As your belly grows during pregnancy, so does your discomfort. It’s like you can feel every pull and twinge from the weight of your heavy belly, and it can be a struggle to get things done.
This is where the best belly bands can come to your rescue and ease some of that burden. The right belly band will give you support, coverage, and a slightly smoother shape that helps your clothes fit better.
Since we know how busy life can get when you’re preparing for a baby (we’ve been there!), we spent hours comparing the features, reviews, and costs of all the top belly support products on the market. We’ve rounded up the best maternity bands and belts to help support your body in carrying that precious cargo.
- Gentle compression
- Reduces pregnancy pains
- Soft and breathable
- Stylish design
- Helps prevent stretch marks
- Features a back pocket
- Gentle groin compression
- Adjustable and breathable
- Soft and discreet
- Slimming design
- Quality lightweight fabric
- Satisfaction guaranteed
- Fully adjustable
- Breathable fabric
- Ultra-soft, tagless band
- Seamless knit construction
- High quality silicone strip
- Seamless knit construction
- Elastic material
- Corrects poor posture
- Supports weak ab muscles
- Lifetime guarantee
- Fully adjustable
- Provides great support
- Fully adjustable
- Versatile 2 strap support
- Includes prenatal core exercises
- Our Top Picks
- Maternity Belts vs. Belly Bands
- How to Choose the Best Belly Band
- The Best Maternity Belts & Belly Bands of 2021
- Benefits of Maternity Belts and Belly Bands
- How Do You Use a Belly Band?
- How Do You Use a Maternity Belt?
- Why You Should Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor
- Belly Band & Maternity Belt FAQs
Maternity Belts vs. Belly Bands
Many companies use the terms “maternity belt” and “belly band” interchangeably, but they aren’t the same product, although some may be a hybrid of both. Here’s the difference.
A belly band is essentially a loop of stretchy fabric used to help you wear your normal pants without having to spend a fortune on special maternity clothes. They come in different sizes and colors, and some fasten with velcro while others are a continuous strip of material.
During the second and third trimesters, swelling and fluid retention may make you feel like a rapidly expanding blimp. You can leave your pants button open and cover the gap with a belly band, using it as a fabric “bridge.” There are many layering options with belly bands, and when used under other clothing, they can add extra warmth in winter.
A belly band is more about coverage, although it does offer a little support.
Though they can look similar, maternity belts have a more heavy-duty design and provide more support. These are less about coverage and more about giving your bump structured support.
There are different styles, but many consist of a narrow belt that is partially stretchy. Rather than going over the whole midsection, they often sit underneath your baby bump, supporting it like a sling. When I was pregnant, I thought of mine as a bra for my belly.
These are thicker, more structured, and may be more adjustable to help with lower back pain.
How to Choose the Best Belly Band
Whether you’re looking for a maternity belt or belly band, there are a few factors to consider in your search.
Both belly bands and maternity belts have to feel comfortable. That’s the whole point of wearing them! Maternity belts should take the pressure off and keep your pain level manageable. Belly bands should keep your pants up and give you light support. Neither option should feel overly tight.
Easy to Clean
You’re going to spend hours a day wearing these garments, so you need to be able to clean them with as little fuss as possible. The best maternity belts and belly bands should be machine washable. The last thing you need when you’re pregnant and uncomfortable is a load of hand washing.
Depending on your baby’s position and how much pain you’re in, you might be willing to fork over any amount of money just for a little relief. But a higher cost doesn’t guarantee a better quality product, so it’s worth keeping an eye on the price. Pregnancy is expensive, so it helps to cut costs where you can.
When looking at maternity belts, you’ll want to consider one additional factor: the closure. While most belly bands are designed as one piece of stretchy material, maternity belts have a variety of ways they can be closed or adjusted.
Many women prefer Velcro because of how easy it is to use, but you might end up snagging your pants or shirts on it.
Other maternity belts come with hook-and-eye closures, which is no picnic to navigate when your fingers are so swollen they look like sausages. You’ll have to weigh your options to see which style is best for you.
The Best Maternity Belts & Belly Bands of 2021
These are our favorite maternity belts and belly bands.
1. AZMED Maternity Belly Band for Pregnancy
AZMED’s belt is made of breathable fabric, so you won’t feel hot and sticky under your band.
