What is a Prenatal Cradle? (with pictures)

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel
A pregnant woman experiencing pains in her lower back may benefit from a prenatal cradle.
A pregnant woman experiencing pains in her lower back may benefit from a prenatal cradle.

A prenatal cradle is a device that is worn by pregnant women to relieve pressure and strain on their lower backs. The device is made out of a few interlocking straps made of a durable material that has a bit of give to it. In most cases, the thickest of these straps fits around the lower back and the underside of a pregnant woman's belly. There may also be a second strap that fits across the middle of the back that is almost as thick as the lower strap. These straps connect to another set of straps that fit over the shoulders.

Performing gentle stretching exercises may help alleviate lower back pain during pregnancy.
Performing gentle stretching exercises may help alleviate lower back pain during pregnancy.

The main purpose of a prenatal cradle is to ease certain kinds of body aches and pains that many pregnant women experience. In addition to pains in the lower back, pregnant women also sometimes experience pains in their hips and straining in their abdomens. A prenatal cradle is meant to help with all of these issues.

A woman who is carrying one child can wear a prenatal cradle, but the device is more commonly worn by women who are pregnant with multiple babies. As the device is meant to be worn by women of all sizes who are carrying various numbers of babies, the prenatal cradle comes in a number of sizes. Most models are also adjustable so that they can expand as the mother's pregnancy progresses and also so that they can be fitted to the mother's body to give her the best possible support.

A prenatal cradle may help reduce pain in the abdomen and hips.
A prenatal cradle may help reduce pain in the abdomen and hips.

There are also prenatal cradle models that are made using only one strap. This model is sometimes referred to as a "mini prenatal cradle." These cradles are useful for mothers who are in the early or middle stages of their pregnancies. The mini prenatal cradle is also good for women who prefer not to wear a prenatal cradle with shoulder straps either for comfort or aesthetic purposes.

Prenatal cradles are designed to be worn easily under clothing.
Prenatal cradles are designed to be worn easily under clothing.

Most models, whether miniature or otherwise, are designed so that they can be easily worn under clothing along with normal underwear. In most cases, a prenatal cradle fits over a bra and underwear without interfering with the garments. The cradle is also concealed under most types of standard women's apparel. A pregnant woman who is planning to wear gowns or strapless dresses may choose to wear a miniature version of the cradle, which will be hidden by any garment that fully covers her belly.

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for , Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for , Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

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    • A pregnant woman experiencing pains in her lower back may benefit from a prenatal cradle.
      A pregnant woman experiencing pains in her lower back may benefit from a prenatal cradle.
    • Performing gentle stretching exercises may help alleviate lower back pain during pregnancy.
      Performing gentle stretching exercises may help alleviate lower back pain during pregnancy.
    • A prenatal cradle may help reduce pain in the abdomen and hips.
      A prenatal cradle may help reduce pain in the abdomen and hips.
    • Prenatal cradles are designed to be worn easily under clothing.
      Prenatal cradles are designed to be worn easily under clothing.
    • A prenatal cradle may help support a growing pregnancy belly.
      A prenatal cradle may help support a growing pregnancy belly.