Podcast Episode #218

Compression garments for pregnancy and postpartum

Today I chat with Sarah Cleaver, who is a physiotherapist and Australasian distributor for Solidea, importing a range of medical compression and support wear for use during the pregnancy and postpartum period.

In this chat today with Sarah, we discuss:

  • How does compression help during pregnancy and postpartum?
  • When to start wearing compression during pregnancy and postpartum.
  • Different types of compression for pregnancy and postpartum.
  • Support wear for vulval varicosities and pelvic floor issues.
  • Support wear for pelvic girdle and low back pain and swelling.
compression garments for pregnancy

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In this article you'll find tips to:

  • Choose the right type of compression garment for your pregnancy and postpartum needs.
  • Understand the benefits of wearing compression garments during pregnancy.
  • Manage pelvic girdle and low back pain with appropriate compression wear.
  • Alleviate vulval varicosities using specific compression garments.
  • Reduce swelling in your legs and feet with effective compression solutions.
  • Support your postpartum recovery with targeted compression wear.
  • Determine the best time to start wearing compression garments postpartum.
  • Enhance your comfort and confidence during pregnancy and after childbirth.

Pregnancy brings about significant changes to a woman’s body, often resulting in discomfort and various physical challenges. One way to manage these changes and alleviate discomfort is through the use of compression garments. In this podcast episode, where we chat with Sarah Cleaver, who is a physiotherapist and Australasian distributor for Solidea, we explore the various types of compression garments for pregnancy and postpartum, the reasons they may be helpful, and their specific benefits for different conditions.

Types of Compression Garments for Pregnancy and Postpartum

Compression garments are designed to provide support and comfort during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Here are the common types of pre and postnatal compression wear:

  1. Pregnancy Shorts: These provide support to the lower back, pelvis, and abdomen. They help alleviate the weight of the growing baby, support the joints and the pelvic floor area as well as the abdominals.
  2. Leggings: Full-length leggings offer comprehensive support from the abdomen down to the ankles. They are beneficial in the same way as pregnancy shorts, with the added benefit of supporting those experiencing swelling and varicose veins in the legs.
  3. Stockings: These offer graduated compression, which is effective in promoting venous return and reducing swelling, particularly in the lower legs and feet.
  4. Tubi Grip: This is a stretchy, easy to take on and off, tube-like bandage that can be used early postpartum to provide gentle compression and support to the abdomen.

Reasons Why Compression Garments May Be Helpful During Pregnancy and Postpartum

Compression garments can be highly beneficial during pregnancy and postpartum for several reasons:

  • Alleviating Discomfort: They help manage back pain, pelvic joint pain, and general discomfort associated with the weight and changes in the body during pregnancy.
  • Reducing Swelling: Compression garments improve blood circulation, reducing swelling in the legs and feet, which is common during pregnancy.
  • Supporting Recovery: Postpartum, these garments offer support to weakened muscles and connective tissue, aiding in the recovery process.
  • Improving Confidence: By providing physical support, compression garments can help women feel more secure and confident in their movements.

Compression Garments for Pelvic Girdle and Low Back Pain During Pregnancy

Pelvic girdle pain and low back pain are common during pregnancy due to the added weight and changes in posture. High-waisted compression garments can provide much-needed support to these areas:

  • Pelvic Girdle Support: Compression shorts and leggings that extend over the belly help lift the weight off the pelvis, reducing pain and discomfort.
  • Low Back Support: These garments also support the lower back, helping to alleviate the strain caused by the growing belly.

Compression Garments for Vulval Varicosities

Vulval varicosities are swollen or enlarged veins around the vulva and pelvic region, often caused by hormones and the pressure of the growing baby. Compression garments can help manage this condition:

  • Pregnancy Shorts: These provide gentle compression and support to the pelvic area, helping to alleviate discomfort caused by vulval varicosities.
  • Additional Support: Rest and elevating the feet are also recommended to reduce pressure on the veins.

Compression Garments for Swelling During Pregnancy

Swelling in the legs and feet is a common issue during pregnancy, particularly for those who spend a lot of time standing.

  • Stockings and Leggings: Full-length compression stockings and leggings are particularly effective in reducing swelling. They provide graduated compression, which promotes blood flow and reduces fluid retention.
  • Knee-Length Socks: For mild swelling, knee-length compression socks may be sufficient. They are easier to put on and more comfortable in hot weather.

Support Wear for Postpartum Recovery

Postpartum recovery can be challenging as the body heals and adjusts after childbirth. Compression garments play a crucial role in this recovery period:

  • Immediate Postpartum: Compression shorts or Tubi Grip can provide support to the abdomen and help manage discomfort from caesarean or vaginal births.
  • Long-Term Use: These garments can be worn for up to six weeks postpartum or longer if needed. They help support weakened muscles and connective tissues, aiding in a smoother recovery.
  • Tailored Support: Each woman’s recovery is unique, so it’s important to choose garments that provide the right level of support and comfort based on individual needs.

Compression garments offer a practical solution for managing the physical demands of pregnancy and the postpartum period. By providing targeted support and alleviating discomfort, these garments can significantly improve the quality of life for expecting and new mothers. If you’re considering compression garments, consult with a healthcare professional to ensure you choose the right type and fit for your needs.


Today’s Sponsor:

Enter code FITNEST20 for 20% off Solidea’s maternity range.  www.solidea.com.au

Frequently asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the different types of compression garments available for pregnancy and postpartum?

Compression garments include pregnancy shorts, leggings, stockings, and Tubi Grip. Each type offers different levels of support to the abdomen, lower back, pelvis, and legs.

How do compression garments help during pregnancy?

Compression garments can alleviate discomfort such as back pain, pelvic joint pain, and varicose veins. They also improve blood circulation, reduce swelling, and provide overall support to the changing body during pregnancy.

Can I wear compression garments immediately after giving birth?

It is generally recommended to start wearing recovery shorts or other compression garments around Day 5 postpartum. For immediate support after a caesarean, Tubi Grip may be more comfortable initially.

How long should I wear compression garments postpartum?

Compression garments can be worn for up to six weeks postpartum or longer if needed. It depends on individual comfort and the rate of recovery.

Are compression garments safe for all pregnant women?

Generally, Grade 1 compression is safe for most pregnant women. However, women with specific medical conditions such as elevated blood pressure should consult their healthcare provider before using compression garments.

Can compression garments help with pelvic girdle pain and low back pain?

Yes, high-waisted compression shorts and leggings can support the pelvis and lower back, alleviating pain and discomfort caused by the weight and postural changes during pregnancy.

How do compression garments help with vulval varicosities?

Compression garments like pregnancy shorts provide gentle support to the pelvic area, reducing discomfort from vulval varicosities. Additional measures such as rest and elevating the feet can also help.

What type of compression garment is best for swelling during pregnancy?

Full-length compression stockings and leggings are particularly effective for reducing swelling in the legs and feet. Knee-length compression socks may be sufficient for mild swelling.

Will wearing compression garments affect my muscle function?

No, wearing compression garments will not switch off your muscles. They provide support and can be used alongside exercises and rehabilitation to aid recovery.

How can I ensure the right fit and effectiveness of compression garments?

It is important to choose the right type and size of compression garment for your specific needs. Consulting with a healthcare professional can help ensure you select the most appropriate and effective option.