The best pregnancy support belts for maximum comfort

best pregnancy support belts

by Lily Anderson |
Updated on

Medically reviewed by [Charlotte Hoskin]{href='https://www.motherandbaby.com/author/charlotte-hoskin/' }, registered Midwife and registered Nurse.

If you're pregnant and have growing tummy pains or simply feel like you need some extra belly support during your pregnancy, you might want to start looking for a pregnancy support belt. Doctors suggest that wearing one of the best pregnancy support belts can help to provide pain and fatigue relief during your pregnancy.

Carrying a baby for nine months is very hard work, especially in the third trimester when bump can get very big. While a tens machine can help during labour, you'll probably want a less intense solution to pelvic pain, back pain or aching muscles during the third trimester, and just a couple of hours of usage of a pregnancy support belt can give you lots of comfort.

However, Midwife Charlotte Hoskin, shares some important information and guidance for pregnant women thinking of using a pregnancy support belt. She points out that pregnancy support belts are not recommended if a woman has a low-lying placenta, and advises that if symptoms persist for more than two weeks or interfere with daily activities you should discuss this with a midwife. Charlotte also shares that while support belts can occasionally provide relief of symptoms, for some women, they can also worsen pain and be uncomfortable. Charlotte says it is important to remember that the abdominal muscles need strengthening, so any use of belts need to be combined with exercises, or the muscles may weaken further.

The best pregnancy support belts at a glance:

Best pregnancy support belt overall: Lola + Lykke Bamboo Maternity Support Band - Buy now on Lola&Lykke

Best pregnancy support belt without irritating seams: Cantaloop Maternity Support Belt - Buy now on John Lewis
Best pregnancy support belt for exercise: GABRIALLA Elastic Maternity Support Belt - Buy now on Amazon UK

Best pregnancy support belt for car travel: BeSafe Pregnancy Belt - Buy now on BabyPlanet

They're made using reinforced fabric, and they sometimes feature multiple straps that wrap around your lower back. Similar to postpartum support belts, they work by lifting your bump, giving your tired stomach and back muscles a bit of a break from the weight of your growing belly, which is often just what you need after a long day of growing a human!

Although doctors and midwives agree they can provide some much-needed relief for mums to help with hip, pelvic and lower back pain, these belts should not be worn for prolonged periods. Typically, you should only really wear one to do things you find difficult such as going on a walk or doing some housework, as you may become overdependent on it.

There are a lot of maternity belts available to buy, but which ones should you choose? Here are our favourite pregnancy support belts that you can buy in the UK.

The best pregnancy support belts 2023

Best pregnancy support band (not belt) for coverage

pregnancy support belts
Price: £9.35 (was £12.99)

www.johnlewis.com

This Medela Maternity And Postpartum Belly Support Band is a support band rather than a support belt, which means it's great for offering extra coverage than a normal belt while still providing light support, and is worth including as an alternative. One mum bought one to help her abs go back to normal during breastfeeding. She says, "It's minimal support but I felt it helped. I also had a few back twinges and I'd use it for that and it helped keep me warm and feel supported." Another mum bought one following surgery on her abdomen hoping it would give a little support. In a review she says, "Excellent buy, lightweight, and comfortable to wear, and doesn't ride up."

Reviewers have mentioned that the sizing can be a bit ambiguous, however, and this can affect the wearing experience. One mum liked the fabric, which she described as "nice and soft", but said that she found the sizing to be really tight. She said she took the medium size but unfortunately ended up not using it that much because the tight fit was uncomfortable on her hips. Another mum says "I bought 2 small size after delivery, but it is useless for me. And it always roll up makes me feel uncomfortable". Another mum had to guess what size to get as the sizing wasn't clear to her. She went for an L, which ended up just right, even if slightly on the smaller side as her bump has grown.

Generally speaking, the support band gives you comfortable support and extra coverage if you purchase a larger size than you think you might need, according to reviews, and is available in white or black to go with a summer or winter wardrobe. Made with reinforced panels around the back and lower tummy, it'll provide light support whilst still being breathable and comfortable to wear. One reviewer said, "Material is amazing and does not feel itchy."

Pros

  • You can get better coverage can a support belt with light support as well
  • This is an affordable options for mums-to-be on a budget
  • The non-itchy and breathable material makes this comfortable to wear against your skin and under clothes
  • The product is machine washable making cleaning more convenient

Cons

  • Less supportive compared to a pregnancy support belt
  • It is recommended to line-dry which takes longer
  • The sizing may be a bit ambiguous, some reviewers report a tight fit and the product rolling up – currently only available in small, but check the website for changes

Best pregnancy support belt without irritating seams

This Cantaloop Maternity Support Belt will help alleviate backaches and pains during pregnancy by removing the irritation of seams, which we know can often dig into a growing bump. Mums seem to enjoy the fabric, saying it's good quality, comfortable and washes really well too. One mum reports that she wears hers day and night, even through hot weather, as it doesn't make her feel sweaty, and says it's definitely worth investing in a couple!

