Pregnancy, specifically during the fourth trimester, is a wild, strenuous ride for your abdomen and back. From stress and pulling to C-section scars and diastasis, pregnancy really changes things in your body. Since some of these changes can be uncomfortable and often come with a bit of pain, belly bands are one way we can combat that discomfort.
WHAT TO CONSIDER
Your belly band needs will change depending on which phase of pregnancy or the postpartum period you’re in. The belly band you wear during pregnancy will be very different from the one you wear after a C-section, or during the general postpartum period. And some C-section parents might want one of each depending upon how their abdomen handled pregnancy.
During your pregnancy, belly bands — or pregnancy support bands — help distribute the weight from your lower back and under the belly to make you more comfortable overall, with less back and belly pain. There are several types on the market, but the most popular are underbelly and harness styles. A 2019 systematic review showed that these types of maternity support garments showed that they can help with pubic pain, lower back pain, and even balance, but the exact reasons why are fairly murky, and you should still discuss any pain you’re having with your provider.
After a C-section, your body requires special care. Targeted compression in a variety of levels and breathable fabrics can help alleviate the swelling and discomfort that accompanies a C-section. It’s major surgery, after all. There are also newer belly bands that help hold scar treatment in place at a time when you’re not likely going to be able to fuss with them all the time.
After I delivered my daughter, I had a diastasis so wide you could drive a truck through it. It was incredibly uncomfortable and made my abdomen just feel really strange. I hated it. I started using compression belly bands, and while it didn’t heal my diastasis (physiotherapy did that), it did make me more comfortable and helped my posture tremendously. These postpartum belly bands range from pretty tight, almost corset-like compression, to barely different from your average Spanx. Which one you choose will greatly depend on what your personal needs are.
HOW WE CHOSE
I spoke to moms, read hundreds of reviews, and even included the very belly band that I used postpartum. These belly bands are the best, most popular models on the market, and I made sure to include a range of budgets when I chose.
This belly wrap is the perfect postpartum pick. It’s sturdy enough to support your newly empty abdomen but discreet enough to wear under most loose-fitting tops. This is specifically designed for post-pregnancy wear, up to 8 weeks after giving birth.
This is the band I used and the band I recommend to absolutely everyone. It’s stretchy, not itchy, and you can’t feel the seams overmuch. You can even adjust the compression to suit your changing body.
Oh, sweet relief. This new product from Frida Mom does the most for C-section relief. It supports your belly, has targeted heat and cold therapy, will support your incision, and once the stitches are out, it will hold scar-minimizing silicone sheets in place.
The fabric is smooth and soft and easy to clean, so you don’t need to worry about the various and sundry liquids involved in the postpartum period ruining it.