Many changes occur in a woman’s body during pregnancy, which have a profound effect on the legs. Pregnancy can add pressure to the veins and legs causing the legs to swell and the veins to stretch, often resulting in varicose veins. Compression stockings are specially designed garments to help relieve venous pressure and provide increased circulation in the legs. This article provides an in-depth explanation of the effect of pregnancy on vein health, some preventive measures to ensure better leg health and the benefits of compression stockings for pregnant mothers.
Pregnancy and Vein Health
Veins are responsible of transporting deoxygenated blood back to the heart and other organs so it can be cleaned and replenished with oxygen. With all the changes in the body during pregnancy, the veins and the leg muscles must work extra hard in order to successfully transport the blood back to the heart and vital organs.
When blood is not transported back up the leg, it can pool in the veins. Varicose veins may develop and legs may feel heavy, tired and achy. Pregnant mothers can also experience problems of tiredness, restlessness, heaviness, tension in the legs, tingling sensation, muscle cramps, and swollen feet.
Of women who gave birth, approximately 30% of first time pregnancies and 55% of women with previous pregnancies develop varicose veins. (Swiss Medical Weekly 2001: 131: 659-662).
Blood that pools in veins has a risk of becoming blood clots, and if these blood clots break off, it can have severe health consequences. Other conditions that can emerge include dizziness, palpitation or even a breakdown of the venous valves.
Many factors can contribute to the veins to become unhealthy during pregnancy such as:
- History of venous disease in your family
- Existing venous condition previous to your pregnancy
- Multiple pregnancies
- Long hours standing or sitting
Tips for Healthier Veins during Pregnancy
Elevate the legs above the level of your heart while you rest. This will also give your veins a rest as gravity will assist the return of the blood to the heart.
- Avoid long periods of standing or sitting. Take breaks and do some Healthy Leg Exercises.
- Tight-fitting undergarments should be avoided as it can impede the flow of the blood in the body.
- Avoid exposure to hot temperatures (hot baths, saunas, sunbathing).
- Refresh your legs with a cooling shower.
- Pregnant Mothers should wear Compression Stockings.
Compression stockings provide gradient compression therapy that can alleviate some of the venous pressure from your legs. The increased circulation will help prevent blood from pooling in the veins.
Benefit of Compression Stockings during Pregnancy
Compression stockings are specially designed socks and stockings to assist the veins in your legs to transport the blood back to the heart.
Wearing maternity compression socks and stockings is an easy way to promote leg health. More women are discovering the benefits of wearing compression socks during pregnancy. Many people are making compression socks and stockings a part of their daily life and wearing them to work, for sports and travel. No more tired, heavy, achy legs and swollen feet. Compression socks and stockings come in lots of different styles, materials and colors, so it looks like you’re wearing a regular sock. They match your entire wardrobe and they make your legs and feet feel better.
If you have any questions about your health, please consult your doctor.