Staying as comfortable as possible while pregnant is a big deal, especially when maternity hormones have you feeling like you’re roasting half the time.
With this belt, you’ll experience less pressure on your spine, which helps ease any potential back pain.
It lifts your belly a little, supporting your back, but you’ll also get some reprieve from pelvic and hip pain.
This one-size design can fit a belly of up to 46 inches.
2. Gabrialla Breathable Maternity Belt
This maternity belt is almost invisible under your jeans, and it comes in your choice of black or white or with the option of pink trim.
When you wear this belt, you won’t have to limit your activities because the soft, breathable mesh-style elastic allows you to remain active. For added comfort, the Gabrialla belt has a back pocket that you can slip hot or cold packs into to help with any pain you might be feeling.
Despite the amount of firm compression this belt provides, it still feels comfortable.
3. Cabea Maternity Support Belt
This belt provides compression for your groin area, which may feel a little strange at first, but before long, you’ll wonder how you managed without it. The compression helps pelvic floor pain, as well as back discomfort and hernias.
It offers firm support low down to help lift the abdomen off the pelvis. You should begin to feel relief immediately.
This belt is breathable, easy to figure out, and simple to adjust. Plus, you can clean it in the washing machine with all your other clothes, which is always a time saver.
4. Chongerfei 3 in 1 Postpartum Belly Wrap
Each phase of recovery after giving birth is different, and this 3-in-1 belly wrap will see you through it all. It’s composed of three parts: a belly belt, a waist belt, and a pelvic belt. You can wear them separately or together.
The belly belt, designed to support your stomach, prevents sagging organs, while the waist belt promotes uterine contractions. The pelvic belt corrects the pelvic position. Altogether, they work to reduce swelling, support core abdominal muscles, and help the uterus shrink to its original size sooner.
Each part of the belly wrap is made of a lightweight and breathable material fitted with strong elastic supports so you can adjust it to fit your comfort level and needs.
It’s important you know you shouldn’t wear each part of this belly wrap right away. To prevent injury and pain, each included belt has its own specific timing recommendations.
5. NeoTech Care Pregnancy Support Maternity Belt
The NEOtech maternity belt fits comfortably over your clothes with a streamlined design and all the necessary support a pregnant woman could want. Its easy-to-use adjustment system also allows you to resize the entire belt as your belly grows.
Made especially for women experiencing lower back pain, it redistributes pressure evenly across the back while also lessening the burden of pregnancy weight by wrapping around your belly and waist.
The customizable two-sided velcro is this belt’s standout feature. As your belly grows, move the velcro attachments to fit, then cut off the excess. The velcro is designed to be worn over clothing because it can be quite heavy and may tug at any fabric placed on top of it.
Overall, the design is simple, and the colors are plain, so you can wear them over clothes without drawing too much attention to yourself. If you’re self-conscious, we definitely suggest wearing clothes in the same colors as your belt so they’ll blend together.
6. Ingrid & Isabel Bellaband Maternity Belly Band
These bands have a stay-put silicone strip on them to help hold your unbuttoned pants in place. They come in several basic colors, and they’ll hang low enough on your midsection that it will look like you’re wearing layers — just like a tank top under a shirt.
You can either wear the bands at their full length if you like the layered look, or you can fold them in half underneath the hem of your shirt, which gives them extra hold.
You can put these bands in the washing machine to save time.
7. Diravo Maternity Belly Band
These bands will offer some support while working out without feeling too confining. You don’t want your range of motion or flexibility to be too limited when you’re exercising, so this level of support should be just the amount you’re looking for.
They’re seamless and breathable, so you’ll stay cool even during hot workouts. They have a silicone rubber band on the bottom to help keep it in place, which is handy when you’re moving around a lot.
These have the right amount of compression to support your abdominal muscles, so whether you’re lightly exercising or really trying to break a sweat, your belly will be supported.
8. Babo Care Maternity Belt
When you’re carrying twins, you’ll likely need some support for your abdominal area, back, hip, and pelvic region.
This belt offers all of that. It has four support bars, so it can do all the heavy lifting you need.
It uses an upper layer and under layer that’s made of breathable fabric. This belt gives you just enough stretch that you’ll be able to wear it while doing all of your daily activities. You won’t have to sit on the sidelines for anything.
