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Frequently Asked Questions

Will my private health insurance plan pay for the PrenaBelt® ?

Possibly (it depends on your private health insurance plan). Since one of the indications of the PrenaBelt®  is musculoskeletal support, your private health insurance may cover the total cost (or a portion of the cost) of the PrenaBelt® . Check with your private health insurance company prior to purchasing the PrenaBelt®  because practices and plans vary. See our Insurance Reimbursement page for more details.

Another option that you could try prior to purchasing the PrenaBelt®  is checking with your employer about getting your PrenaBelt®  purchase reimbursed through a healthcare flexible spending account (FSA), which may cover maternity support belts like the PrenaBelt®  under the orthopedic supports category.

Why should I avoid sleeping on my back in pregnancy and when?

Several large studies have shown that going to sleep on your back during late pregnancy (after 28 weeks’ gestation) is associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes such as late stillbirth and low birth weight.[1,2] As your pregnancy advances, your baby and placenta grow bigger and heavier in your womb. When you are on your back, your womb and its contents rest on some of your major blood vessels, which can compress them and alter the blood flow within you and to your baby. For example, a recent study using advanced MRI techniques demonstrated that, on average, blood flow to the womb is reduced by 24% and oxygen transfer across the placenta is reduced by 6.2% when lying on the back in late pregnancy.[3] These new findings may be one of the reasons why you should avoid sleeping on your back starting at 28 weeks’ gestation.

  1. Cronin RS, et al. An Individual Participant Data Meta-analysis of Maternal Going-to-Sleep Position, Interactions with Fetal Vulnerability, and the Risk of Late Stillbirth. The Lancet E Clin Med, 2019.
  2. Anderson NH, et al. Association of Supine Going-to-Sleep Position in Late Pregnancy With Reduced Birth Weight: A Secondary Analysis of an Individual Participant Data Meta-analysis. JAMA Netw Open, 2019.
  3. Couper S, et al., The effects of maternal position, in late gestation pregnancy, on placental blood flow and oxygenation: an MRI study, The Journal of Physiology, 2020.

Do I need to use something to help me avoid sleeping on my back? Why can’t I just try to avoid sleeping on my back?

You can try to avoid sleeping on your back, but this is of unknown effectiveness and is easier said than done. When instructed to avoid sleeping on their back, pregnant individuals can do so moderately well, but this comes at a cost of reduced sleep quality, and the effectiveness of this approach is highly variable (it works for some but doesn’t work for others).[1] Making a conscious effort to avoid sleeping on your back can disturb your sleep, cause anxiety, and result in discomfort. 

A recent study [2] shed light on what happens after pregnant people fall asleep in the third trimester: they will change position 9-10 times per night and get out of bed once per night on average. The majority will spend about 45% of their night in their going-to-sleep position and 45% of their night in their waking position in the morning. For those who go to sleep on their back, they will spend about 50% of the night on their back, so these people can be advised against going to sleep on the back. For those who wake in the morning on their back, they spend about 33% of the night on their back, so they may benefit from a positional therapy device like the PrenaBelt™.

With the PrenaBelt® , our goal is to help you by taking the worry out of sleep and making sleep more comfortable. With the PrenaBelt® , you can sleep however you like (including on your back), and the PrenaBelt®  will make sure that your pelvis remains tilted toward one side or the other*, which will keep your womb off your major blood vessels. We anticipate that having more options for sleeping position will also make your sleep more comfortable.

*Note that this is not true of the PrenaBelt®  Luna attachment, which works differently. The PrenaBelt®  Luna attachment allows you to spend some time sleeping flat on your back. The PrenaBelt®  Luna attachment activates your body’s natural mechanism to avoid discomfort during sleep and, through this mechanism, reduces the amount of time you spend sleeping flat on your back.[3,4]

  1. Dorrian J, Warland J, Accuracy of Self-Reported Sleep Position in Late Pregnancy. PLoS ONE, 2014.
  2. Wilson DL, et al. Polysomnographic analysis of maternal sleep position and its relationship to pregnancy complications and sleep-disordered breathing. Sleep, 2022.
  3. Warland J, et al. Modifying maternal sleep position in late pregnancy through positional therapy: A feasibility study. J Clin Sleep Med, 2018.
  4. Kember AJ, et al. Modifying maternal sleep position in the third trimester of pregnancy with positional therapy: a randomised pilot trial. BMJ Open, 2018.

How common is sleeping on the back in pregnancy? I’m pregnant, but I don’t sleep on my back because…

Sleeping on the back in the third trimester of pregnancy is more common than you may think. According to published studies that have used video-based determination of sleeping position, including two research studies that we published, an average of 56 to 166 minutes per night (9.5-47% of sleep time) is spent sleeping on the back in the third trimester of pregnancy.[1-7] At approximately 120 minutes per night on the back, this translates to over 10,080 minutes (168 hours) on the back over the third trimester.

