10 Benefits Of Breastfeeding: Mental And Emotional Benefits For The Baby

Breastfeeding is a very personal decision. There are many benefits of breastfeeding and almost any lactating woman can do it, but it does not come without challenges. Only in rare circumstances such as HIV, AIDS or hard drug use is a mother recommended to not breastfeed. Despite the challenges, to which there are solutions, many professionals and mothers alike believe the benefits outweigh the challenges.

According to several professional organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, it is recommended that you breastfeed your baby exclusively for the first six months of his or her life. This means no formula, no dairy milk, and no water. Your baby should still be breastfed from the age of six months to one-year-old, but at this point, you can slowly introduce grains, vegetables, protein, and fruit. Today we will discuss 10 benefits of breastfeeding your baby.

Benefits For The Mother

Benefits of breastfeeding for the mother can be both physical and emotional in nature. Let's discuss a few common ones.

Emotional Benefits Of Breastfeeding For Mom

Breastfeeding your infant does not just only save you time and money buying formula, warming nipples, measuring and cleaning. It also gives you more time to spend bonding with your newborn baby. By nursing your child, you get closeness, skin-to-skin contact and eye contact crucial for your child to bond with you and you to bond with your child.

Physical Breastfeeding Benefits For Mom

Breastfeeding incinerates calories meaning you will return to your pre-pregnancy weight much faster than if you did not breastfeed your baby. This is especially beneficial if you had a C-section and are not yet ready to start exercising.

mother breastfeeding the baby

Breastfeeding releases the hormone oxytocin which will quickly return your uterus to pre-pregnancy size. It also significantly reduces the risk of post-pregnancy uterine bleeding. Breastfeeding reduces the risk of ovarian and breast cancer and may even reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

Benefits For The Baby

There are many benefits of breastfeeding for the infant as well.

Physical Benefits for the Baby

Breast milk contains the ideal nutrition for your infant. It contains nearly the perfect mix of protein, fat and micronutrients your baby needs to grow. It is always the right temperature and always available. For the first few days your body will produce colostrum which will gently help your baby's digestive tract accept nutrients.

Breast milk is much more easily digested than formula. As a result, your baby will have fewer bouts of diarrhea and fewer trips to the doctor or hospital. It contains antibodies to help your baby fight off infections like ear infections, the common cold, and other respiratory illnesses. It also reduces the risk of asthma and allergies.

Infants who breastfeed during the first six months of their life are much less likely to become overweight as they grow up. They need to consume fewer calories to get all the nutrition they need to grow and mothers learn subtle satiety cues which prevent overfeeding. Babies who grow up to be a healthy weight and avoid obesity also mitigate the risks associated with obesity including type 2 diabetes and a host of other medical conditions such as pancreatitis, heart attack, stroke, and fatty liver disease.

According to the AAP, breastfeeding significantly reduces the risk of SIDS, or sudden infant death syndrome.

Mental And Emotional Benefits For The Baby

Research suggests breastfeeding results in a higher IQ and it is definitely a great way for your infant to bond with you. Children know their mother's voice from their time in the womb, so feeding is a great opportunity to talk or sing to your baby.

Common Challenges

Many mothers face common challenges both perceived and real regarding breastfeeding. For example, many women fear they cannot produce enough breast milk to feed their baby, when in reality most women do produce sufficient quantities of breast milk. To help ease any qualms you have about breastfeeding, we will discuss common challenges new mothers face and how to deal with them.

Sore Nipples

mother breastfeeding her baby

New mothers will sometimes complain of sore nipples. Babies should not suck from just the nipple. They should suck from most of the areola and the nipple. If your child has a poor latch, gently break the seal with your finger and adjust the baby's position. Try changing positions every time you breastfeed. Let your nipples air dry after feeding or wear a loose, cotton shirt. Do not wear restrictive undergarments or shirts that will put excessive pressure on your nipples. If they are dry and cracked, rub milk on them with a clean finger. Human breast milk contains soothing oils and natural healing properties. Do not put off feeding due to pain as this can cause issues with the milk.

