Today’s post is going to focus on maternity support bands – for those who need a little third-party support carrying around the extra bump weight. For my first pregnancy, I really had no clue re this item because I didn’t need it; I had put on approximately 65 pounds then but I could walk around – albeit, ‘penguinish’ – but I could walk. This second time around, I have 8 more weeks to go (and I’ve only put on 40 pounds) but I can barely walk past 3p without holding onto my back in pain and after 6p, I need help going up and down stairs (I swear there’s no rhyme or reason with every pregnancy). Anyway …
The pain became so bad a few weeks ago that I finally admitted I needed help: maternity support band help.
I read a lot of Amazon reviews, compared prices across a variety of websites, checked out several brands, etc. After all that, I can break it down as follows:
1. Most of the brands are all the same. Some of them even have the same manufacturer (in China) but they just put their own names on it. Shhh – don’t tell the maternity world I told you so. Some of my vendors might not be pleased.
2. There’s basically three kinds of support bands: light, medium, beast. Below is a review of each category and a breakdown of the pros and cons.
3. You can expect to spend anywhere between $28-$40 (including shipping) and I do personally think it’s money well spent having shelled out $38 myself for a beast.
Without further ado, let’s break down your options:
The Light Support Band
The light support band is one layer and it’s usually just stretchy fabric. A lot of people like this for both fashion and function because with the one thin layer, you can wear it well under clothes. As you suspect, not everyone experiences pregnancy or maternity the same: for some people the back (and/or front, depending on belly growth) can bunch and become uncomfortable. If you’re pregnant in the summer, the specific fabric can also become itchy if you’re wearing it directly on skin. This band provides the lightest amount of support. It’s also used sometimes over jeans to make your clothes last a little longer, while also proving support. I don’t personally recommend this purchase to people unless you are hell-bent on avoiding leggings and jeggings during your first trimester because if you’re looking for support and your bump is small, I guarantee you this won’t last you all 9 months. Generally, by the time someone is seeking a maternity support band, this product is not enough. If you find the medium support to be too much though or dislike the negative impact that the medium band has on your maternity fashion, then this option is best for you.
Final note before brand recommendation: If you like this type of support and the way it looks under clothes, I would also suggest you consider maternity underwear support briefs. This item bunches less and can also be used post pregnancy for a little extra support until everything finds its way back to where it belongs.
If you’re looking for a light support band, I recommend the Baby Be Mine brand.
The Medium Support Band
The medium support band is a little more heavy duty than the light band in that it both supports the belly and tends to give better back support as well. If you’re in your last trimester and feel you need some support, then this band is probably good for you (I would say it’s good for a majority of women looking for extra support). If you’re in your second trimester, this might carry you through 2 trimesters but I would suggest going one level of support up if you’re only 5 or 6 months pregnant because if you go one level up, you get this type of band and then some (I elaborate more below).
People like this type of band because it provides more support than an extra elastic layer but some women don’t like it because it’s bulky compared to a light support band and if you like tighter clothes, it’s not flattering. If you’re pregnant in the winter – here’s my suggestion: just layer! (No one will notice) If you’re pregnant in the summer and concerned about how you’ll look, then I would suggest trying it on with some of your clothes before you purchase. If you wear a lot of dresses, tunics, or flowy tops, this category shouldn’t be too much of an issue. One other downside is that sometimes (depending on your maternity wardrobe) the velcro can catch (and ruin) your clothes.
Motherhood Maternity carries a decent medium support band. If you’re close to one of those and thinking you need this item, I would recommend going to their store and just asking to try it on. It’s simple to put on and you will notice a difference immediately. If you like it, you might just want to buy it there. Amazon has some brands with cheaper pricing but you’ll save maybe $5 and my personal view is that if you can have comfort immediately, then it’s worth $5 (you’d probably spend $5 on a Starbucks coffee – why not spend the $5 on something that will help you for weeks to come?!).
Last but not least is the Strong Support Band, aka the beast. I have one of these myself.
Most women would probably look at this item and think it’s not for them for a variety of reasons but if you’re in need of some serious support, you can’t go wrong here. First let’s talk about reasons why some people wouldn’t consider this item: It looks ghastly and intimidating, it can cost more than others and it’s bulky under clothes. When I went to A Pea in the Pod to check out this item, the sales woman actually tried to deter me from buying it declaring, “You need a degree to figure out how to operate this.” Funny comment? Yes. But I was in serious pain and wanted to try this item on after reading reviews. Besides, it’s made of velcro – how bad can it be? Let me tell you, all kidding aside, it’s not. If you have someone show you how to put it on, once you do it three times, you can do it in your sleep. Let me tell you why I love this product personally outside of the physical relief it has given: it’s actually like 3 bands in one. YES. Here’s the thing – it’s technically composed of three parts: It has one part that looks like a medium band. Then the second part goes around your back and velcros to the front. The third part (which I haven’t even been using) is the strap that goes above the belly in case you need a little lift. SO, depending on what you’re looking for and what stage of pregnancy you’re in, I would tell you not to rule this item out. The biggest complaint is that it’s bulky under clothes and can occasionally catch if you don’t attach all the velcro but it is the most flexible item and if you’re concerned about spending money on this particular maternity product, than this might be best for you (especially if you’re in months 5 or 6) because it can very well carry you through the second and third trimester easily. If you’re not sure if you should go medium or heavy support, I highly recommend trying them both on – only you can know what’s best. Before I purchased this product, I felt I needed someone to physically hold my belly up for me (I was tired of walking around and holding it up myself). I basically feel that this is exactly what this items does – it keeps my hands free.
In terms of pricing, I said above it can cost more but the truth is, it’s comparable to the cost of all other bands. Especially here on Amazon ($28 and free shipping for prime). My only gripe with the Amazon product above is that there wasn’t a sizing chart (yes – and I’ve also already informed them they need to add that). Here’s my general rule: order one size bigger than your pre-pregnancy. If you wore a small? Order a medium. If you were a medium? Order a large. Etc. PS – the item above, while it will not come in a fancy box or packaging, is the EXACT same item you would buy at A Pea in the Pod (and I paid $38 for it there because I didn’t want to wait 2 more days). If you’re reading this summary/review and can save yourself $10 though – you’re welcome! Go to Starbucks and treat yourself to a decaf latte!
If you have any questions about maternity support bands or you need more information, please feel free to click on the little envelope to the right and email me.