Pregnancy is the most special time in a woman’s life, but it can be very challenging with many physical and mental side effects. One of the most common side effects of pregnancy during the three trimesters apart from morning sickness, bloated feeling, and lethargy is swollen feet or edema. Almost 75 percent of women undergo edema, especially during the third trimester, the 7th-month mark. Apart from that one might develop varicose veins, which are swollen veins on the feet that can cause pain and discomfort. Let’s discuss more about using compression socks during pregnancy.
In this article:
Why you might need Compression Socks During Pregnancy?
To reduce the discomfort caused by swelling, especially of the foot and ankles, edema and varicose veins, you might need compression socks. Swelling is caused by the increase of bodily fluids in a pregnant woman’s body that is needed to nurture the growing baby inside the womb.
The uterus expands to accommodate the baby and the pressure on the pelvic floor increases. Hence the pressure of weight on the lower body increases too, which leads to swollen feet.
From a health report in NYU Langone Health, it is also found that increased progesterone during pregnancy leads to relaxation and loosening up of veins and fluids and blood accumulate in one’s lower body due to gravity. Deep vein thrombosis or DVT is also another high-risk disease that can be developed during pregnancy as blood clotting increases its efficiency during pregnancy. Hence it is best to wear compression socks to reduce those risks.
How to choose the Best Compression Socks for Pregnancy?
To find your best socks, you need to keep in mind four criteria: fit, style, level of compression and graduated compression.
Fit: To serve their purpose well, the compression socks need to fit snugly and tightly, but not so tight that it can feel uncomfortable. A firm fit would be best.
Style: If the problem of swollen feet and ankles is really bothering you, and varicose veins are peeping through your feet then you should go for knee-high compression socks because they are longer, provide more coverage and compression. If you want shorter socks to wear with sneakers, that is fine too. But remember longer compression socks would essentially be more beneficial during pregnancy.
Level of compression: The degree of compression is measured using mmHg and 10-15 is mild, 15-20 is moderate and 20-30 is firm. If you want one over these levels you need to get a prescription, although for pregnant women over the counter socks are fine.
Graduated compression: There are some socks whose compression is stronger at the feet and ankles than up at the calf. These can also be worn by pregnant women as they are more comfortable to wear for longer periods of time.
How to use Compression Socks During Pregnancy?
Apart from night time when your feet are leveled up with your body, its best to put on compression socks for the rest of the day. Make sure you have them on when your feet are being stressed, especially while standing up and walking. Also, it is better to use compression socks from earlier stages of pregnancy because it is easier to prevent swelling and varicose veins than to cure them.
Top 11 Compression Socks During Pregnancy
Here are some of the most popular choices for compression socks during pregnancy.
Physix Gear Compression Graduated Socks
These are high compression socks (20 mmHg to 30 mmHg) and they also wick moisture off your feet. These are usually priced under 16$
Wanderlust Air Travel Compression Socks
These socks offer graduated compression, (25 to 30 mmHg near the foot and ankle, 15 to 20 mmHg in the middle of the calf and 10 to 15 mmHg below the knee). The graduated compression makes them easily removable. These also prevent blisters and corns on your feet apart from preventing edema and varicose veins. These are priced around 18$
Newzill Compression Frequency Technology Endurance Compression Socks
These are shorter socks rising up to the ankle length, which are perfect for wearing with sneakers or for exercising. They offer moderate compression of 15 mmHg to 20 mmHg. Since they end near the ankle, they won’t let your leg get itchy if you exercise in them. They’re priced at 13$
Sockwell Graduated Compression Socks
These socks provide moderate compression (15mmHg to 20mmHg) and are made of merino wool and hence are more suitable for warmer months. They are priced at 27$
Laite Hebe Compression Socks
These knee-high compression socks’ material are upgraded with nylon percentage from 40% to 85% and are made up of stretchable fabric that is comfortable to wear for long continuous hours without compromising on your mobility. A pack of 3 is priced under 20$
Fenglaoda Compression Socks for Women
These are a favorite because of the cute prints of puppies, kittens, and flamingoes. These socks have moderate compression (15-25mmHg) and provide more compression in the ankle area. The pressure stimulates blood circulation to relieve veins in lower limbs and improves oxygen delivery to your muscles to reduce swelling.
SB SOX Compression Socks
These provide high graduated compression (20-30mmHg) which improves blood and oxygen circulation which is crucial during pregnancy. The breathable fabric makes it easier to wear it all day. They are priced at 18$
Crucial Compression Socks
These, especially in the beige variant are perfect for wearing if you are still planning to work and have to wear formals during pregnancy. Their moisture-wicking breathable fabric provides vascular support. They cost under 18$
FuelMeFoot Compression Socks
These provide high compression (20mmHg – 30mmHg) and effectively prevent DVT, edema and varicose veins while providing comfort.
Wanderlust Pregnancy Maternity Socks
This is the perfect basic compression socks to wear throughout the day to relieve your swollen feet.
FuelMeFoot Copper Compression Socks
3 pairs under 18$ provide ultimate comfort during swollen feet and ankles.