Because pregnancy is often painful there are hundreds of strange accessories designed to help alleviate some of the discomfort. It can be difficult to decide which accessories are necessary and which are a waste of money. More importantly, you should always make sure any accessory you try won’t harm your baby. Pregnancy belts are one such type of accessory. There are many brands you could try, but all of them are designed for the same reason. When you’re pregnant, the weight of your belly will put a heavy strain on your back muscles. With a pregnancy belt, the weight of your baby will be supported so that some of the strain will be taken off of your back. However, using it improperly could harm you and your baby.

First of all, you need to make sure you use a pregnancy belt as infrequently as possible. Using it too often could weaken the muscles in your back further so that your time without it will be even more painful than before you got the belt. Experts recommend that you only use it for a few hours per day or less. Instead of relying on the belt to alleviate back pain, you should actually try working out to strengthen the muscles in your back. The added strength will take some of the pressure off.

Second, a pregnancy belt that is too tight could actually harm your baby and interrupt his development. Wearing something that puts pressure directly on your belly during gestation will cause the womb to become misshapen. If the pressure is there for too long, your baby will not have room to grow normally, and the body’s natural development will be directly affected. 

As long as you wear the pregnancy belt minimally and adjust it carefully according to the directions, it is perfectly safe. The belt is especially good for women who have to spend more time on their feet than they’d like to because of their occupation or lifestyle. Lying down is the only other suitable solution to pregnancy back pain, but sometimes it simply isn’t an option. A pregnancy belt will come in handy in those situations. If you’re not sure how tight to wear your pregnancy belt or where on your body it should rest, don’t make any guesses. Ask your doctor specifically to find out how to safely use it without compromising your baby’s normal development.

Source: Karel Jelen et al: The Women’s Pelvic Floor Biomechanics. Injury and Skeletal Biomechanics 2010