Ask a Runner: tummytape vs Belly Bands & Other Maternity Belts

I’ve had 4 babies and I’ve had some degree of pelvic girdle pain/symphysis pubis dysfunction (PGP/SPD) as well as some back and SI (sacroiliac) issues with each one. [PGP/SPD is pain or discomfort in the front of the pelvis associated with increased laxity and movement of the pubic bones. It can be especially uncomfortable to climb stairs, stand on one leg to get dressed and even to sit or walk comfortably.]

As a physical therapist and a runner, I have tried SO many different belly supports in pregnancy to help alleviate pain to allow me to stay as active as possible until delivery. My second pregnancy was the worst and I had to stop running at 6 months pregnant because of the pain I had. No belt or band that I tried helped enough with the pain to allow me to keep exercising. 

Fast forward to my most recent pregnancy (baby #4) and the discovery of tummytape, and I was able to run up until 2 days before I delivered! I have really loved tummytape over the other belts and bands I’ve tried in the past. Try it out for yourself - or keep reading to learn why it's my favorite.




Here are some of the things I’ve personally found with the different pregnancy supports that are out there:


SI belts

Because the pelvic joints are connected in a ring, SPD can have an element of low back or sacroiliac joint pain in addition to the pain in the front of the pelvis.  

Even in moms who don’t have the SI component, the SI belts are often recommended for SPD.


The Benefits: 

  • The goal with an SI belt is to compress the SI and pubic symphysis joints. Bringing lax joints closer together helps decrease pain.
  • Can help moms who are experiencing both pubic symphysis pain and SI joint pain
  • Increases joint stability = less pain

The Drawbacks:

  • Needs to be applied super low on the hips to be effective which can be uncomfortable.
  • Sometimes will actually increase pain. You’ll know within minutes of putting it on if it’s the right solution for you.
  • Really uncomfortable to sit in and often needs to be loosened or removed completely when sitting, which means a lot of putting it on and taking it off throughout the day.
  • Super bulky and very obvious that you’re wearing a support belt.

Maternity belts

These belts are designed to support the weight of a growing belly and are typically less bulky, less expensive and more readily available than medical grade SI belts.

They fasten with velcro and sit under the belly. Some have an additional strap that goes over the top of the belly as well. 

The Benefits: 

  • Usually one of the more readily available and cost effective options
  • Intended for general low back or belly discomfort
  • Can help to unweight the belly

The Drawbacks: 

  • Even though they’re less bulky, they’re still bulky. 
  • They don’t stay put when you’re doing a lot of moving around or exercising, meaning that they need frequent readjusting.
  • They need to be applied fairly snugly to get adequate support which can be uncomfortable in and of itself. They may actually increase pressure on the bladder. 
  • Need to take them off for things like dressing and using the bathroom, which can become annoying if you’re doing this all day long. 

Maternity Bands

Bands are more like a compression sleeve for your belly. Before I found tummytape, of these three types of support, I found this one to be the most helpful for me.

The Benefits

  • No straps or velcro that has to be adjusted or readjusted
  • Seamless piece of material so no worries about skin irritation
  • Machine washable and holds up well to many washings over time

The Drawbacks 

  • Can be difficult to get in and out of given its compressive nature, especially after working all day or after exercising (Tends to stick to the skin if you’re sweaty!) 
  • Increases body temperature because it covers more skin area so not the greatest pending your work duties or the type of exercise you like to do. 
  • May feel too tight toward the end of pregnancy when your belly is at its biggest


tummytape has proven to be a super effective way for me to get some belly support and to keep running throughout the entirety of my last pregnancy.


 My third pregnancy PGP symptoms were less severe than my second. I used a belly band and was able to do run:walk intervals until 2 days before I delivered.

With my fourth pregnancy, using tummytape, I could run continuous miles (no walk breaks!) up until 2 days before I delivered! 

I will add here that the right belly support coupled with the right exercise program is what has given me such better results, less pain, and the ability to log more miles. Read more about exercising during pregnancy in our blog.

Here are the things I love about tummytape compared to all the other belly supports I’ve tried:

  • Super lightweight, not compressive or restricting
  • Not visible to others under your clothing - ideal for work and social outings
  • Quick and easy to put on and take off
  • Leave it on for showering, clothing changes and using the restroom 
  • Not too hot to wear for work or for exercise
  • Multi-day continuous wear
  • Cost effective option for the number of days & hours of wear you get per application
  • Provides light belly support to unweight the belly, help with postural reminders, and improves run & exercise form
  • Simple and effective way to decrease pressure on the pelvic floor and bladder

I keep saying I wish I had tummytape in my earlier pregnancies – and I mean it! Don't miss out during your pregnancy. Try tummytape for yourself.

The Takeaway

Every mom and every pregnancy is different. You may experience different symptoms or discomfort in one pregnancy compared to another. What worked for you in one pregnancy may not work in another, which is why you may need to experiment with different solutions for belly support. Additionally, what works for one mom for her low back pain may not work for another mom for her low back pain. 

What I can say is that tummytape is SO worth a try for all the amazing benefits it provides. If you’re searching for a simple solution for belly support in pregnancy, give it a try. tummytape's 100% happiness guarantee means you can try it out completely risk free. Shop tummytape now.




This article was written by Dr. Pope.



Rachel Pope is a Doctor of Physical Therapy, Pregnancy & Postpartum Exercise Specialist and Run Coach for Moms. She's a long time runner, hiker and mom of 4. To learn more, visit