The Reliefband is a wearable technology that has been FDA cleared and clinically proven to treat nausea and vomiting associated with motion sickness, pregnancy, and virtual reality gaming all without the need for medication. This anti-nausea device sells for $94.99 and a tube of replacement gel sells for $14.99 on the company’s website.
Author’s Note: This review was written by my wife, Stacey, and it is from her perspective; I do not write in the third person, and I do not suffer from morning sickness.
I never experienced the glow of pregnancy. I never experienced the fun in being able to send my husband out to get me a milkshake at 2am, because “the baby wanted one.” I never experienced the excitement of pigging out at the Chinese buffet since I was “eating for two.” What I have experienced was the dark side of pregnancy: food aversions, extreme exhaustion, and the almost unbearable 24/7 “morning” sickness. The anti-nausea medication helped me survive the day, but it always left me feeling unsettled. I hated thinking about what this drug could be doing to my unborn child. When Perry told me that I could review the Reliefband, a new watch-like device that was supposed to relieve nausea, I knew I needed to try it.
How it Works
We knew we were going to try to get pregnant with our second child and we also knew that the awful morning sickness would shortly follow. This time, however, I felt ready to tackle it without medication since I had the Reliefband. According to the Reliefband’s website, Reliefband is, “clinically proven, FDA cleared wearable technology for the treatment of nausea and vomiting associated with motion sickness, morning sickness, and VR gaming.” It works by sending pulses down the median nerve (on the inside of your wrist) all the way to the “nausea control center” of your brain. The pulses are supposed to interfere with the signals between the brain and the stomach that cause nausea and ultimately, restore gastric rhythm and eliminate nausea.
The Reliefband is supposed to help with nausea related to automobiles, trains, cruises, virtual reality, vertigo, pregnancy, airplanes, boating, and amusement park rides. This review will focus solely on my experience with the Reliefband in the first trimester of my pregnancy.
When I first saw Reliefband, I was surprised by its size. It has a face that is larger than my watch and since I have small wrists, it felt somewhat cumbersome to wear. The first step in using the Reliefband is to rub a small amount of conductivity gel onto the area where you will be wearing the band. Reliefband recommends that the gel is reapplied every 2-3 hours. Then, you need to properly situate the band on your wrist so that the metal conductors pulse down the median nerve. This part caused me lots of trouble. If I moved the band too far to one side, I couldn’t feel anything. If I moved it too far to the other side, my finger would either spasm or tighten so that I couldn’t move it.
The directions stated to move around the band until you feel tingling in your palm or middle finger, but I was never quite able to achieve the perfect spot. Also, because the face is so large, I had trouble keeping it comfortably stable in one location. If I made the band tight to keep it in place, then the band would begin to hurt. If I loosened the band, then I would constantly need to readjust the face.
My other issue with the size of the band was that it was definitely not easy to conceal. Most morning sickness symptoms occur during the first trimester of pregnancy, which is also a time when women don’t typically publicize their exciting news. As a high school teacher, I would be uncomfortable with wearing the band during the school day in fear of having either a colleague or an overly observant and outspoken teenager ask what was on my wrist. Luckily, my first trimester began in the late fall and continued through the winter so I was able to cover the band with long-sleeves, but I was very aware of keeping my sleeves down all day. However, if the weather were warmer and I was wearing short sleeves, I would not have worn the Reliefband to work.
Does it Work?
When my morning sickness first began, the Reliefband did seem to bring me some much-needed relief. I found that the nausea subsided within a few minutes of wearing the band. The pulsing was, at times, hard to ignore and sometimes distracted me from what I was doing, but I preferred the distraction of the pulsing over the distraction of feeling nauseated. The strength of the pulse is adjustable, but you do need to adjust it high enough so you can feel it or it won’t work. Unfortunately, as the pregnancy progressed and the hormones increased, so did the morning sickness. Once the nausea became worse, the Reliefband no longer provided any relief.
Overall Thoughts About the Reliefband
Although the Reliefband is larger and more noticeable than my watch and was at times difficult to fit properly, it did bring me some relief from nausea during the early stages of morning sickness. However, once the intensity of my morning sickness increased, the Reliefband did not seem to help. Even though I stopped wearing the band and had to resort to returning to medicinal relief, I would recommend the Reliefband to other pregnant friends to try in hopes that it may work for them. This review is based solely on my non-scientific experience and individual experiences may vary greatly.
You can purchase the Reliefband directly from the manufacturer at their website.
Source: The Reliefband was a manufacturer provided review sample.
What I Like: FDA cleared; Clinically proven; Wide variety of uses; Brought relief for minor nausea; Natural alternative to medication
What Needs Improvement: Size; Cost