Hormonal influences during pregnancy can cause varicose veins as increased progestin levels can dilate or open the veins. The risk of varicose veins in women is significantly higher than that in men. There is some data to suggest that hormonal conditions can exacerbate varicose veins.
While you can’t prevent the circulatory changes that occur during pregnancy, there are some ways you can prevent or minimise varicose veins.
One method to alleviate the pain is to use special compression stockings which are being hailed as a panacea for pregnancy ailments. People have many questions on compression stockings and we’re here to answer those questions and more.
Pregnancy, Swelling & Compression Stockings
Blood volume changes in normal pregnancy with your body’s processes slow down to accommodate the new life inside you. There is little increase during the first trimester, followed by a progressive rise to a maximum at about 34-36 week. In addition, your growing uterus puts pressure on the inferior vena cava, a vein that carries blood from the legs and feet to the heart, further contributing to varicose veins.
If vena cava is restricted in some way, blood will pool in the feet and leg. These factors lead to swollen, painful legs. This condition is known as edema and pain is only one part of the problem and there are bigger dangers of neglecting varicose veins.
Wearing knee-length compression stockings can work wonders because they not only prevent the phenomenon but also strengthen calf muscles and increase blood flow.
Do Compression Stockings Help Prevent or Reduce Leg Pain During Pregnancy?
Almost always. Compression stockings can help reduce the swelling in your feet and relieve the pain if you are having any.
But of course, along with support hose, there are several other things you can do to help with the discomfort and pain caused by leg veins. Other options for treating leg veins during pregnancy include to avoid sitting or standing in the same position for long periods of time, maintaining the weight recommended by your specialists and to lie on your left side when resting or sleeping, as it prevents excess pressure on this vein. Drinking plenty of water can also help your body maintain a proper fluid balance.
Varicose veins are more likely to show up during pregnancy because of all the extra work the body does during that time. Once the stress of pregnancy goes away, varicose veins often go away with it.
How Does Compression Stockings Work?
As your belly expands during pregnancy, along with the added pressure that your baby puts on your body, your veins start to dilate, which means they will work less efficiently.
Compression stockings promote circulation and help the blood flow to your heart through the venous system. Compression stockings do this by adding gradual amounts of pressure to your leg. Most of the compression occurs at your ankles and gradually decreases as it wraps further up your leg.
Will Compression Stockings Prevent Blood Clots & Deep Vein Thrombosis?
No, they won’t prevent them. However, they will greatly reduce the risk of getting them. That’s why if you only wear compression socks once during your pregnancy, it should be during a long car or plane ride, since that’s when you’re most likely to develop dangerous blood clots.
Will Compression Stockings Dislodge a Current Blood Clot?
No, and it’s a good thing that they don’t, since a dislodged blood clot can be deadly. In many cases, wearing compression socks is a part of the treatment for an existing blood clot. Of course, consult your doctor before making any sort of decision regarding this.
Will I Put My Baby at Risk if I Don’t Wear Compression Stockings?
Since there are only benefits, no downsides, to compression during pregnancy, you could say that. It’s more helpful as better blood flow means that your baby is getting more of nutrients it needs and as hugely appreciated bonus, it can help to keep the heart-rate of mother and child steady. Plus, compression socks help to prevent blood clots, which can be fatal to you and your baby.
Can I Sleep In Compression Stockings While Pregnant?
Yes, you may but some may find it uncomfortable. There is no harm in not wearing your socks 24 hours a day, so if it helps your pain or gives you more peace of mind, go for it.
Are There Reasons Why I Shouldn’t Wear Compression Stockings?
Here’s to a smooth, healthy pregnancy!
Hopefully as you move forward in your motherhood journey, you feel more informed to make decisions for you and your baby! If you’re looking for a place to buy reliable compression stockings, check out our online store to experience it yourself!