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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?

Wrong!

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.

Support Hose

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.

Compression

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.

Support Garments

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.

Shapewear

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

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.

Gradient Compression

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.

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Compression Levels

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.

 

Myths About Things to Avoid While Pregnant

Myth: You Should Not Get a Flu Shot
Fact: Quite the opposite, actually.  The flu shot is very important for pregnant women because if one was to become infected with the flu, they have a much higher risk of becoming very ill and a higher risk of dying from the flu than those who are not pregnant.  The immunities are also transferred to the baby which will help protect its delicate immune system during the first months after birth.  Some pregnant women worry that preservatives in the flu vaccine will hurt their unborn child, but studies show there is no evidence that the flu vaccine harms fetuses.

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Image courtesy of earlypregnancy.net

Myth: You Can’t Have Your Hair Colored While Pregnant
Fact: Chemicals from hair dyes are absorbed through the skin, but only in very minimal amounts, which are not harmful.  Play it safe by making sure you are having any chemical hair treatments done in a well-ventilated space with a fan.  And for those that are really worried, you can save all your hair treatments for the second and third trimesters.

Myth: You Shouldn’t Fly While Pregnant
Fact: Many pregnant women worry that radiation from airport body scanners and x-ray machines will harm their unborn babies.  But, have no fear.  The amount of radiation is very small will not harm unborn babies.  We are actually exposed to small amounts of radiation on the ground all the time.  So, go ahead and plan that babymoon.  Just make sure that you are safe and sound at home by 34 weeks, as that is usually when most doctors advice you cease travel.  Many airlines will also not allow you to board without a doctor’s note after 34 weeks.  You may run into some leg/ankle swelling while in-flight so make sure to pack some super-comfortable compression socks.

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Myth: Skip the Gym While Pregnant
Fact: If you’ve been a gym regular, there’s no reason to give it up.  It can actually be quite healthy for you and baby.  Just be sure to keep your workouts low-impact and avoid contact sports or any exercises done on your back.  Be sure to check with your doctor to make sure your routine is still safe.  You can help support your belly with the help of support garments or legwear.

Myth: Avoid Sleeping On Your Back
Fact: Doctor’s suggest that it is best to sleep on your left side since this sleep position is known to help increase blood flow to the uterus.  But, if sleeping on your back is more comfortable, there is no harm for your baby.

Myths About Eating While Pregnant

Myth: Double Up On Your Servings Because You’re Eating For Two
Fact: Not so fast!  Even though you are eating for two, you are not eating for two adults!  The average pregnant woman only needs an additional 300 calories per day to adequately nourish both mom and baby.  Normal weight gain should average around 25 to 35 pounds during the whole pregnancy.  Gaining too much can have lasting negative effects on the baby.

Myth: Don’t Eat Fish or Seafood While Pregnant
Fact: Fish is actually very healthy for both mom and baby, as fish contains high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which help with baby’s brain development.  Just make sure to stick with coldwater fish, salmon, shrimp or canned tuna, and avoid fish that are high in mercury, such as swordfish, shark, tilefish and king mackerel.

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Image courtesy of Darkkong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Myth: Eat Three Healthy Meals A Day
Fact: It is actually better for a pregnant woman to eat 6 or 7 small meals per day.  Eating small amounts of healthy food frequently will help keep your blood sugar in normal ranges.

Myth: It’s Okay To Have a Small Drink
Fact: Nope!  Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend that pregnant women completely avoid drinking alcohol.  There is no amount of alcohol that is safe during pregnancy.

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Image courtesy of Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Myth: Avoid Caffeine While Pregnant
Fact: Just say no to alcohol, but a little bit of caffeine is okay.  You will definitely want to limit the amount of caffeine that you consume, but most doctors say that 200 milligrams or less a day is perfectly safe.  This amounts to roughly one 12-ounce cup of coffee.

Myth: Avoid Cheese While Pregnant
Fact: No need to cut out all cheeses, but do avoid the soft, unpasteurized cheeses like Brie, feta and goat cheese, as these can carry food-borne illnesses.  Other cheeses are perfectly safe.

Myths About Baby’s Gender or Appearance

Myth: How High or Low You Are Carrying Determines the Baby’s Gender
Fact: There is no scientific fact behind gender playing a role in the shape and position of a pregnant belly.  The look of your bump is determined by the woman’s muscle structure and abdominal fat, as well as the baby’s position and size.

Myth: Craving Certain Foods Reveals What Gender You Are Carrying
Fact: Scientific fact is lacking in this one, too.  Every woman, baby and pregnancy is different.  Different food cravings have no bearing on the baby’s gender.

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Myth: Heartburn Means Baby Will Have a Lot of Hair
Fact: This one is certainly one of the more common myths, but heartburn and hair do not actually go hand in hand.  Many women who had heartburn have bald babies, while those who sailed through pregnancy without the hand on the Tums bottle have had babies with a full head of hair.

Myths About Labor and Delivery

Myth: Your Water Breaks When You Are In Labor
Fact: Sometimes a woman’s water breaks at that start of labor, but more than likely it is a further point through labor before it breaks.  Some doctors will even break your water to help labor progress further.  The bottom line is don’t wait for your water to break.  If your contractions are strong, regular and frequent, don’t wait.  Make your way to your hospital or birthing center.

