I bought one of these for £10.00 during my last pregnancy and found it was an absolute life saver. I didn't have very many problems during any of my pregnancies but I just found the third and last one to be a little bit harder than the earlier two. I was older, I had two young children to look after and worked full time, I just seemed to be more tired during my third pregnancy and I also found my bump was heavier or harder to carry.
I didn't put on a lot of weight during my pregnancies, but I was always a little overweight also I am short and found that in my third pregnancy from about 24 weeks I just seemed to suffer with constant lower back pain and muscle pains around my abdomen. I had no serious symptoms and my midwife did not think I needed to see a physiotherapist but I still a chronic nagging pain in my back. I had read about maternity support belts and mentioned to my midwife that I wanted to use one, she had no objections but she did ask that I brought it to her to help me fit it properly.
I had used Emma-Jane Maternity items before, bras, breast pads and bra extenders and they are a well trusted name in the maternity wear business. I purchased my support belt from a local lingerie shop; they come in four sizes and three colours:
and in white, black or skin colour. I purchased a white belt size 18/20. I had previously been told that the belts were quite small fitting and was advised to buy the next size up from my normal pre-pregnancy size. I am a 14/16 so went for the 18/20 and it was a very good fit. The belt is basically a very long piece of strong elasticated material, it is quite hard to the touch and is about 3 inches wide and very long. The belt fastens under the bump and is secured in place with Velcro, during the time I wore the belt it never opened and the fastenings never loosened. It can be worn quite neatly under clothing and no one ever remarked that I was wearing the belt. The belt can be quite fiddly to get on until you are used to it and having my midwife help me put it on the first time definitely made a difference. I don't think they need to be professionally fitted as there are fitting instructions on the box.
I found that when wearing the belt my back was under less strain, the belt just seemed to lighten my bump or perhaps spread the weight a bit better. I didn't find the belt restricting in any way and mostly I forgot I had it on after wearing it for a while. The maternity support belt is not needed by every pregnant woman but I think the more pregnancies you have and if you are carrying a bit of excess weight then the muscles are perhaps not as strong as they should be and a little bit of support is appreciated. I would recommend the belt and they can be purchased from many outlets from lingerie and maternity shops, online and on the high street, there is also quite a strong second hand market on eBay. I didn't wash my belt, but they are washable.
I would recommend discussing support belts with a medical professional before purchase and perhaps seek help with fitting if you do buy one.
The answer to backpain during your pregnancy.