Q: I would like to know what kind of corset is recommended for pregnancy and how would one take the measurements to be fitted for one?  Would the corset expand with each month of growth?  I have sciatica and am pregnant but want some relief.  My doctor recommended a corset for support but I don't know where to look for a medical corset. Do you have any recommendations where I can find such a corset?  - Charlotte  (1/16/01)

A:  Depending on your progress in your pregnancy, different corsets make sense. But there are specialized maternity support garments Also, postpartum supports are available to help restore the position of the abdominal content, which I do recommend.

A question that is often asked is how much pressure is placed on the infant, because the infant is completely surrounded in a fluid, which in turn is suspended in the abdomen.  This pressure is determined by the muscle tone of the uterus and the abdominal wall providing the restraining force. In first pregnancies, in women with trained abdomens, there will be higher internal pressures than in untrained abdomen or in subsequent pregnancies.

In the case of reduced muscle tone, the additional support from a corset can bring great relief. Danger to the growing fetus is primarily seen in classic corsets with a long stiff busk, which presses on the uterus when sitting down. Such corset-styles are obviously not suitable. However, modern supports are certainly recommended in cases where discomfort is experienced.

For reference - see my 3rd article, towards the end for examples of traditional and modern maternity corsets. 


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