Pregnancy Support Bands: Are There Benefits?

Medically Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson, MD on April 23, 2023
3 min read

Pregnancy is a wonderful time in your life, full of joy and anticipation. But it’s also full of discomfort for many mothers-to-be. The good news is, there are plenty of products on the market that can safely help ease your aches and pains. One of these products is the pregnancy support band. 

A pregnancy support band is also called:

  • Belly band
  • Pregnancy support belt
  • Maternity support brace

No matter what you call it, there are some key similarities all pregnancy support bands share:

  • Made of soft, stretchy, durable fabric
  • Fastens with Velcro
  • Designed to fit under your belly
  • Grows with your pregnancy

Pain and discomfort. The primary reason moms turn to the support of a pregnancy support band is to relieve aches and pain. As your baby grows bigger, he puts more pressure on your body. You may begin to walk and stand differently to compensate for the extra weight, causing pain in your muscles and joints.

Additionally, during the second trimester, your ligaments loosen to accommodate your growing baby. You may feel increasing aches in your hip, groin, and legs as your pregnancy progresses.

Physical activities. If you enjoy being active, a pregnancy support band is a great addition to your workout. Even if you don’t need extra support on a daily basis, having it during exercise may help you maintain a more effective workout.

It can also prevent you from getting hurt during a workout by providing some compression to your abdomen. You should always take it slow working out while you’re pregnant and take extra precautions to stay safe.

Outfit hacks. Even though your belly is growing, your hips and legs may not be. So you can pull your favorite pants up, but not fasten them. A pregnancy band can act as a buffer between your pants and your tops – covering your belly and the upper band of your pants. 

Plus, if you bend over, your band will spare you the embarrassment of showing your back or belly as your clothes get smaller.

Posture. You change how you walk and move to support your growing baby, and your posture takes a hit too. By compressing your lower belly and lifting the baby off of your hips, your pregnancy support belt will also help you sit and stand up straight. 

With added support to your lower back, bad posture won’t be a concern. This is great because bad posture can mean added strain on your body, leading to more aches and pains.

Postpartum healing. The benefits of your pregnancy support band don’t end with your pregnancy. You can keep using the band for support after giving birth. Pregnancy and birth take a huge toll on your body, and it takes time for your body to heal. Maintaining additional support for your lower back and abdomen has many benefits, including faster healing.

Talk to your doctor. Always consult with your doctor before trying anything during pregnancy. Your doctor can talk to you about your symptoms and determine if a band is beneficial. 

Choose the right size. Although support belts are able to stretch to accommodate you as your belly grows, you still want to start out with an appropriate size. Most bands have sizing charts based on your pre-pregnancy size to find the right fit. A band that is too tight can be harmful to your growing baby.

Follow the instructions. Some belly bands fasten in the front while others fasten on the sides or back. Don’t try to use your pregnancy support band in a different way than it was designed. 

The right compression. Your support band should not feel tight or uncomfortable. It should provide gentle compression under your abdomen and around your back. If your pregnancy support band is too tight, it can compress your organs, causing indigestion, heartburn, and may even negatively impact your circulation and blood pressure.

Time limits. Don’t wear a support band for more than two or three hours at a time. Wearing it for too long can weaken your muscles, leading to long-term negative effects. 

Belly bands should be paired with daily exercise to shed extra pounds and build up strength.

Results. If your band isn’t providing relief, talk to your doctor. She can help you adjust how you’re wearing the band or make other suggestions for relieving your discomfort.