We and our collaborators have demonstrated that pregnant women underestimate the absolute percentage of time they spend sleeping on the back by an average of 7%.[1] This is best illustrated by an example: When asked about what percentage of the night she thinks she slept on her back, she will say 10%, when it was actually 17% based on a video analysis. In relative terms, her estimate is off by 44%.

Others have shown that self-reported sleeping position in comparison to video-determined position is moderately accurate but with large individual differences in reporting accuracy (up to 3.5 hours difference).[5] In non-pregnant persons, self-reports are moderately accurate only for the "major position" (the position that the person spent the majority of their sleep time in) but not for time spent in different positions for those who changed positions during sleep.[8] In fact, for people who change position more frequently, the accuracy of self-reported major position decreases, and many people are unaware of the fact that they slept in different positions.[8] Furthermore, sleep onset position and waking position are not accurately recalled [3,9] and do not account for all the positions occurring between sleep onset and waking. This accuracy problem makes sense because it is difficult to recollect an unconscious state or state of fluctuating consciousness. Adults even have trouble recollecting their body position while conscious; the best data indicates that 30% of adults incorrectly recollect their position at sleep onset.[9] 

  1. Kember AJ, et al. Modifying maternal sleep position in the third trimester of pregnancy with positional therapy: a randomised pilot trial. BMJ Open, 2018.
  2. Warland J, et al. Modifying maternal sleep position in late pregnancy through positional therapy: A feasibility study. J Clin Sleep Med, 2018.
  3. McIntyre JP, et al. A description of sleep behaviour in healthy late pregnancy, and the accuracy of self-reports. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth, 2016.
  4. O’Brien L, Warland J. Typical sleep positions in pregnant women. Early Hum Dev, 2014.
  5. Dorrian J, Warland J. Accuracy of Self-Reported Sleep Position in Late Pregnancy. PLoS ONE, 2014.
  6. Wilson DL, et al.  Decreased sleep efficiency, increased wake after sleep onset and increased cortical arousals in late pregnancy. Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol, 2011.
  7. Dunietz GL, et al. Sleep position and breathing in late pregnancy and perinatal outcomes. J Clin Sleep Med, 2020.
  8. Yu CKC. Why is Self-Report of Sleep Position Sometimes Unreliable? Sleep Hyp, 2018.
  9. Russo K, Bianchi MT. How Reliable Is Self-Reported Body Position during Sleep? J Clin Sleep Med, 2016.

Can I use my skin cream and use the PrenaBelt®  against my bare skin?

Yes, of course! Ideally, the skin cream should be non-greasy and have time to absorb before you put the PrenaBelt®  in direct contact with your skin.

I am packing my bags for the hospital and wondering if I should bring my PrenaBelt® ?

If the hospital allows you to bring pillows, a car seat, and other personal items, you should be able to bring your PrenaBelt® ! You may also want to bring your Vela thermal attachment to warm up and use as needed* as you may have access to a microwave on the maternity ward. 

*WARNING: If you receive an epidural, do not use the Vela thermal attachment at or below the level of the epidural block because your sensation will be reduced, and this could result in thermal injury to your skin if you warm the Vela too much. In all likelihood, if you have a good and working epidural, you will not have a need for Vela! Do not use Vela again until after you have delivered your baby and your epidural, spinal, or combined epidural-spinal has completely worn off (your entire sensation has returned). As always, do not use Vela if you have any problems with sensation, and ask your healthcare provider should you have any questions.


I loved my PrenaBelt®  Norma attachment so much that my partner and I would like to name our newborn daughter Norma! Is that okay?

Of course! We are honoured that you have chosen such a great name for your daughter. The Norma’s all around the world will be so excited to welcome your daughter to continue the legacy of their name!


Is there any evidence that maternity belt use reduces core strength?

There is no evidence for a reduction in core strength due to use of MSGs. Quintero-Rodriguez and Troynikov’s recent systematic review on the effects of maternity support garments (MSG) used as the sole intervention for alleviation of pain and discomfort during pregnancy concluded that, "wearing MSGs during pregnancy could have beneficial effects in women such as low back pain and pelvic girdle pain alleviation, improvement of functionality and mobility, and reduction of risk of fall during pregnancy; however, the mechanisms of the garments' actions as well as the duration of the garments' effectiveness are not elucidated through the studies." 

Source: Quintero Rodriguez C, Troynikov O. The Effect of Maternity Support Garments on Alleviation of Pains and Discomforts during Pregnancy: A Systematic Review. J Pregnancy, 2019.


Why is the PrenaBelt®  packaging so simple?

The PrenaBelt®  packaging is plain and simple on purpose. Doing so helps us reduce our carbon footprint, keep our prices low, and focus more on what really matters — designing evidence-based, safe, effective, comfortable, and high-quality products for pregnancy.

Please do not throw away your PrenaBelt®  box. If applicable, we ask that you please use it to store your PrenaBelt®  between pregnancies.

    Disclaimer: The information provided on this page is for informational purposes only and is not professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or care, nor is it intended to be a substitute therefore.

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