Azmed Maternity Belt
AZMED Maternity Belt, Breathable Pregnancy Back Support, Premium Belly Band [1.3M+ Happy Mothers], Lightweight Abdominal Binder, One-Size, Beige
This Azmed Maternity Belt is has been an absolute life saver for me over the past two years and is the one item I don’t think I could have easily lived through while carrying twins.
While having my first daughter, I worked as a full time teacher at a preschool with one and two year olds. I was on my feet for 8 hours a day in a very busy classroom, lifting and carrying toddlers and spending a good deal of time getting up and down out of the floor. I did this from before the time I became pregnant until 37 weeks, which is when our beautiful little girl arrived.
During that pregnancy, this maternity belt provided me with a great deal of relief. I often felt that my ab muscles needed more support with all of the lifting and frequently suffered from low back pain as the day (and my pregnancy) progressed. This band gave me that much needed support and allowed me to feel much safer lifting 25 pound babies all day.
I credit the extra support provided by this band for preventing diastasis recti, as I feel that it aided holding everything together, but I have no proof of that.
Prior to purchasing this belt, I was using the Shrinkx Hips belt (because I had it) and wearing it slightly higher on my hips (but lower in the front) to give my belly a slight boost. Although that did work temporarily, it did not provide me with all day comfort and it’s lack of flexion concerned me in regards to my baby’s safety. At around 4.5 months, I opted to try this band based on reviews and what I felt was a very reasonable price.
The AzMed band’s wide, curved, mesh-like front is highly conducive to a pregnant woman’s growing belly and flexes easily to allow room for growth while also supplying gentle (but tangible) support. Basically, I could breathe and move very easily in this belt without feeling pressure against my belly. The long Velcro band made it quick and easy to adjust the support level throughout the day as well. Washing and drying this band with my regular laundry did not appear to impair its durability in any way. It was a good purchase.
Fast forward 13 months. I am now days away from expecting twins, and my appreciation for this band has grown exponentially (like my belly). I began wearing it again at around 4.5-5 months (like last time) where I used it basically the same as before… low on my belly, higher on my hips, sometimes folding the front in half to provide double support and lift to boost my lower belly, which tends to endure the most strain. Once again, the belt allowed me to feel safe moving and lifting my own baby while also feeling supported. My second pregnancy, however, was nothing like my first and this band went from being nice to necessary very quickly.
At 20 weeks, I was diagnosed with a (very) short cervix and put on bedrest.
At the time, my daughter was 8 months old and there was no way around picking her up or carrying her while my husband was at work. I wore this band very snugly around my lower belly, hoping to raise it enough to take even the tiniest bit off pressure off to avoid further shortening. My doctors (a team of wonderfully Maternal Fetal Medicine experts) assured me that it would not prevent further shortening but did encourage me to use it for comfort or support. In all of my weekly ultrasounds to measure cervical length, I was asked to take the band off, so I have absolutely no way of knowing the impact of wearing this band, and whether it took pressure off from helping lift my belly or added pressure from squeezing enough to cause some downward pressure, but I often wondered. More than anything, I believe this belt provided me with a little psychological support in addition to abdominal support. It made me “feel” safer, despite that I have no proof that I was.
At 20 weeks, they weren’t sure we would reach 24, then 28, then 32…. we are now 36 weeks and the doctors are discussing inducing us at 38 (for the well being of the babies – this is routine with twin pregnancies due to rising risk factors).
At 32 weeks, my abdomen was as big as it ever got with my daughter and at 35, it became very uncomfortable to move. Unlike with my first pregnancy, I have developed diastasis recti at the navel and a few fingertips below. My umbilical area is trying to herniate. I have developed hydronephrosis (basically I have a swollen kidney caused by internal pressure), and my pelvis pops with the slightest movement. Rolling over in the bed has gone from slightly uncomfortable to near impossible (without ab strength) and takes me a minimum of 10 minutes. The pain of having 40ish pounds of weight shift from one side of my uterus to the other is quite striking. Getting out of bed at all shifts the pressure so intensely that it often triggers contractions that leave me doubled over for several minutes before loosening enough to walk. But, the bottom line is, I am still pregnant after 16 weeks of cervical shortening, and that is something to celebrate. It is also something I would have been much more uncomfortable doing without this band.
This band supports my abdominal muscles, especially the ones that separated between my navel and pubic bone (which stay the most sore), and decreases the pain of walking and rolling over. I still have difficulty and pain rolling over at night, but the band holds things together well enough that I can roll over in a reasonable amount of time compared with before, and without as much strain. Walking to my doctor’s appointments (located way inside of a busy hospital) is much easier, as the pressure from gravity feels much less. The contractions triggered by shifting movements are practically nonexistent with this band, since it holds things in place, and I believe that alone has helped us reach 36 weeks.
For women worried about these bands restricting their growth… I am no doctor, but was reassured by a team of MFM doctors in a teaching hospital that it was safe. I also had weekly BPPs and tri-weekly growth scans and despite the tendency of twins to drop centiles after 28 weeks (and my first daughter being born under 10 percent), the twins have remained 50th percentile and above throughout this pregnancy despite continuous wear. I realize this is anecdotal, so please always ask your own doctor first.
One last note… this band is not for postpartum use and would be absolutely ineffective for use as a belly binder. It is not a flat band that sits flush against a non-pregnant woman’s body, but is curved outward at the mesh-like area to allow space for pregnant bellies. After birth, despite swelling and normal postpartum… stuff… the curvature is too much to provide any support, even when worn tightly. Hospital binders, the Belly Bandit, the Squeem… etc. are much stronger and provide the compression needed to hold things in place. (I used the Belly Bandit immediately postpartum, later moved into the Squeem and Shrinkx Hips, which is another story, but having used all of these, I can assure you that the AzMed will not help with these postpartum issues if that is what you are looking for).Promised Review By Krissy