Pregnancy is a special stage in every woman's life. You may grow glowing skin, thick hair, and the first kick in the womb may be the cutest feeling. At the same time, your legs have to take a lot during pregnancy due to hormonal changes and a growing uterus.
Because your body produces nearly 50% more fluid during pregnancy, swelling is a common condition that can cause pain or discomfort. Compression therapy can be used during pregnancy to prevent tightness and heaviness in the legs. Fortunately, there's an easy way to ease this pain: put on a pair of compression socks.
Compression stockings are therapeutic stockings that squeeze your legs and ankles to help your blood vessels work more efficiently. They improve circulation by relaxing the muscles and arteries in the lower extremities and encouraging blood flow back to the heart.
Compression stockings come in different lengths and offer different levels of pressure. Stockings below the knee can reduce swelling in the calves, ankles, and feet. Thigh compression stockings prevent blood from pooling or pooling in your veins.
There are two main types of compression stockings: anti-embolic stockings and gradient stockings.
Anti-embolism socks. These socks help maintain blood circulation and prevent blood clots. They are often used for patients who are bedridden after surgery.
Gradient compression socks. Most people, including pregnant women, wear graduated compression socks with varying levels of tightness. These socks are tightest around your ankles and will fit looser around your knees or thighs. If you are not sure which stress level is right for you, talk to your doctor.
Why Wear Compression Socks During Pregnancy
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), pregnant women are five times more likely to develop DVT than non-pregnant women.
Pregnant women's blood clots more easily. This is thought to prevent excessive blood loss during labor. Leg tension and swelling are possible signs of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). This serious condition requires immediate medical attention.
DVT symptoms include pain, skin discoloration, redness, and a warm feeling. In this condition, blood clots develop in the legs and pelvis, which can rupture and reach the lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism.
Wearing compression stockings makes it easier for the heart to keep blood flowing, preventing blood clots from forming. It prevents the development of varicose veins.
When should you wear compression socks
According to many medical experts, you can start wearing compression stockings from the first trimester. During the first four months, you may notice signs of stagnant blood, swollen ankles, and a pulling sensation in your calf.
Also, edema occurs more often in hot weather and in the evening. So ideally, you should put on compression stockings in the morning before you wake up. Take off your socks at night for retirement or anytime you want to lift your feet.
If you have trouble putting on stockings later in your pregnancy, you can ask a loved one for help.
Finally, compression stockings are not recommended if they feel bad on your skin or cause any medical complications or discomfort.
Undoubtedly, pregnancy involves some possible unpleasant changes and complications. Compression stockings during pregnancy are an easy thing to try for women with sore, swollen legs.
There are hundreds of styles and colors, and different lengths and sizes. When buying a pair, be sure to choose the correct type and size for your size and needs, and always ask your doctor which compressive strength you should be getting.
Wearing compression stockings can relieve discomfort during pregnancy. Benefits include:
Reduce swelling. When you are pregnant, your body produces 50% more fluids. This can cause excessive swelling. Compression stockings provide gentle pressure to help relieve discomfort.
Better circulation and less pain. As the uterus grows, it puts more pressure on the veins. Certain hormones make you more likely to develop blood clots, which can lead to conditions such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Compression stockings can prevent blood clots or blood from building up. Increased blood circulation helps relieve body aches.
Fewer varicose veins. Pregnancy can increase your chances of developing varicose veins. This condition occurs when the small valves in the veins that prevent the backflow of blood are not working properly. Instead of flowing smoothly to your heart, blood collects in the veins and causes them to enlarge and swell.
You can identify varicose veins by their color, i.e. dark blue or dark purple. They may look like knots or ropes running up and down your legs. Compression stockings reduce the size of these veins by improving circulation.
things to consider
Here are some things to consider when buying compression socks:
size. Typically, you'll search for compression socks that are the same size as regular socks or shoes. Some brands offer letter sizes similar to pantyhose. Most are classified as small, medium, large or extra large. Read the label carefully to find the most accurate fit.
pressure. Compression socks perform as advertised, providing gentle support. Yes, you will feel more pressure, but make sure the compression level is right for you. If the fabric penetrates into your skin or is uncomfortable, choose a lighter level. It may take some time to find the brand or pairing that works best for you.
practicality. Don't put them on like regular socks, the compression stockings have to roll onto the legs, similar to pantyhose. Bends get more difficult as you approach the end of your pregnancy, so make sure they're relatively easy to put on and take off.
when to see a doctor
No prescription is required if you wear compression stockings to relieve pregnancy discomfort. However, see your doctor if you notice any of the following:
Skin irritation, redness, or changes in skin color, which are usually signs of infection
Pain or swelling in only one leg. This may indicate a blood clot.