Swelling in the feet and ankles, also known as edema, is a common event during pregnancy that is caused by the pressure from the growing uterus and additional fluid in the body. Although foot and ankle swelling can be expected during pregnancy, it can still be very painful to endure, especially if it’s in one leg only and can lead to deep vein thrombosis. One of the ways to prevent this swelling is to wear compression socks and stockings. To dive more into this topic, below is an interview with a pregnant mom-to-be at 32 weeks and her experience with wearing compression socks during pregnancy.
1) How do you feel about the changes to your body during pregnancy?
So many changes are happening to my body and it’s been an uneasy ride. The growing weight in my growing belly makes me feel heavy and weak in my lower limbs. I make frequent trips to the bathroom to urinate and I feel nauseous from time to time. Despite feeling ecstatic about becoming a mother, the physical changes during pregnancy definitely takes a toll on my body.
2) What have been the most obvious changes to your body (other than your belly)?
One thing that I didn’t expect to happen was nasal edema, which is swelling in the nose that makes me feel congested and often times having a runny nose. After doing some research, I found out this is because blood vessels expand in all parts of the body, including expansion in nasal passages and sinuses to send more blood to the baby.
I also experienced the symptoms of Gestational Diabetes because my blood sugar levels were high. I get tired much quicker than usual, my vision gets blurred, multiple trips to the bathroom, and feeling thirsty all the time.
3) What is the most uncomfortable part of being pregnant?
The most uncomfortable part of being pregnant for me is frequent urination. I don’t get enough quality sleep because I would have to get up in the middle of the night multiple times to go to the bathroom. I feel sleep deprived and it’s way harder to get out of bed in the mornings.
4) Have you noticed any swelling in your feet and ankles?
Yes absolutely. Towards the later stages of my pregnancy, my whole ankle seemed to have disappeared. The swelling got so serious that I couldn’t sleep at night.
5) What is your daily routine/must haves to make it through the day during pregnancy?
My daily routine during pregnancy is to take care and really listen to my body. I make sure that I eat foods with high content of folic acid, which is a lot of leafy green vegetables, beans, eggs, and fruits. I also ensure that I walk at least 30 minutes a day to keep my legs active while wearing compression socks.
6) When did you start wearing compression socks and why?
I started wearing compression socks when I noticed that my ankles begin to swell. It was difficult to wear compression socks during the summertime because it was hot. But I can’t help but to wear them in the daytime because it was too painful for me to go to sleep at night with swollen ankles.
7) Why do you think most young pregnant moms didn’t routinely wear compression sock before?
Most women don’t understand the risks involved with having swollen feet and ankles during pregnancy and are not aware of the benefits of compression socks. Also, pregnant moms might think compression socks are hard to match with clothes. But once they try compression socks on and start feeling a difference in reducing swollen-ness and pain, they will get in the routine of wearing compression socks.
8) What does your doctor think about compression socks for pregnancy?
My doctor agrees that there are medical and comfort benefits with compression socks. Earlier in pregnancy, the risk of getting blood clot is ten times higher because of the increase in estrogen. To avoid painful and varicose veins, wearing compression socks will alleviate uncomfortable swelling. In addition to compression socks, practicing yoga is also beneficial during pregnancy.
9) What is your work routine like/Do you sit or stand at work? I work in an office so I mostly sit at my desk, but I often switch to standing with an elevated desk and wear compression socks because that helps with the flow of blood circulation throughout the body.
10) How do you relax at night?
To relax at night, I enjoy doing arts and crafts and watching movies with my husband.
11) What else would you like to tell me about your experiences or thoughts about being pregnant?
Being pregnant is an amazing journey with ups and downs and filled with emotions. It’s a time where you get to learn a lot about healthy lifestyle choices, including proper nutrition, eating less portions and frequently throughout the day, and watching sugar intake lever (avoid overeating fruits), and of course wearing compression socks!
12) Would you recommend compression socks to your friends?
Absolutely I would recommend compression socks to friends and fellow pregnant moms! I did an experiment with one foot wearing compression socks and the other foot without compression socks. After three hours, the foot with compression socks I can see the veins and the shape of my ankle. The foot without the compression socks is comparatively swollen and I can’t even see any veins or my ankle.
^ Before ^ After 3 hours (Left foot wore compression socks)