Babo Care also gives you a 100 percent money-back guarantee for their belt, so you won’t have to lose your money if you don’t like it.
9. Flexguard Support 3XL Plus-Size Maternity Belt
You can get this maternity belt in sizes up to 3XL. The largest size is capable of supporting a 54 to 62-inch belly.
It’s completely adjustable, so as you gain additional weight in late pregnancy, your belt can keep expanding with you.
These belts are backed up with a lifetime warranty, which is nice for moms who are worried about spending their hard-earned money on products that don’t work.
This belt will help you correct any poor posture you might have that could be contributing to your pain.
10. CFR Belly Band Pregnancy Belt
As the name indicates, this belt has a split right in the center. That gives it great versatility — you can wear it three different ways with the two-strap support it comes with.
You’ll be able to lift your belly up so your bladder won’t feel as much pressure, and you can go on a run without having to interrupt your workout every few minutes to find a bathroom.
Exercise is so important during pregnancy, and the back support this provides lets you continue working out safely.
This belt is also slim enough that it won’t look super bulky under your workout gear. It’s fully adjustable and is made in the U.S.
11. Belevation Maternity Belly Band
This belly band is adjustable to size 18, so it’s a good option for women who are looking for support but can’t fit into the standard-sized belly band.
It’s seamless, so it’s super comfortable to wear. Made out of breathable mesh, you won’t feel too hot when you wear this, which is nice because most women are constantly warm during late pregnancy.
It’s made in the U.S. and is lightweight since it’s constructed from breathable nylon and spandex. You can clean it in your washing machine, and it can even go in your dryer, so you don’t have to wait for it to air dry.
This band won’t feel restrictive even though it gives you ample support.
12. Diravo Womens Maternity Belly Band
Do you need a belly band that can support your ab muscles during all stages of pregnancy? The Diravo band is great for all trimesters and postpartum and supports you during exercise and workouts.
It reduces stress on your body and supports your back and abs. It also promotes recovery after your baby is born. It can reduce pressure on your waist and spine to make all stages of your pregnancy more comfortable.
It has a seamless knit design that makes it less obvious if worn under your shirts or maternity pants, so you can get comfier without sacrificing fashion.
Benefits of Maternity Belts and Belly Bands
Maternity belts can help in many situations during pregnancy:
- If you’re on your feet a lot at work.
- If you’ve gained more weight than you were expecting to.
- If you’re expecting twins.
- If you’re having back pain.
- If you’re suffering from pelvic pain.
- If you have sciatica.
- If you have round ligament pain, which is common in pregnancy.
- If pregnancy has caused a hernia.
The best maternity belts and belly bands will help by providing the following:
- Weight redistribution: You’ll feel more contained, balanced, and supported.
- Gentle compression: Like a sports bra helps during jogging, a belly band or belt helps during daily activities.
- Better posture: You’ll constantly be reminded to stand correctly and not in a “swayback” position.
- Pain reduction: Joint and pelvic pain can be relieved with the help of a supportive band.
- Comfort and confidence: Many women enjoy the pleasant feeling of snugness, plus a little extra coverage.
The right belt or band will let you get on with your life by preventing pain and the feeling that you need to sit down every five minutes. It can serve as a light reinforcement under clothing in the first trimester and works like pregnancy armor to support your changing shape as you battle out the last trimester!
How Do You Use a Belly Band?
If you find yourself unable to zip up your pre-pregnancy pants once you hit the second or third trimester, it’s a good time for a belly band.
All you have to do is slide your belly band over the top of your pants and the opened zipper, button, or snap. It’s easy to put on, gives you extra coverage, and helps hold your pants in place even when you can no longer fasten them.
How Do You Use a Maternity Belt?
Unlike belly bands, maternity belts are sometimes worn outside your clothes. But you can also wear a maternity belt under your clothes, especially if you want it to pull double duty as a belly band.
You’ll either use hooks or Velcro to fasten it as tight as you need after you position the belt low on your belly.
Maternity belts also can help after you’ve had your child. They’re especially supportive for women who have had a cesarean section as it offers the extra support they need while they’re healing.
