Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Review: The Prenatal Cradle - Original

So, being that I'm about 85,000 weeks pregnant with my son (okay, not really, 31w3d,) and suffering from a number of musculo-skeletal issues including SPD, I decided I'd go ahead and pick up one of those ever-stylish full-body jock straps prenatal support devices.

I went with the Prenatal Cradle Original (henceforth referred to as the PCO) in XL, per the manufacturer's suggestion.  I'm a big girl at 270 lbs. pre-pregnancy and 5'9" tall.  I've had back and pelvis injuries in the past, so I wanted something that really did a fantastic job of distributing the weight from my growing belly all over the place, instead of just concentrating it.

It should be noted before I go any further that purchasing the  PCO in a brick-and-mortar store in my area was impossible.  Of the three maternity stores we have, none carried or were willing to special order it in for me.  I ordered online from the retailer who offered the lowest price and fastest shipping.  I'm a single mom - I'm all about bargains.  The downside would be their strict no-return policy on "personal wear" - very understandable.

Let's start with the Aesthetics first.  What can I say, it looks like a giant jock-strap.  Seriously.  Same elastic webbing, same weird triangular shape, and me without a protective helmet to act as the cup.  It's stated that it can be worn above or below clothes, but trust me ladies... you don't want to wear it above.

Comfort:  Well, you're wrapped up in elastic webbing.  Not terribly comfortable.  Still, it does allow for a very decent range of motion, and isn't as rigid as some prenatal support devices are.  It breathes well, so there's little skin irritation.  It should be noted here that the PCO is LATEX FREE.  Score one for us anaphylactics!

Fit:  Here is where I can't decide to cheer or boo.  Given my very plus-sized stature, I ordered the XL, per the manufacturer's recommendation.  Pre-pregnancy I'm a pant size 22/24 W, and a top size 26/28 W.  I'm 5'9" tall and 270 pre-preg.  Obviously, I've gained a bit more since then.

The fit is... extremely generous.  I would wager to guess that a woman who falls into the 30W to 34W size range would benefit best from the XL.

On me, it's absolutely lacking support and slack in some areas.

Sorely, sorely disappointed if only because of the lack of return policy and my desperate need for it.

My solution at this point was to take it in at a few crucial places, namely the apex in the middle of the back where the shoulder straps met and the sides of the underbelly strap.

Once those adjustments were made (OPC XL now fits like the L is described size-wise,) we had success!!!!

I have a history of birthing large babies.  My first was a 10 lb vaginal birth, and my son appears to be following in his sister's footsteps. 

With the step-down in size, I have the support I need to be able to do things like get up off the couch, drive, and even bend if I do it gently.

Overall impression:  Run extremely large sizewise, but true to it's marketing promises otherwise.  Offers decent amount of support, comfort, and elastic is latex-free.  Good buy, but try it on first if at all possible.


  1. was urs by anychance this one on amazon?