Your search for maternity pantyhose may be as simple as going to JC Penney and picking up a package of three for $18. For a step up in durability and comfort, try opaque microfiber maternity pantyhose from Fertile Mind Maternity. However, choosing the right maternity pantyhose may be a little more complicated than you think. Consider the following information.
You probably already know that pregnancy can cause a range of discomforts, including sore, tired legs, swollen ankles, and maybe even varicose veins. On the other hand, you may not know that pregnancy can increase your chances of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and varicose veins by as much as 40 percent.
The changing hormones in your body cause increased blood flow. In addition, the extra weight that you carry during pregnancy can cause your veins to work less effectively. Because of this, the blood in your legs may start to flow backward, pooling in the bottom of your legs. You will notice this as swelling or even varicose or spider veins as your weakened veins enlarge to accommodate the extra blood flow. Not only a problem to be concerned with during pregnancy, varicose veins and DVT can cause lifelong problems. You can prevent these problems by carefully choosing your maternity pantyhose.
Studies have shown that graduated compression hose will help keep your legs healthy. The added support that you get from these maternity pantyhose will increase the proper circulation of blood in your legs and will reduce swelling. Even when you are wearing your favorite jeans, you will be more comfortable when you are wearing graduated compression hose underneath. If you have very serious discomfort, your doctor may even write you a prescription to get good support hose depending on the compression that he feels you will need.
Compression is measured by how much pressure is needed to raise mercury a certain distance, measured in millimeters. This is expressed with the abbreviation "mmHg". The table below will help you determine how much compression will be best for your legs during pregnancy.
|These Symptoms||May Need this Compression|
|Achy legs, mild swelling of legs and ankles||8-15 mmHg|
|Minor varicose veins help to prevent DVT||15-20 mmHg|
|Moderate to severe swelling and discomfort||20-30 mmHg|
|Severe swelling and discomfort||30-40 mmHg or higher may require a prescription|
Protect Your Legs
Give your legs a break now and then by following these tips:
- When you lay down, elevate your legs above your heart to improve circulation.
- Avoid standing for a prolonged period of time.
- When sitting, don't cross your legs because this slows circulation.
- If you need to sit for a long time, get up occasionally and walk around to get that circulation going.
- Be sure to exercise during your pregnancy.
- Buy graduated compression maternity pantyhose.
Where to Buy Maternity Pantyhose
You may find maternity pantyhose at a medical supply store near you or you can shop online. Here are some good places to start:
- Ames Walker Hosiery has several brands of maternity pantyhose that are designed for healthy legs, including Mediven, Jobst, Venosan, Sigvaris, Juzo, and Ames Walker's own brand. Prices and styles vary widely, starting at $8.95 and going up to $30.99. Depending on the brand you choose, sizes range from small to extra large while some brands are sized A-F. There are also many colors to choose from depending on brand. Some have only beige or black; others have as many as nine colors including navy and pearl. Browse their website and see what will suit you the best.
- Healthy Legs also has a nice selection of maternity pantyhose. Prices are $43.99 or more but they do offer quantity discounts. They also carry several brands including Delilah, which comes in sizes A-F in nine beautiful colors.
You Are Worth It
Good quality graduated compression hose do cost more than the ordinary support hose that you find at your favorite department store, but the benefits are priceless. Save yourself from some of the discomforts of pregnancy and protect the heath of your legs. Your legs will thank you for a lifetime.