This is The Pregnancy Discomfort Support Belt Your Mom Wishes She Had

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Pregnancy is a joyful time but also causes a series of discomfort and pain. Achy feet from weight displacement in the growing baby bump area, water retention, acne, hair loss and back ache are among the variety of issues many women experience.

Back pain is also very common. When I was pregnant with my first child I suffered from sciatica, pain in the lower back and back of the leg from nerve pressure; and diastasis recti, a separation of my abdominal muscles as my uterus grew with the baby.

Back then, sadly, there weren’t as many commercially-available options available as now for expecting moms dealing with this kind of discomfort. While more companies are developing back braces and other innovations to help women, one company stands out: The Babybellyband by CABEA Orthopedic Designs.


And the plus with the BabyBellyBand is the available options for the groin and shoulder area for added comfort and support. Aw Man! I get relieved just looking at it. Imagine getting to have your entire bump lifted and supported off your shoulders and back!?! Wowee! That’s exactly what the shoulder straps add on does for you!

There is also an option to purchase a compression therapy groin straps which I would have killed to have had on those days when my sciatica was really inflamed an acting up.

Moms in this new generation are so fortunate to have something like the BabyBellyBand to come to their rescue. If you want total comfort options, you can get both for a few bucks more, making the entire system quite versatile and practically useful for all stages of a pregnancy and postpartum.

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From the company’s website:

The belt is designed to provide immediate relief on the body from a growing baby, but also provides relief for non-pregnancy related hernias.

  • It provides immediate support and relieves discomfort as your baby grows, giving you the freedom and confidence to enjoy your pregnancy and to get on with your daily life, whether that be in the workplace, at home, doing the school-run or out and about with friends.

Material Used

  • Made from a medically approved fabric the system is discreet and easy to fit.
  • Comprising of an abdominal band for initial abdominal and back support.
  • Shoulder straps for extra support as your baby grows and groin bands to relieve pressure on your lower body.

Also, they shared with us recent research from customers who corroborate and back up the effectiveness of the product. Of those Babybellyband surveyed, 93 percent of women said they felt pain relief after wearing it and 73 percent reported being able to return to normal activity after wearing it. Niceness!

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The Babybellyband apparently relieves  22 pregnancy discomforts such as back pain, various types of hernias, vulvar varicosities, and diastasis recti. What a total body solution, huh?

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There are so many pregnancy support bands on the market but the babybellyband is a full care system from the beginning of pregnancy through postpartum recovery. The BabyBellyBand starts at about $35 US just for the belt and $71 for the groin add on $91 for the full body support, including the groin and shoulder straps. That’s a worthwhile investment for the level of pain relief you can expect. And they have good reviews from users of the product. Check them out here!

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I can relate to the need for a belt that you can wear at every stage and beyond. Although it has been years since I’ve had a baby, I return to my support band to help alleviate lower back pain so the investment is worthwhile and can be used for subsequent pregnancies.

The folks at BabyBellyBand are offering Bellyitch Blog readers a discount of  10% for your total order using the CODE: bbb10jj at check out! Awesome!

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2014 Must Have Holiday Survival Items

We’re counting down to Christmas and the Holiday season is upon us!

After work holiday parties, weekend shopping trips, tree decorating, cookie baking, all go on during this hectic time of the year.

We have uncovered some must-have tools busy moms and parents should have and use to get them through the bustling period in the family life.
Great Undergarment – This is the season for dressing up in fancy clothes and entertaining or attending holiday parties. A little while ago, there an Oprah Winfrey show episode on bras got many women realizing how wearing the right undergarment can change up their look in clothes and have them feeling more confident. That’s what I can say, personally, about the Vera Vasi  by Marena shape wear. I have been in the high waist pantastics version and love it! I wear it each week! I also agree with the founders, pioneers in post-opp compression products, that it fits better than other popular compression tights and undergarment. It’s not too constricting, and allow room to breathe. Yet the patented fabric smooths out any lumps and rolls, perfectly. The creators, whose compression garments can be found on The Biggest Loser contestants, state the shapewear retracts the skin and helps heal the separation of the abdominal muscle (diastasis recti). I can vouch for the claim that the shape wear promote great posture and leave you feeling more confident and looking slimmer and smoother. 
The material is so top-notched and well constructed that I have even worn it alone as pants a few times. Love it! It’s mid-range priced around $100 but totally worth it when you think about how great you will look in your fab dresses.
After 20 years in the medical post-operative market, Vera Vasi expanded to the retail market and recently expanded to the maternity and post-pregnancy market to help new moms adjust to all their body’s changes. 
Host/Hostess gifts: As you are going in and out of homes for various visits and events, you will need and should take a tiny gift for your host.  Wine is a good bet but for a gift that everyone in the home can enjoy, we recommend King of Pop.com’s handcrafted super yummy gourmet popcorn. They come in all sorts of unique flavors. You can get a few bags and assemble them in a little gift basket or order a few boxes from the company’s website, and keep them on hand for the entire season. Get a RedSox Fan Gift basket, a Gluen-Free one, A Belgian Chocolate Dipped Cookie Tower, a Hanukkah Kosher Gift Basket or more from GourmetGiftBaskets.com
Traveling Aids: If you will be taking long trips on the road or on flights, you will need some aides to keep you sane like a map, games to keep the kids busy and to save your neck from strain during long naps, a neck pillow. We can not say enough great things about Cabeau Evolution Neck Pillow which is unlike many other neck pillows in that it prevents head bobbing while you’re traveling and it comes with space for your earphones in case you’re listening to music to drown out outside noise while resting your eyes or traveling. There is also a travel bag it comes with to keep the pillow stain free while traveling. It goes for $39.99 at www.Cabeau.com and at Hudson News.

