Monday, June 3, 2013

Pregnancy Product Review: Belly Band

At my 5 month OB appointment I mentioned to my doctor that I had been dealing with groin pain, mostly when I walked distances longer than half the length of my house. He said that was within the range of normal for pregnancy and that there really wasn't anything he or I could do about it. The ultrasound tech (a woman) noticed I was having some pain and recommended a belly band. After the appointment we went to Walmart, but apparently our local Walmart doesn't carry any maternity wear or products. Since we're still new in town I had no idea where else to look, and I wasn't feeling well enough to walk around searching, so I stopped thinking about it.

But the pain kept getting worse. If I had to walk up the stairs more than once a day I ended up limping/hobbling. Doing anything more than just sitting reclined in my arm chair became a painful struggle. And leaving the house and going to church ended with me in tears from the pain trying to make it back to the van. Which really stank because here I was finally not throwing up every other day, no longer completely immobilized by nausea, and now I couldn't walk.

I was helpless, in pain, and at my 6 month appointment my doctor was in such a hurry because of an emergency c-section on another patient that I wasn't able to talk to him about it. I ended up needing a wheelchair to get back to our van from the doctor's office because I just couldn't take another step. On our way home we tried looking for a belly band at Target, since they had one online. But the local store didn't have them. A person there recommended Babies R Us.

A few days later my visiting mother in law drove me the 25 minutes to Babies R Us and we finally found some belly bands. There weren't many different options to choose from; I ended up getting the Babies R Us brand Maternity Support.
I should tell you that a bathroom stall with nothing to place the instructions on is not the best place to try putting this on for the first time. There are 3 different pieces and 4 step directions. But I got it on eventually and we headed out.

The first thing I noticed was in the car ride back I was much less uncomfortable than I was on the car ride there. I continued wearing it that evening and even though I had walked through a Babies R Us (and have you ever been in a small Babies R Us?) I was feeling some pain but I was still able to walk at the end of the day. The next day I wore it I was able to walk around even more; again, with a small amount of pain, but nothing compared to what it had been. I've been wearing it all day long for a week now and I've had at least two days of complete freedom from pain and increased mobility in all the days I've worn it. Yay!

Cons to this product:
  • sometimes it has to be adjusted several times, depending on your position and activity. What helps for walking around is often too tight for long periods of sitting. Luckily it is easy to adjust. Unluckily, the Velcro can be loud when adjusting, especially if you're sitting in a movie theater. (But hey, I made it to the theater and through an whole movie with my husband! Yay!)
  • because it squeezes you some (especially if you put it on too tight) it can lead to even more pushing up on your internal organs, which in turn can push up on your lungs and diaphragm and you might noticed that and worry you're having trouble breathing, raise your blood pressure a bit, and then freak out and worry about pre-eclampsia. (Which is totally fixed by taking it off, drinking fluids when you realize you're dehydrated, and lying down for half an hour.) Not that that happened to me or anything....
  • it's an extra layer under your clothes holding heat and sweat against your body; and I'm going to be wearing this in in the summer time.
  • it has to be hand washed. They made a pregnancy item, needed most in the last trimester, that needs to be hand washed. Really?!

But other than that, I am really glad I got this product. I'd still be a painful mess without it. I've recovered enough this week that I'm going to try to get back to teaching Space School again. 
I did not get paid for this review, all opinions are my own. For an Amazon link for a similar product try the Soft Form Maternity Support Belt .

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