Pregnancy and Compression Therapy

Peripheral edema, i.e. swelling in the extremities (especially the legs), can be common during pregnancy. This happens because the growing fetus and uterus impair the return of blood from the legs back to the heart, causing blood to pool into the legs and create swelling. This causes the legs to feel heavy and painful. Peripheral edema also places undue stress on the venous system in the legs which can cause varicose veins.

There are many ways to prevent your legs to swell up during pregnancy, like elevating your legs while resting, minimizing the amount of time standing and following a proper exercise plan. In addition, wearing compression garments, like stockings and pantyhoses, can help support the venous system and prevent the legs from swelling up. Those garments can also reduce the symptoms of leg pain and fatigue.

As the baby grows, the enlarged uterus applies pressure on the vena cava which returns blood the the heart. This pressure can cause stasis and valve damage which result in swelling, leg discomfort and even varicose vein. Use of maternity compression stockings can help relieve leg fatigue and pain. Also prevent superficial vein from becoming distended with blood and improves leg health.

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