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Maternity Leggings, Belly Belts, Girdles and Recovery Shorts - A Guide on What to Pick?

by SRC Health on March 12, 2020

Approximate Reading Time: 5 minutes

Shopping for all things pregnancy and post pregnancy for yourself, let alone your baby can be overwhelming and extremely confusing, especially as so many people have different words and terms for the same items.

From maternity leggings that simply fit around your growing belly and provide comfort, to specialised garments with therapeutic benefits for conditions that are prevalent during pregnancy, there is a plethora of choice when it comes to choosing maternity leggings. Then there are also maternity leggings that assist with mobility and speed up your recovery post-delivery. The choices are vast and range from a few dollars to well over $100.

SRC design and manufacture compression maternity leggings that have been specifically designed to provide continuous support during Pregnancy, Recovery, Post-surgery and after exercise. Our medical grade compression assists by facilitating muscle healing and we hope to provide you with a simple overview of what to look for whilst demystifying the selection process when it comes to maternity leggings.

This blog will go through the various common terms used by the industry and assist you with asking the right questions when doing your research “googling” or learning about all the different things that can make your pregnancy and post-pregnancy experience more joyous and less stressful.

We have also provided Pregnancy and Post Pregnancy Support Garments Landscape Charts as 2 free downloads for you to see the features and benefits of various different products.


Maternity is defined as the “period during pregnancy and shortly after childbirth.” This is a definition that works well for general maternity clothing but is not very helpful whilst trying to select clothing for specific health conditions, which are very different during pregnancy and after delivery.

The first thing to do is be more specific and use words like Pregnancy while you are pregnant or After Pregnancy, After Delivery or Past Partum once you have delivered.

Maternity Leggings 

Most of the time this term will refer to leggings you can wear while you are pregnant, and a much better term is pregnancy leggings. Are you looking for leggings to wear that fit your growing bump and provide comfort during the day? Are you going to use them for around the house, work or exercise? Cotton will not be the best choice for exercise and having sports brand logos plastered on your legs will not be suitable for the office. The difference in price can be massive between a plain cotton pair of leggings compared to the compression garment which is designed for a specific purpose and tested to alleviate the discomfort associated with certain conditions.

If you are looking for pain relief for Lower Back Pain during pregnancy, Pelvic Girdle Pain, SI joint pain, Mild Varicose Veins, Sciatica and Vulvar Varicosities then SRC Pregnancy Shorts and Leggings are the ideal “maternity leggings” for you. Designed in consultation with a leading Melbourne obstetrician they provide exceptional fit and maximum support without any feeling of restriction, the gentle compression allows you to wear them 24x7, from work to gym to bed. More comfortable than pyjamas, SRC Pregnancy Leggings are especially beneficial when wearing to bed providing the necessary support to minimise the effects of pelvic pain during sleep.

Maternity Leggings can also be known as pregnancy compression tights, pregnancy support shorts or pregnancy compression shorts.

Maternity Belt

Maternity Belt can be either a Pregnancy Support Belt or a Post Pregnancy Tummy Wrap. The issue with most belts, even those that have stretchable inserts, is that they do not move with your body perfectly, can be restrictive and need constant readjustment. They are not the most comfortable or flattering things to wear, especially if you are wearing anything that is fitted.

Maternity Support Belt

Maternity Support Belt is most likely to refer to a Pregnancy Support Belt. Other terms you will see being used are: belly belt, pregnancy belt, pregnancy belly support and belly support belt. Usually prescribed for extra postural support for severe symptoms of Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP) and Pelvic Instability it can be a great addition to the SRC Pregnancy Shorts or Leggings that assist with less severe symptoms of PGP.

Maternity Shapewear

Shapewear has its place when worn for a short period of time for aesthetic reasons under fitted clothing, but it certainly should not be worn during pregnancy or during the recovery process as it is likely to deliver a high level of compression that will deactivate the very muscles that should be activated. The term has mostly come about as a layman’s way of saying post-natal compression due to the unfortunate fact that most women are more familiar with the term “shapewear” than they are with the benefits of gentle medical grade compression. You can read more here about Compression v Shapewear.  

Maternity Stockings

Just like maternity leggings only thinner. Maternity stockings can be worn to the office or for formal occasions where you would normally wear stockings. Even those products with a medical grade compression are much more likely to develop “ladders” and have a more limited number of times you can wear them unlike the SRC Pregnancy Leggings and Shorts that have been tested to 100 wash cycles and found to have retained their compression properties.

Maternity Support Underwear

 Based on what we have seen in the market, it seems that the word “support” is being thrown in by the marketers to make plain maternity underwear seem more sophisticated and beneficial than it is by throwing in a feel-good adjective. As far as we can tell its underwear that makes allowances for your bump but doesn’t do much in terms of support.


This is a category that is somewhat easier to navigate with specific terms like Postpartum and post-natal or simply after pregnancy signifying exactly the type of item you are looking for.

Postpartum Girdle

This is essentially a corset if you use the strict definition of the word and it is not likely to be as comfortable or beneficial in this day and age when modern day compression garment is available. Girdles and corsets or binding as it was known for thousands of years in Asian cultures was a traditional way for women to get the support they needed for stability and mobility required to look after the newborn after birth.

Today, innovators like SRC, with products like SRC Recovery Shorts and SRC Recovery Leggings assist women with fast-tracking their recovery after pregnancy by treating Abdominal Muscle Separation, Perineal Tears and stitches, C-Section wounds, Sciatica, and Low Back Pain.

Also known as Post-Natal Recovery Shorts, C-section Recovery Pants or Postpartum Recovery Shorts these specialised garments can do wonders for getting you mobile and on the road to recovery and they can not be compared to with “normal” compression wear, let alone cheap fabric garments.

Gentle medical grade compression avoids muscle deactivation and allows for SRC Recovery garments to be worn day and night, delivering 24-hour wearability and pain relief.

With no adjustable buttons, Velcro, zips & clips, the SRC Recovery Shorts and Leggings are more convenient and comfortable as there is no need to regularly adjust while wearing.

The anatomically targeted support panels (ASP) provide consistent compression during movement. This is achieved by utilising True Cross Compression where each fabric layer is cut on a different plane so that during activity no compression is lost at any time. Here is a little more about Anatomical Support Panels (ASP) a unique patented feature of all SRC compression garments:

The SRC Recovery Shorts are a multi-function garment, not only for treating multiple conditions post-delivery during the initial 10-week recovery period but also ongoing for exercise and aesthetic reasons under fitted clothing.

Recommended by Obstetricians, Gynaecologists, Women’s Physiotherapists and other health care professionals, many private health insurers in Australia will provide a rebate to customers who purchase an SRC product as they are considered a medical compression garment, designed to aid with the recovery and health of expectant and new mothers. Your purchase may be claimable under one of the following categories: Aids and Appliances, Orthoses, Splints, Medical compression garments but please note - not all private health insurers/plans in the United States or Australia offer a rebate and we recommend talking to your fund/plan to see if it applies to you.

No matter where you are in your pregnancy or recovery journey, we are here to provide support and advice, so please don’t hesitate to contact us through our Facebook page or email.

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