Pregnancy - To Belt or Not to Belt that is the Question

Pain during pregnancy can be debilitating and make it difficult to enjoy what should be a truly wonderful experience. Research has shown that approx. 70% of all pregnant women suffer low back pain and up to 45% complain of Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP)1,2. Women with one or both conditions can find it difficult to cope with or participate in everyday activities.

Pregnancy Belt

One hormone released during pregnancy is Relaxin. This hormone softens ligaments and other soft tissues throughout the pregnancy and throughout breastfeeding. Once ligaments become softer the underlying joint becomes more mobile, this has the potential to lead to pain of varying degrees of severity.

For centuries women have sought relief for these pregnancy related conditions. Now there exists several products that can help ease some if not all the pain depending on its severity. One of these products is a pregnancy belt. There are many versions of this in the market place, some more supportive than others. The primary purpose of a pregnancy belt is aimed at stabilising painful pelvic and back joints. However, if you use a pregnancy belt for several hours per day to help with low back and pelvic pain you need to be aware that the belt has the potential to weaken the muscles that it covers as it is generally pulled tight to stabilise the underlying joints. Also, be aware that a pregnancy belt does not heal your condition, it treats your symptoms only.

A holistic approach to management of these conditions generally has the best outcome. Visiting a Women’s Health Physiotherapist can greatly assist as they will provide you with a tailored program which may include clinical Pilates, etc.

A number of health care professionals are using SRC Pregnancy Compression Shorts /Leggings with unique Anatomical Support Panels (ASP) to deliver consistent gentle medical grade to improve their patients’ mobility; increasing pelvic and back support andreduce pain.

Some women combine both a pregnancy belt and the SRC Pregnancy Compression Shorts /Leggings. The benefit for women with severe pain is that they can wear their Shorts/Leggings 24 hours per day without causing atrophy due to prolonged muscle deactivation and during periods where they need to be on their feet a lot they can combine both products by adding the pregnancy belt for additional support.

1Pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain (PPP), I: Terminology, clinical presentation, and prevalence.
Wu WH, Meijer OG, Uegaki K, Mens JM, van Dieën JH, Wuisman PI, Ostgaard HC.

2 Prevalence of back pain in pregnancy. Ostgaard HC, Andersson GB, Karlsson K.

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