Running Pregnant: Support Belts

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, midwife or nurse. The information expressed in the series “Running Pregnant – By JBRobinBog.com” should not be taken as medical advice. Please consult your doctor before running during pregnancy and postpartum.

No Pregnancy is the same. All bodies react diffidently – some baby bumps grow fast and others slower. I personally felt like my Belly was popping really fast and this definitely felt weird when running pregnant. So I felt like I would need a little support to continue doing what I love.

I started doing research and looking for a way that I could support my body whilst running. I had a picture in my head of those back support belts that bodybuilders wear when they lift heavy weights. Luckily research proved that there are much more flattering support belts out there for Mommies to be. Maternity support bands/belts are designed to support the lower back and abdomen during pregnancy. These flexible support bands/belts can provide sufficient support to active women who are pregnant, especially during the second and third trimesters.

There are a few out on the market – But here in South-Africa I found a limited amount available. Mainly there are two products on the market that I could find that stood out the most. A Company here in SA that specialise in maternity support options and after birth products is Carriwell. Visit their website to see all the products they offer. Another brand I have now heard about is the Grace Maternity Belt by Bump Maternity. Unfortunately I cannot find a website for them but their products are available on Take Allot and in Dischem pharmacies.

After running a 21km my body definitely protested and I got myself a belly support band from Carriwell available at most pharmacies and baby stores. It helped allot and it gave me just that extra less jiggle, if that makes any sense. The band helped during my runs.

Seamless Maternity Support Band

Recommended retail price: R189.95

The Carriwell Seamless Maternity Support Band is uniquely designed to be preventive and therapeutic. The band reduces the risk of muscle strain and helps to relieve existing discomfort or pain by gently lifting weight off the pelvis and supporting your lower back. It is discreet and warm and supports your back and tummy. Warmth and support of the lower back by special fabric constructions which relieve pressure on the lower back and abdomen. The fine seamless fabric allows you to wear it discretely under tight fitting clothes. As your tummy grows the maternity support band is designed to gently increase support. Extra stretch over your bump combined with gentle but firm support below and to the sides of the bump.

The band is woven in a special way to give you support, Making a rounded band area that is woven thicker to shape around you abdomen for support. This band continues towards the back with the thicker woven fabric, leaving a looser fit on the belly area. This makes it easier for it to stretch out as your belly grows.

This product is mainly advertised for support and not really for intense support during exercise so it might not have been the best first option for me. Regardless the price fit into my budget and my options were limited, and I was not about to stop running. I wore the belt during all my runs. At one Race it was very hot and I felt so uncomfortable, last minute I decided to take the band off. During the race I felt fine but afterwards my back was killing me, I hadn’t realized how much my body had gotten used to the band and that removing it was actually a mistake.

Unfortunately there was two issues I had with the band to run with.

One: My tights just refused to stay up. The two fabrics were just too slippery against each other.

Two:The band was too tight around my lower abdomen when I ran, this caused pressure onto my bladder as it became full, causing leakage. What I did was wear the band upside down to decrease this and it worked. When I wore it upside down the tightly woven fabric sat on top of my belly and not at the bottom – but as I started to grow bigger this in turn did not give enough support to the front. I just want to say that I did buy the band in the right size, so that was not the issue.

So the band might not have been wonderful for my bladder but worked for my back. Otherwise it is still a great product, just maybe not for running. I still wear it under my everyday clothing for extra support, it makes me feel much more comfortable when wearing tight fitting tops.

A second option by Carriwell is the adjustable belt – I have not tried this product but it is also an option to look at seeing at the other products from them are manufactured so well.

Adjustable Overbelly Support Belt

Recommended retail price: R520.00

This extremely comfortable and easy to adjust support belt, provides support and immediate relief for pregnancy-induced backache. This pregnancy belt applies easily adjustable counter pressure to any discomfort in your lower back, improving your posture and bringing you pain relief. The broad soft belt gently lifts your tummy relieving downward pressure whilst supporting your hip. The broad elastic and soft breathable microfiber fabric is designed to softly support your sensitive skin. One-piece belt which is easy to put on and will grow-with-you, is adjustable for your unique size and support – see video below for details.

