How Maternity Compression Garments Can Help During Pregnancy & Postpartum

Young caucasian pregnant woman with pregnancy support belt

How Maternity Compression Garments Can Help During Pregnancy & Postpartum

So what exactly is maternity compression and why might expectant and new moms need it? It’s a question we hear from moms all the time, and one that we love to answer.

What is Maternity Compression?

Maternity compression garments provide much-needed relief from a variety of issues associated with pregnancy and postpartum discomfort using targeted support. These include: swollen feet and ankles (we all saw Jessica Simpson’s feet, right?!), back pain, and healing after baby.

As baby grows, your body must adjust to handle the extra weight and pressure placed on your core. You’ll feel it mostly in your hips, lower back and pelvis, but the discomfort can travel down your legs. After enduring these changes to the body for about nine months, your body undergoes extreme changes again when giving birth. It will take about six weeks to make a full physical recovery. Maternity garments may help alleviate any pressure or swelling, as well as enhance the healing process after baby.

Types of Maternity Compression Garments

Compression Socks

Compression socks (also called compression stockings) are designed to expand with you during pregnancy and help prevent swelling, circulation issues, and varicose veins. They might look like regular socks with a variety of colors and patterns, but there is a difference. You’ll notice as soon as you try to put them on. Compression socks are much tighter than a normal sock.

When looking for compression socks or stockings, you may come across the term “gradient compression.” This means that a controlled amount of pressure is delivered, with the greatest amount of pressure at the ankle, gradually decreasing toward the top of the sock.

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Compression socks may benefit any pregnant mom who is experiencing swelling or circulation issues. They are especially beneficial for moms who stand for long periods of time or walk long distances.

Maternity Support Bands

Maternity bands (sometimes called maternity support belts) are typically worn during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy to support your growing baby bump. They also relieve pressure on your abdomen, hips, and pelvis. During the third trimester, especially, your back and core start to really feel the weight of your growing belly. This places more pressure on your Sacroiliac Joint (SIJ). Your SIJ is responsible for stability, and it may become painful or more difficult to move around.

Maternity bands can give you the core support needed to relieve ligament pain. They help you maintain the ability to do simple workouts, sit at your desk, or move about the office comfortably. Maternity bands may also help relieve hip pressure. This can aid in posture and prevent the pregnancy waddle, as well as prevent the likelihood of overextending your lower back while standing or sitting.

Postpartum Support Garments

This is the maternity compression item that is the most unfamiliar to many moms. Postpartum support garments (also known as pelvic girdles) have specially-designed panels to help stabilize and support loose and weak muscles and are usually most beneficial when worn one week to four months postpartum.

They do this by supporting and aligning your abdomen until your abdominal organs and muscles can do their normal jobs again. Many women think they are just shapewear, but true maternity compression garments are designed to assist in healing by reducing pain, increasing mobility quicker, stabilizing the pelvic floor, and even helping to heal diastasis recti. Further, if you’ve had a C-section, a compression garment can take the pressure off your incision while it heals.

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Which Maternity Compression Garments are Best?

When it comes to choosing the right maternity compression garment(s), it will depend on your symptoms and where you are in your pregnancy or postpartum journey. It’s always best to consult with your doctor or midwife, who may need to provide a prescription for these garments. And make sure to see if you are covered through insurance, as your insurance provider may offer some level of coverage.

About the Author /

Jennifer Jordan is the Director of Mom & Baby at Aeroflow Healthcare. A working and once-breastfeeding mom, Jennifer - along with her team - is committed to supporting all moms on their breastfeeding journey through support and education.

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Instagram post 18074272528164523 @debiandbebi wrote these words when she was a new mom and struggled with #postpartumdepression. She hopes to remind everyone that it is okay to struggle with being a new mom and that does not mean you don't love your baby. ❤️⁠
(quote by @debiandbebi)⁠
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Instagram post 17862171103601373 All of these things make me happy. What would you add to your self care toolbox?⁠
I'm seriously needing some of these things tonight to start a new week. Hoping you mamas get some self care time too! 💕⁠
📷: @hallmark⁠
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Instagram post 18073051357163780 When it comes to clamping the cord, our mottos is "what's the rush?" The blood volume in the placenta and cord at the time of birth is BABY'S blood. It's simply mid-circulation in the placenta at the time of birth. It just makes sense to leave it be and let it finish its job.⁠
No, the blood won't drain out of baby and go backwards into the placenta.⁠
No, your baby is not more likely to get sick from jaundice.⁠
Yes, your baby will still be getting oxygen while they figure out breathing, especially important if they need resuscitation.⁠
Yes, your baby will have better iron levels for the first year of their life.⁠
Look at how thick and engorged this cord still is at 4 and 18 minutes after baby was born. Just imagine how much blood baby would have lost if the cord had been clamped immediately, or at 60 seconds, 90 seconds, or 3 minutes! The placenta was expelled immediately before the 18 minute photo was taken. The pulse in the cord could still be felt even AFTER THE PLACENTA HAD BEEN DELIVERED! The cord was finally clamped and cut more than an hour after birth at 73 minutes. ❤️⁠
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Informative post and words by @bundleborn⁠
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Instagram post 17852665306696124 With the holiday season upon us and moms trying to make everything magical for their families, remember to stop and take a moment to take care of you. ❤️ Have a hot cup of coffee, a long warm shower and some alone time. Communicate this with your partner not as a wish but as a necessity. We must take the time to take care of ourselves to better take care of them. 💕⁠
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Instagram post 17844162355818683 I think I had a little too much turkey . . . and pie. 😬🍗🥧 #leggingsforlife⁠
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Instagram post 17990835490280335 I totally felt this way when I was pregnant. And kinda feel this way after all that turkey. 🤣🦃 Happy turkey day to all you expecting mamas!!⁠
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Instagram post 17852562805720320 Loneliness is a real thing in new motherhood and I want to be sure we talk about this. It's okay to say, "I feel lonely." We normalize one another's experiences when we share the reality of our journey. It can be so isolating when we bring our small human home and our lives revolve around his/her care. We feel detached from the outside world. The monotony of new motherhood can be heavy.⁠
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Here are some tips to combat isolation:⁠
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1️⃣ Get outside when possible.⁠
2️⃣ Video chat with friends/family.⁠
3️⃣ Join a virtual group.⁠
4️⃣ Invite someone to come over.⁠
5️⃣ Find a local mom's group.⁠
6️⃣ Listen to the radio or a podcast (it's interesting how this can make us feel connected with others)⁠
7️⃣ Run an errand--even grabbing a coffee via drive-thru can feel good.⁠
8️⃣ Get to know your neighbors.⁠
What would you add to the list?⁠
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Repost: words and 📷 by @psychedmommy⁠
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