The four-way stretch material means the support will expand as the baby grows so you can stay in optimum comfort throughout the duration of your pregnancy. With sizes S-XL this is a great purchase at a low price. One mum says the size guide in spot on too, so you won't have to worry about getting the wrong size. She points out that it's also useful to read the reviews as she found this helpful when deciding on the right size for her. She says, "I'm usually a 10s in jeans, 12 in joggers etc and my hips measure 102cm. I can't stand anything too tight and the M is just perfect." Another mum said, "Usually a size 10-12 and ordered a Medium, it fits perfectly." Another mum notes that some of the reviews have said the belt rolls up or down, but says that it doesn't on her. She says, "I haven't gained weight or 'love handles' so perhaps that's why, but this fits perfectly and gives just the right amount of support."

Other mums have reported other benefits, such as feeling like the belt stopped their skin feel like it was stretching under the weight of the bump. This mum said, "I don't know if it's a coincidence but I haven't got stretch marks." Another mum was unsure that anything could help with the nerve pains she was experiencing down her legs, but said that the support form this belt has definitely made a difference, enabling her to walk lots more comfortably. She says, "This is my 3rd pregnancy and I have not needed support before, I'm still wearing it at 36 weeks."

Pros

  • The four-way stretch material means this product will expand as your belly gets bigger without it feeling like it's getting tighter, so you get the right support at different stages of your pregnancy
  • For added comfort-factor, this belt has knitted-in support and smooth sides
  • Because of its great design, this belt will fit comfortably and remain discreet under your clothing, so you can enjoy support and still look and feel good
  • You get free access to impartial advice on everything you need to know about the product when you spend some time in-store chatting with the experts
  • Customers report that the size guide is spot on and that reviews regarding sizing have been very helpful too
  • This is a great affordable option if you're looking to purchase more than one pregnancy support belt to last throughout the week

Cons

  • Some mums have found it rolled up at the bottom or dug in at the sides

Best pregnancy support belt for exercise

best-pregnancy-support-belts
Price: £27.95 (was £45.14)

If you love wearing your jeans, this GABRIALLA Elastic Maternity Support Belt can help you get the most comfort out of them while you're pregnant, and is almost invisible. Gabrialla is an American brand well-known in the USA and has received a lot of favourable reviews. One mum recommends it over maternity bands, saying "I was given a maternity band by my sister but I had to keep adjusting it every 5 seconds and it wasn’t very supportive so thought I’d try this. It stays in place much better and needs to be pulled down a lot less frequently."

Adding a fair amount of compression while keeping you comfortable, loads of mums in the reviews for this product talk about how great it is for exercise throughout pregnancy. One mum who didn't use the belt at first and stored it away dug it out when her bump started to grow because she was struggling to continue running. She said it allowed her to keep running until she was 32 weeks pregnant, and then she continued to use it to support her bump while she was out on walks. She says, "I cannot recommend it enough – For the price of one month's gym membership, I think this was a great buy that allowed me to keep fit and active throughout my pregnancy." She also wore it when she used the cross trainer and when she does spin class twice a week, saying, "It has been a dream!"

Some have found the sizing to be a bit confusing. One mum had to return the small size as after purchasing she thought it wouldn't offer much room for her to grow in it. She ended up getting a medium size, which lasted her whole pregnancy, and the seller provided a prompt refund, although she did have to pay for P&P twice. She says she was a size 10/12 before she became pregnant. Another mum agrees to go a size up, saying "Don’t get the size based on your measurements, especially if you are still in the early months of your pregnancy!" Another mum who recommends the belt says she gets aches if she's out walking all day and doesn't wear hers. She did wish it wasn't so pricey, but thought it was worth it, and loved the handy pocket at the back that fits an iPhone and more – perfect for any outdoor activity where you don't want to have to carry a bag

Pros

  • The belt has hook-and-loop fasteners for adjustable sizing so that you can get a tailored fit as your bump develops
  • This pregnancy support belt has double pulls helping you to customise tension and compression for a personalised fit and support as your bump progresses through the different stages of your pregnancy
  • The belt is crafted with a blend of 20% Lycra and 80% Polyester, making it lightweight and breathable for gentle yet firm support
  • Specially designed to provide support keeping your growing baby's safety in mind, this belt features a 6-inch back design that tapers to 3 inches in the front, which goes under your bump
  • The above design also supports the prevention of stretch marks by supporting baby as it grows and reducing strain. The design also supports and encourages healthy posture
  • An added bonus is that the belt also accommodates hot or cold gel packs for targeted relief, which can help if you are experiencing back pain
  • It has a pocket at the back which fits an iPhone perfectly and is handy if you want to continue running during your pregnancy

