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Should I use a Pregnancy Belt? Your Questions Answered.

by SRC Health on March 12, 2020

Approximate Reading Time: 3 minutes

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.

What’s causing the pain?

One hormone released during pregnancy is Relaxin which 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.

What can you do to minimise these painful symptoms?

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. 

Visiting a Women’s Health Physiotherapist can greatly assist in improving your wellbeing during pregnancy as they will provide you with a tailored program which may include clinical Pilates, etc.

Thousands of women’s health care professionals around the world are recommending 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 and reduce pain.

See why Anna Scammell a Masters-trained Women's Health & Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist prefers SRC Pregnancy garments to Pregnancy Belts.

 

This fantastic video from Michelle Kenway, a Physiotherapist, shows you how the best ways to relieve pelvic girdle pain when sitting, walking and resting and at the 3min15sec mark she explains exactly how the SRC Pregnancy Shorts and Leggings assist in pain relief. (there’s even a Discount Coupon Code in the Notes section!). Michelle is also an internationally renowned author and exercise instructor for women, whose educational videos have been viewed over 45 million times on YouTube

Here are 5 main reasons why so many women choose SRC Pregnancy Compression shorts or leggings to deal with common aches and pains during pregnancy:

  1. SRC Pregnancy compression garments were designed to treat multiple conditions during pregnancy; Low Back Pain, Pelvic Girdle Pain (SIJ & SPD), Sciatic Nerve Pain, and Vulvar Varicosities. Pregnancy belts can’t treat all these conditions.
  2. SRC Pregnancy Shorts and Leggings are more comfortable to wear than any pregnancy belts. Because of this they are more likely to be worn for long periods which increases their effectiveness.
  3. Pregnancy belts rely on your ‘judgement’ to get the right level of compression when tightening it. Doing it up too tight and you risk muscle deactivation, hence Pregnancy belts should only be worn for short periods, 2-3 hours to prevent deactivation of your muscles
  4. There’s also the risk of compromising blood circulation, negatively impacting your pelvic floor and bowel function if worn too tightly or for too long. With SRC Pregnancy Shorts and Leggings there’s no risk of deactivating your muscles.
  5. Most pregnancy belts do not move with your body and can feel restrictive requiring constant adjustment when sitting down or getting up. Pregnancy belts are not always comfortable or flattering especially if you are wearing them under anything that is fitted or over your clothes. Many pregnancy belts have hooks, loops, or Velcro so there is a chance of snagging your clothes.

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.

In summary, unlike pregnancy belts, SRC Pregnancy Shorts can treat multiple conditions, are more comfortable to wear and are hence more likely to be worn for longer periods which increases their effectiveness.

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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