New technology and research on how moms’ bodies change during pregnancy have guided designers as they manufacture maternity compression garments to support a woman’s body throughout pregnancy and postpartum. As amazing as some of these new compression products are, some new and expecting moms may be confused about which product is right for them. Never fear, mamas–Pumps for Mom is here for you! Read on as we break down everything you need to know about these products with our ultimate guide to maternity compression.


What kinds of maternity compression products are available?

Designers and manufacturers produce a range of maternity compression garments to help new and expectant moms feel their best at different stages of pregnancy and new motherhood. Certain compression products are made to help moms feel more comfortable during pregnancy, like maternity compression socks or belly bands, while others are created to help moms recover after delivery. Designed to reduce swelling and strain on parts of the body, like the back and the legs, maternity compression garments are made to fit and support a pregnant mom’s changing body. Postpartum compression garments, however, are manufactured with breathable fabrics and supportive panels that help moms’ bodies recover gradually from the physical challenges of labor and delivery.

Are maternity compression products different from shapewear?

Yes! There are several important differences between specially made maternity compression products and typical shapewear. Although both products provide compression to a woman’s body, ordinary pieces of shapewear are not designed specifically for moms. Maternity compression products are made with panels that provide optimal support for moms’ changing bodies, as well as breathable fabric to promote comfort and circulation. While maternity compression products are medical products made to help moms feel better during pregnancy and improve their recovery after labor and delivery, shapewear is designed for purely aesthetic alterations to a woman’s body. 

Which compression products are used during pregnancy?

Maternity compression products can be broken up into two broad categories–compression products meant to be used during pregnancy and those meant to support recovery after labor and delivery. Some moms may assume that a compression product is the last thing they want as their belly continues to grow. However, maternity compression products actually have a significant impact on improving expectant moms’ comfort throughout their pregnancy. Products like compression socks improve blood flow, decrease swelling, and reduce varicose veins. Additionally, garments like belly bands limit the strain on moms’ backs and hips as their pregnancy progresses. 

What is the point of maternity compression socks?

As the body changes throughout pregnancy, moms often experience swelling and aches in their legs. Maternity compression socks help to relieve discomfort and encourage circulation throughout the legs and feet before, during, and after pregnancy. Moms should look for compression socks that offer moderate to firm compression, support in the heels and arches of the feet, and sufficient breathability. Talk with your doctor to learn more about the benefits of maternity compression socks and learn if you can get this compression product through your health insurance.

What is a maternity belly band?

Pregnancy comes with a fair share of aches and pains, but a maternity band helps relieve discomfort in the back and hips and improve circulation throughout the body. This product provides gentle compression around the hips to support moms’ growing belly. Additionally, maternity belly bands offer adjustable straps and compression options so moms can use it throughout their pregnancy. Traditional belly bands are not designed with adjustable straps and do not provide the necessary support that moms need during their pregnancy. Maternity belly bands are made with input from medical professionals and solve the problems that most affect expectant moms’ wellbeing. With breathable materials, versatile support, and a discreet design, belly bands can help moms feel their best as they stay active throughout their pregnancy. 

Postpartum compression products are designed for recovery.

Postpartum compression products are designed with a different purpose than maternal compression as moms’ bodies change in different ways during the recovery period. During pregnancy, moms’ bodies adapt to provide the best environment for their little ones to grow. However, after labor and delivery, recovery is the number one priority. Postpartum compression garments are medical products specialized to provide unique support depending on delivery method. Additionally, these products are often covered by insurance so moms don’t have to cover the cost themselves. With weak and stretched muscles, possible incisions that need to heal, and a newborn baby to take care of, moms need postpartum compression products to improve their recovery after the physical challenges of labor and delivery.

Postpartum recovery garments for natural deliveries

Natural deliveries may seem less invasive than C-sections, but vaginal births still require weeks of recovery time for new moms. Vaginal deliveries can result in abdominal muscle strain, perineal tears, or episiotomy incisions that can make it difficult for moms to move comfortably. Although new moms easily earn several weeks of resting on the couch, they also have a new baby to take care of and need to make it through those late-night feedings and diaper changes without inhibiting their recovery. Postpartum recovery garments designed for natural deliveries provide support to help the abdominal muscles recover and protect the pelvic area to promote healing. With seamless support panels and breathable materials to maximize comfort and a discreet design that can be worn under clothes, moms can recover more quickly and look good doing it with postpartum compression garments for natural deliveries.

Postpartum recovery garments for C-sections

While C-sections are a common operation, this procedure is a major surgery and requires several weeks of recovery time. Like compression products for natural births, postpartum recovery garments for C-sections also provide abdominal, hip, and back support. Specifically, these garments also include specific protections for the C-section incision, and many recovery garments for C-sections have a side zipper so moms can take the garment on and off without irritating their scar. Compression garments for C-sections promote a smoother recovery after the physical challenges of pregnancy, labor, and invasive surgery.

Shapewear options for post-recovery

For moms who have made it through that initial postpartum recovery period and are ready to get back into a favorite pair of jeans, the time for a post-pregnancy body shaper has arrived! Even after the first several weeks of recovery, moms may need to avoid old pieces of shapewear that they wore before pregnancy. Shapewear specifically designed for moms in their postpartum period is made to target areas that are more significantly impacted by pregnancy, like the hips, buttocks, or thighs. These products are not usually covered by insurance as they do not serve the same medical recovery purpose as postpartum compression garments. Moms are beautiful no matter their waist size, but post-pregnancy shapewear exists to provide continued support if shapewear products help you feel your best.

There is no need to struggle through your pregnancy or your postpartum recovery when there are compression products designed to help you take on motherhood like a boss. And with many of these maternity compression products available through insurance, new moms can recover more comfortably and quickly without having to break the bank. Spend less time struggling with aches and pains and more time with your little one with help from maternity compression products.


Pumps for Mom does more than provide top-of-the-line insurance breast pumps to new and expectant moms. Through our partnership with Body After Baby, we also help moms feel more comfortable during pregnancy and recover more smoothly after delivery with maternity compression products. Having a baby can be stressful, both physically and emotionally, and the experts at Pumps for Mom are here to lighten your load. Whether you need a breast pump through insurance or want to stock up on maternity compression garments, Pumps for Mom is here for you.