Cons

  • Some found it tricky to get the right size
  • Hot and cold gel backs that the belt can accommodate are not provided
  • Some consider it to be a bit on the pricey side

Best pregnancy support belt for car travel

The BeSafe pregnancy belt has been specifically designed to be used while you're travelling in the car. Made to fit all sizes, it is designed for both the safety of your unborn child, and also your own physical comfort, which is especially good if you'll be seated for a long time, as the belt helps to reduce pressure on your tummy and bladder during a car journey. One reviewer shares that the belt was bought not for pregnancy but to keep the seat belt from pressing on a stoma whilst driving, which we thought was a great idea – she said it works perfectly. Another reviewer said it was easy to install and comfortable to use, "Just clip the strap around the back of the seat" she says, "and clip the waist part of the car seatbelt to the pregnancy belt, easy."

the belt works by positioning the vehicle belt below your tummy and over the hip bones. This takes any pressure away from the baby in the event of a collision. One mum reviewer says, "Excellent, keeps the seatbelt over the top of the thighs rather than over the bump exactly as it's meant to. Can't imagine travelling in a car without it now." You can even wear it in the front passenger seat or while driving, as it can be installed by using the fitting strap together with the three-point vehicle belt.

Unfortunately, this belt can only be hand-washed. One reviewer also points out that while it functions very well, you have to remember that long skirts or dresses are off boundaries when using the belt, which was a major minus for her. Another reviewer bought the belt because she says it literally takes just a second to clip it to the car seat, but she found that it didn't pull the belt away enough from her belly. This meant she felt she had to hold it with her hands to keep herself comfortable. In the case of a crash, she felt it would squick the lower part of her belly for sure, so she wasn't very convinced of its safety features.

Pros

  • Protect your baby in the event of a collision by wearing this belt in vehicles – it positions the vehicle belt below your tummy and over the hip bones, away from the unborn baby
  • No need to worry that the belt will interfere with the safety performance of the 3-point vehicle strap. Instead, it helps positioning the lap belt correctly to protect the unborn child
  • Designed for comfort, this belt also helps to reduce pressure on your tummy and bladder during a car journey
  • You don't have to sit in the back of the car for safety while wearing this belt as it can be installed in the front seat of a vehicle by using the fitting strap together with the three-point vehicle belt
  • The belt is designed to fit all bump sizes

Cons

  • Unfortunately, this belt is only suitable for hand-washing
  • One reviewer says it can't be worn with long skirts or dresses
  • Another reviewer found it didn't pull the car seat belt away from her tummy enough

Best pregnancy support belt overall

Mother&Baby 2021 Shortlisted Best Pregnancy/Maternity Product

The Lola Lykke Bamboo Maternity Support Band is the most supportive belt available for pregnancy. It comes with reinforced back support and a double-layer design with two adjustable compression straps that help lift up the belly and support the back. It's great for first-time mums-to-be, but also pregnant mums with toddlers and older kids. Our mum tester Zoe loves how much more comfortable the belt made her feel, describing it to be like her bump and muscles were supported well when wearing the band. But she said it especially helped, considering she already had tow children under three years to have to continue picking up and tidying after. Our mum tester Sophie felt the belt made her life easier for general tasks and activities, such as walking and shopping. She also found it was quick and easy to put on without having to use a mirror or asking for help.

As an added bonus, a handy hot/cold pack sits neatly in the back pocket to alleviate back pains. Our mum tester Natalie thought this was such an amazing selling point. she says, "when used frozen it does relieve the stress of the extra weight in all the right areas." Mum Rebecca also loved the ice pack in the summer when it was really hot. Mum tester Vanessa thinks the belt is a bit pricey, but also, as a sufferer of sciatica, the best thing ever! She says, "Can’t recommend it enough! It has helped my back so much and I no longer need to take painkillers. It’s very comfortable and you forget you're wearing it." One thing to note is that you can't easily bung this belt in the wash. The recommended method for cleaning is to air out the support and wipe-off any surface stains with a damp cloth. If more intense cleaning is needed, you must gently hand wash it in cold water, but do not soak, and then lay it out flat to dry.

