If you are pregnant for the first time you could be the one out of five expectant mothers who will likely develop varicose veins during their pregnancy. It is not entirely clear whether hormone changes during pregnancy or your family history are more or less responsible for the possible appearance of varicose veins while you are expecting.
If you are in your second or third pregnancy, your risk for developing varicose veins increases and escalates with each subsequent pregnancy. But don’t worry – there is a silver lining. You can protect your veins and legs from the very beginning of your pregnancy by wearing maternity support hose with graduated compression. This will prevent or significantly lessen the chances of developing unsightly varicose veins, swelling or achiness in your legs.
Did you know that during pregnancy the amount of blood in the mother’s body increases by approximately 20%? The larger blood volume and the growing baby both contribute to increased pressure on the venous system of the legs, which has to work harder than ever to return the oxygen depleted blood back to the heart and lungs where it can be re-supplied with oxygen.
Unfortunately hormone changes during pregnancy also cause a relaxing and widening of the veins, further contributing to a slowing of the blood flow back to the heart.
In spite of excellent prenatal care including checking and monitoring of blood pressure, vitamin and mineral supplements, monitoring the heart rate and possible swelling, the veins of expectant mothers do not always get the proper attention.
If this should be the case, consult your physician or gynecologist about the condition of your veins, especially if you are experiencing any symptoms such as heaviness or pain in the legs. If you don’t feel comfortable with the answers you receive, don’t hesitate to ask for a referral to a vein specialist (phlebologist) who is uniquely qualified in this subject matter.
Many women experience telltale signs of heavy and aching legs at the end of the day, especially with the added weight of their pregnancy. If you have such symptoms of tired and painful legs regularly, or if a diagnosis of a venous condition has been made by your doctor, support hosiery with graduated compression is often the recommended treatment of choice to prevent or significantly reduce the occurrence of varicose veins.
The graduated compression applied by support hose or stockings provides a controlled amount of pressure, being the strongest at the ankle area and gradually decreasing going up the leg. Well-designed high quality maternity hosiery can also provide much needed support to the abdomen while reducing the pulling on the shoulders.
Features and Benefits of Maternity Support Stockings or Pantyhose with Graduated Compression:
- Can help to reduce the stress on the leg veins
- Can help prevent varicose veins from pregnancy
- Can prevent or ease discomfort from swelling, achiness or heaviness in the legs
- Can help prevent pregnancy related leg cramps
- Can prevent blood clots (deep vein thrombosis)
- Specially designed elastic waist and tummy area provide room for the growing baby
- Available in fashionable shades, patterns and textures ranging from sheer to opaque
If you have already tried maternity support hose or compression stockings we would love to hear what you have learned so other women can benefit from your experience. To share you can simply add your comments below or click on the category “Tips and How To” and add your post under “Personal Experiences with Compression and Support Hosiery”. Thank you so much for your input and participation.
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