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What is a Prenatal Belt?

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  • Written By: Tara Barnett
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 15 July 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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A prenatal belt is a device worn by pregnant women to support the weight of the belly. This may provide a number of benefits, including relief from back pain, enhanced circulation, and improved posture. In some cases, a prenatal belt may include additional accessories. The design of a prenatal belt may vary, but at its most basic it is a wide elastic strap that can be adjusted to fit snugly around the bottom of a woman's belly. Most people find that these devices are most useful when the belly becomes relatively heavy late in the pregnancy.

In most cases, a prenatal belt is designed to be worn under clothing. As such, it is typically made of a thin material. These devices may come in attractive colors, but producers do not usually consider this particularly important. The belt may stay together with hooks or may combine with other straps to surround the body.

The primary purpose of a prenatal belt is to provide back support. It also works in a way similar to a sports bra, tightly holding the moving body part to reduce discomfort. Some prenatal belts can help reduce pressure on a woman's bladder or even provide support for an umbilical hernia. For women who exercise during pregnancy, this kind of belt can often help ease discomfort when moving around. While many pregnancy books warn that a prenatal belt is a waste of money, most women claim to feel more at ease wearing one.

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Some maternity belts expand on the basic belly strap to provide even more support. There are belts that go over the shoulders, providing additional lift to the base of the belt, often including a strap that frames the woman's belly. Attachments that go between the legs to provide relief from vulvar varicosities are also available. Some belts include speakers to play music for the unborn child, which many people believe aids development.

Many of the things accomplished by a prenatal belt can also be accomplished using other pregnancy devices, such as clothing designed for exercise or supportive pregnancy underwear. It is usually a good idea to try on a number of belts at the store if possible, as prenatal belts come in a variety of sizes. Most women do not consider a belt a mandatory part of a pregnancy ensemble, and if the belt is inconvenient under certain clothing it is usually possible to go without it. A prenatal belt may be a good investment for an expecting mother even if it is not used all the time, because it can provide relief and can be used over the course of multiple pregnancies.

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