Nursing Strike

Your baby may successfully breastfeed for months and then suddenly refuse your nipple. This does not mean he or she is ready to go off breast milk completely right away. This is a child's way of communicating to you that something is wrong. Common problems a baby may be having you want to look out for include:

  • A sore mouth from teething, an infection such as thrush or a cold sore
  • An ear infection which will cause pressure when lying on one side or pain while sucking
  • Distress over a change in the mother's routine
  • Having a stuffy nose or cold, causing breathing to be difficult while sucking
  • Being upset by hearing harsh voices while attempting to breastfeed, the repeated denial of feeding when hungry or the mother's reaction to being bitten while breastfeeding.

It is natural to be upset when your baby refuses your nipple or is fussy when it is offered, but be patient. Remember, babies can't communicate with words, so they have to communicate through actions. Your child is probably either in pain due to an infection, immunization or teething or emotionally distraught by others nearby being upset or a change in your routine that he or she does not understand. Try pumping your breast milk if your baby is refusing to feed. This mitigates the risk of engorgement and you can offer it to your baby as an alternative if the time is not yet right for weaning.

Mastitis

Some mothers develop a breast infection called mastitis when breastfeeding. They may experience flu-like symptoms such as lethargy and achiness, fever, nausea, vomiting. It may also result in breasts that feel hot to the touch or very warm and pink or red in color with yellowish discharge from the nipple that looks like colostrum. Mastitis often occurs when a member of the household has a cold or the flu and it usually only affects one breast. As the symptoms are similar, it can be difficult to tell the difference between plugged ducts and mastitis. Although symptoms go away on their own within 24 to 48 hours, seek advice from your doctor if they do not get better after a period of time.

Benefits of breastfeeding

In the meantime, wear supportive bras that will not constrict your breast and put too much pressure on the milk ducts. Apply moist heat to the sore area. Massage the area, starting behind the sore spot in a circular motion towards the nipple. Ask for help from friends and family so you can stay off your feet as much as possible and rest. Breastfeed on the infected side every two hours or more frequently to prevent engorgement.

Conclusion

There are certain circumstances where you should not breastfeed your baby, such as if you have an active infection or are on hard drugs. However, for the most part, the decision to breastfeed is a personal one that you can make either way without harming your child. Multiple professional organizations recommend for the sake of you and your baby that your baby is breastfed exclusively for the first six months of their life. From there, infants should be slowly introduced to dairy products, fruits, vegetables, and grains.

The benefits of breastfeeding for mothers includes safe, significant weight loss, reduced risk of ovarian and breast cancer, the possible reduced risk of osteoporosis, the return of the uterus to pre-pregnancy size and reduced risk of post-pregnancy uterine bleeding. Less tangible benefits include significant bonding time with the child to talk or sing, be close and have skin-to-skin and eye contact. Mothers will learn subtle satiety cues that will help them when they start to feed their children solids and they will save a lot of time and money.

The benefits of breastfeeding for babies include safely growing to a healthy weight, reduced risk of sudden infant death syndrome, optimal nutrition immediately at the right temperature which is easily digested and improved immune systems.

There are several common challenges associated with breastfeeding but between your baby's pediatrician and your lactation consultant, these problems can be resolved. A few of the most common include sore nipples, mastitis, and a nursing strike. If your nipples are sore, gently adjust your baby's latch on your breast so he or she is not sucking on just the nipple. If you develop mastitis, feed from the infected breast at least every two hours to prevent engorgement and get as much rest as you can. Seek medical attention if symptoms do not improve. If your baby goes on a hunger strike, he or she is trying to tell you there is something wrong. This may be a physical pain or discomfort caused by an infection, cold sore or teething, or an emotional discomfort caused by nearby arguing, rejection when hungry or a change in your schedule.

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How To Induce Labor: Exercise, Massage, And More

Many expecting mothers and their partners wonder how to induce labor. If your baby is getting too big and your doctor is concerned your newborn will not be able to fit through your birth canal, your specialist may recommend inducing labor. This is especially important if the expecting mother is older and a C-section would be dangerous, should the baby get too big.

 Please note, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine strongly encourage you to speak to your doctor before inducing labor. Today, babies born 39 weeks and 0 days past gestation to 40 weeks and 6 days past gestation are considered full term. Babies born through the 41st week are known as late-term babies, and babies born 42 weeks past gestation or more are known as post-term babies.

In this article, we will discuss simple tips and tricks of how to induce labor. These include light cardiovascular and calisthenic exercises, eating spicy food and other foods that induce labor, chemical induction from EPO, sexual intercourse and much more.

