Wednesday, January 5, 2011

In the Family Way: Maternity Support Belt

Hello Third Trimester!! And, I suppose, hello as well to all the unpleasantries that come with it...

Today is the first day of Week 28… the official start of the rare and much-sought-after third trimester. The glorious 3 months during which the baby gains 5-7 pounds, the mother gains 12-15 pounds and all hell breaks loose when it comes to bodily alterations for everyone involved. Bring it on, gestation, I can take it!!

DSC_9043 soft glow

Yesterday I totally rocked out my gestational diabetes blood draw. I didn’t cry or kick anyone! I have vasovagal-type needle phobia, so I determine success in these sort of situations by whether or not I break down sobbing in front of the phlebotomist and insist that I lie down. On truly special occasions, I faint. However, I do find the gestational diabetes test to be slightly less horrible than the initial prenatal panel blood draw because a) they only take 2 tubes of blood instead of 5, and b) you get all sugared up with “glu-cola” first so you’re automatically in a better mood. When it comes to needles, I’ll take all the concessions I can get.

It’s really reassuring to have some serious experience going through this pregnancy, because the changes to a pregnant body are just amazing and often frightening. My current woes include heartburn and a snappy back. Not so much painful, but it clicks when I walk and I have the sneaking suspicion that I’ll be waddling soon. Maybe I am already and no one has told me. And in the night I get terrible twinges in my belly when I attempt the act of rolling over, a sign indicating the imminent resignation of any abdominal muscle control I have left. Oh joy! But again, I know that I will be able to do a sit-up again in the future… my hips will go back to how they were… a time will again come when I won’t have to avoid bending at the waist to prevent stomach acid from running into my throat…

In the meantime, there are heartburn treatment options, a comfy couch to sit on, and a maternity support belt for those nighttime pains. I recently tried on a couple varieties of support belts at our local maternity store, but they were either highway robbery for what they were (um, $20 for a piece of cheap elastic with velcro?) or completely non-subtle. You’d need to wear two maternity sweatshirts to hide it. They were, however, quite comfortable and eased the bulging midsection aches as well as offering some back support.

So, since I had a crafting date with a friend planned, I decided to just make one myself. It wasn’t hard, and you can make one too if this unfortunate and very unglamorous item sounds appealing to you for some reason. It involves making 2 separate parts (so you don’t have to step and/or squeeze into it, a tall order when you’re round), and is quite adjustable as you grow. Here’s the low down:

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You’ll need:

  • 1/2 yd mid-weight woven cotton fabric, preshrunk in hot wash
  • 16” length of 2” wide elastic (cut into two 8” pieces, seal edges with heat)
  • 24” length of velcro loop tape (cut into two 12” lengths)
  • 8” velcro hook tape (cut into four 2” lengths, edges rounded to remove sharp corners)
  • Coordinating thread

Directions:

Cut 2 rectangles of fabric 22” by 12” (obviously if you are a very different size than I am, you’ll want shorter or longer rectangles). I used a random bit I had on hand... color was unimportant as I do not intend to flaunt this thing.

Fold both rectangles (separately), right sides together along the 22” length (so you now should see the wrong side of two 6” by 22” rectangles). Fold each 22” long open end back up to the fold. I didn’t take work-in-progress pictures, so I am illustrating this with paper. The last photo is what each each end should look like, “right” means the right side of fabric is visible.

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For the front part, take one folded rectangle and stitch along each short end, securing all 4 layers together. Flip inside out (folded edges will come together and all raw edges will be tucked inside) and topstitch along the perimeter. Center the 12” strips of loop in the middle of the rectangle, spacing them so the outer edges are 2” apart, and stitch them on all sides securely to the fabric. It should look like this:

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For the back part, take the remaining folded rectangle and tuck once piece of elastic into the center fold on each short side, as shown.

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Stitch the short ends through all layers, then flip so all raw edges are tucked inside as you did with the front part, and elastic will now be sticking out of the ends. Topstitch around the perimeter. Fold each end of the elastic towards the fabric leaving 2” of single layer elastic and 3” of double layer. Place one 2” section of velcro hoop tape over the raw edge of the elastic, and stitch in place. Stitch another 2” piece at the fold of the elastic. Repeat for the other end. It should look like this:

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It’s done! Just put it on, like so, and feel the relief!

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15 comments:

Jodi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jodi said...

THIS IS SO AMAZING AND TIMELY! I was just having a conversation today with my midwife about maternity support belts. I'm totally making one of these ASAP.

Also, your belly looks fabulous! :)

Karen said...

Glad to help!! It was my turn, after all your fabulous tutorials, tips and great resources :)

Betsy said...

You are MUCH too cute! I'm only nearly 25 weeks and about 2x as large (I think baby is making up for not popping out until about 3 weeks ago). Fortunately, this is my 1st time without a hint of heartburn and I'm so grateful...the pelvic bone pain and nausea (now gone) make up for it. I'm not sewing-crafty, but you might inspire me to make a hip-girdle to keep my pelvis from snapping in half (likely the reason for no heartburn; I'm carry baby b/t my knees). Anyway, happy gestating! Oh, also, 12-15 lbs sounds svelte and glamorous to me; I'm hoping for less than another 20! :)

Andrea said...

Glad it was a success! An evening well spent in "crafting" and converstaion. :)

Sasa Cheong said...

That's wonderful. You are so creative and make own maternity support belt. Glad to have this fantastic tutorial and tips! You are great and must learn from you too. :)

Elena Lyons said...

I came upon your post and I absolutely love this idea and can't wait to start to make my own! Thanks so much!

john mash said...

Thank you very important information shearing for you..Awesome Work!!!!!!! Keep it up dude

maternity support belt
c-section recovery

Anonymous said...

Great and useful post for new moms...luv your design for the belt.
wearing a girdle

maternity belt

Rhonda said...

Great post! I love the alternative to buying a support belt if you have the ability! You can also check out this Pregnancy Support Belt if you aren't so crafty!

Maternity girdle said...


All the information are really nice this is very valuable information for all. Thanks for sharing such amazing post.

Rehabilitation Products said...

Great Post!
Thanks for sharing such a nice and useful information.

Check out this blog to know about different types of supports belts and their usefulness: http://rehabilitation-aids.blogspot.in/

Anne said...

Hello - and thank you so much for your DIY maternity belt! I have linked to it on my Facebook site:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bekkenl%C3%B8sning-Pelvic-girdle-pain/475526812506163

because I know many women suffering from Pelvic girdle pain will love it!

Love
Anne in Norway

Annie Lima said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Abilene Salas said...

This is great! I'm so glad i bumped into your blog!