Why wear compression socks when your pregnant? Pregnancy is a time when physical changes occur rapidly to the all parts of the body and skin.
Whilst pregnant you will produce 50% more blood and body fluids. This can cause some swelling in parts of your body, like face, hands, ankles, legs and feet (commonly known as edema). Extra fluid is normal and helps prepare the body for the baby’s delivery. The extra fluid can account for around 25% of the weight women gain during a pregnancy. Pregnancy, particularly from the second trimester, can put extra pressure on the veins around the ovaries, uterus and vagina, causing venous insufficiency. Click here to learn more about venous insufficiency – commonly known as varicose veins.
So how can we help you during pregnancy? We offer compression therapy – which is almost always recommended (from the 2nd trimester) to pregnant women by our two vascular specialists, in order to prevent symptoms such as aching lower legs, heaviness, dull aching as well as swollen ankles and feet.
Compression socks (or stockings) are designed to make veins drain faster and more efficiently. They do this by compressing the calf muscle – therefore pushing blood back up to the heart. By doing this compression socks can help prevent
- Pooling of blood in your lower limbs
- Dull aching, throbbing or itching at the end of the day
- Varicose veins
- Blood clots forming in your lower limbs
So to summarise – by wearing compression socks throughout the day, especially when your standing, you promote blood circulation and alleviates discomfort in the legs. Swelling (around ankles and feet) is reduced. Compression helps reduce the risk of developing varicose veins or a clot during your pregnancy.
What makes a compression sock different to a normal sock? Compression socks are made from a special snug elastic hosiery weave that gently squeezes your leg. You will find with compression that they feel tighter around your ankle and get looser as they go up your leg. Compression of the calf muscle – helping your blood return to your heart, is what makes a compression sock different to a normal sock.
Types of compression socks suitable for you during pregnancy. There are three different types of what is called gradient or graduated compression socks or stockings. Grade 1-3 have different pressure at the ankle.
Most commonly we prescribe Grade 1, knee high compression socks for pregnant women. These can be re-used as travel socks after your baby is born. We stock an extensive range of plain and patterned, plain and breathable fabrics – suitable for your lifestyle and fashion sense.
We offer a FREE custom fitting with one of our friendly trained staff. Click here to book an appointment today.