in the clinic: you can wear it upside down and backwards, and tighten it around the pelvis for extra support.

The best customizable band

The Baby Belly Band by Cabea, $39.99 at Cabea

Source: Cabea

This band is great for women who need a little bit of everything, including:

  • Pelvic support AND belly support
  • SIJ or pubic symphysis pain AND low back or round ligament pain

Cabea also makes 2 really great velcro add-on features that you can attach to any soft belly band.

Groin bands add compression the vulva, and can help with:

  • Vulvar varicose veins
  • Pelvic organ prolapse
  • Severe pubic symphysis pain
Source: Cabea

Shoulder straps give maximal belly lift for:

  • Larger or more outward-positioned bellies, or twins (or more!)
  • Increased pain from spending long hours standing at work
Source: Cabea

How it works

This belt is like the halfway point between the Serola belt and Upsie Belly.  It gives a little bit of belly support, and a little bit of pelvic compression. It’s a good multipurpose option, but doesn’t provide enough support for severe pelvic girdle pain.

What it feels like

It’s much softer than the serola belt, but the side tabs allow you to tighten it around the pelvic for a bit of that “hug” feeling. You can wear it higher or lower on the belly, depending on your preferences.

The best band for athletes

The FITsplint, starting at $69.00 on Amazon

Source: FITsplint

This belt is best for athletes, or anyone who:

  • Is continuing higher- impact exercise into their pregnancy
  • Prefers their belly totally wrapped and covered (rather than just lifted from the bottom)
  • Wants to use their band postpartum
Source: FITspint

How it works

This Neoprene wrap can be worn 2 ways: with both straps under the belly for maximum lift, or with the straps encircling the belly to hold it stable for higher-impact exercise.  It also makes a fantastic postpartum wrap because it has no sharp edges or boning.

How it feels

It is very soft and more flexible than the other bands.  It is probably the most comfortable on the list to wear while sitting, and minimizes belly bouncing with running or jumping. It provides less lift and compression, depending on how you wear it.  It does not provide any pelvic support.

Caitlin Abusamra Headshot
Dr. Caitlin Abusamra, PT, DPT

Caitlin Abusamra, PT, DPT is a doctor of physical therapy specializing in women's health at Origin. She is also an expert in nutrition and personal training.

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