Are You Wondering How To Induce Labor?

Pregnant woman

Exercise

Wonder no more. You can use gravity to your advantage by exercising when trying to induce labor. Walking gently guides your baby's head lower into your pelvis. This puts pressure on your cervix, causing it to dilate. Try to walk 30 minutes a day. Walking up steep hills puts your body at an even better angle to guide your baby in the right direction. If you don't have any steep hills nearby, try a treadmill. Other great exercises while inducing labor include walking up and down stairs and squats.

 Even if exercise does not work for you, it is a great way to relieve stress and keep you physically fit for the task ahead. Once in labor, expect it to last an average of eight hours but no longer than 18. Your baby will require around one to two hours of pushing once your cervix has dilated to 10cm, so you want to be in great physical condition. So what are you waiting for? Get moving!

Spicy Food

For the most part, foods that induce labor are old wives' tales with no scientific backing. However, some foods do have certain chemical properties that are actually effective in inducing labor. Spicy foods stimulate the colon. This can cause irritated intestines and this cramping can spread to the uterus, inducing labor.

Pineapples contain the enzyme bromelain which is known to ripen the cervix, thus inducing labor. Other foods which chemically yet naturally induce labor include basil, oregano and ginger.

If you want to introduce more oxytocin into your life, but to not feel up to having sex to orgasm, eat foods such as eggs with pepper or bananas. Oxytocin has been shown to raise your spirits and induce labor.

Sexual Intercourse

Anyone who has given birth knows they do not feel their sexiest towards the end of their pregnancy. However, sex is clinically shown to prepare the body for labor. This is because semen contains a chemical known as prostaglandins. The more often you have sex before labor, the better this technique will work. However, there are natural herbal supplements if you are not in the mood. Do not engage in sexual intercourse if your water has already broken as this can lead to an infection.

Raspberry Leaf Tea

Who doesn't love a delicious iced tea during the summer or hot tea during the winter? Drink raspberry leaf tea to induce labor as it strengthens and tones your uterine muscles. Strong muscles make labor much easier when the time comes. Enjoy this tea after your birth as well to strengthen your uterus again. While the tea will keep you hydrated, if you can't stomach tea, you can take this in a supplemental pill form. This process usually starts at 34 weeks.

Evening Primrose Oil

There are several methods of using evening primrose oil to induce labor. It is effective because it contains a chemical that your body converts to prostaglandins. This is effectively the same as having sex as your partner's semen naturally contains prostaglandins. This chemical softens your cervix.

Many women take this capsule orally. However, you can break the EPO capsule and manually spread the oil on your cervix at night. Another option is to insert the whole capsule vaginally and allow the moist environment of the vagina to disintegrate the capsule and disperse the gel to your cervix. Be sure to wear a panty liner, pad or towel underneath you to prevent the gel from leaking onto your bedsheets. This method is started orally at around 36 weeks and internally at around 38 weeks.

Castor Oil

Ask several midwives how to induce labor and many will tell you castor oil will do the trick better than spicy food. Castor oil is a very strong laxative that does a great job at inducing labor. In some women sensitive to laxatives, it can cause vomiting, diarrhea and severe intestinal cramping. This intestinal cramping stimulates your uterus into inducing labor. Add two ounces of castor oil to orange juice and drink quickly or add to your favorite ice cream. The latter is not the best method as some women struggle to swallow it so slowly. Try this method if you have an iron stomach. Professional recommend you use this extremely effective method at around 41 or 42 weeks when you show no signs of labor beginning.

Acupuncture/Massage

An acupuncturist will insert super fine needles underneath the skin at key pressure points. This avoids the pain associated with needles that puncture and rest in the layer of skin itself. Puncturing these points balances your energy flow inducing labor. Many people will say acupuncture is not an effective method of how to induce labor, however, the research proving the opposite is sound.

If needles are not for you, seek a licensed massage therapist who is experienced in labor inducing massages. It may take two or three appointments, but 60 to 70% of pregnant women found massages specifically targeted to induce labor were helpful. This special massage relaxes the muscles around your baby and signals to your body it is time to induce labor. Acupressure may also be used in combination with massage therapy. Key pressure points which induce labor are located just above the ankle and in the webbing between the thumb and forefinger. Acupressure reduces pain, eliminates discomfort and releases oxytocin which helps you induce labor.

