No need for compression, right? If you have a good pair of support hose, that’s all you need? Because compression and support hose are the same thing?
There are actually some very big differences between support hose and compression hose. In fact, there is even a difference between compression and gradient compression. Let’s break each one down.
In the world of hosiery, support and control mean the same thing. An example of this would be like control top pantyhose. Basically, you have a garment that smooths out abdominal bulges and bumps for a more flattering look. But the difference is only cosmetic. The garments don’t actually provide any of the health benefits of compression, nor do they provide support to the legs or feet.
What about items beyond hosiery – like support garments and shapewear. There are some significant differences here, too.
Support garments, shapewear and athletic compression are all examples of what is known as all-over compression, or compression that has the same amount of “squeeze” throughout the whole garment.
Here’s where things get a little confusing. Although support hose generally refer to hosiery like control top pantyhose, support garments are a little different still. Support garments, or garments that typically cover the abdomen or torso area of the body, actually offer much-needed support for the wearer, as well as gentle shaping. Preggers Maternity and Postpartum Support Garments are great examples of these.
You’ve surely seen these items from time to time. Shapewear, like control-top pantyhose, are meant to slim and shape the waist and body by squeezing bulges and bumps. They’re like the modern version of a corset or perhaps a bodysuit.
Athletic compression is another good example of all-over compression. A popular trend among professional and amateur athletes alike, athletic compression helps to give athletes extra stability and support. The types of garments can really be anything, including socks, pants, shirts or sleeves.
A gradient compression garment takes the cake, as these items provide the most health benefits – especially for pregnant mamas. Gradient or graduated compression is tightest at the ankle and the pressure decreases gradually as it moves up the leg of the garment. The graduated element is what makes gradient compression so healthy, because it promotes circulation, energizes tired, achy legs and helps to prevent and reduce swelling. Pregnant mamas know how beneficial that can be! All Preggers legwear products offer a level of gradient compression.
Our products are available in four different compression levels – known as mmHg or millimeters of mercury. The levels are aptly named Light (10-15 mmHg), Mild (15-20 mmHg), Moderate (20-30 mmHg) and Firm (30-40 mmHg). Most people, including pregnant women, can wear Light compression to promote better blood flow and to energize tired achy legs and feet, without the direction of a doctor. Anything higher than that, however, should be at the advice and direction of a physician. A physician who knows your individual condition and history can correctly diagnose issues that may benefit from higher compression levels. Your doctor will also know best as to which compression level is right for you, as well as to ensure you are properly sized.
Disclaimer: This article is meant to be informational. Always follow the advice and recommendations of your doctor. Consult your doctor before doing anything that you feel might be risky.