Despite the fact that varicose veins and swelling aren’t unusual during pregnancy, they often cause discomfort to the expectant mother. Therefore, doctors often prescribe compression stockings for varicose veins to prevent and reduce these pregnancy conditions.
Varicose socks have an effective function in reducing the accumulation of blood in a single area. In this way cause healthy blood to flow throughout the body. Therefore, if you suffer from leg pain or swelling during pregnancy, compression socks will be the best choice for you.
What are Varicose Veins?
As your body prepares to support the new life growing inside you, more blood and fluids are produced. In addition, your growing uterus also begins to put pressure on a vein, also called the vena cava. This vein is responsible for carrying blood from your legs to your heart.
All these factors can cause swollen and painful feet. This swelling is known as edema, which is very normal during pregnancy.
Approximately 75% of pregnant women experience these symptoms after 27 weeks of pregnancy. However, this symptom usually doesn't subside until after your baby is born. That means you have to put up with the discomfort and pain!
In this way, wearing varicose stockings may help reduce and release pressure from the feet and ankles. These socks offer to apply cross-sectional pressure. This means they put more pressure on the feet and ankles and less pressure on the calves.
This action helps improve blood flow by directing blood from the legs to the heart. For this reason, you can wear these pregnancy compression socks for pain relief.
Why do you get Varicose Veins during Pregnancy?
Varicose veins during pregnancy can be seen in different parts of the body, including the legs. This condition may lead to discomfort, heaviness or even leg pain. The most common causes of varicose veins in pregnancy are:
This hormone increases during pregnancy. Progesterone is necessary for a healthy pregnancy, but it also relaxes the blood vessels. Blood does not move easily through these relaxed vessels. As the blood accumulates, the pressure inside the vein increases and the vein enlarges.
Increased blood volume
The volume of blood in a woman's body increases during pregnancy. More blood generally means more blood in the veins, which increases the pressure on the valves and vein walls.
The growing fetus inside the uterus puts pressure on the organs and blood vessels in the abdomen. Blood travels from the leg veins to the pelvic or lower abdominal veins before returning to the heart. The pressure exerted by the uterus on these vessels located in the pelvic region prevents blood from flowing from the legs.
Benefits of Wearing Pregnancy Compression Socks
These socks are one of the most effective methods of treatment and prevention of vein-related diseases during pregnancy. They have countless benefits and will not cause any complications or problems. Varicose stockings:
- Helps to reduce the added load on the mother’s legs
- Prevents edema and varicose veins
- Reduce the risk of forming blood clots
- Improves the flow of blood and oxygen to the muscles and helps the person to move around better
- Reduces muscle spasms (cramps) and relieves pain
- Has zero side effects for the mother and the baby
- Combines health with practicality. It is not necessary to pull it over your growing belly and this helps make frequent trips to the bathroom more comfortable.
- Comfortable, attractive, and easily available in different sizes and ranges
- Helps shape your body and gives pregnant women the confidence to do careers and daily tasks
- Has a fabric that is moisture-wicking.
Are there Complications in Compression Socks for Pregnancy?
In addition to the mentioned benefits, wearing varicose stockings without consulting a doctor may cause you problems, including the following. Therefore, before buying pregnancy compression socks, it is recommended to talk to your doctor.
- These socks are a little tricky to get on and off during the last months of pregnancy.
- It is very tight and compressive, especially for people who are not used to wearing tight clothes. You may also feel itchy and your skin gets dry
- During summers, it is not very comfortable to wear.
Best Compression Socks for Pregnancy
All compression stockings are made exclusively in a seamless fashion, from fabrics in which the body can “breathe”. The structure of these pregnancy compression socks takes into account all the anatomical changes in the pregnant mother's body. So, they are able to make it feel lighter and more comfortable. They are made of various fabrics including spandex, lycra, nylon, polyester, and wool.
They come in different lengths, sizes, and styles. Some of them include: toe to knee length (knee high compression socks), below the knee to thigh length, and full length.
Main types of compression socks
Anti-embolism stockings/anti-thromboembolism stockings (TED): these are good choices for after surgery and when you are immobile. These socks require professional and specialized adjustments.
Varicose Vein Socks: Good for when you have a lot of irritation. These socks also require professional and specialized adjustments
Non-medical socks: support socks and passenger socks for air travel to relieve pain and possible tiredness of the feet. A doctor's prescription is not required to use these socks. They can be obtained in most pharmacies as well as online shops.
When is the Best Time to wear Compression Socks during Pregnancy?
Many experts recommend pregnant women wear varicose stockings. From the beginning of the 4th month, significant signs of stagnation of blood may appear.
A feeling of continuous fatigue and swelling of the lower leg area (especially the ankle) is also visible. In addition, a feeling of stretching and stiffness in the back of the leg increases as the day ends. This can irritate pregnant women.
Therefore, to prevent varicose veins, it is useful to use compression socks pregnancy regularly in all trimesters of pregnancy.
When should you Wear Pregnancy Compression Socks?
Swelling often occurs in warm weather and at night, especially if you have been standing on your feet for a long time. Therefore, it is recommended that you wear compression socks for pregnancy in the morning, even before getting out of bed. Only take them off at night before going to bed.
There is no doubt that there is an exception. You are certainly not expected to wear your compression socks while showering or swimming!
If you need a reason not to wear your varicose stockings throughout the day, it is recommended that you do not try to wear them again. This is because your legs are no longer in the correct “swelling-free” condition. In these cases, put them aside till the next morning.
It should be noted that in the later months of pregnancy, wearing varicose stockings may become more difficult. At this time, it is better to ask your dear ones for help. After all, the quality of graduated compression and the medical conditions of the pregnant woman depend on whether these socks are worn correctly or not.
When you cannot Wear Pregnancy Compression Socks?
If you have a medical condition or just don't like that tight feeling of varicose socks on your skin, avoid wearing them. Compression stockings are contraindicated in some diseases such as the following:
- Ischemia (the lack of oxygen in limbs due to PAD that mainly affects the legs)
- Peripheral neuropathy (damage to the nerves in the hands, arms, soles, and feet)
- Congestive heart failure (weakness or stiffness of the heart muscle, so that it cannot pump blood effectively to the body's organs)
- Diabetes (the peripheral neuropathy and peripheral arterial disease, both of which are diabetes complications)
- Cellulitis (an infection deep in the skin, which causes fluid to accumulate)
- Allergy (allergic reaction to certain types of fabric such as these socks)
A pregnant mother undergoes many changes from the time of conception to the birth of the baby. One of these changes can include swelling of the legs. It can be a very uncomfortable experience for the mother-to-be. However, there are a few steps you can take to alleviate these pregnancy complications.
One of them is to wear maternity compression socks. Varicose veins socks are specially designed and made of stretch fabric that have a certain level of compression properties. They help prevent venous problems by compressing the veins. Thereby keeping the venous valves in order and allowing proper blood circulation to the heart.