Why You Should Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor
There are endless ways to make pregnancy and motherhood more comfortable, but don’t forget about the best tool you have in your arsenal: your own body.
During pregnancy, your body works hard to cradle your growing baby and keeps them snug and safe as they grow. A complex network of ligaments, muscles, and tissue holds everything in place, but it’s hard work. If you don’t have much strength in these areas, you’ll occasionally feel tired and sore.
The best belly bands and maternity belts will alleviate some of this strain, but they don’t address the underlying weakness. It’s better to work on your internal support system — and your pelvic floor is a great place to start!
The pelvic floor is a shelf of interlocking muscles that support your bladder, bowel, and uterus (1). There are plenty of good reasons to tone it up. A strong pelvic floor:
- Increases sexual satisfaction.
- Assists in the birthing process.
- Decreases your chances of incontinence.
Best of all, a strong pelvic floor is a built-in maternity belt that lightens the burden and reduces your chances of developing pain during the final pregnancy months. Here’s how to give your pelvic floor a workout:
I know you already know about Kegel exercises, but they’re always worth mentioning again. Squeeze in a few throughout the day, or take five minutes each morning to show these muscles some love, whether you’re trying to conceive, are already pregnant, or are in the postpartum stage.
Pilates, Yoga and Other Exercise
Besides the noble Kegel, you can get a good pelvic floor workout with any exercise that strengthens your core and balance, such as yoga, Pilates, or even ballet barre workouts.
Belly Band & Maternity Belt FAQs
Can Maternity Belts Hurt My Baby?
If it’s worn correctly, there’s very little chance of a belt or band harming your baby. But to be on the safe side, consider two things:
How tight you wear it: A too-tight belt can eventually change the shape of your womb and interfere with your baby’s development (2). If you’re feeling comfortable and happy with it on, then your baby is probably fine, too. Just make sure you purchase the correct size.
Wear it as low as possible so you’re supporting, not constricting, your bump. Don’t wear anything that prevents blood flow or feels painful or overly tight.
How long you wear it: Belly bands and belts should only be worn occasionally, or else you risk weakening your muscles and putting too much pressure on your baby. You won’t harm your baby if you only wear your belt a few hours a day, and don’t wear it unless you need to.
How Tight Should a Maternity Belt Be?
You might be wondering, how tight is too tight?
First, check the sizing chart for your specific product and evaluate it according to your current size. Continue checking the fit as your belly grows. If you outgrow a band, you’ll need to get a new one. Some belts are sold according to your weight, some to dress sizes, and others to the measurement of your belly, so take the time to make sure you get a good fit.
The correct fit will be firm and snug but not uncomfortable. It shouldn’t leave red welts on your skin or leave you feeling numb or tingly, and it definitely shouldn’t hurt you. If it does, it’s too tight.
How Long Can I Wear a Maternity Belt?
In an ideal world, pregnant women would lie down whenever their back or pelvic muscles were fatigued. But that’s not always an option — especially if you’re working outside the home or have other children to care for. A maternity belt is the next best solution.
However, belts are not meant to be worn continuously. Stretchy belly bands can be worn all day since they only offer light support and their main function is simply to cover your belly. But maternity belts give a lot more support, which can actually make your pain worse if you start to rely on them because your muscles weaken.
Think of a maternity belt the same as you would pain medication: helpful when you’re struggling, but not something you’d take all the time. You should use your maternity belt for a maximum of three hours per day, but if you’re not in pain, skip the belt and give your ligaments and muscles a chance to strengthen on their own.
Can I Wear a Maternity Belt to Sleep?
Unless you’ve cleared it with your doctor beforehand, a maternity belt is unnecessary during sleep. If you’re uncomfortable at night, experiment with pregnancy pillows to support your bump, and save the belt for when you’re on your feet.
Can I Wear a Maternity Belt While Sitting?
Yes. Again, let your own pain level and discomfort be your guide. If a belt is generally fine but feels awkward when you’re sitting, simply don’t sit in it. If you get relief on your SI joints when sitting and have no problem with your belt, continue to wear it while sitting.
The potential danger of maternity belts lies in the possibility of constricting your baby. Things shift around a little when you sit, which may or may not make the belt more constricting. Pay attention to how you feel, wear the belt only occasionally, and remove it immediately if something doesn’t feel right.