When Not To Induce Labor

As important as it is to know how to induce labor, it is equally important to know why not to induce labor. Your specialist will explain the risks and rewards of naturally inducing labor. Reasons why you should not naturally induce labor include:

  • One-third of your baby's brain growth occurs between weeks 35 and 40
  • Reduced risk of jaundice, infections and low blood sugar
  • Babies born two weeks prematurely are more than twice as likely to have respiratory complications
  • More time for your baby to grow and develop muscle strength
  • Better feeding habits leading to a healthy weight after birth

Remember, your due date is just an educated guess of when your baby will be born. Do not panic if it has come and gone and you are not showing signs of giving birth. Typically, your newborn will come when the time is right. Babies are most likely to be healthy when born between 39 weeks and 40 weeks 6 days. Try consulting your specialist in the middle of your 41st week as he or she may want you to start taking action.

Pregnant woman

Conclusion

There are many reasons to know how to induce labor. Some women may want to avoid activities to trigger labor prematurely while others may have medical reasons to induce labor. Luckily, there are many simple tips and tricks of how to induce labor. If you are in the mood and can stomach it, try sexual intercourse, spicy foods and castor oil. The female orgasm releases the hormone oxytocin which relieves pain and prepares the body for labor. Similarly, semen contains the chemical prostaglandins which helps the induction of labor. Spicy foods can cause intestinal cramping which spreads to the uterus which induces labor, and castor oil is a very strong laxative which produces the same effects of consuming spicy foods.

If you are not in the mood for sex, consume gentle foods such as eggs and bananas to introduce more oxytocin into your body. Prostaglandins can be found in evening primrose oil which can be taken orally in pill form or inserted vaginally in capsule form. Other great simple methods for how to induce labor include exercise, important to keep you in shape for the marathon of contractions you are about to face, massage therapy, acupuncture or acupressure and raspberry leaf tea or pill supplements.

Remember, speak to your specialists before naturally inducing labor yourself. There is a plethora of reasons to keep your baby developing safely inside your womb until its due date or even beyond. Examples include a reduced risk of infections, jaundice and low blood sugar, fewer respiratory complications after birth, significant brain growth, more time for muscles to grow stronger and better feeding habits. Relax and enjoy the new life you and your partner have created when it is ready to meet you.

 

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10 Best Nursing Pillow Brands For You And Your Baby

When a woman finds out she's pregnant; it's an exciting time. However, it can also be overwhelming when she starts to try to collect the things she'll need to have for when the baby arrives. A nursing pillow is a staple for being ready for a baby. But there are so many kinds of nursing pillows and different brands of nursing pillows; it can become overwhelming very quickly.

Every woman's body is different, so it makes sense that a single nursing pillow style or brand would not fit every person. In this article, we will tell you the 10 best nursing pillow brands, and we hope it will help to guide you as you try to figure out what nursing pillow will work best for you and your baby.

Nursing Pillow FAQ

1. What Is A Nursing Pillow?

2. What Does It Do?

3. How Does It Work?

4. Where Can You Buy It?

5. Price Range

How We Reviewed

The products listed below have been carefully chosen based on their features, pros & cons, how much they cost, where you can buy them, and a warranty. We want to be sure that you can compare and contrast all of the best nursing pillows and choose what works best for you based on what you believe to be the most important factors.

You can be sure that our opinions are completely based on the products themselves and that we're not being given anything from any company to put their item on the list. We know you will be spending countless hours using this pillow with your baby and it's important to us that you have the best information before you make your decision.

Overall Price Range Of The Products

A nursing pillow is not a cheap product to purchase. But when you consider how much time you will spend using it to feed your baby, it makes sense that it should cost a little extra money compared to a regular pillow. Nursing pillows come in all different shapes, sizes, and with different accessories.

A lower priced model in the $25 range may not have a removable, washable cover and may be smaller than a higher priced model might be. A higher priced model in the $75-$100 range may have a pocket to store small items in, be made of more expensive material inside and outside, or be much bigger to accommodate feeding more than one baby at a time.

