Compression Socks & Maternity

Compression Socks for Pregnant Women

When a woman gets pregnant, her body starts to release a hormone called Relaxin, which tells the body to start loosening ligaments – this helps prepare your body for childbirth, but can also cause problems like body aches and pain.  This release of Relaxin can also make your more prone to injuries, and muscle cramping – especially in your later trimesters.  While stretching can help (and we should all be stretching, regardless of pregnancy status) it may not be enough.

Another common symptom during pregnancy is swelling – especially in the feet and lower legs.  If not treated, the swelling can become uncomfortable (understatement) and debilitating – neither of which is welcome, especially when pregnant! 

The good news?  While all of that sucks, there is a pretty simple way to alleviate most of these issues… compression socks, especially graduated compression socks!  Graduated compression socks start ‘tighter’ around your feet/ankles and gradually loosen as they move up your leg.  This graduated compression forces an increase in your blood flow, improving the circulation in your lower legs, which leads to less swelling and discomfort!  They also provide a bit of additional support the ligaments in your lower legs which can make you feel more comfortable and reduce some body aches. 

Compression socks – especially graduated compression socks – help to improve the circulation in your lower legs and feet, by improving blood flow, which reduces lower leg swelling. 

 

Benefits of Wearing Compression Socks During Pregnancy

As we touched on above wearing compression socks can alleviate some of the discomfort associated you’re your pregnancy. Benefits include: 

Reduction in Swelling. When pregnant, your body can produce up to 50% more body fluid than normal. This can lead to excess swelling. Compression socks provide gentle pressure to help ease that discomfort. 

Better Circulation and Less Discomfort. As your uterus grows, it places more pressure on your veins. Specific hormones make you more susceptible to blood clots, which can lead to blood clots, and/or a condition like deep vein thrombosis (DVT).  Compression socks can prevent blood clots or blood pooling and an increase in circulation helps ease body aches and pain.

Fewer Varicose Veins. In addition to everything else, pregnancy also increases your chance of developing varicose veins (yay pregnancy!). This condition occurs when small valves inside the veins, which prevent blood from flowing backwards, don't work properly. Instead of flowing smoothly to your heart, the blood collects inside the vein and causes it to become enlarged and swollen.  Because compression socks help force blood to circulate, it can reduce the size of varicose veins and reduce the pain associated with them. 

 

Some Things to Consider

Size of the Sock.  You’ll typically look for a similar size in compression socks, as you would in your normal socks.  HOWEVER – Calf size is the most important factor. If your calves are really swollen, or you have larger calves, you will want to look at moving to a larger size.  (The larger size will allow your calf to fit more comfortably with little change to the foot size). 

Amount of Pressure.  The ‘standard’ in graduated compression is between 20 – 30 mmHg (for more information on pressure level, read here) and you’ll want to find a pair with a tight, but comfortable amount of pressure to benefit from graduated compression. 

Ease of Use.  This is a big one – especially as you get farther along in your pregnancy and it gets harder to bend over.  The easiest way to put on graduated compression is to roll them up your leg, or to fold them down halfway before putting them on.  Both methods make getting them on easier – but this can still be tricky later in your pregnancy so getting a good, comfortable pair will make a huge difference. 

 

As with everything, we want you to be happy and comfortable.  Collective Socks' knee-high compression socks are made to be extremely soft and comfortable, while providing the sweet spot 20-25mmHg graduated compression.  Soft, breathable and easy on/off makes our socks a pregnant woman’s best friend!