Hormones released during pregnancy and the expanding uterus can affect leg veins. This increases the risks of complications such as edema, phlebitis and thrombosis during pregnancy.
This is due to several factors, including
- increase of blood volume
- loss of venous wall toxicity
- pressure increase in the leg veins, caused by the position of the baby
- change of blood consistency increasing the risk of blood clot formation
Furthermore, history of venous disease in the family, pre-existing venous condition, multiple pregnancies, and prolonged sitting or standing can further increase the risks of venous disorders during pregnancy.
It is therefore advisable for pregnant women to
- Avoid prolonged standing or sitting
- Elevate your feet and legs
- Avoid exposure to hot temperatures (hot baths, saunas, sunbathing)
- Move, walk, swim, bike
- Refresh your legs with a cool shower
- Wear compression stockings
Compression socks – what is it?
Compression therapy has been around since antiquity (Lippi 2011, Galanaud 2013). It is the most effective way to prevent swelling, decrease venous pressure, prevents venous stasis and impairments of venous walls, and relieves heavy and aching legs. Clinical studies have shown that compression therapy is effective against venous complications during pregnancy and in the postpartum period (Büchtemann 1999). This is most commonly practiced by the usage of compression stockings which are specialised hosiery designed to help prevent the occurrence of, and guard against further progression of, venous disorders such as edema, phlebitis and thrombosis (Miramar 2004).
Compression stockings are elastic garments worn around the leg, compressing the limb. This reduces the diameter of distended veins and increases venous blood flow velocity and valve effectiveness. Knee-high compression stockings are used not only to help increase circulation, but also to help prevent the formation of blood clots in the lower legs. They also aid in the treatment of ulcers of the lower legs.
How do they work? As compared to traditional socks, compression stockings use stronger elastics to achieve significant pressure. Compression stockings are tightest at the ankles and gradually become less constrictive toward the knees and thighs. As pressure is applied on the surface veins, arteries and muscles, circulating blood is forced through narrower channels. This results in an increased of the arterial pressure, which leads to more blood returning to the heart.
Young mothers can enjoy a healthier and more comfortable pregnancy from the use of compression socks. Strengthening the veins within the legs, activities including work and travel become efficient by putting mothers at ease. The prevention of injuries during pregnancy secures a healthy birth and creates the best opportunity for a seamless delivery. Through the use of compression technology, mothers find pregnancy less daunting, and feel unhindered in day to day living.
*I was gifted Link Socks products for the review. No additional monetary compensation has been received. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and written according to my experience in using the products/services. Sponsors have been notified that I am not obliged to write a review upon receipt of sponsored service/items, should I find the products/services unsuitable.