What We Reviewed

Our Top Picks of Nursing Pillow


Sale
Boppy Nursing Pillow and Positioner, Notebook Black/Gold
  • Original, award winning Boppy Nursing Pillow with breathable slipcover
  • Comfortably bond with your baby while breastfeeding or bottle feeding - providing relief for arms and back by lifting...
  • Versatile design to support baby as she grows and develops from propping, tummy time and sitting

Pros

  • The C shape hugs the mother's body closely
  • The cover is removable and machine washable
  • Close, structured fit
  • Pillow is machine washable

Cons

  • The C shape makes this pillow less versatile for different nursing positions
  • A little more expensive than other nursing pillows

Sale
My Brest Friend Original Nursing Posture Pillow, Sunshine Poppy
  • FEEL THE SUPPORT: Encourages better posture during breastfeeding, alleviating strain in your back, neck, and arms
  • FIRM AND FLAT: Prevents baby from rolling out of position during nursing
  • CONVENIENT POCKET: Handy pouch keeps your maternity supplies within easy reach

Pros

  • Attaches to the torso
  • Comes with a pocket to hold burp cloths, a pacifier, nipple cream, cell phone, or a bottle of water
  • Flat surface for wriggly newborns
  • Offers back support for the mother

Cons

  • Not as versatile—can only be used for nursing
  • Doesn't fit larger moms as well

The Nesting Pillow - Organic Nursing Pillow with Washable Slip Cover
  • 100% Organic - ideal for even the most sensitive babies
  • Quarter moon-shaped support provides the perfect "nest" for nursing babies
  • Unique filling conforms to baby's body, similar to a bean-bag

Pros

  • A moldable pillow means you can shape it to best fit you and your baby
  • A machine washable, organic cover

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Heavy

All American Collection New Comfortable Bamboo Nursing Pillow
  • PREMIUM QUALITY MATERIAL: The Nursing Pillow is made of 100% polyester. The cover is 40% bamboo and 60% polyester that...
  • MOM AND BABY'S COMFORT: The Nursing Pillow is certainly designed to meet the needs of both the mother and the baby. The...
  • MULTIPURPOSE: The Nursing pillow is exclusively designed for mom and baby in Breastfeeding, Bottle Feeding, and Propping...

Pros

  • A soft pillow for a comfortable surface for your baby
  • Made of bamboo for added comfort
  • Removable cover
  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • C shape makes it less versatile
  • Might be too soft for some mothers' preference

Leachco Natural Boost - Adjustable Nursing Pillow - Denim
  • Adjustable boost pillow provides the lift baby needs to create the perfect angle for you and baby
  • Boost pillow flips from side to side as baby changes nursing positions
  • Firm contoured support lessens strain on back and shoulders

Pros

  • Removable, adjustable pillow to help your baby be at just the right angle
  • Firm structure

Cons

  • The cover is not removable and therefore not washable

Comfort & Harmony Mombo Slipcover in Bloom Burst
  • Polyester
  • Fits all Mombo feeding & infant support pillows
  • "2 looks in 1" slipcover

Pros

  • Differently designed sides for nursing your baby and letting your baby lounge
  • Removable, washable cover

Cons

  • Only one side is intended to be used for nursing

Pros

  • Can be used in 6 different positions
  • Removable, washable cover
  • Allows 2 babies to be nursed at the same time
  • Clips around the torso

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Large and heavy

Sale
Ergobaby Natural Curve Nursing Pillow Plus Cover, Heathered Grey
  • Addresses the main concerns of nursing mothers; latch, comfort, back pain, and arm support
  • Unique contour positions baby tummy-to-tummy for comfortable breastfeeding support
  • Baby's head rests above tummy which may aid digestion

Pros

  • Solid foam interior gives your baby lots of support
  • Removable, washable cover
  • Cover has a handle for easy transporting

Cons

  • Smaller than other nursing pillows
  • More expensive than other brands of nursing pillows

Sale
Luna Lullaby Bosom Baby Nursing Pillow, Chocolate Dot
  • Helps correctly position baby for breast-feeding so that the mom is more relaxed
  • Fits women of any size comfortably and has no belt or Velcro straps
  • Supports elbows and shoulders while holding baby so parent can relax

Pros

  • Versatile L shape makes nursing and tummy time/sitting up easy for mom and baby
  • Super soft 100% cotton machine washable cover

Cons

  • Does not have any straps or velcro to help baby stay on
  • No back support for the mother
  • More expensive than other brands of nursing pillows

