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Pregnancy & Compression Socks – Are They Recommended?

Pregnancy is a very special time in a woman’s life. Your body goes through many physical and hormonal changes in order to support the growth of the baby. There are several factors that increase one’s risk for blood clots during pregnancy.

  • Blood thickens and clots easier – In order to protect the baby and the mother from uncontrollable blood loss during birth or in the event of a miscarriage, the mothers blood becomes thicker.
  • Hormonal changes – As a result of the hormonal changes, your blood will clot faster and your veins will dilate. The vein walls expanding leads to a decrease in the effectiveness of the blood transport back to the heart. This damage to the vein walls can lead to the development of varicose veins.
  • Blood volume increase – To accommodate and nourish the growing fetus, your blood volume will increase 40-50%. The growing uterus will also apply direct pressure on the veins. This can cause partial blockage or full blockage impeding the blood flow back to the heart, increasing the mother’s blood pressure.

The risk of thrombosis is much higher in pregnancy due to the increase in blood volume and clotting, combined with damage to the veins and their effectiveness. The risk of thrombosis is highest right after giving birth and during the weeks that follow.

What can you do to help control some of these adverse effects? Compression socks may be your answer!

Wearing compression socks alleviates discomfort and achiness but MORE IMPORTANTLY reduces the risk of venous inflammation, thrombosis and varicose veins! This happens by:

  • Promoting blood circulation
  • Providing relief for the veins
  • Reducing edema/swelling

The compression helps with the blood flow back towards the heart and prevents pooling or edema in the lower extremities. Wearing compression socks is therefore advisable from the very start of the pregnancy!

Compression socks can come as knee highs, thigh highs or leggings. Please ensure you are sized by a certified provider to ensure the fit and compression is appropriate. If they are not correct this could make the problem worse. If you would like to talk to a certified compression sock fitter please do not hesitate to reach out to our office and we would be more than happy to help you find the right fit for you!

The Custom Orthotics Team (519) 850-4721 | office@customorthoticsoflondon.com | @cool_bracing


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