NO Support Traditional Support MATERNALIFT Support
To answer this question, it helps to first understand the underlying cause of your pregnancy-related discomfort, the disruption of your upright pelvis.
As your baby grows within the uterus and your muscles loosen in response to the pregnancy hormones, your pelvis wants to rock forward / downward. This forward rotation of your pelvis increases the stress on your back, pelvis, hips, and legs and is the underlying cause of most pregnancy-related pain.
To get relief, it works best to focus on activities which help to reset and support your upright pelvis. You can either first try light exercises to reset your upright pelvis or you can go directly to the use of maternity support to get relief.
If you prefer to try light exercise, check out step 1 of our HOME PROGRAM and you can view a video demonstration of the best corrective exercise I’ve seen to help reset the upright pelvis. The exercise tends to work the best when your discomfort is mild and intermittent.
If you are in significant pain and/or are unable to get lasting relief with the corrective exercise, this is when I recommend that you consider using maternity support.
It is common in pregnancy that your pelvic joints can become destabilized to the point in which you are simply unable to maintain your upright pelvis as you function throughout the day.
Here is a list of some factors which can contribute to the destabilization of your pelvis in pregnancy:
- your muscles and ligaments get excessively loose in response to the pregnancy hormones
- you’ve been through previous pregnancies / childbirths (especially previous C-section births)
- the size of your baby
- your body shape and fitness level (especially your core strength)
- pregnant with multiples (twins, triplets, etc)
- your daily activity requirements and associated body mechanics (lifting / handling of young children etc..)
The bottom line is that if you are unable to get lasting relief following the execution of your exercises, your pelvis has likely been destabilized and you can benefit from added the use of maternity support.
Now, the question is: Which Maternity Support Should I Choose?
Let’s take a closer look at the two types of maternity support above and compare.
See how the traditional maternity support brace wraps more horizontally around your waist and anchors in the front. This flatter angle of pull creates a “hugging” effect which tends to support your pelvis in its current, forward stressed position. Also, this type of supports creates tension over the hyper-sensitive underbelly zone and can be uncomfortable to wear for extended periods of time.
Notice how the MATERNALIFT support straps come down from a steeper angle and anchor above the hips. This support pattern creates more of a “lifting” effect as it helps to rock the pelvis back into its upright position. Also, with no strap tension focuses over the underbelly zone, this support tends to be more comfortable to wear, especially when sitting.
The advantages of the traditional maternity support are that it less expensive to purchase and is easier to put on and take off. This may be sufficient if you feel like you just need a bit of extra support when your up and moving around.
The advantages of the MATERNALIFT support are that it provides your body with a higher level of functional support and stabilization and is usually more comfortable to wear. I would recommend this support if your discomfort is significant and you need to wear your support throughout the day.
Feel free to ask questions in the comments section, I’ll do my best to help you.
Kevin Hansen, M.P.T., is an obstetrics physical therapy specialist, who practices in Bellevue, Washington State.
The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this Website.