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Maternity Belts To Relieve Back and Pelvic Pain in Pregnancy

Katlyn Joy |21, November 2014


Everyone knows having a baby can be a real pain, and for many women, the pain is primarily in the lower back or in the pelvic area.

What is a Maternity Belt?

This is a simple device that is worn typically under clothing. Some belts are worn under the belly, while others have two sections with one under the belly for support, and the other over the belly. They are adjustable and some offer perks such as a place to keep a cold/hot therapy pack. If you choose carefully, you can find some that are more adjustable, soft or durable than others, as well as some that are really not noticeable under your clothes.

People wear maternity belts for varied reasons including:

  • Back pain,
  • Pelvic pain,
  • Hip pain,
  • Bladder discomfort.

Do Maternity Belts Work?

Well, that's the tricky question. Not a ton of research has been done, and the research that does exist is conflicting. Some found that maternity belts don't make any difference beyond what exercise and advice on lifestyle methods to decrease pain, such as a 2005 study published in the journal Physical Therapy. Other studies couldn't definitively prove the support garments help. However, check out any major medical site, such as Mayo Clinic's, and you'll find a maternity belt recommended as a means to alleviate back or pelvic pain.

They are not terribly expensive, and if they don't work for you, you'll know pretty quickly. You won't continue wearing it if it aggravates your symptoms, so there's no real risk to giving one a try if you are suffering after trying other lifestyle measures.

How to Relieve Lower Back and Pelvic Pain

1. Stand up straight!

Mom was right; you need to watch your posture. As you progress in your pregnancy, your center of gravity shifts. This shifting puts pressure on your lower back. Provide good support for your back in sitting positions and consider using a stool to support your feet.

2. Sleep support.

Try a pillow between your knees while lying on your side, or get a pregnancy or body pillow for this purpose.

3. Stay active but don't overdo.

4. Balance is key.

You will feel worse if you only laze about, but push too hard, and you'll really feel worse.

5. Forgo heels until after baby is born.

Get a pair of flats, some comfy sneakers and make sure you have good tread.

6. Lift with your knees, not your back.

Limit how much weight you lift.

7. Try alternatives therapies.

Try massage, acupressure or acupuncture, and possibly chiropractic, but always with your physician's OK.

8. Never support yourself on only one leg.

Get dressed sitting down.

9. Watch your movements.

Don't squat, twist, carry loads or toddler on one hip, or cross your legs.

10. Consider practicing yoga or other gentle stretching, and strengthening exercises.

There are plenty of pregnancy yoga workouts on DVD, or classes.

11. Get someone else to sweep, vacuum or mop the floors.

Really, it's the last time you'll probably get out of this.

12. Try using a TENS unit.

These are now available at your local discount store or pharmacy, and affordable to boot.

13. Get moving in water.

Try exercises or classes that take place in a pool. You will be supported by the water and far less likely to hurt yourself while building strength in your core and stretching out.

14. Learn about different positions for labor and birth.

Some women may experience a great deal of back or pelvic pain during labor, and knowing some positions to be in during labor that can take pressure off these areas and facilitate labor can be a lifesaver!

15. Heat or cold packs are cheap and wonderful helps.

Try different types, but don't use any over the counter icy heat type creams without a doctor's approval as these may contain drugs not advised for use by pregnant women.

16. Rest.

Over exerting yourself is a big no-no. Rest with your feet up, and do it throughout your day. Never stand or sit for extended periods without moving around and changing positions.

17. Talk to your doctor about pain that doesn't subside or increases in intensity.

It may be necessary to rule out other problems causing your symptoms, and there could be some medication that is safe to take that may alleviate your worst pain.

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