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    Compression Socks for Pregnancy: When & How Long Should You Wear Them??

    Compression Socks for Pregnancy: When & How Long Should You Wear Them?

    In this article, we will explore the benefits of compression socks for pregnant women, highlighting how they can enhance comfort and well-being during this special time.

    june 19, 2023   |    4 Mins Read


    Pregnancy is a miraculous and transformative journey in a woman's life, filled with anticipation, joy, and the awe-inspiring creation of new life. However, this beautiful experience also comes with its fair share of challenges and physical discomforts. 

    In this article, we will explore the benefits of compression socks for pregnant women, highlighting how they can enhance comfort and well-being during this special time.

    The Importance of Good Circulation During Pregnancy

    Did you know that pregnancy increases blood circulation by up to 50 percent? This is necessary for supplying oxygen and other essential nutrients to the developing baby. With these changes, a pregnant woman is likely to experience swelling, varicose veins, and other circulatory issues in the legs. Compression socks can help reduce these discomforts by improving blood circulation and providing support to the lower extremities.

    Poor circulation during pregnancy can result in various discomforts such as:

    • Swollen ankles and feet
    • Varicose veins
    • A higher risk of developing blood clots, known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

    Compression socks for pregnancy play a vital role in enhancing circulation by applying gentle pressure to the legs, assisting the veins in returning blood to the heart more efficiently. 

    A study conducted in 2019 examined whether compression stockings can control varicose veins during pregnancy. The results showed that pregnant women benefited from wearing compression stockings as they effectively reduced the symptoms of varicose veins.

    However, it is important to note that compression socks may not be suitable for everyone, especially those with certain medical conditions or specific pregnancy complications.

    Benefits of Compression Socks for Pregnant Women

    Compression socks offer various benefits for pregnant women, helping to improve comfort and support overall well-being. The following are some of the ways compression socks can be beneficial during pregnancy:

    Improved Blood Flow and Reduced Swelling

    Approximately 80% of pregnant women encounter swelling in their feet, also known as edema, during the third trimester. Normally, blood flows from the heart through the veins to the feet, and then returns back to the heart through the veins in a one-way flow system. 

    However, as your baby grows, your blood volume increases, your blood vessels dilate, and the pressure from the uterus on the pelvic veins intensifies. These factors collectively make it more challenging for the blood to flow back efficiently.

    In 2022, a study was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of compression stockings in preventing lower limb edema in pregnant women. The findings of the study revealed that compression stockings were indeed effective in reducing or preventing edema in the lower limbs of pregnant women. Additionally, it was observed that pregnant women had a positive perception of wearing these stockings.

    Alleviation of Leg Pain and Discomfort

    The extra weight and hormonal changes during pregnancy often contribute to leg pain, cramps, and general discomfort. Compression socks can provide much-needed relief by supporting the muscles and reducing strain. The graduated pressure they exert helps ease muscle fatigue, minimize aching, and promote a more comfortable experience throughout the day.

    Lowered Risk of Blood Clots

    Pregnant women have an increased risk of developing blood clots due to changes in blood composition and reduced blood flow. Compression socks play a crucial role in mitigating this risk by enhancing circulation and preventing the formation of blood clots. 

    Support During Exercise and Physical Activity

    Exercise is important during pregnancy for maintaining overall health and well-being. Compression socks provide valuable support during physical activity, helping to reduce fatigue and the risk of injury. The graduated compression therapy they offer helps to reduce muscle strain, prevent swelling and soreness, and support the legs throughout movement.

    Enhanced Overall Comfort

    Beyond the functional benefits of compression socks, they can also improve leg comfort during pregnancy. They help to regulate the temperature in the feet and legs, providing a soothing effect that reduces discomfort while aiding relaxation. Additionally, the breathable fabric helps to keep your feet and legs feeling cool, dry, and comfortable all day long. 

    Expert tip:

    Sitting for prolonged hours can increase the chances of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT). If you're going for long travels, you should make it a point to make some frequent stops and do basic stretching exercises. For long flights, doing some cabin walks or calf stretches is best to promote circulation. Do not drink caffeinated beverages, as these can act as diuretics and dehydrate the body. The pressure and humidity changes on the plane can lead to swelling in your legs and feet so it's best to wear compression socks during travel.

    When Should You Start Wearing Compression Socks During Pregnancy?

    Compression socks can be worn starting from the first trimester of pregnancy, although the need for them may become more pronounced during the second and third trimesters. The third trimester, in particular, is when many women experience increased swelling in their feet and ankles due to the growing uterus putting pressure on the veins, making it more challenging for blood to travel upward and return to the heart. 

    How Long Should You Wear Compression Socks for Pregnancy?

    Wear your pregnancy compression socks first thing in the morning or when you taking walks or exercising. It is recommended to wear your compression socks for at least 4-6 hours per day to prevent the accumulation of fluid in your legs and feet. Take them off before going to bed and when taking a shower. 

    Safety Considerations for Pregnant Women

    When it comes to wearing compression socks during pregnancy, there are several important safety considerations that expecting mothers should keep in mind. While compression socks can provide numerous benefits, it's crucial to ensure they are used appropriately and without any potential risks. 

