Many expectant moms must have heard about the benefits of wearing a maternity support band. Yet deciding on the need to wear maternity support band and choosing this orthopedic garment correctly is not easy and requires your doctor’s advice.
Why to Wear Maternity Support Band?
Maternity support band is an orthopedic garment worn more for medical than cosmetic purposes. Maternity support band fixes your fetus into right position. It protects abdominal muscles from overstretching and relieves your lower back by reducing the pressure on the internal organs and spinal cord.
You Must Wear Maternity Support Band if You Have:
- uterus scar;
- threat of a miscarriage during the second and the third trimester;
- fetal hydrops, multiple pregnancy, oversized fetus;
- fetus changing its breech presentation into a cephalic presentation (In this situation, your fetus needs to be supported and retained in the right position);
- low-lying placenta.
You Can Wear Maternity Support Band If You Have:
- consecutive pregnancy during which abdominal muscles stretch more intensely and more rapidly;
- later stages of pregnancy (the end of the second and the beginning of the third trimester);
- weak abdominal muscles;
- curvature of the spine, degenerative disc disease (a condition characterized by severe pains in any part of the spine) or any other spinal disorders;
- physical exercises (fitness, walks, housekeeping, cooking);
- or if a pregnant woman simply feels more comfortable wearing maternity support band.
When You Must Not Wear Maternity Support Band
Never wear a maternity support band when fetal malposition is identified. If your doctor says your fetus lies in transverse or breech position instead of being in polar, head first position, wearing maternity support band may prevent the fetus from turning to the right position as one of the functions of maternity band is to fix fetus inside the womb.
Types of Maternity Support Bands
Despite a multitude of maternity companies offering maternity support bands, just three types of this orthopedic garment exist:
- Multi-purpose (suitable to wear both during pregnancy and after childbirth).
Maternity support bands may be also classified according to their cut into support pants and support bands (or belts). Each type has its pros and cons. One common negative of all the types is that they are made with synthetic fabric. But using other materials makes no sense as it is synthetic fabric that provides a good elasticity and fixation.
Maternity Support Pants
Support pants provide support due to their densely woven fabric. Support pants are very easy to use and worn either alone or over regular underwear. There are models that have straps at the rear so you don’t have to take your support pants down when using toilet (simply unstrap your pants instead).
Maternity Support Band
Maternity support band is worn over underwear or clothes. Support is provided by a tight and broad belt, which is actually a maternity support band.
Multi-Purpose Support Band
Multi-purpose support bands can be worn both during pregnancy and after childbirth. Such support bands have a broad part and narrow part. During the pregnancy, the support band is worn in such a way that its broad side fits your lower back while the narrow side fits under your belly. After childbirth, it should be worn with the broad side on the belly and the narrow side fitting the lower back.
Where to Buy and How to Choose Maternity Support Bands
Maternity support bands should be available at pharmacies, maternity stores or orthopedic stores where you can find maternity support band that fits you best. First, your maternity support band should be of the right size. As manufacturers identify sizes differently, all you have to do is measure the circumference of your hips right under your belly and match it with the size marked on a packaging. Don’t buy bigger sizes thinking you will grow into them because manufacturers factor in natural belly and hip growth for each size. You can also try on your maternity support belt at dedicated stores and pharmacies.
Make sure nothing itches or brings discomfort. It would be unreasonable to buy a second-hand maternity support belt you may find it newspaper ads or off your friend. As with any other product, maternity support band has its service life, which lasts over the period of one pregnancy when used daily from the fifth month on plus (for some models) postnatal use during six months. At the end of its service life, maternity support band becomes overstretched and cannot fulfill its supportive function.
How to Use Maternity Support Band
There are a few common rules of how to use maternity support band.
- You should buy and start wearing your maternity support band no sooner than your twentieth week of pregnancy because it is the time when the fetus begins growing rapidly. If you have multiple pregnancy or such conditions as fetal hydrops, uterus scar or oversized fetus, you should start wearing your maternity support band from the sixteenth week on. If this is your first pregnancy and you have well-trained abs and don’t feel any discomfort (you move comfortably and have no back pain), you can delay buying and using maternity support band until the twenty eighth week.
- Put on your maternity support band in lying position so you can fix the fetus. As you stand up, it helps to hold your fetus in place by allocating the pressure evenly. Putting on your maternity support belt when sitting or standing doesn’t make any sense.
- Within the first two or three days of use you may feel discomfort in your belly as it takes time to adapt. But if this feeling of discomfort lingers on, make sure you consult with specialists. It might be either you put on your maternity support band incorrectly or you had a wrong size.
- Never wear your maternity support band all day long. Make sure you rest for 30 minutes every three hours and put it off before bedtime. The same is true for those who work full hours! Obviously, you don’t have a chance to put on your maternity support band in lying position at your working place but you can do this by leaning back on your chair as far as possible. Never put it on when standing.
- If you feel any pain in your belly or your baby gets too busy inside, loose your maternity support band. If this doesn’t help, take it off and see your doctor.
- Maternity support band needs care. Hand wash it in warm water as it gets soiled.
- From the thirty sixth week on, you should wear your maternity support band only when doing household chores or when walking because it is the period when your belly descends as the baby begins to get ready to be born, nearing the birth canal.
Source of the image: sxc.hu/profile/bies.