When you’re pregnant, especially in the later stages, the increased weight can cause a lot of discomfort in your legs; you may find they’re aching or swelling and it’s just not very pleasant at all.
What’s worse is that these symptoms can have far greater implications as conditions such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and varicose veins are certainly something you’ll want to do all you can to prevent.
Fortunately for pregnant women, there are stockings available that function to increase blood flow by putting pressure on your ankles to the upper parts of your legs. There are plenty of varieties available but to find the best compression stockings on the market, it’s worth finding out some information about the products to ensure you are getting your money’s worth.
What to Look Out For
Different compression stockings or compression socks will vary greatly in quality and so when you are looking to save money and get the best value, it’s a good idea to spend some time looking into what actually gives the best compression stockings their quality.
Length – There are options that cover from the ankle to just below the knee or that also cover up to your lower thigh, it would depend on where you feel symptoms are showing and what you feel comfortable with.
Level of Compression – There are five levels of compression to be aware of which determine how tightly the stockings fit by measurement in mmHg. The levels can be found on this table that shows us a range of between a minimum of 8mmHg right up to 50mmHg and the fit that’s right for you would depend on your circumstances and what your doctor recommends.
Additional Features – You can find varieties with anti-microbial properties, anti-odor, breathable materials, underfoot cushioning and much more. All of these extras factor into the overall quality and value for money you are getting with your purchase and can really tailor a product to your specific needs.
Our Top Picks
MadeMother Maternity Compression Stockings
To kick off the reviews with an affordable product which is comfortable, functional and is designed specifically for pregnant women who are worried about the condition of their blood flow.
These compression socks for pregnancy have an optimized design which puts appropriate pressure on different parts of your leg as you can see in the image which the seller claims to have immediate pain relief, immediate swelling relief as well as preventing many, many more common leg related ailments you can develop when expecting.
The open toe style was chosen for this product to reduce sweating, grant more flexibility and let your foot breathe more if you are planning to wear these for long durations in hot conditions.
Another great thing about these stockings is that they are guaranteed to last for a nine months duration at the very least and are suited to be with you in every stage of your pregnancy from the very beginning.
MadeMother Pregnancy Compression Socks
Very similar to the previous product, these stockings are designed in the same way to put variable pressures and different points in the leg to enhance blood flow. This model, on the other hand, is much cozier, stylish and warm.
Other than the look and closed toe style, this product is exactly the same to the previous one reviewed and only a fractional increase in cost and so if you like these and prefer a snug model, go for this one!
Thigh High Compression Stockings
If you’re looking for something which can cover you’re the whole leg and are more lightweight than this product may be just for you. There are two color options to suit your preference: nude (as featured) and black.
These stockings are made out of a combination of durable, high quality and breathable materials to provide a comfortable yet practical approach to improving blood flow. They also have antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-foul, sweat absorbent properties, what more could you ask for?
Well since you asked for more, they also feature silicone grips around the waist which reduce the stocking from slipping as you go about your day and they also claim to help reduce leg cramps, these stockings are really designed to cut the discomfort in your legs out of your life!
Cotton Compression Socks for Women
For women who are not in the slightest going to settle for skin colored hose and want some compression stockings with flair and style which are also comfortable and sleek.
Look no further than these cotton compression socks which have all black, black with stripes and spots as different style options. It’s a limited range but still better than a lot of the alternatives.
These socks are effective at improving leg blood circulation reducing the chances of developing those nasty vascular conditions that also feel natural to wear. They also feature anti-microbial properties and are made from cotton and other materials which have stretchy characteristics to maintain your comfort whilst wearing.
Graduated Compression Socks for Women & Men
Silly, funky, cute, vibrant and odd are the many style choices you can make when purchasing these graduated compression socks with blasts of color. They can only be described as vibrant initially and it’s great because it really allows you to personalize and pick a design that makes you smile.
They feature all off those anti-microbial, swear resistant and odor resistant properties that we love whilst also adding a snazzy effect to your outfit no matter if you’re at work, running errands or just sitting at home.
How do Compression Stockings Help Me?
The gentle compression of your legs helps blood to flow back up your leg and to the heart more efficiently instead of slacking or pooling in the legs. This greatly reduces the swelling in your legs, helps to reduce the risk of blood clots and skin ulcers.
Doctors and healthcare professionals may prescribe you compression stockings if you suffer from spider veins, varicose veins or if you have just had surgery to ensure your legs benefit from a better blood flow as it’s critical to your overall health.
This increased blood flow will result in a significant reduction in the aching in your legs, a reduction in the swelling and also they serve to reduce the symptoms of and the likelihood of developing DVT and other vascular (or vein related) conditions.
Varicose Veins During Pregnancy
We know that veins are responsible for returning blood back to the heart to load up on more oxygen for transport around the body. The veins contain small valves which prevent blood from backflowing and varicose veins form when these valves start to lose their function ultimately resulting in blood pooling and swelling in the vein.
There are a few different types of varicose veins and it’s more commonly found in pregnancy. The extra weight is placed on major blood vessels in the legs forcing them to work harder to provide a stable blood pressure with also an involvement of hormones which increase blood flow add to the problem.
This is why with varicose veins you will see bloated purple or blue blood vessels bulging through your skin most commonly on the legs; it’s not healthy and unappealing, to say the least. Varicose veins can be reduced by keeping active, elevating your legs, keeping track of your weight and also getting that extra support from compression stockings.
DVT During Pregnancy
Deep vein thrombosis is a condition which relates to blood clotting in your veins. It has its name because the clot usually forms in veins deep in your legs which causes swelling, pain, tenderness, redness and warm skin.
The most worrying thing about this condition is that if the clot dislodges and travels through the blood vessel and reach your lungs, it can be fatal and so DVT is a condition to be treated seriously.
Advise for reducing the symptoms of DVT during pregnancy is similar to varicose veins as according to The NHS to try and increase blood flow from your veins to your heart by elevating the legs, staying active and compression stockings as there is evidence to suggest they directly help.
How to Use Compression Stockings
Compression stockings are best used on a daily basis to ensure you are maintaining their beneficial effects. They shouldn’t be too tight or uncomfortable but provide slight pressure on your leg.
It can be difficult when you first try to put the compression stockings on so we advise that you wash them once or twice before trying to loosen them up and also have at least two pairs so that you have clean ones to wear whilst others are washing and drying.
You put them on in the morning when you get up by first making sure you are properly supported by sitting on a chair with a back preferably. Put one arm through the stocking until you reach the toe and turn it inside out but leave your fingers in the tip.
You should be able to gently roll the stocking over your heel and up your leg but od this slowly being careful not to tear or split the stockings.
You can now use compression stockings to help increase blood flow, reduce the symptoms of awful vascular conditions or at least have some peace of mind that you are doing what you can to avoid them while you await the arrival of your little one.
You may also find other maternity clothing, such as maternity underwear to help you maintain comfort and gain support during your pregnancy, so make sure to check out our other guides to see what may be most suitable for you.