I don’t like being pregnant. I take that back, I love being pregnant, but I don’t like many side effects that come along with having another person growing inside of me. Seeing my baby on the ultrasound for the first time was absolutely breath-taking, and having him kick for the first time was like nothing I’d ever experienced, but unfortunately, that’s not all there is to being pregnant.
Beyond the backaches, my strange sleeping patterns, and unorthodox food cravings (which I often regret later), lately, my legs and feet have been swelling so much – it’s really quite painful. The pain has been so apparent that it’s gotten to the point where it has occupied a lot of my thinking. Whenever I sit down for too long, whenever I’m on my feet for too long, or whenever I’m walking for even a relatively brief amount of time – there it is – the swelling and the pain.
One morning I talked to my friend about this over coffee. Well, I didn’t drink coffee – she had coffee, I had water. She mentioned that for the pain and swelling, I try Preggers. They’re a type of maternity compression tights, by this brand called Therafirm. Funny, while she was pregnant only a few years ago, I never heard her complain about her leg / foot swelling and pain, and I never saw her in compression hose (which I somehow thought would look unattractive). Putting two and two together, I realized that she wasn’t complaining about her pain and swelling because she was wearing the tights, and I didn’t realize she was wearing the compression tights, because what she was wearing was so unlike what I was under the impression they’d be.
As you can probably imagine now, I took her advice, and ordered the Preggers compression hose. Yep, to me, they were definitely everything she said they’d be.
Being a fairly analytical person though, I wasn’t happy simply knowing that they made me feel good. For all I knew, I could have been under a placebo effect, and for all I knew, the hose could have actually been doing me harm. Upon doing fairly in-depth Google searches, though, I realized that this couldn’t be further from the truth. I actually found numerous studies that spoke to the positive effects of maternity hose.
One study, conducted at the Universitätsspital Zürich, set out to determine the effectiveness of compression stockings in preventing emergent varicose veins in pregnancy. What they found was that “…they significantly decrease the incidence of long saphenous vein reflux at the sapheno-femoral junction and improve leg symptoms.”
What does this mean, exactly? Well, I’m no medical expert, but I know that saphenous vein reflux, is certainly not something I want to have.