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How to get rid of post-pregnancy belly bulge – Fitness Expert Anne Martens explains

Do you find yourself asking the question: “I am no longer pregnant, but why the tummy bulge?”

It’s embarrassing and we all want full bragging-rights when graduating from elastic, waistband pants. As it turns out, may be a physiologic basis for this belly “bulge” called diastasis recti. Healing a diastasis recti has nothing to do with crunches.

In fact, crunches -or any exercise including forward flexion of the spine while lying down- can make your abdominal muscles MORE saggy.


What is diastasis rectus abdominus? The rectus abdominus muscle is two “bands” of muscles fibers. Both halves of the rectus abdominus insert into the ribcage and stretch vertically down to the pubic and hip bones. In between these halves is connective tissue, referred to as the linea alba. Before a diastasis recti (on the left), after a diastasis recti (on the right)

During pregnancy the growing uterus and shift in hormones softens and stretches the rectus abdominus. This causes the rectus abdominus to “unzip” or pull apart. This separation allows your growing uterus to move forward. A slight separation of 1-2 centimeters is normal. However a separation greater than 3 centimeters (depending on the individuals frame) may contribute to the postpartum belly bulge.

 This postpartum bump, is commonly called a diastasis rectus, and it is the protrusion of the internal belly underneath the muscles protruding through. How does a diastasis recti effect my abdominal strength and tone? Healing a diastasis rectus abdominus will improve the appearance of your abdominal wall, as well as, improve posture, increase back strength and so much more.

How do I heal a diastasis? A healthy lifestyle is key. Meaning a balanced diet, cardiovascular activity, resistance training and PROPER core strengthening exercises. Eat a healthy, balanced diet, free of sugary, unhealthy foods. Excess food is stored all over the body, especially the abdomen region. This excess fat/weight puts forward pressure on your stretched and weakened abdominal muscles, stretching them even further apart.

Cardiovascular activity and resistance training. Resistance training. The stronger your muscles are the more calories you burn in a given day. Sometimes up to an additional 300 calories a day. Energy required for cardiovascular activity (or any activity) is stored as fats, glycogen and protein. Hence the common statement, “cardiovascular activity burns” “Burning” fat reduces your overall circumference measurements, including the abdomen region. The burning of excess fat will help reduce pressure against the stretched rectus abdominus.

Proper core strengthening exercises. If you have a diastasis recti, the abdominal muscles (particularly the rectus abdominus) must heal. Exercises (such as a crunch) involving forward flexion of the spine in a supine (lying down) position, and jack knifing of the legs will aggravate the weakened abdomen muscular region. It is imperative to avoid these types of exercise until your diastasis recti heals. To heal a diastasis practice isometric abdominal exercises such as plank over an exercise ball, pelvic tilt and bridge from pilates/yoga. Once you have your health care providers approval to exercise check out this video, highlighting postpartum exercise routines that will strengthen your core.

These exercises are safe to practice with or without a diastasis recti.  A video of favorite Bella Bellies exercises for postpartum exercises is availalbe HERE!  Check out BellaBellies blog for a post on how to check for diastasis rectus.

Fitness expert Anne Martens is the creator of Bella Bellies. Martens took her experience as a trainer and mother of two to develop unique exercises for mothers-to-be, such as Stroller Moves®, Momilates® and Bella Bellies® Prenatal Pilates & Stretch™. They are now offered worldwide by trained Certified Bella Bellies® Instructors. Martens completed her B.F.A. in Dance at the Boston Conservatory, where she graduated cum laude.

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