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During pregnancy, it’s common for women with a normal BMI to gain between 25-35 lbs over the 9 months span. With increased weight gain and ligament laxity, having extra support to hold the weight can really make a difference. There are many types of belly support you can use during pregnancy, but Kinesiotape has the advantage of being a very thin layer that provides support.

If you want something different for support, check out these other belly support options in this article here. If you’re also having low back pain, check out this article on Kinesiotape for low back pain.

What is Kinesiotape?

Kinesiotape is a very flexible high-grade cotton medical tape first developed by Dr. Kenzo Kase from Japan. The tape was designed with the famous fingerprint wave pattern that can help lift the skin to create space between the skin and tissue layers. The tape can help relieve discomfort, inflammation, and swelling.Kinesiotape is the brand name, but there are many other types of kinesiology tape on the market as well.

Disclaimer

Although I am a physical therapist by profession, I am not your physical therapist.  This information is for educational purposes only, it does not constitute medical advice and does not establish any kind of therapist-patient relationship with me. I am not liable or responsible for any damages resulting from or related to your use of this information.

Precautions & Things to Know Before Using Kinesiotape

  • Prep your skin – make sure it is clean and dry and free from lotions
  • Do not tape over any open wounds
  • Tape can last 3 to 5 days however if any redness or discomfort occurs, remove promptly
  • The adhesive is heat activated, so rubbing helps the tape to adhere and to withstand sweating, showering and swimming
  • Always round the edges to help the tape
  • With pregnancy, your skin stretches and can become more sensitive, again remove if your skin becomes irritated
  • Always leave an anchor of 1 inch on either side of application for better durability

What & Where to Buy?

In the clinic, I always use Kinesiotape brand tape, however Rock Tape, KT Tape, and SpiderTech are other good options. You can purchase pre-cut tape, but buying a roll of tape gives you greater customization and flexibility (and less wasting).

Taping Patterns

There are quite a few different patterns available to tape for belly support during pregnancy depending on where you’re feeling most of the discomfort from the baby. Below are some common ones you can try.

Under Belly Support Directions:

This taping method is great for general support and discomfort in your stomach when you feel heaviness in your stomach. It helps to redistribute the weight, take pressure off your pelvic floor and reduce fatigue.

  • Cut the tape in one long strip, measure starting at one side of your stomach and wrapping underneath your belly, cut slightly shorter as you will stretch the tape during application
  • Round the edges
  • Rip the tape in the center and gently peel back to adhere underneath your belly
  • Peel back remaining paper leaving 1 in at each end of the tape
  • Gently stretch the tape and pull up on your stomach to lay on either side of your belly
  • Stop stretching and gently lay the anchors unstretched onto your skin as you peel off the backing

X Support Directions:

This is a good variation of the underbelly support method as above, it helps take pressure off your pelvic floor and redistribute the weight. You can adjust the location of the center of the X pending on the type of support you desire. If it’s lower, it will give you more underbelly support. If you place the center higher, it will give you more abdominal support.

  • Cut the tape in two long strips, measure starting near your hip and wrapping over your belly, cut slightly shorter as you will stretch the tape during application
  • Round the edges
  • Rip the tape approximately 1 inch from the end and remove backing
  • Place anchor near your hip and rub to adhere
  • Peel back remaining paper leaving 1 in at the other end of the tape
  • Gently stretch the tape and wrap under and around your belly
  • Stop stretching and gently lay the second anchor unstretched onto your skin as you peel off the backing

Abdominal Support:

As your abdominal muscles stretch during pregnancy, you can get discomfort throughout your stomach, this taping pattern helps your rectus abdominis muscle (or your 6 pack muscle) in supporting your stomach.

  • Cut the tape in two long strips, measure starting below your belly and wrapping over your belly, cut slightly shorter as you will stretch the tape during applicatioon
  • Round the edges
  • Rip the tape approxiamtely 1 inch from the end and remove backing
  • Place anchor underneath your belly off to one side of your belly button and rub to adhere
  • Peel back remaining paper leaving 1 inch at the other end of the tape
  • Gently stretch the tape up and over your belly
  • Stop stretching and gently lay the second anchor unstretched onto your skin as you peel off the backing

Diaphragm Support

During pregnancy, some women carry very high which can put pressure on the diaphragm and increase the shortness of breath feeling. Using a piece of tape on the top of the belly can help mom breathe a little easier.

  • Cut the tape in one long strip, measure starting at one side of your stomach and wrapping above your belly, cut slightly shorter as you will stretch the tape during application
  • Round the edges
  • Rip the tape in the center and gently peel back the paper to adhere at the top of your bump
  • Peel back remaining paper leaving 1 inch at each end of the tape
  • Gently stretch the tape and pull down on your stomach to lay on either side of your belly
  • Stop stretching and gently lay the anchors unstretched onto your skin as you peel off the backing

Removing the Tape

The tape can be used for 3-5 days as long as there is no skin irritation. If it starts to peel back, you can trim the edges of the tape or try to smooth it out again. If you want to remove it, you can use baby oil to help break down the adhesive, let it soak in for a few minutes, and peel back slowly. You can also try removing it directly after a shower when it is softened. Remove any excess adhesive with oil.

Check out other back support options during pregnancy here