Why would you wear compression socks while you’re pregnant? There are so many reasons! Compression socks can help reduce discomfort in your feet and ankles, support your cardiovascular system by promoting good blood flow, and they can help you stay more comfortable when you’re on your feet for long periods of time. Every pregnant woman should have at least one pair of compression socks!
The Benefits of Compression Socks During Pregnancy
by Rebekah Mustaleski
One of my favorite reasons to recommend compression socks is to help pregnant patients stay more comfortable when they’re going to be standing or walking for a while to reduce swelling, which is a common part of pregnancy, especially in the feet.
If you’re planning a hike, an all-day cooking session, or if your job requires you to be on your feet all day, then compression socks may very well be your new best friend! Wearing these socks will provide external support to keep the swelling minimal and reduce the discomfort that is often associated with being on your feet for long periods of time.
Compression socks are also a great way to support your cardiovascular system during pregnancy. As your blood volume expands and your heart rate increases, your cardiovascular system works increasingly hard to continue providing nutrients and oxygen to you and your baby.
Compression Socks Help Prevent Clots
Your lower extremities sometimes are affected by this additional workload, which results in poor circulation in your legs and feet. This often leads to swelling, varicose veins, or blood clots. Deep vein thrombosis can be a life-threatening condition caused by poor circulation when blood collects in blood vessels and forms a clot.
Wearing compression socks can help prevent these clots because the compression they provide makes it easier for your heart to keep your blood flowing. This is also helpful for preventing the development of varicose veins and can support varicose veins that you already have.
When Should You Put on Compression Socks?
If you do struggle with everyday swelling during your pregnancy and want to use compression socks, I recommend putting them on before you get out of bed in the morning. Swelling in the feet and legs is usually the lowest when you first wake up because sleeping in a vertical position prevents gravity from resisting the return blood flow from the lower extremities.
Putting the socks on before rising in the morning gives your feet and legs extra compression to help with blood flow from the very start of the day, and thus can help keep the swelling at a minimum.
What Size Compression Sock Do You Need?
Be sure to refer to size guide for the compression socks you would like to receive. The correct fit is crucial for providing proper support to prevent swelling and to improve circulation. If your socks are too loose they won’t provide enough pressure.
Compression socks should feel snug but not too tight. They also shouldn’t be painful or difficult to pull on. The dangers of having compression socks that are too tight involve reduced circulation, pain, or damaging blood vessels in the lower leg.
Motif Compression Sock size guide
About the Author
Rebekah Mustaleski is a Certified Professional Midwife with Roots & Wings Midwifery in Knoxville, TN, where Rebekah promotes evidence-based maternity care for families seeking an out of hospital delivery. She is working to improve maternal outcomes during the childbearing year and to promote a sustainable business model for midwifery practices across the country. Rebekah is co-owner of Roots & Wings Midwifery, LLC as well as Treasurer for the Tennessee Midwives Association.
All content published on the Motif Medical site is credited for information purposes only. This information should not substitute as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult your doctor or qualified health professional with any questions regarding the health of you or your baby.