**Read our full Lola + Lykke Bamboo Maternity Support Band review.
**

Pros

  • The bamboo-viscose lining of this belt is silky-soft and friendly on sensitive skin making it really comfortable to wear
  • Soothe away your aches and pains with the hot and cold therapy gel pack that's included with the belt
  • Suitable for a variety of different shapes and sizes, this belt comes in four sizes (S-XL)
  • You have the versatility and convenience of being able to wear this belt underneath or over the top of your clothes.

Cons

  • Not the snazziest of options
  • Not machine washable

Best pregnancy support belt for comfort

This Belly Bandit Upsie Belly Pregnancy Support Band is one of the best-rated support belts for pregnancy and maternity. It comes in sizes eight to 26. Mums generally find it to be very comfortable, however one of our testers didn't agree. She says, "I’m afraid this didn’t help me as a mum. It’s comfortable when upright but it is quite uncomfortable and digs in when you bend." However, she thought it would be good when going for a walk, but personally she didn't feel comfortable wearing it outside of the house. Our other mum testers said the belt made their belly feel less heavy, and that it was light and comfortable to wear.

Besides being comfy for many mums, it aims to help minimise stretch marks, relieve bladder discomfort, increase circulation and blood flow and decrease varicose veins, hernias, and haemorrhoids. Mum tester Keah said she would recommend this belt to friends and family as it really helped her. She said she had experienced bad sciatica with her previous pregnancy, which she somehow managed to avoid with this pregnancy, and says "I do think the belt avoided this."

Mum tester Kerrie is happy that the belt has worn well and looks quite new after a couple of months of wear. Because It adjusts with your pregnancy she thought it was a good investment. Mum tester Caroline agrees, saying "It is expensive but worth the money." She did feel that it was a bit of a hassle that it's hand-wash only though. Keep in mind that it can take up to 12 hours to dry, so you might think about purchasing more than one to have them on rotation so you're never without.

Read our full Belly Bandit Upsie Belly Pregnancy Support Band review.

Pros

  • The belt includes a hot/cold pack to help relieve bladder discomfort
  • A multipurpose band designed to minimise stretch marks and help increase circulation of blood flow
  • Available in both black and a lovely nude colour for wearing more discreetly in the summer (if it suits your skin colour)
  • With a variety of different sizes to choose from you can get a more comfortable fit

Cons

  • Hand-wash and air-dry only
  • Please note the Belly Bandit may take up to 12 hours to dry
  • The nude colour isn't designed to be discreet for darker skin tones

Best postpartum support belt

This ASBYFR 3 in 1 Postpartum Belt is a three-in-one set of maternity belts for after you give birth, with one belly band, one waist belt, and one pelvis belt, which you wear at the same time. The advantage of wearing this set is that it claims to speed up the postpartum healing process. During this time, you need a bit more pressure to heal, but this belt still manages to keep you very comfortable. One reviewer bought the product for her sister-in-law and said it really helped her after having a c-section, making her feel more comfortable after having the baby.

Another reviewer said the belt is made from good quality materials and provides great support. They didn't use all three belts at the same time though, and said that the combo of two made it supportive enough without compromising on comfort. Keep in mind that the belt comes in three parts, which means that they can become misplaced when sitting down, as a few reviewers point out.

Pros

  • This is a unique three-in-one belt (belly belt, waist belt, and pelvis belt) that is designed as a postnatal pregnancy wrap to help you quickly restore your body shape, ease postpartum discomfort, and regain your confidence after giving birth
  • It works by helping to reduce swelling and providing support to the core abdominal muscles, helping your uterus return to its original size sooner
  • Similar to learning a girdle, this belt will also make you look instantly slimmer in your clothes by minimising lumps and bumps and redefining your lost waistline, offering you a little confidence boost if you need it
  • The belt is fully adjustable and easy to put on by yourself, plus you don't have to take the band off ion order to readjust the size, which is super convenient
  • The belt is lightweight and the fabric is stretchy, making it comfortable and easy to wear

Cons

  • Tends to fold and become misaligned when sitting down

Best pregnancy support belt for sleep

**DISCLAIMER: It is not recommended to sleep in a maternity support belt.
**
We have included the Babymoov Dream Belt Sleep Aid as it claims to be designed for sleeping. It has two side reinforcements made of morphological foam to help support your bump as you sleep and fill the gap between the sides of your stomach and the mattress. One 28 weeks pregnant mum-to-be who measured big spent two months becoming increasingly uncomfortable at night from the weight of her belly. "Turning over was agony," she says, "I'd feel sick, having to sleep in weird positions was giving me backache." After trying the Babymoov Dream Belt Sleep Aid she said it was the first pain-free night she'd had for months. "I got into bed wearing the belt feeling like I wasn't pregnant," she says, "I could flip from side to side quickly and pain-free, my stomach didn't pull and made me feel sick. No backache."