Dr. Brown's Gia Nursing Pillow
  • 100% Cotton Shell. 100% Polyester fill
  • Thick-to-thin design to grow with baby for virtually limitless nursing positions
  • Machine wash and dry/retains shape throughout washing

Pros

  • Offers support to mothers who have larger breasts
  • Entire pillow and its cover are both machine washable
  • Can help keep your baby from having reflux
  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • Not as versatile as other nursing pillows

The Verdict

Now that we've looked at 10 of the best nursing pillows available, we'd like to tell you what we recommend. Of all of these pillows, our favorite is the Boppy. We love the classic C shape of the Boppy which can fit any sized body. We also love that it comes with a removable, washable cover and has a soft but supportive surface for your baby. It also comes with different many options of covers, including the Luxe covers which offer a super soft surface. The naked Boppy is also machine washable for those times when the unexpected messes may happen.

We also love that the Boppy is versatile enough to use when your baby is ready to start doing tummy time or trying to sit up. This pillow is also ideal for brand new moms who are learning the ropes of how to nurse as well as the well-experienced mom who has nursed many babies. The pillow can fit babies as small as newborns up thru toddlerhood and provides a great help to moms when they need it. You can grab it and simply position it around your body, and it's ready to go, no hassling with buckles or velcro to adjust it to the right spot.

The Boppy is also a good size if you need to travel and take it on the road with you—not too big and not too small. It wraps around the sides of the mom and gives her arms support as well as the baby in the front. Although this is not the cheapest pillow we reviewed, we feel that all of the benefits offered by the Boppy make the bit of extra money you'll spend worth it. As you consider what will work best for you and your baby, we hope our reviews have been helpful as you search for just the right pillow.

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Maternity Belly Band: Support Your Lower Back And Abdomen

If you are in your first trimester of pregnancy, then you might already feel the baby bump. You may even gain weight that can lead to a lot of problems. This is where investing in a belly band can be a good decision. When you are pregnant, all your jeans and pants will no longer fit you the way they used to. In fact, they will start digging into your waist, making it uncomfortable for you to move around in them freely. Getting a belly band can be helpful in wearing your old clothes and do so comfortably.

While you can always unbutton your pants for instant relief but can you walk out of your home like that? They have designed these bands in such a way they not only support your lower back and abdomen when you are pregnant but also keeps your clothes in place. They make these support bands from a flexible material that provide many benefits to active pregnant women.

A belly band is like a snug-fitting tube top that is worn around your stomach. These large elastic bands have become popular in the last few years due to its functionality and a stylish addition to a pregnant woman’s wardrobe. They are also available in many styles, shapes, sizes, and colors. Some can be adjusted with a Velcro fastener, and there are others that look like a blouse or a t-shirt, available in all sizes. No matter which one you get, they can go a long way in keeping you comfy when your stomach grows.

These bands for the belly have many practical uses. Foremost, with these bands, you can extend the use of your pre-pregnancy clothes until the second or third trimester. You can also use the belly bands for health reasons such as back support and to make your midsection appear smoother.

What Is The Belly Band?

It is easy to define a belly band. It is like a tube top or looks similar to a boob tube which is specifically designed to fit a pregnant woman’s belly. These bands are usually made by combining cotton and spandex or Lycra. These bands are made to be stretchy so they can adjust to the mother’s growing womb and stay snug in its place when she is active.

The bands can be purchased based on the mother’s shape and size. They can usually be adjusted with Velcro straps. However, not all bands have that option. There are also some that are simply knitted as an infinite band of elasticized fabric. You should always prefer to buy belly bands with a wide hem so that they can stay put in their position, without rolling on a round belly. However, with higher Lycra component in the cloth, the band becomes more expensive, but it will be more comfortable.

Belly band

Belly bands are made for all shapes and sizes. You can also find them in a variety of styles. Some may look like a swimming costume material, and there are others that come in a matt finish. Based on how much you are willing to spend, the cost of these bands may vary significantly. The more expensive ones can stretch more and don't sag with regular wear.

Needless to say, as is with any other clothing item, belly bands too can cost a lot of money if you seek premium quality. But If you are pregnant and think you will have a few more babies, then investing in a top quality belly band will be a better idea. Buy one in a neutral color that can go with all other colors, such as black, white, or navy blue.