    Here are some key safety considerations:

    1. Consultation with a healthcare provider: Before wearing compression socks, it's essential to consult with your healthcare provider, particularly if you have any pre-existing medical conditions or complications during pregnancy. They can provide personalized advice and determine if compression socks are suitable for your specific situation.
    2. Appropriate compression levels during pregnancy: Compression socks come in different compression levels, typically measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). Pregnant women usually benefit from mild to moderate compression levels, ranging from 15-20 mmHg or 20-30 mmHg. Higher compression levels may not be recommended unless specifically advised by your healthcare provider.
    3. Possible contraindications and precautions: While compression socks are generally safe for most pregnant women, there may be certain situations where they should be used with caution or avoided altogether. For example, if you have certain vascular disorders, circulation problems, or conditions that affect blood flow, your healthcare provider may advise against wearing compression socks. It's crucial to follow their recommendations closely.
    4. Signs of discomfort or adverse reactions: Pay close attention to how your body responds to wearing compression socks. If you experience any discomfort, pain, numbness, tingling, or discoloration in your legs or feet, remove the socks immediately and consult your healthcare provider. These symptoms could indicate that the compression level is too high or that there may be an underlying issue that needs further evaluation.

    Being aware of these safety considerations is key to getting the most out of compression socks during pregnancy.

    Expert tip:

    Every pregnancy is unique, and what works for one woman may not necessarily work for another. Prioritize your well-being and consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice.

    Choosing the Right Compression Socks for Pregnancy

    When it comes to selecting compression socks for pregnancy, it's essential to consider factors such as the level of compression, and proper sizing and fitting. 

    Here's a detailed guide to help you choose the right compression socks for your needs:

    Compression Level

    The doctor's recommended level of compression socks during pregnancy is 15-20 mmHg for mild swelling, while 20-30 mmHg is usually prescribed for moderate to severe swelling. A 20-30 mmHg compression sock is still comfortable and most ideal for preventing the risk of DVT. Below is a detailed guide on the different levels of compression and their uses:

    • Mild Compression (8-15 mmHg): Ideal for mild swelling, fatigue, and discomfort in the legs during pregnancy. Provides gentle support and is suitable for daily wear.
    • Moderate Compression (15-20 mmHg): Effective for moderate swelling, varicose veins, and preventing blood clots. Recommended for individuals with a higher risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or those on long journeys.
    • Firm Compression (20-30 mmHg): Firm Compression (20-30 mmHg): Designed for severe swelling, varicose veins, and managing more significant circulatory issues. Typically recommended by healthcare professionals for specific medical conditions.

    Sizing and Fitting Considerations

    Proper sizing and fitting are essential for the optimal benefits and comfort of compression socks during pregnancy. Consider the following guidelines when selecting the right size:

    • Measure Your Legs: Use a measuring tape to determine the circumference of your ankle, calf, and thigh. Refer to the brand's sizing chart for accurate measurements.
    • Follow the Manufacturer's Guidelines: Each brand may have slightly different sizing guidelines, so it's crucial to follow the specific instructions provided.
    • Try Them On Properly: When trying on compression socks, make sure they fit snugly but comfortably. Avoid any excessive squeezing or discomfort.

    Read here to learn more about how tight should compression socks be.

    Best Compression Socks for Pregnancy

    Koprez is a renowned brand known popular among athletes, health professionals, and expecting mothers for its medical-grade graduated compression. Our best-selling knee-high compression socks are designed to provide the perfect level of support and comfort during pregnancy. With our unique gradient compression technology, they gently squeeze your legs from the ankle up, promoting circulation and oxygen flow. 

    Moisture-wicking and ultra-breathable fabric provide superior comfort, while our special non-binding top band ensures the sock stays in place without any slipping or irritation. It's especially useful if your nearing your third trimester and finding it harder to bend down to pull your socks up.

    Available in a medical-grade and moderate level of compression—20-30 mmHg—Koprez compression socks are designed with pregnant women’s needs in mind. We've designed our socks to alleviate common leg-related conditions such as edema, swelling, and varicose veins. 

    Final Thoughts

    When used properly and with caution, compression socks can be beneficial for expectant mothers during pregnancy. From providing extra comfort to managing symptoms such as swelling or varicose veins, they are a great way to ease the discomforts of pregnancy. 

    Shop today at Koprez® for your perfect pair of medical-grade pregnancy compression socks and enjoy the added comfort of wearing compression socks during pregnancy. 


    • Saliba-Júnior, O. A., Rollo, H. A., Saliba, O., & Sobreira, M. L. (2022). Positive perception and efficacy of compression stockings for prevention of lower limb edema in pregnant women. Jornal vascular brasileiro, 21, e20210101. https://doi.org/10.1590/1677-5449.210101
    • Saliba Júnior, O. A., Rollo, H. A., Saliba, O., & Sobreira, M. L. (2020). Graduated compression stockings effects on chronic venous disease signs and symptoms during pregnancy. Phlebology, 35(1), 46–55. https://doi.org/10.1177/0268355519846740


    Claire Evans worked as the content marketing manager at Koprez. Claire combined a background of writing and editing, marketing, and patient education to best serve consumers, fitness enthusiasts, athletes, and anyone who relies on the Koprez brand for helpful information.

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