Waist trainers are worn to slim the waist and shrink the belly, and they should be avoided during pregnancy. Instead, look for soft, gentle compression garments to wear. Something like a belly band, biker shorts, or maternity-specific shapewear can be helpful in supporting your body and reducing discomfort from low back, pelvic girdle, or round ligament pain, improving balance and increasing mobility 1 . It should be flexible and not restrict your breathing or movement, as rigid support can contribute to increased intra-abdominal pressure 2 , which is a risk factor for pelvic organ prolapse 3 and stress urinary incontinence 4 .
Limited research shows maternity support garments may help to manage diastasis recti in pregnancy 5 , but appropriate abdominal exercise has been shown to be more beneficial. Discuss with your healthcare provider about which form of support is best for you.