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During my first pregnancy I suffered with a painful backache, thankfully only for the last couple of months of pregnancy. The backache started again in my second pregnancy, but this time when I was only 4 months pregnant. I could not face 5 months of excruciating pain and barely being able to walk, so I asked my midwife for advice. She referred me to the physio and a week later I had my appointment.
The physio appointment was actually very useful. I was examined and then the physio explained all about the pelvic girdle and pelvic floor, including showing me diagrams and a nifty little model! In pregnancy, the pelvic girdle can relax too much, due to a hormone a pregnant woman's body creates. This, as well as the pressure from carrying the extra weight of baby, placenta and water, can cause considerable pain. The physio showed me some exercises and explained how to do supposedly simple things, like get into the car, without collapsing in agony. She also recommended I get a support belt so I went straight from hospital to Mothercare.
I found the maternity support belt in the underwear section of the maternity clothes. The belts cost £12. They are available in black or white and in 3 different sizes - small, medium or large. I bought the black belt as I wear far more black and dark clothing. The belt is 100% cotton which makes it nice and soft and unlikely to irritate your skin.
The support belt does up with clip fastenings, like you get on a bra. Also, just like a bra, the fastening is adjustable meaning that the belt can cater for a wider size range and, most importantly, the belt grew with my ever expanding tummy, meaning one size would be suitable for the whole pregnancy.
As soon as I tried the support on I could feel the difference. My bump instantly felt supported and it felt like it eased the pressure on my back. The belt is easy to put on, I simply fastened it in front and then spun it around. It is very comfortable to wear and the adjustable fastening means you have a good chance of getting a nice fit. The belt comes quite high up my bump which has the added benefit of keeping my tummy covered if my top rides up a bit. In the cold weather we've had recently, it also adds an extra bit of warmth!
I rcommend the support belts if you are experiencing pregnancy related backpain or SPD. It did make a big difference and I was a lot more comfortable. If you are in a lot of pain you should also see the physio as the exercises I was shown also really helped.