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Pros and Cons of Belly Tape and Maternity Support Braces During Pregnancy

Pros and Cons of Belly Tape and Maternity Support Braces During Pregnancy

May 26, 2022

When it comes to the later part of pregnancy, our pregnant belly is quite obviously larger and placing extra stress on many parts of our body.  This can include our low back, sciatic nerve, round ligament pain, and much more.  Many clients that come to us for prenatal care are unaware that there are multiple options that can make their last weeks MUCH more comfortable.  Especially while we are on our feet.

In this blog, I will review the two main categories of support and the pros and cons of each.

Back and Belly Brace

The first support solution is the maternity back and belly brace. Usually a fabric brace with a velcro closure.  Some have multiple layers of velcro for more adjustment options.  It is meant to give a soft support to the low back and fit under the belly for belly support.  It can range from very simple to quite complicated and cost anywhere from $15 to $75.

PROS:

  • Provides support for the back and belly

  • Is meant to be adjustable for a customized fit

  • There are breathable fabrics

  • Can wear under clothing so it won’t show

  • Can be cost effective

CONS:

  • Lots of moms cannot tolerate any pressure on their belly

  • Babies often are bothered by the belly pressure and kick at the belt

  • Can be uncomfortable with sitting down as it digs into the belly

  • Can be too hot for those who are sensitive to heat

Maternity Support Braces

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Note about belly bands: Sometimes providing the back and pelvis with added support can provide the most help slowly over time throughout the day and there may not be instant “relief” the moment you put it on.  In general, I recommend to patients that they try it on when they are going to be on their feet and after wearing for a while take note if they were in less pain overall than they would normally have been without a brace.

Belly Taping with Kinesiotape

The second category of belly support is with kinesiotape.  A stretchy tape that provides a surprising feeling of support to the belly.  Usually applied by pelvic PTs and some chiropractors who work with pregnant women, patients often feel that this can provide that extra bit of support to get them through the last weeks of pregnancy.

PROS: 

  • No belly pressure and subsequent discomfort

  • Can keep on for up to 5 days (including with showering)

  • Can learn to apply at home

  • Is not expensive

  • Can look up taping techniques on YouTube or be shown by your pelvic PT or other prenatal support provider.

CONS:

  • Skin can be sensitive to adhesive… especially the pregnant belly (though this is a minority of women)

  • Need special kinesiotape that is long enough for the belly instead of the most common variety in stores that is only about 8 inch strips

Kinesiotape

Products for Exercise, Fitness, Wellness, Pelvic Health, Prenatal Health, Postpartum Recovery, and more!

Note about tape: Will need to reapply every 3-5 days.  May need a day or two off in between to let skin rest.  After showering, just pat dry with a towel.  I have extra large rolls of tape in my clinic just for belly taping and even have other pre-cut tape made for pregnant bellies.

In the last weeks of pregnancy, we often get comfortable being uncomfortable.  Our endurance is tested in so many ways during pregnancy and discomfort is one of them.  However, I highly recommend NOT ignoring your body and giving it support when you are feeling discomfort.

Often, women are so relieved that they found something to make their days a bit or a lot less uncomfortable or even painful.  Consult with a pelvic PT to help you get through your pregnancy and even help you prepare for your birth and postpartum recovery.  We are here for you!

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PELVIC PAIN
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TAILBONE & RECTAL PAIN
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BLADDER HEALTH
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POSTPARTUM CARE
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