Pregnant woman touching her belly.

Understanding Maternity Compression: The Benefits of Maternity Support Bands, Compression Socks, and Postpartum Recovery Bands

Over the course of your pregnancy, your body will change in many ways. You may experience difficult or persistent morning sickness, spider and varicose veins, body aches and pain, and swollen feet. These are understandable side effects when you consider the fact that your body is growing new life. Rather than deal with discomfort for nine months, there are a few things you can do to make this time easier. There are remedies for morning sickness, foot soaks for swelling, and maternity compression to help ease body aches and pain. Here, we’ll review key information to help with understanding maternity compression, including the benefits of maternity support bands, compression socks, and postpartum recovery bands.

What is Maternity Compression?

Maternity compression encompasses items that help to provide new and expecting mothers with support and stabilization throughout their pregnancy and during postpartum healing. The strategic design helps to alleviate pain associated with swelling or pressure from a growing baby. The material used is comfortable, practical, and should not feel too tight or increase discomfort.

When shopping for your maternity compression garments, just make sure that you use the proper size guide. The compression is meant to feel snug, but it should never be painful. Using garments that are too tight not only reduce the benefits, but they can also cause problems and be dangerous for your baby. If you have questions or concerns, talk to your doctor about sizing options.

Different Types of Maternity Compression Garments

There are many different types of maternity compression garments and each one is used at different stages throughout your pregnancy. Maternity support bands should be worn from month three to month nine, maternity compression socks can be worn throughout your entire pregnancy, and postpartum recovery bands can be worn within one week following delivery up until four months postpartum.

Maternity Support Bands

As your pregnancy progresses, the extra weight from your baby gradually becomes supported by your back, hips, pelvis, and abdomen. This can lead to increased rates of lower back pain. Maternity support bands are garments that aim to help expecting mothers relieve some of the pressure that a growing baby puts on your core. This helps to reduce overall stress levels and therefore, pain. Maternity support bands can also help avoid sacroiliac (SI) joint pain.

Maternity support bands work by cradling your belly to help evenly disperse the weight of your baby. This helps to realign your body’s center of gravity, giving you more stability in your daily activities. Within the category of maternity support bands, there are a few options that you can choose from.


  • Belly Bands – many people don’t differentiate belly bands from other types of maternity support but understanding each one allows you to choose the right option for your needs. Belly bands are worn around the belly to provide mild compression and complement pregnancy clothing. They’re often worn underneath maternity clothes and are used primarily for extra coverage.


  • Belly Belts – this option provides expecting mothers with a higher degree of support. They’re aimed at supporting the lower back, abdominal area, hips, and pelvis and can be worn either underneath or on top of clothing. If you want to experience the benefits of maternity compression garments, belly belts are a good place to start.


  • Maternity Cradles – these support garments have a lower and upper strap to wrap around the belly and create a “cradle” for it. The upper strap is often sold as an add-on or accessory to belly belts.


  • Maternity Support Clothing – maternity support clothing is similar to regular maternity clothes, but they have a supportive feature built-in. This could include a supportive belt, or even a non-binding waistband. These features are aimed at allowing comfortable growth throughout your pregnancy in conjunction with mild support to absorb the increasing weight on your pelvis. This is a good option for people who want to test out maternity compression garments.


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Maternity Compression Socks

Maternity compression socks are made to help promote blood flow and improve circulation to your lower extremities. They work by creating a gentle pressure along your leg to help improve the functioning of veins, arteries, and capillaries. This, in turn, helps to reduce the side effects of poor circulation, such as varicose veins and spider veins. Maternity compression socks can help reduce swelling and relieve associated pain. They’re made of a special elastic material that gradually decreases in pressure as you move from your ankle to knee. Using this gradient compression, you’ll receive a controlled amount of pressure applied proportionally throughout your leg.

Many brands are designed to be used throughout your entire pregnancy, so you don’t need to continue buying new pairs over time. Compression socks are meant to feel tight, just make sure that you’re using the correct sizing chart to ensure the right fit.

Postpartum Recovery Bands

After delivering your baby, your body will need some time to heal. Postpartum recovery bands can help you expedite the healing process to get back your pre-pregnancy body. They work by providing a gentle compression to your abdominal area and glutes to reduce swelling and alleviate postpartum pain. This can also help reduce any serious postpartum bleeding, allowing you to get back on your feet and lower your chances for complications. Postpartum recovery bands are meant to aid the healing process and should be used in conjunction with your doctor’s recovery plan. Just remember that having a baby can change your body forever and therefore you should avoid unrealistic expectations. If you’re having difficulty with any postpartum depression, contact a healthcare professional and reach out to your loved ones.

Benefits of Maternity Support Bands

Since maternity support bands are designed to help shift the weight of your growing baby off of sensitive areas into a more even distribution, there are many benefits that follow. Some of the most notable benefits of maternity support bands include:

  • Helps to disperse the weight of your growing baby
  • Increases stability
  • Alleviates pain
  • Decreases SI joint pain
  • Lowers round ligament pain
  • Reduces pressure on the bladder
  • Supports prenatal activities or exercises
  • Corrects posture
  • Reduces sciatica


    Since many maternity support garments are discreet, they can be worn under your clothes as needed. They’re breathable and machine washable, allowing you to wear them and wash them as needed.

    Benefits of Maternity Compression Socks

    Many of the benefits of maternity compression socks are similar to those of regular compression socks. They’re aimed at alleviating the increasing pressure and swelling that extra weight puts on your lower extremities. Some of the most common benefits include:

  • Prevents swelling
  • Reduces discomfort
  • Increases blood circulation
  • Prevents or minimizes risk of varicose and spider veins
  • Helps prevent blood clots
  • Lowers your risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
  • Assists with long days on your feet
  • Increases overall comfort throughout the day


    Benefits of Postpartum Recovery Bands

    Getting back to your pre-baby body can be difficult, but postpartum recovery bands can help. Some of the primary benefits of using these during healing include:

  • Alleviates swelling
  • Reduces soreness
  • Helps reduce c-section scar pain
  • Improves mobility
  • Helps your body return to normal
  • Stabilizes abdomen
  • Supports lower back
  • Improves posture
  • Increases circulation
  • Helps uterus and organs return to normal size and location


Since certain maternity compression garments provide a number of substantial benefits to expecting mothers and postpartum recovery, they’re considered FDA-listed medical devices. Because of this, many health insurance plans cover compression garments with a prescription from your doctor. If you’re interested in supplementing your pregnancy with maternity compression garments and reaping the benefits, contact your insurance provider today. You may be eligible to receive certain types of support depending on your plan and provider.

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