The American College of Phlebology estimates that more than 80 million Americans suffer from some form of vein disease, and since pregnancy is the #2 cause of vein problems, this will include many pregnant women.
Even though not all pregnant women will present with symptoms of vein disease, the underlying problems may already be present, so it is highly advised that all pregnant women should wear prescription-grade compression stockings throughout their pregnancy. To ensure the correct type and fit, you should be measured appropriately. They come in various colors, styles and strengths, including knee-high, thigh-high and pantyhose (though knee-high would not be appropriate during pregnancy). At my Kansas City vein clinic, we can provide the correct compression stockings for you, or they can be purchased at medical supply stores, or some pharmacies. For optimal support, pregnant women should be at no less than 20-30mmHg compression level, which will help alleviate swelling and improve microcirculation in the legs. The stockings should be worn all day for full effect, but are not needed when asleep.
Call Vein Centers for Excellence of Kansas City at 913-451-VEIN if you have questions about pregnancy, compression hose and your varicose and spider veins.
Dr. Craig Schwartz