You pull on your favourite jeans and guess what? They won’t button up. That baby bump of yours has suddenly popped meaning it’s time for maternity wear. Or is it? Here’s what you need to know about belly bands…
A belly band extends the amount of time you can wear your ordinary clothes. It’s worn over the zipper and button of your jeans hiding the fact that you can’t do them up while simultaneously doing the job once done by said button or zipper – holding up your jeans, trousers or skirt.
Another advantage is light support – not only of the bump but also your back. With the extra weight at the front, it’s the back that takes the strain. And for a particularly troublesome painful spot on either side, slip in a heat or ice pack and the belly band will hold it securely in place.
These bands are super stretchy to grow with your pregnancy containing enough elasticity for firmness to hold your bottoms up so they don’t become leg warmers. They need lots of spandex or lycra (5-10 percent, depending on the mix) to do their job. Jersey isn’t a strong enough anti-gravity fabric. In fact, some belly bands are so firm they can be worn as a boob tube or bra.
As well as being a wardrobe extending item, they help smooth any bumps and lumps created by clothing or by an extroverted pop out belly button during the latter stages of pregnancy.
A belly band creates an extra layer in your outfit like you’re wearing a long singlet or top adding interest and perhaps contrast, depending upon which colour you pick. There’s regulation black and white, and a rainbow of colours available.
For those who aren’t flashy, they provide full tummy coverage and added warmth by blocking any gaps between tops and bottoms.
And after baby arrives, belly bands can be worn to support and shape a shrinking belly and provide coverage while breastfeeding if access is via a lifted shirt. This is handy for winter or if you are very aware that your jelly belly is not how it used to be BB (before baby).
Bamboo is the fabric of choice – it’s moisture absorbing, anti-bacterial, super soft and available in organic.
To view some of the huge range of belly bands available, Pregnancy Panache where we’ve collected the best for you to browse.