A pregnancy belt, otherwise known as a belly belt and a belly band is a belt you put around your belly during the second and third trimesters of your pregnancy to help support your stomach. Some pregnant women think that these pregnancy support belts not only support your belly to ease your pain, they also believe that they are even supposed to help you maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy.
Some women think they help you lose weight after the baby is born too. However, there is no scientific evidence to back this up, so no one knows if it is true or not. Should you wear a pregnancy belt during pregnancy? Keep reading to learn about the reasons why you should wear one of these pregnancy belts and the reasons why you should not wear one.
How to Properly Use a Pregnancy Belt
Although some say you should wear these belly belts to help ease back pain as long and as often as possible, this is not true. Wearing one for too many hours during the day can make your back muscles weaker and then when you aren’t wearing it, you will be in even more pain. Try not to rely on these belly bands too much. Instead, you should do some exercises to stretch your back muscles.
Stretching your back muscles every day is a better alternative than wearing a pregnancy belt. Exercise is good for everyone, even pregnant women. However, if you do decide to use one of these belts, try to limit your time wearing it for only a few hours per day.
Wear the Belly Belt Properly
You also need to know how to wear one properly. If you put it on the wrong way or if it is too tight on your belly, it can hurt your baby. No one wants that to happen so read the instructions on how to wear one the right way before putting it on and make sure it isn’t too tight on your belly. Not only can it harm your baby if worn too tight, but it will affect the development of your baby. Anything that puts too much pressure on your womb can interrupt the growth of your baby. This is very dangerous!
Pros of Using a Pregnancy Belt
Although you need to be careful with pregnancy belts because of your baby’s development, there are some benefits of wearing one during pregnancy if worn for the right amount of time every day and worn the proper way. Here are some of the benefits of using a pregnancy belt.
During the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, a woman walks slower and waddles. Yes, she waddles, not walks, but waddles because of the pain she is going through from the extra weight she is carrying around. Also, because of this excess weight, she experiences back pain, which is mostly muscle pain and joint pain. However, wearing a pregnancy belt correctly and for only a few hours per day can help relieve this pain. One other thing that is better for pain relief than wearing a pregnancy belt is exercise and plenty of it.
Exercising can help ease the pain in the back because it stretches the back muscles instead of leaving them tightened up all day. It is better to be moving around anyway since it is good for you and good for your baby.
Reduces Discomfort While Doing Physical Activities
There will be some discomfort during your physical activities because of the extra weight you are carrying around. Because of this, wearing a belly belt during your pregnancy will help reduce this discomfort.
Supports Proper Posture
One thing is for sure when you are pregnant; it is hard to keep your posture because all you want to do is slump down in a chair and relax. For help with keeping a proper posture is another good reason to use a pregnancy belt properly. When one is on the right way, and not on too tight, it helps support your spine.
During your pregnancy, especially in your last trimester when delivery of your baby is close, certain hormones in your body are released that help loosen up the joints, ligaments, and muscles in your pelvis to make sure you have a more natural delivery. Because of this, wearing one of these belly belts supports your back while sitting, walking, and doing other activities, therefore keeping your posture the way it should be.
You Can Wear Pregnancy Belts After Giving Birth Too
Although there is no hard evidence to support the theory that these belly belts help you lose baby fat after you give birth, but you can still wear one even after you have your baby, for support. After giving birth to your little bundle of joy, your muscles, joints, and ligaments are weaker since your baby stretched them during the delivery. Because of this, they need time to heal and get back to normal.
A woman wearing a belly band after having her baby can help provide support for those injured ligaments, joints, and muscles by bringing the abdominal muscles back to where they should be.
Cons of Wearing a Pregnancy Belt
While there are pros of using a belly belt, there are also a few reasons why you shouldn’t wear one or why you should be careful when using one of these belts. Here are a few cons of wearing a pregnancy belt.
Do Not Depend on Your Belly Belt Too Much
Although wearing a pregnancy belt for a few hours per day can help you during your pregnancy with your pain, posture, and support during physical activities, do not wear it for longer than two to three hours per day. If you depend on the belly belt too much, your back will hurt even more when you are not using it.
Pregnancy Belts Can be Noticeable Under Your Clothes
If you enjoy wearing tight clothes, even during your pregnancy, you may want to leave the pregnancy belt behind. The reason for this is because they can be noticeable under tighter clothing.
Important Things to Remember When Using a Pregnancy Belt
Exercising in Between Wearing Your Belly Belt is Important
It is essential to do your regular exercises even while you are pregnant and in between the times you wear your belly belt. The main reason for this is so you do not get too dependent on the pregnancy belt. Doing regular exercises while pregnant can help alleviate the pain you are going through from the extra weight you are carrying around in your midsection as well.
Talk to Your Doctor Before Using a Belly Belt During Pregnancy
Yes, you are a grown up now, but it is better to be safe than sorry! How harmless can a pregnancy belt be, right? You may be thinking that, but as with anything else during pregnancy, you should talk to your doctor about using one of these belly belts in case there is some reason you should not wear one. If your pregnancy is a high-risk one, your doctor may be against using one during your pregnancy.
Just remember to ask your OBGYN before trying one of these belts for the sake of yourself and more importantly, your baby’s health and development!
Physical Therapy and Normal Exercise May be a Better Option
Just because your friends wore one and just because some of your family member’s wore one during their pregnancy, doesn’t mean you have to follow them. You might be better off trying physical therapy and exercise at home before trying a pregnancy belt.
There is always the problem of not taking it off after a few hours that can interrupt your baby’s development, and that is not a good thing at all. Also, you don’t want to become dependent on it because then you will want to wear it more often to use as a crutch for your pain.
Just be very careful if you do decide to wear one of these belly belts during pregnancy. Your baby is more important than anything else in the world and that even holds right for easing your pain. Pain is discomfort, and no one wants to experience these things during pregnancy. However, it is better to take the pain now, if you don’t opt in for physical therapy and exercise, which you should, than finding out that because of dealing with pain and because you were trying to ease that pain, your baby is now not developing correctly.
No one wants to learn that their baby is not growing right and also know that it is their fault because they wanted to ease themselves of the pain and discomfort they were experiencing during their pregnancy. It is not worth it!
Weigh the Pros and Cons of Pregnancy Belts Before Making a Decision
Weighing the pros and cons before trying a pregnancy belt is a good idea. Sitting down and making a list of each disadvantage and each advantage of wearing a belly belt is an excellent way to decide if you are going to use one or opt for physical therapy and exercise. Because of the dangers these belts can cause, it is better to think about it before using one.
Ask Your Spouse or Partner and Your Doctor For Their Opinions
If you find that you are having trouble deciding if you should use a pregnancy belt, asking your spouse is a good idea. Asking your doctor is also a good idea. Not only can they tell you their opinions of these belly belts but they can ultimately help you decide on the right choice.
It is Your Decision
The decision at the end of the day is entirely up to you. If you do decide to try a pregnancy belt, be very careful and very smart and don’t forget to take it off after about two to three hours of wearing it. Also, don’t forget to exercise and go to your physical therapy sessions if you choose this instead of, or in conjunction with the pregnancy belt.
Exercise and physical therapy will help ease your pain just as much, if not more, as the pregnancy belt will. And, don’t forget to speak with your doctor before using one because it is dangerous not to talk to him or her first!
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