Did you find out you’re carrying twins? Congratulations! Some people feel like there’s double to do and double to learn about when you’re having two babies. But truthfully, there is a lot that stays the same about your pregnancy, regardless of how many babies are growing inside. It’s still important for you to eat well, drink plenty of water, and stay active throughout your pregnancy. You still want to make sure you’re taking a whole foods based prenatal vitamin. A pregnancy pillow is still going to be your best friend when you’re trying to get comfortable at night and a maternity support belt is going to help you move around comfortably during the day. How does a pregnancy band work and what benefits are there to using one when you’re having twins? I’m so glad you asked…
People who are pregnant with twins get double the excitement, but double the babies means double the strain on your core. Your core is made up of your back, pelvic floor, and abdominal muscles. As part of a normal pregnancy, the abdominal muscles separate to make room for the growing baby1 and when there are two babies this separation can happen sooner and be more severe. This puts more responsibility on your back and pelvic floor to stabilize your body as you sit, stand, and move. Many pregnant people, especially those carrying multiples, notice that their low back is sore by the end of the day because of the additional work it’s doing. A pregnancy support band can help. The band wraps around your low back and under the abdomen to provide additional support for both your back and your growing belly. Those who have used pregnancy bands have said they were helpful for decreasing the back low back pain they experienced at the end of the day.
Sometimes the typical aches and pains related to pregnancy show up sooner and get more intense with twins than they do with singleton pregnancies. Pelvic girdle pain, sacroiliac pain, pubic-symphysis dysfunction can all be aggravated during pregnancy and be more severe when carrying twins. These physical discomforts are caused by increased weight gain and the loosening of the connective tissue that naturally occurs during pregnancy.2,3 Parents of multiples can experience these sooner and sometimes with such intensity that it can affect the pregnant person’s ability to do their everyday activities. Studies have shown that the compression and support provided by a maternity support band can reduce pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy.4 This can make it more comfortable for the pregnant person to continue with their everyday life and lead to a higher quality of life during the pregnancy.
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One final way that a maternity support band can be helpful when you’re carrying twins is by improving circulation, especially to your feet and legs. You may know that swelling is considered normal during pregnancy, but it’s still uncomfortable! Both swelling and varicose veins are a symptom of poor circulation that is not uncommon in pregnancy, and is more common when carrying multiples. Wearing a support band can help lift the growing uterus off the blood vessels that flow down and back up from the legs, which will help reduce swelling and keep varicose veins from forming. If you already have varicose veins, wearing a support band may also keep existing varicose veins from getting worse.
There is so much excitement and love flowing when you’re expecting twins! A maternity support band can help you stay comfortable and healthy throughout the many body changes that you’ll experience. The band will help you stay active and reduce your back pain at the end of the day. It will stabilize your pelvis so you’ll have fewer aches and pains during the pregnancy and it will help keep your blood flowing to reduce swelling and irritated varicose veins. Also keep in mind that maternity compression garments are often available through insurance, so be sure to check with your provider.
- Sperstad JB, Tennfjord MK, Hilde G, et al. Diastasis recti abdominis during pregnancy and 12 months after childbirth: prevalence, risk factors and report of lumbopelvic pain. British Journal of Sports Medicine 2016;50:1092-1096.
- Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Nutritional Status During Pregnancy and Lactation. Nutrition During Pregnancy: Part I Weight Gain: Part II Nutrient Supplements. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 1990. 9, Weight Gain in Twin Pregnancies.Available from:https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK235233/
- Verstraete EH, Vanderstraeten G, Parewijck W. Pelvic Girdle Pain during or after Pregnancy: a review of recent evidence and a clinical care path proposal. Facts Views Vis Obgyn. 2013;5(1):33–43.
- Quintero Rodriguez C, Troynikov O. The Effect of Maternity Support Garments on Alleviation of Pains and Discomforts during Pregnancy: A Systematic Review. J Pregnancy. 2019;2019:2163790. Published 2019 Aug 1. doi:10.1155/2019/2163790
About the Author
Rebekah Mustaleski is Compression Director with MotifMedical.com and a Certified Professional Midwife with Roots & Wings Midwifery in Knoxville, TN, where she promotes evidence-based maternity care for families seeking an out of hospital delivery. She is working to improve maternal outcomes during the childbearing year and to promote a sustainable business model for midwifery practices across the country. Rebekah is co-owner of Roots & Wings Midwifery, LLC as well as Treasurer for the Tennessee Midwives Association.