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Pregnancy can be an exciting time; however, it can also come with its stresses and strains. A woman’s body will go through immense changes during the nine months of gestation, and it’s all to make sure that they can deliver a healthy baby. However, there are still a number of side effects during maternity which can result in continued aches and pains. One of the best ways to combat pregnancy discomfort is to wear maternity compression socks – and we will cover them in detail shortly.

Why should you wear compression socks when pregnant? Are they safe? Do doctors recommend them? Firstly, don’t worry. All of our maternity socks are designed to provide ongoing relief and support to pregnant women and new mothers. In many cases, medical professionals will recommend that you wear them if you are particularly suffering! Before we talk about pregnancy socks and their benefits; it is a good idea to first look at some facts.

Pregnant Woman standing in front of a tree

Stresses and Strains

Some of the stresses and strains pregnant women go through are well-known. Back pain, fatigue, changing moods and more besides. That’s all without mentioning some of the swellings that can arrive alongside. Many pregnant women, around a third to one half; may develop what is known as varicose veins. These can become painful, leading to tired legs, ankles and feet.

What’s more, varicose and spider veins can grow purple and can cause painful cramping and heaviness in the lower extremities. It is an unfortunate side effect of pregnancy that, thankfully, has many remedies recommended by medical professionals.

It’s not just veins that can cause problems during maternity. Pregnant women are at increased risk of experiencing oedema or swelling in the legs, ankles and feet. This is extremely common for women to be experiencing while carrying a baby. It is also one of the main reasons why so many women opt for pregnancy socks to help lessen the stresses and strains.

Mobility during pregnancy can be restricted primarily due to the added weight of carrying a child. However, painful legs, feet and ankles can also add to such pressure. Let’s explore this in a little more detail.

Why Do Ankles and Feet Swell During Pregnancy?

Swelling of the lower extremities can affect the vast majority of women at any time during their pregnancy, though you will likely start to notice such changes from around the 22nd week onwards. The reason for the swelling is reasonably straightforward. As your body is already overcompensating to care for a new life growing within you, it is producing more fluids.

That means blood and fluid are being pumped out more as your pregnancy continues. That, naturally, can lead to extra stress and strain on your veins, and a build-up of fluid in your bodily tissue. As your legs and feet are at the very bottom of the body, extra fluid can and often will pool here, causing them to swell up.

It is important to remember that while painful and uncomfortable, simple oedema isn’t usually anything to be worried about in terms of long-term health. However, it is always worth looking for a solution to combat additional swelling and strain and to also fight back against cramping and vein growth. This is where pregnancy socks can help.

Do bear in mind that sudden, painful swelling of the legs and feet may be a sign of pre-eclampsia. That is a condition which can occur during pregnancy that will require urgent medical attention at the first sign of symptoms. Such symptoms may include severe headaches, rib pain, vomiting and poor vision. If you are concerned about pre-eclampsia, always consult your doctor who can monitor you.

Pregnant Woman with vase of flowers

It must also be noted that pregnant women are at risk of developing thrombosis. Blood thickens during pregnancy to protect the carrying mother in the event of a miscarriage. With more blood and fluid being pumped out continuously, as well as increased hormone levels, your body is under immense pressure. However, thrombosis and blood disorders can be prevented through careful compression therapy.

Why Use Compression Socks for Pregnancy?

Compression socks aren’t just useful for those who have diabetes or for those who travel in the air on long journeys. Compression stockings of various lengths and sizes can help to reduce the pain of swelling, oedema and vein growth throughout the third trimester of pregnancy (or even before). There are many different reasons why women opt for pregnancy socks during the latter stages of maternity.

  • Compression socks designed for pregnant wearers can help to soothe legs and feet and reduce cramping.
  • That is due to pressure. When worn correctly and with the right size and fit, compression socks for pregnancy gently massage the legs and feet to allow fluids to return to the other areas of the body.
  • This can prevent fluid pooling and oedema and can help to lower the risk of thrombosis after birth.
  • Compression socks work to promote healthy blood circulation. With more blood available, and thicker blood at that, your veins are going to be under immense pressure.
  • As your lower veins will bear the brunt of increased fluid and blood volumes, they will need a little helping hand to help return flow to where it is most needed.
  • Therefore, the regular wearing of compression socks can help to reduce varicose and spider veins.

Your veins will be working overtime to accommodate the new pressures your baby may be putting on you. As they are less efficient, they will need help in keeping everything moving as it should do. Veins will dilate more as your body size increases, which means pressure may increase as you reach the end of your term.

Are Compression Socks Right for Me?

It is a fact that not all women will suffer from swollen feet during pregnancy. While there will be aches and pains in many different ways, there is no guarantee you’ll experience vein or oedema-related problems along the way. However, as any medical professional will advise you, it is perhaps healthy to be prepared.

If you are worried about the risks of thrombosis / DVT or are regularly suffering from cramping or spider veins during pregnancy, it may be time to consider buying a pair of maternity compression socks or stockings. You can purchase socks in a wide range of pressures and sizes, meaning that you will always be able to find a perfect fit for your needs.

You may also consider buying compression socks if you experience the following:

  • Tired, heavy legs
  • Tingling legs and feet
  • Regular soreness and cramping
  • Puffiness which won’t decrease
  • Trouble with sitting or standing for long periods
  • Varicose veins

Pregnant woman with sore feet

Finding the Right Compression Socks for Pregnancy

We supply a wide range of compression socks developed and designed for pregnant wearers. Socks and stockings can be divided into a handful of types, which you may show a preference for depending on your needs and on any pain you may be experiencing.

  • Thigh-high stockings are ideal for pregnant women in need of swelling support. They don’t put any pressure around the stomach. These stockings will comfortably fit around your thigh even as your belly gets bigger. If you’re experiencing swelling from your back right down to your feet, it is worth looking for maternity stockings at full-length.
  • Thigh high socks are recommended if you have general swelling or cramping from your thighs downwards. These are considered mid-range options.
  • Compression socks, however, will generally arrive in the form of knee-high options. Knee high compression socks are perfect for reducing swelling in your feet and ankles.

Do bear in mind that you will need to measure yourself before you buy socks. It’s a given fact that pregnant bodies will expand over time, however, if you measure your calves, ankles and thighs in the morning, you will get a much more accurate reading. It’s essential to find compression socks and stockings that fit well, as you could otherwise be adding pressure to your body that could be more painful in the long run.

This is especially important to remember if you are buying online. You should also consider compression levels of socks, too. Sock pressure is measured in millimetres of Mercury, and the higher the dose, the more pressure you’ll receive.

There are a variety of pregnancy sock ranges which have the requisite amount of pressure required to ease pregnant swelling and straining. While some socks have more intensive pressure built-in to support people who have had surgery or who are at risk of clotting, there are specific levels best suited to simple swelling which you’ll be able to find with ease online.

Find Out More

Worried about swelling during pregnancy? Looking for pregnancy travel socks or compression socks to help with everyday stresses and strains? TXG Socks can help. Take a look at our online store or call us on 1800 455 994. Don’t suffer from pregnancy aches and pains in silence!

Pregnant Woman doing yoga

Please note: The information provided here is for general information only and is not intended to act as medical advice. We advise anyone interested in this subject to seek qualified, professional advice.