Do Maternity Compression Stockings Works?

Pregnancy is the main cause for the development of varicose veins. According to a report from Swiss Medical Weekly, fifty-five percent of women who have had two or more full-term pregnancies, and thirty percent of women who pregnant for the first time develop varicose veins. Pregnant women are also included in the high-risk group for the development of a Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). While increased blood volume at full term is one of the factors which lead to DVT, increased blood coagulability due to hormonal changes during pregnancy can also cause DVT. One can maintain good health of the legs by wearing compression socks, regardless whether pregnant or not.

 

Professional Doctor Advice On Compression Socks During Pregnancy?

Susan B. Fox, DO, RPVI, FSVM

Thigh highs are in fact recommended and not at all dangerous. They are essentially pregnancy stockings with a waist band that goes bigger as you do. The majority of my patients go for thigh high hose unless they have vulvar varices. It is easy to wear the thigh highs without compromising blood flow and they are helpful for venous return. The same pair of stockings can be worn through your pregnancy and even after as they end at your upper thigh. On the other hand, pregnancy hose is pantyhose and some may find them tight on the belly or cause more heartburn. Whichever you like would depend on the personal decision. We recommend the pregnancy pantyhose if you have vulvar varices.

 

Mario T. Plaza-Ponte, MD

The maternity style is the best compression stockings for pregnant mothers as the stockings come with 40 mmHg compression. Special perinatal support garments are also available, just in case if the patient has developed varicose veins in the perineum during her late pregnancy.

 

Gregg A. Reger, MD

Maternity compression hose is waist high and they have loose and comfortable abdominal section. When worn, compression hose would reduce fluid retention and edema in the legs, enhance venous blood flow to the heart, help to maintain adequate blood pressure in patients who may experience low pressure in early pregnancies, prevent and reduce the development of varicose veins during pregnancy, and they do not contribute to elevated blood pressure. Thigh high hose may not be comfortable and not suitable to be worn during pregnancy. Compression socks with 15-20 mmHg compression would be sufficient for most patients. If you are already having developed varicose veins in your legs, then higher compression 20-30 mmHg would work better. It can be more difficult to wear them, so you can opt to wear 2 pairs of socks with lighter 20 mmHg on top of each other.

 

How to Choose Maternity support leggings

While compression stockings are made to support areas where you need them most, they are also available in many shapes and sizes. You can go for stockings that target the area where you have the most swelling, it is also wise to consult your doctor on the type which he or she recommends. The compression stockings can be found in three most common sizes:

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  • Knee-high compression stockings.

Known also as compression socks, these stockings give support and relief the swelling in your calf to your ankle. They are made of sock-like material and stocking material.

thigh-high-compression-stockings

  • Thigh-high compression stockings.

These socks function in the same manner with knee-high stocking, but they also give support and relief to your thigh. You should consider this option if your swelling extends to your knees or above.

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  • Maternity Compression Pantyhose

Expectant moms who are experiencing swelling from their back down to their toes would find a friend in a pair of full-length compression stockings. Full-length pantyhose are available in maternity sizes and also regular ones. While both types are measured the same way, the maternity sizes have a band that goes over the belly, and they also give room in the panty area to allow for expansion due to growth. Most maternity compression pantyhose come in quite a few weights of material so that they can be breathable and also flexible for the growth of the belly area.

Most of the future mothers would prefer stockings rather than half-hose and tights as the stockings are more convenient to use and they do not look very different from the normal stockings. All treating clothes come in various sizes, and this is the reason why one should measure herself at home before purchasing any of them. She can then go to a shop and give the measurements to a shop assistant so that she can find a pair of stockings of the correct size. Note that getting the wrong size will not only render the treatment ineffective, they can even cause more harm than good.

Measuring for Support Stockings:

It is ideal to get the measurement at the beginning of the day.

  1. Begin with the smallest part of your ankle circumference, which is the smallest part of your leg. Take the ankle measurement at just above your ankle bone, which is also known as malleolus.
  1. Get your calf’s measurement at its largest circumference.
  1. Proceed to measure your thigh at the point of the largest circumference. You need to be in the standing position when taking this measurement.
  1. Measure you entire leg’s length. There are two options in taking this measurement, depending on your preferences for compression stocking style. If you prefer knee-high stockings, let the measuring tape run from the back of your knee til the base of your heel. For thigh-high stockings, measure from the top of your thigh to the base of your heel when you are in standing position. However, you should get help when measuring the length of your leg for thigh-high compression stockings.

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Compression Stockings mmhg Chart

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Additional Tips for Keeping Your Legs Healthy During Pregnancy

  • Slightly elevate your legs when sleeping during night time. This would improve your blood flow.
  • Wear compression socks even after you have given birth.
  • Move legs regularly. Avoid sitting or standing for long periods of time.
  • Stay active. Exercise as much as you can.

It is not just safe when you wear compression socks during pregnancy, but it is also highly recommended if you have been experiencing leg pain even before pregnancy. This will not only prevent swelling in your legs, it also helps to promote overall leg health.

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