Graded compression hose worn during pregnancy can reduce the pressure in your legs and the swelling. It’s a good idea to wear them when you are going to be standing or sitting for long periods.
Elevating your legs as much as possible is also helpful. Graded compression hose are proven to reduce the risk of blood clots so should be worn before, during and immediately after delivery.Early ambulation after delivery is also important to reduce your risk. If you have a history of blood clots or someone in your family has a history, you should have a thrombophilic risk work up. This is a series of blood test to see if there are factors in your blood that make you more prone to clots.
If you are found to be at risk there are steps that can be taken to reduce your risk. Exercise is also important. Any exercise that develops a good calf muscle is important. Remember the calf muscle is the main pump that pumps blood through the veins. Walking, hiking, swimming and biking are all great for leg health during pregnancy. A lot of my patients are avid runners, I think it’s important to wear compression hose if you plan to continue running during your pregnancy. This will help reduce the pressure in your legs and may help protect the valves. Try to sleep on your left side. The uterus compresses the pelvic veins and vena cava more when lying on your right side. This in turn increases the venous pressure in your legs leading to more strain on the valves.
Call our office if you have further questions or wish to schedule a exam.