 

 

Then I got a message from a fellow runner. She explained to me that she had run up until 3 days before her son was born, all with the help of these two running support belts she had. I had seen a similar belt by Carriwell (Adjustable Over-belly Support Belt) before but they were completely out of my budget and at the time I was not sure how much I would need them and if they’d actually do the trick. She was so kind as to donate her Belts to me and to this day I cannot be more thankful. They are amazing! Amazing , Amazing!

Unfortunately they don’t have any branding on them so I’m not sure where she got them – she mentioned that they could possibly be from Carriwell but that she’d had them for so long, she’s not sure. I could not find it on their website, but another runner commented and said that she bought a similar belt and that it was from Bump Maternity.

Bump Maternity : Grace Maternity Belt

This adjustable maternity support belt helps alleviate lower back pain due to pregnancy by supporting the lumbar and abdominal regions. It is designed for those suffering from lower back pain due to pregnancy. It has 4 elastic side panels adding support and compression while allowing aeration. It also has a high, rigid support at the back.

This one looks exactly like the two that I have – I’ve seen it on TakeAlot.com for R185 which is a great price for what you get. Another Runner said that she bought a similar one at Dischem pharmacy here in South-Africa so go have a look. Seriously I love this belt. For everyday wear it might not be as comfortable because it has boning in, but for running and exercise it is perfect (For me).

How to Wear:

– Wrap the abdominal lift attachment around your waist with the desired level of   support. Position the pad so it is cantered and under the abdomen

– Attach the belt to the pad and pull both elastic sides until the desired tension and attach the close to the abdominal pad

– To help keep the support in place and keep from sliding down, stretch the top strap   over your stomach and attach to the opposite side

– Adjust belt tension to make it comfortable. Please note: maternity belts are usually adjusted when in standing position which usually requires more support than when sitting. If you want to use it when sitting, you might have to readjust the belt’s tension.

This band/belt changed my pregnant running and I think it’s going to become a big assent in my third trimester. It does not press on my bladder at all and is fully adjustable to what you want. I was even thinking of wearing it after the baby is born to help pull in my tummy as well. The boning gives me enough support for my back and the Velcro bands on the sides can be loosened when I’m already dresses but not ready to go for a run, as I walk out the door I can adjust the band to how tight I want it and start running. It is a little more bulky and not as seamless, bit it really doesn’t bother me, I’m just happy for the support. I wear it on top of my pants as that is the most comfortable – and it doesn’t slip down. It is also washable, I just pop it onto the machine – Just ensure to let the Velcro stick down onto the belt as to not ruin you other clothing items in the wash.

I hope that this helps and that you’ll be able to find the product that works best for you and your Bump. Let me know if you have any questions, Leave a comment or send a mail!

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Happy Running!

X

Jani

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2 thoughts on “Running Pregnant: Support Belts

  1. thank you for this. my question is however: is it safe to run when pregnant. i have had two miscarriages and both times i ran. when i found out i was pregnant i stopped. and then i miscarried. now i wonder if the running caused the miscarriages….

    1. Hi Olivia, Thank you for your comment. I’m so sorry to hear about your loss.

      Miscarriages is a very sad thing and I cannot imagine going through it. Something you have to remember is that you have to discuss everything you do with your doctor. If you have had miscarriages before, it will make sense that you will in future have high risk pregnancies and the rules and guidelines change completely for high risk pregnancies and your doctor should advise you on the correct things to do.

      It is advisable for Pregnant woman to do exercise as it has been proven to be beneficial for you and you baby. It is also not advised to start a new fitness regime while pregnant – Meaning if you were not a runner before your pregnancy then its not always advisable to start running, but rather partake in other fitness exercises. But the most important thing to Remember is t always listen o your doctor.
      SO in short I’ll say – No , I don’t believe that Running causes miscarriages all on it’s own, but that there are many factors that need to be taken into consideration.

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