Believe it or not, an expensive belly band will pay for itself in the money you save by not buying pregnancy clothes. If the band helps, you wear your old clothes comfortably; then you can do the math and see how much money you will save!

How The Belly Band Works?

When you hit your first trimester in pregnancy, apart from your swollen womb, you notice that your old clothes no longer fit the way did before. They may be too tight for you, requiring you to unzip and unbutton them.

Now if you want to step out of the house for some work, you can quickly slip on your belly band over your head and on to the waistband of your jeans or trousers to cover the unzipped area. You can also fold it in half to keep it in place. When folded, these bands work really well in covering your unbuttoned pants.

However, when you reach the later stages, your expanded belly will start pushing your belly band and the pants down. This is when you can unfold the band and pull it all the way up to let it sit snugly on your body and to keep you comfortable. Many users share that the snugness that comes with the belly band is strangely relieving as opposed to the popular belief that tight-fitting garments are bad for pregnant women.

You don't need to buy multiple bands for different stages of pregnancy. In fact, most mothers said they were able to use the same one for the entire nine months. However, it is definitely recommended to buy a spare one you can wear when you have to wash the other one. You will be amazed at how amazing these bands are until you have to live without them!

Results

Here are ways in which these bands can show you some amazing results in keeping you comfortable and pain-free:

Reduces The Discomfort Caused By Pregnancy

It is common for pregnant women to experience back and joint pain during pregnancy. It is not only annoying but also makes it difficult to contribute to day-to-day activities. However, by wearing this band around your belly, you can provide the necessary support to your back and expanded belly during all activities. This can alleviate your pain and keep you lightly active through your pregnancy days. Joint pain is also a common discomfort faced by pregnant women. Pregnancy releases a hormone, relaxin, that makes the hip joints unstable causing excruciating pain in the lower back. Belly bands can help steady the joint area by supporting this region that can prevent the onset of pain.

Helps You Stay Active by Providing Gentle Compression

These bands can help provide support to the uterus that reduces discomfort caused during physical activities such as walking. However, avoid putting too much band-induces compression on the abdomen as it can affect the blood circulation and impact the blood pressure. It can also lead to indigestion and heartburn.

Improves Posture

It helps in keeping your body in a proper posture by supporting your torso and lower back. Using the band during pregnancy encourages accurate posture and prevent the lower back from overextending. It is natural for women to sway back when pregnant because of the extra weight they carry in their frontal body. The weakening of core muscles that support the spine can also influence the posture. This band helps in keeping your back straight and puts less pressure on the spine.

Engage in Daily Activities Comfortably

It is very important to exercise during pregnancy. Regular prenatal exercise will provide positive health benefits by reducing the risk of diabetes, hypertension, and depression. It also helps increase endurance that will be helpful at the time of delivery. However, many women are unable to exercise or work effectively due to soreness caused by pregnancy. But wearing a belly band can reduce this discomfort and help you stay on your toes resulting in physical wellness.

Even Useful After Pregnancy

Don't discard your band just yet. With delivering a baby, your core muscles take a beating. A lot of your muscles are stretched and stressed during the pregnancy that needs time to recover. Not caring for the body can expose you to the risk of injuries. This is the reason many women prefer to wear this band after the delivery so they can continue providing support to the lower back and abdomen.

Conclusion

Experts recommend that wearing a belly band during your pregnancy can offer a wealth of benefits. However, it is also important to restrain its use to prevent being over-dependent on it. You should also consider exercising regularly along with wearing the band to strengthen the core muscles, during and after the pregnancy.

Experts also warn that even though the band is useful in helping you breeze through the tough pregnancy, it should not be worn without taking your doctor’s permission. Compression garments can affect the blood circulation. Therefore, pregnant women with irregular blood pressure should strictly refrain from using it.

It is very important to understand that these bands are just meant to get you through your pregnancy. If you notice a consistent issue with your health that is not being fixed by the belly band, then consult your doctor immediately. Do not ignore the ongoing pain as something that comes with the pregnancy.

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10 Best Pregnancy Tracking Apps in 2018

Newly expectant moms find it difficult to wait and arrange for the grand entrance of their babies. The nine or so months of pregnancy seem like a short period and will often find them unprepared. For this reason, technology has allowed the development of various apps that help you track and monitor your pregnancy from start to end.

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