As we’re growing little humans in our bodies, the weight can really, well…weigh on us. It can affect us in different ways, and supporting our growing bellies can really make a difference in our joints, ligaments and back. Belly wrapping can even help baby find a comfy position, and that’s good for you both.
During pregnancy with my second son, I learned that some of my baby carriers could help support the belly during pregnancy. I wrapped my belly starting at 20 weeks of pregnancy to help with my chronic pelvic instability. (Pregnant women may also know this as symphysis pubis dysfunction or pelvic girdle pain. The difference with mine is that it may never go away).
According to Rumina for Moms, “Belly wrapping is used to support the weight and position of a mother’s growing belly and can help to relieve aches and pains both in ligaments, joints, and a woman’s back while helping baby to find a comfortable position which can be beneficial to both mother and baby.”
There are many benefits to belly wrapping during pregnancy and many mothers report feeling significantly more comfortable with a belly wrap for additional support. Any mother can use a belly wrap to help give her additional support of her growing belly, but many moms who have issues like chronic pelvic instability or pelvic girdle pain find that it is especially helpful.
Some of the benefits of belly wrapping include:
- Supporting instability in your hip joints due to extra relaxin hormones
- Helping to support the extra weight through your core
- Feeling more balanced
- Reducing abdominal separation
- Reducing round ligament pain
- Reducing pubic bone pain
- Help with better posture when sitting/standing
- Helping baby to get into a better position for labor
- Reducing strain on your back
There are several different ways you can wrap your belly, and most materials will work as a support system. Many pregnant women like to use baby carriers as a wrap because they are easy to use and provide significant support around the belly. They often come equipped with straps, buckles, or snaps that will help keep the wrap in place and the material is often stretchy yet supportive- perfect for a growing belly that is constantly changing in size, shape, and placement. Using a baby carrier is also a great option because of how budget-friendly it is- you will already have to purchase the baby carrier for after the baby is born, so why not get it a little early and spend some time getting used to us and breaking it into before you have to try and put it on with a crying baby.
Whatever type of wrap you use will be dependent on your comfort level and the type of material you feel provides the best support. There are all sorts of YouTube tutorials that can show you exactly how to wrap different baby carriers around your belly. Some of the most common baby carriers used for wraps include:
- Ring slings
- Woven wraps like Moby’s
- Soft-Structured carriers like Ergos or Tulas
I decided to use a woven wrap to lift and support the belly and give some compression to my back. A woven wrap is the sophisticated older brother of the stretchy wrap. They both are long pieces of fabric designed to wear a baby, but a woven wrap holds firm on the horizontal and vertical while stretching on the diagonal. This gives a much more supportive fit than a stretchy wrap can. Woven wraps have a higher price point than stretchies but also have a longer, more versatile life.
Wearing the wrap was more breathable and comfortable than even my mega-strength belly band. Sometimes I felt rather bold wearing my support outside of my clothes rather than underneath, but it was worth it!
Some women like to do the same kind of thing with a ring sling. Personally, I found that the ring sling could not actually lift the belly or stabilize my pelvis and hips, but it could give some belly compression. At the end of my pregnancy, I wanted to coax baby to flip face-down, and out of that pesky occiput posterior position, so I used a ring sling to apply gentle-but-firm pressure. It didn’t persuade my little guy to turn, but maybe it will work for some other mama out there. Happy wearing!