Disclaimer: This is an unsponsored, unaffiliated, honest review. I purchased the product on my own. I am reviewing it because I liked it and relied on reviews when making this purchase.
Running during pregnancy has become more mainstream over the past decade or so. Female elites such as Alysia Montano raced with prominent bumps and baby bumps have graced the cover of Runner’s World. With more women running through their pregnancies, a niche emerged in the running gear market: maternity activewear.
Throughout pregnancy, my bump would change sizes based on my baby’s positioning. I commonly would finish a run looking more pregnant than when I started. I needed a support band that would easily stretch as I ran – and the traditional belts did not offer that. I tried on one traditional belt and it felt as if it would be uncomfortable for running.
I learned about the BaoBei support bands through Instagram. A few female runners I followed wore this band during their pregnancies and were able to run through term. Around 25 weeks, I noticed more round ligament pain and I wanted extra support as my bump grew. I order the Bao Bei Speed Bump support band, which arrived within a few days.
From the first run, the Bao Bei SpeedBump Maternity Band became a staple for the remainder of my pregnancy. My runs felt more comfortable, almost to the point of forgetting about my growing bump. I also wore it during strength training for extra support.
The Bao Bei Speed Bump support band (and the similar ProBump band) differs from the typical maternity belt. The difference is comparable underwire bra versus a sports bra. Most maternity belts fasten with velcro immediately the bump and provide significant sport without much flexibility. The Speed Bump band covers the entire torso (from just below the ribcage to just below the hips) with compression material (Perfotex and Spandex) and stretches with your bump.
In my experience, the Bao Bei Speed Bump support band was more comfortable than a traditional maternity belt. The compression fabric offered complete support without feeling too tight. I was worried about the traditional belts chafing on runs, especially since they sit right below my bump; chafing was not an issue with the Bao Bei support band.
The Bao Bei band is breathable and wicking, which is perfect for running. The mesh panel prevents overheating even on summer runs (it also comes in a style without a mesh panel). Since the band provides full coverage, you could even wear it with just a sports bra on really hot days, without worrying about chafing or sunburn.
Thanks to how it supports, the Speed Bump band reduces round ligament pain and lower back discomfort, prevents diastasis recti, and removes pressure from my pelvic floor and bladder. It truly makes running while pregnant more comfortable. The support from the band made a slight dfference in my form – I arched my lower back less – which in turn reduced calf tighness I had from changes in my form. I barely notice the band itself, but just notice that I feel more comfortable on my runs.
The Bao Bei Speed Bump band comes in sizes XS (US sizes 0-4) through L (US sizes 14-16), based on your pre-pregnancy size. Since I wore a size 2-4 pre-pregnancy, I ordered an XS and it fit perfectly. It was not too loose at 25 weeks but had room to stretch as my bump grew. ( I have a long torso and am 5’9, so I carry on the smaller side.)
While I have not tried it, the band can be worn for extra support in postpartum running, especially if you experience diastasis recti.
I highly, highly recommend the Bao Bei Speed Bump band for any pregnant runner – it is well worth the $59. Be mindful that a band provides support, but does not replace common sense. Only run as feels comfortable in pregnancy and scale back as your pregnancy progresses. Take extra care of your body with foam rolling, stretching, pregnancy-friendly core work, strength training, and pelvic floor work.
If you ran during pregnancy, what piece of gear made a difference for you?