During pregnancy, the weight of the growing uterus puts pressure on the inferior vena cava, the body’s big central abdominal vein which in turn puts pressure on the veins in the legs. Combining this extra pressure with hormonal changes (designed to relax muscles in preparation for delivery) encourages blood pooling and leaves you with dilated, sore, swollen, uncomfortable veins. Graduated compression encourages venous blood to return to the heart, relieving you of these symptoms. If blood pools in your veins, it can cause them to twist and bulge and become unsightly varicose veins.
2. Relieve tired legs and swollen ankles
Due to the extra weight on your veins and hormonal changes, you may experience symptoms of swollen and achy legs and feet. This can be particularly unpleasant if you have to sit/stand all day at work and can’t elevate your feet. Graduated compression hosiery will support your legs and help alleviate these symptoms and their associated discomfort, leaving your legs feeling fresh and energised. Compression will also significantly reduce the development of cankles which are unsightly and can make shoes very painful.
3. Support your back and growing bump
Maternity compression tights are designed to provide support to your growing bump as well as your legs. It is important that the tights have a special elasticated pouch or an adjustable top to allow them to grow with your pregnancy. Non-maternity compression tights may dig into your bump and become uncomfortable as your pregnancy progresses. This support offered by the tights mimics that of a maternity support girdle, alleviating the pulling feeling on your back and helping to prevent back pain while also protecting your legs.
4. Protect you from DVT during travel
During pregnancy, you are at an increased risk of developing Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), especially during travel and long periods of immobility. Medical-grade graduated compression that is correctly fitted has been scientifically proven to reduce DVT risk by up to 90%. DVT’s are often symptomless, other than pain in the calf or back of the knee. Some are small enough to be reabsorbed without incident but if the clot breaks away, it can develop into a fatal pulmonary embolism.
5. Shapewear/Improved Circulation
Graduated compression hosiery has the added benefits of acting as slimwear/shapewear. As the graduated compression provides a graduated squeeze to your legs, it also slims and supports the entire area it covers. The improved circulation created by the compression, improves toxin removal and micromassages the lower limbs. There is even a theory that this may help the appearnace of cellulite reduction in persons wearing compression tights/leggings for more than 8 hours/day.
Combining compression tights’ micromassaging action with regular moisturising could also help to limit the damage caused by stretchmarks as the support offered by the tights plus the moisturisation and massage keep the skin in its optimum condition.
Make sure you check out our guide on what to look out for when choosing compression.
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