At 19 weeks pregnant, I’ve reunited with an old running friend! Her name is Gabrialla and she’s… my maternity support belt!
I started using maternity support belts during my first pregnancy (after 20 weeks) and started using them at 18 weeks last time around. I love them and recommend them to everyone but it’s important to check your expectations before purchasing one. It’s kind of like when you have a great first date and one of you is thinking “wow, this is my soulmate!” and the other person is thinking “what a great time! I’d love to casually date this person!” No one is ever going to be happy in that situation. I feel like a lot of people have unrealistic expectations about the support belts so let me tell you some things I’ve learned about them. The maternity support belt will NOT:
- make all of your runs magical
- completely get rid of round ligament pain
- stop braxton hicks contractions
- stop the need to pee every mile or so on the run
- feel good on every run (most days I feel better having it on, but I have runs where I pull it off and carry it home because it’s umcomfortable)
I like the support belts because they make me feel less pain and discomfort on MOST days. Like I said above, sometimes the baby is in a strange position and there’s just no way to get comfortable. Support belts are not made of magic and won’t cure every ache. I wear them because I feel more supported in my belly area and in my back as well. I just feel more compact and held together, which is somewhat silly since the baby isn’t swinging around or going anywhere when I run, but it just feels more comfortable to me.
I wrote a post about my 2 maternity support bands and the sizing I recommend during my last pregnancy. All the info is the same so Here is the link. I put some information in the beginning and then you can scroll down to the bottom of the post for brands and sizing info. I only have 2 bands (I use Gabrialla the most by far) and they both lasted through heavy use in my first 2 pregnancies and show no sign of breakdown so I think they are worth the money. I’m not affiliated with either of these companies and purchased the belts full price for myself 6 years ago!
Seriously, aren’t our bodies just AMAZING?! I mean they can grow a human, stretch like crazy and then come back and help us achieve big things in sport and life. Our bodies really know how to rise to any occasion. It’s mind blowing!
Speaking of amazing things the body can do, I had an experience recently (nothing to do with pregnancy) that I can’t quit obsessing over. Almost a month ago, we had a busy weekend on tap. My daughter was finally having the Halloween party she had been asking to have for 3 years. The kids were really excited. In addition, my husband’s college roommates were in town and staying with us for the weekend. These are all great things, but whenever I’m hosting anything I’m very excited and want to be overly accommodating so I’m a little high strung (in a good way, right, right?!)
I went out for a quick run the morning of the party and twisted my foot/ankle badly. I was instantly worried about it, couldn’t put initial pressure on it, and started to hobble/walk home. Then I thought about how I had to be back for the kids while the college roommates and husband had brunch and I just started running. The pain went away and I was shocked I could run home! I made it home (only a bit over a mile) and showered, party prepped, had an awesome party, cleaned up and all day didn’t think once about pain in my foot/ankle. It was like the mini-injury on the trail never happened.
When all the busy-ness of the day ended and we were driving to a restaurant (Bigham Tavern, no relation!) for dinner, I started getting severe pains in my foot/ankle area. Within minutes, the pains in my foot felt similar to the labor pain I felt when I was being taken to the hospital to deliver my son! By the time we arrived at Bigham Tavern, I couldn’t eat. I thought I was going to be sick. Then I started feeling faint. We ended up calling an uber to take us to our car just blocks away. When I got home I looked at my foot and it had doubled in size! Although I rarely take medication, I took some Tylenol and started doing ice and heat+epsom salt contrast baths. I was reduced to crawling around my house. I literally could not put any amount of weight on my foot. When the Tylenol started to take effect, I was able to sleep, but I had to take 4 days off running.
The next few days I just couldn’t get the situation out of my head. I concluded my body must have totally gone into “fight or flight” mode. It seems silly to think that just having 3 friends staying at your house and hosting twelve 5-year-olds and their parents for a Halloween party could put a person into “survival mode” but it did. AND… how cool is that? I survived a whole day running around on a foot injury without noticing a thing. A foot injury that required 4 days off running and had reduced me to literally crawling around my house! While I never want to be in a life threatening situation, the experience gave me so much confidence in myself and my capabilities if a real life threatening experience would arise! AH! I love the human body and I’m trying to tap into the experience a bit and tie it into my running after I have baby #3!
Anyone have similar stories of where their body did something totally awesome that blew their mind?! I would love to hear them! This experience really made me realize there’s always a way to dig deeper, always another level of hurt we can conquer!