How the use of compression tights during pregnancy can help prevent circulation problems
The benefits of graduated compression hosiery can be overlooked, yet something as basic as improving our blood circulation for the benefit of our health is such an easy thing to do. Yet many of us still don’t know enough about wearing compression tights during pregnancy and in particular, how easy it is to help ourselves to prevent many symptoms of future circulatory problems.
Most people* can benefit from graduated compression hosiery at certain times in their lives and there are particular times when we really need it most;
- During and after pregnancy
- At times when we’re immobile, like on a plane or in a wheelchair
- During sport and exercise
The extra help we gain from graduated compression hosiery allows our blood circulation to perform better and can help eliminate circulatory problems such as spider and varicose veins, water retention, restless legs, leg fatigue and Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).
Compression tights during pregnancy
Being pregnant means that you are carrying extra weight around for the best part of nine months, so not only do your veins have extra blood flow travelling through them, they will also have the added pressure from the weight of the baby and will have to work harder as everything starts to soften in preparation for your birth. This is a crucial time to start wearing graduated compression hosiery, otherwise, you risk ending up with varicose veins, swollen ankles due to water retention, heavy, tired, aching feet and legs, haemorrhoids and varicosities of the Vulva.
Graduated compression hosiery works by exerting a small amount of pressure at the ankle, a little less pressure is given at the calf and even less at the thigh, gradually pushing the blood back up the leg and towards the heart. Once worn, you cannot feel the pressure being exerted by the hosiery and you do not have to look frumpy – modern compression tights are made to look like your normal, everyday versions, so no one could even tell the difference.
Midwives and doctors have been prescribing compression hosiery, or ‘support’ hosiery for years. You may probably be familiar with ’TEDs’, which are anti-embolism stockings given to patients to wear while they are in hospital. They work in a similar way, where they help improve blood circulation and help prevent blood clots travelling round the body while the body is immobile.Y ou’re probably also familiar with compression socks sold for thoss travelling on long-haul flights. In particular, women who are flying while pregnant are advised to wear compression tights or socks for the journey.
Know what you are buying
It’s important to know that when you are buying ‘support’ hosiery that they are manufactured with an “mmHg”, a medical measurement of compression, as without this the hosiery will not give you any medically correct therapeutic benefits at all. Please be aware of this, as many high street retailers stock nylon hosiery advertised as ‘support’ hosiery but it might not be manufactured with an “mmHg”. It won’t do you any harm, in fact, in won’t do anything for you at all in the way of improving your blood flow, it’ll be like wearing normal hosiery and won’t give you any therapeutic relief or support. So look out for the “mmHg”, as only quality, medically correct compression hosiery will give you what you need.
With thanks to Pebble UK for their help with this content.
Learn more about varicose veins during pregnancy.
For more on products to help prevent varicose veins, please go to Pebble‘s website.
*Those who suffer with arterial circulatory problems should not use compression hosiery. Diabetics should seek the advice of a doctor before using compression hosiery. If unsure, always seek the advice of your doctor before using compression hosiery.