What’s Appropriate Compression Wear For Pregnant Women? Doctors Weigh In

Often times, different doctors will offer vastly differing opinions on a given medical topic. This of course why it’s so vital for you to have ALL of the necessary information before making an informed decision about your health. This is particularly true when it comes to wearing compression stockings and hosiery – especially during pregnancy. After all, you’re not just looking out for your well-being, you also want to ensure the health of your baby, of course. So, what is the best kind of maternity compression hosiery, anyway? Could thigh high or compression pantyhose actually cut off circulation, and be bad for you during pregnancy? Let’s let the experts give their 2 cents.

Some doctor’s actually do believe that higher-fit compression wear, like thigh-highs and pantyhose could be constricting to the body while pregnant, and may even cut off circulation, in the event that you become unusually bloated. “I recommend a knee high pair of 20 -30 mm Hg compression stockings to pregnant women,” says Joseph Thomas Jenkins, MD. Another skilled physician, Richard Sadler, MD, FACS seems to agree with this sentiment saying, “knee length stockings should provide adequate compression in this setting,” adding, “please check your physician regarding use during pregnancy.”

Doctors like Stephen F. Daugherty, MD, FACS, RVT, RPhS, don’t seem to think that knee-highs are particularly useful in later pregnancy, though. Similarly, he think that, if properly fitted, thigh-highs and maternity pantyhose will not cut off circulation. On top of that, he disagrees with Dr. Jenkins’ recommendation of 20-30, upping the ante to 30-40 mm Hg.

” Most women who are pregnant,” he says, “should wear 30-40 mm Hg compression hose on a routine daily basis. While calf length hose may be fine, particularly early during pregnancy, maternity support pantyhose or thigh length hose are much better later during the pregnancy.  A high quality brand of hose which is properly fitted and properly worn will be of great benefit during pregnancy.”

Dr. Mario T. Plaza-Ponte agrees with Dr. Daugherty, about maternity pantyhose being the most effective but stresses that they ought to be 40 mm Hg, saying, “The best compression stockings for pregnant mothers are maternity style, providing 40 mmHg compression.”

While many doctors seem to agree that pantyhose are the best garment to wear during pregnancy, some within this realm see a lower compression level as actually being more beneficial.

Gregg a Reger, MD says: “Maternity compression hose are waist high with an abdominal section that is loose and comfortable. Compression hose on the legs INCREASES venous blood flow to the heart, reduces fluid retention and edema in the legs, helps maintain adequate blood pressure in patients prone to low pressure (common in early pregnancies), does not contribute to elevated blood pressure, and helps to reduce and prevent the development of varicose veins during each pregnancy. Thigh high hose are not comfortable and not recommended during pregnancy. For most patients a 15-20mm/Hg compression is adequate. If you have already developed varicose veins then higher compression 20-30mm/Hg would be better but are certainly more difficult to get on so alternatively you may wear 2 pairs of lighter 15-20mm/Hg on top of each other.”

On the recommendation of Dr. Reger, why not try a pair of Jobst Ultrasheer Maternity Pantyhose 15-20 Moderate Support, today?!

All quotes courtesy of Dr. Q and A.