As a mom of two, when I found out I was pregnant with our third child, I figured I knew what I was getting into. For the most part, I was right. My experiences with my previous two pregnancies were pretty good preparation for what I was going to face over the next 40 weeks.
However, as every mom learns, just like no two children are alike, each pregnancy is different and comes with its own set of adjustments and symptoms.
And this pregnancy, while similar enough to my last two, has still been introducing me to a few new issues that I’d never faced before.
The biggest and most difficult to manage was how quickly my baby bump grew, causing my weight to accumulate sooner than I was used to, and how low this baby has stayed the entire pregnancy. (And I didn’t eat differently or do more or less exercise than my previous pregnancies).
My bigger and lower belly so early on meant that I was dealing with lots of discomfort, pressure, and soreness through my belly, pelvic floor, legs, and feet earlier than I was used to. I remember telling my doctor that I was feeling late-pregnancy symptoms already, and it was only the middle of my pregnancy.
Nearly 26 weeks pregnant.
It actually became difficult for me to be up on my feet for too long, even just the time it took to vacuum the house or do the dishes, and I was only in my second trimester. So I started looking for solutions because there was no way I was going to spend the next 15 weeks with this kind of pain slowing me down.
I needed something to help support this ever-growing baby bump.
Having heard of maternity support belts through various different sites, I began looking at the prices and reviews of various brands that offered everything from light support to compression to postpartum hip and belly shrinking.
I also talked to my doctor again as I was experiencing more pressure and a bruise-y, burning pain…um…down below…that was not ligament or muscle-related. Her diagnosis was something I suspected from my online research – varicose veins in that area (vulvar varicosity), which was something I’d never heard of before this pregnancy.
With that diagnosis, I asked her opinion about a maternity support belt, especially one with groin compression straps. Since I still had nearly 10 weeks to go at that point, she said that a belt would definitely be worth it.
So, I went back to the options I had researched, and decided to go with BabyBellyBand by Cabea Orthopedic Designs, which offered not only an abdominal support band that could be used both during and after pregnancy, but also had optional compression therapy groin bands to help with the varicose veins. Their bands were also less expensive than other brands I’d seen, but they still had great reviews.
The final selling point was the quick response I got from their customer service when I had a question about what size band to order. Caroline, the CEO and designer, replied and offered her suggestion and let me know that I would be able to exchange it if necessary.
I chose the 2-3 day shipping because I was ready for some relief (even moving my legs to turn over in bed was painful).
I was seriously excited when my maternity support belt arrived.
The instructions for putting on the belt were easy to follow, even if I did look like a sumo wrestler once I had it on (the pregnant belly only adds to the effect). 🙂
Abdominal Support Band. Picture courtesy of Babybellyband by Cabea Orthopedic Designs.
Compression Therapy Groin Straps. Picture courtesy of Babybellyband by Cabea Orthopedic Designs.
I’m not exaggerating when I say that the support belt made an IMMEDIATE difference. It was almost like magic!
In the first week I had it, I really put it to the test, too. I went with Elijah on his class field trip to the pumpkin patch, where I kept up with first graders all day as we walked around the farm, through a sunflower maze, all over the barn with its straw-strewn floors (VERY uneven, slippery footing), and out into the pumpkin fields via a rather bumpy hayride (in a wagon with a very high step to get in and out of). Then a couple of days later, my family and I enjoyed a day at a local fall festival, which meant walking around for several hours without sitting down once.
Chasing first graders through the sunflower maze.
Pumpkin patch prize.
“Pumpkin smuggler” belly – 31 weeks pregnant.
Through all of that, I was able to move around comfortably and with very minimal pain, especially compared to what I had been experiencing on even my easiest days of just doing basic housekeeping.
Out of curiosity, I did try going without the band one evening while I was working in the kitchen, cleaning and making dinner, which would mean that I was up on my feet for a couple of hours. In less than 30 minutes, I felt the support belt’s absence. In another half hour or so, I was putting it back on.
When I first got it, I was worried that the maternity support belt would be uncomfortable or that it would show through under my clothing. Neither one of those worries were necessary.
Once I wiggle into it and get it in place in the morning (it IS a very strong elastic band – kind of like getting on a pair of Spanx), I can forget that I have it on, and no one else can tell. The only inconvenience is when I have to go to the bathroom (since I have the groin straps), because then I am wiggling it down and back up. But again, no worse than other things we women put ourselves through, and the relief is worth it.
The belt does get a little sweaty when I’ve been very active or it’s a warm day, but I won’t feel it until I take it off, so it’s not that big of a deal. Plus, it is machine washable and dryable, so it’s easy to keep it clean.
I’ve been wearing this maternity support band every day for about a month. The only time I take it off is when I’m sleeping or taking a shower, or it’s being washed.
Before I got it, I would have to take frequent rests throughout the day, and I still had pain, discomfort, and swelling.
With it, I’ve noticed significantly less pain, not only from the varicose veins, but also from my belly stretching in general, less aching in my legs, and less swelling and pain in my feet. I’ve been able to continue doing things or get back to doing things around the house or out and about that were getting difficult for me without it.
It has seriously been the best thing I’ve gotten for myself this pregnancy, and I wish I’d had it for my previous two.
Since I’ve seen such a difference with this maternity support band, I wanted to share my experience with you. I contacted Caroline at BabyBellyBand again and asked her if I could use pictures from her site (because you don’t want to see me in my pregnant sumo wrestler get-up…trust me. The band works amazingly, but it’s not for looks. 🙂 ).
I also asked her if there was anything special I could offer my readers who might be interested in her products, too, because I know so many mommies who are expecting right now who could benefit from a BabyBellyBand Abdominal Support belt.
Caroline was very happy to hear how much the product helped me, and she graciously offered a special coupon code for you all to use! 🙂
By entering the coupon code lapehaven , you’ll get 10% off your purchase from BabyBellyBand.
(In the checkout/shopping cart area, above where you enter you billing and shipping info, is a gray box that says, “Have a Coupon ? Click Here to Enter Your Code.”)