The central area of the belt is made of elastic cotton and has two rubber bands that optimally support the stomach, and are made adjustable with Velcro fastening. The belt is perfect for providing you with the optimal support you need as a side sleeper. It's the perfect belt for all expectant mums' body shapes, whatever their stage of pregnancy. One mum said, "I still had a tiny bit of hip pain, but I think that comes with pregnancy hormones and sleeping on my side." She describes how initially the belt wiggled around a bit overnight, but not so much it became annoying or stopped working. She said it felt a bit funny sleeping on a foam wedge at first, but then it moulded to her body and was "like a hug for my tummy".

Read our full Babymoov Dream Belt Pregnancy Sleep Aid review.

Pros

  • Designed for comfort, this belt is stretchy and breathable, made from soft jersey fabric, and has memory foam padding inserts that mould and adapt to your body through the different stages of pregnancy
  • Pregnant mums know that side-sleeping is the best way to support your bump in a safe resting position, and this belt helps to support you in this position too
  • The belt is easy to wear with its velcro that fastens around the back
  •  The belt has two elasticated strips positioned at to top and bottom, which are designed to fit your bump perfectly
  • You can wear this belt directly against your skin or over clothing, making it great for a variety of different situations – conveniently strap it on midday while going about your house chores without having to take off any clothes
  • The belt is easy to clean – just remove the memory foam pads and pop it in the washing machine. Let it dry flat, away from a heat source

Cons

  • Fastening by yourself at the back can be difficult with a growing bump
  • Belt may wiggle around a bit at night

Pregnancy belt FAQs

What is a pregnancy support belt?

Pregnancy support belts are wide-reinforced fabric bands designed for support and comfort during your pregnancy. They fit just under your bump and help lift it up slightly, alleviating some of the weight from your tummy and back. If you walk a lot or are feeling uncomfortable during your pregnancy, or if you're expecting twins, you will probably want to invest in a pregnancy support belt.

Not to be confused with belly bands, which are worn for comfort and coverage once your regular clothes stop fitting, and fit under your clothes like a pair of maternity tights.

Support belts, belly belts, and maternity belts can be used either during your pregnancy or for extra support post-partum.

Should I be using a support belt?

There is some debate about whether pregnancy belts are safe, but generally speaking, if used properly, they are. It's not recommended to use a pregnancy or maternity support belt while sleeping or for long periods of time. You will still get plenty of use out of it when you're out and about.

Like shapewear, pregnancy belts work by ultimately compressing the body. It's important to find one that fits properly and is fully adjustable. Always make sure to try a maternity belt on before you buy, or check the returns policy.

Sherry A. Ross, MD, author of 'She-ology, The Definitive Guide to Women's Intimate Health. Period', says, "Maternity shapewear that is too tight and puts too much pressure on the body is never a good idea.

If you have trouble breathing or you're in pain while wearing your shapewear, that's a sign that it's probably too tight for you.

Discomfort, pain, reduced blood circulation, and pregnancy heartburn are some of the potential issues from maternity shapewear that is too tight or worn for prolonged periods of time."

In addition, prolonged use of a maternity belt can lead to reliance on it for support, which is counter-productive. Instead, focus on developing your own core strength to support your bump and only use a pregnancy support belt as an extra aid.

Other criticisms of using maternity belts range from fastenings such as Velcro and poppers irritating skin or clothing and regular adjustments throughout the day (like after eating or when sitting down and standing up) being an inconvenience.

Are there alternatives?

If you're apprehensive about splashing out on one of the above products, you can give yourself some support using a homemade one out of a scarf or sarong.

About the expert

This article contains expert advice from Dr Sherry A. Ross, MD, author of 'She-ology, The Definitive Guide to Women's Intimate Health. Period'. An obstetrician-gynaecologist and health expert, she has been a fierce advocate for women's health for over 25 years. Dr Sherry was most recently honoured with The John Wayne Cancer Institute Auxiliary Angel Award for her contributions to advancing the narrative of women's health care.

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Mother & Baby is dedicated to ensuring our information is always valuable and trustworthy, which is why we only use reputable resources such as the NHS, reviewed medical papers, or the advice of a credible doctor, GP, midwife, psychotherapist, gynaecologist or other medical professionals. Where possible, our articles are medically reviewed or contain expert advice. Our writers are all kept up to date on the latest safety advice for all the products we recommend and follow strict reporting guidelines to ensure our content comes from credible sources. Remember to always consult a medical professional if you have any worries. Our articles are not intended to replace professional advice from your GP or midwife.