Myth: Having an Epidural Increases Your Chances of Needing a C-Section
Fact: Studies show that getting an epidural to help relieve some of the pain of labor does not actually increase the risk of a c-section.  Every labor, childbirth, woman and baby is different.  Some may even find that the epidural help move things along.

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Image courtesy of americanpregnancy.org.

Myth: First Babies Always Arrive Late
Fact: While there is a greater percentage of first time moms that deliver late, this is certainly not the rule.  Your menstrual cycle is actually a more accurate way to determine when your baby will arrive.  If your cycles are shorter, you’re more likely to deliver early.  Longer cycles might indicate a later baby.  But, even this is not an exact science.

Myth: Your Second Childbirth Will Be Easier
Fact: Although your first childbirth experience is usually the longest, it isn’t always.  And the second and subsequent births may not always be easier.  Everything will depend on the baby’s position and condition, as well as anything that might be affecting your health.

Myth: You Will Feel An Instant Bond With Your Baby
Fact: Although many moms do feel the bond right away, others may be feeling too exhausted or overwhelmed.  If you don’t feel that bond right away, don’t worry because your bond will grow stronger before you know it.

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Myth: Your Delivery Will Be Like Your Mother’s
Fact: Although you may have a similar body structure as your mother, this is not the only factor in determining what type of labor and delivery you will have.  The size and position of the baby is the main contributing factor, as well as your health, lifestyle and any number of complications that you may be experiencing.

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.

Midwives Day

January 8, 2016 — Leave a comment

Today, January 8, 2016, is Midwives Day!  Are any of our Preggers mamas planning on delivering with the help of a midwife?  Or maybe you know someone who has or plans to use a midwife.  In the US, the rate of midwife deliveries is still pretty low compared to the numbers delivered by OB-GYNs, but the trend is definitely on the rise.  In honor of Midwives Day, we thought we’d explore midwifery and its rising trend and practice in the US.

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History

Midwifery has been around as long as childbirth itself.  Of course, midwifery in the ancient and medieval world was not the practice that it is today.  But, the idea was the same.  It was not until the last couple of centuries that women began to labor and deliver with the help of trained doctors, and even more recent that births were moved to hospitals.  Despite this transition in countries like the US, the art and practice of midwifery has always been in practice in undeveloped countries, as well as other developed countries around the world.

Trend

The percentages of midwife deliveries in the United States is still low compared to OB-GYN deliveries, but is definitely on the rise.  According to statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and published in a June 25, 2012 article in Time Magazine, roughly 1 in every 8 vaginal deliveries is assisted by a midwife.

Benefits

Why is this trend on the rise?  The reasons are different for every mother, but many of the reasons include the following:

  1. Interventions – Many women want to give birth without medical interventions. Using synthetic drugs like Pitocin to induce labor can lead to an increased risk of C-Sections, another thing many women want to avoid.  A lot of these mothers also look for a more natural method of pain relief rather than the standard epidural used in hospitals.
  2. Cost – Let’s face it. The cost of childbirth is very expensive.  Insurance will pick up a lot of it, but mothers must usually meet deductibles – sometimes very high ones.  And each intervention done also adds to the already high cost.  The cost of a midwife delivery can be drastically lower than a traditional delivery, especially when done outside of a hospital.  Before choosing this route, however, make sure your insurance will cover using a midwife.  Many plans will, but some may not.
  3. Hands-On Care – Pregnant mothers are not the only patients that OB-GYNs will see during a given day, making them very busy. Most midwives can spend more time with their patients, developing a stronger relationship.  When it comes time for delivery, the laboring mother will have the undivided attention of the midwife.
  4. Personalized Birth Plan – There are a number of things mothers can do during labor to help move things along, as well as manage pain. A growing number of mothers like to have a specific plan in place that may include use of a birthing ball or bar, a tub for water birth, or maybe your favorite music or candles.  These are all things that are more likely to be accommodated when delivering outside of a hospital.

Types of Midwives

There are two different types of midwives to choose from – Certified Nurse-Midwives and Direct-Entry Midwives.  According to the website whattoexpect.com the differences are:

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Midwives can be a great option for pregnant moms.  But, one thing that everyone agrees on: any high-risk pregnancy (high blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid problems, etc.) should be handled in a hospital with an experienced OB-GYN.

If you like the sound of a midwife delivery, do your research and find out what is best for you and your baby in your area.  Make an informed decision based on your individual needs.  Happy Midwives Day and happy delivering, mamas!

Labor Day is this Monday, September 7.  But, don’t worry mamas, it probably isn’t your “labor day”.  For most of us, Labor Day Weekend is the gateway to the fall.  Cooling temps, beautiful leaves, and pumpkin patches are just around the corner.  Which means it’s time to give your wardrobe a boost!

When you look at boosting your compression hosiery, you’ll want to include Preggers Maternity Tights.  Along with all the super benefits that Preggers Maternity hosiery usually offer, our Maternity Tights will also keep your legs warm during those crisp fall days.

As with all Preggers Maternity socks and hosiery, our Preggers Maternity Tights contain gradient compression, which is compression that is greatest at the ankle and gradually decreases as it moves up the legs.  Important for all Preggers mamas, our tights are comfortable.  They are made with super soft yarns and smooth seams that won’t dig into your tummy.  The supportive top expands as your belly grows and can be folded under the belly or pulled over.  Our light compression (10-15mmHg) comes in fashionable everyday colors, as well as trendy seasonal colors.  And Preggers offers Maternity Tights in higher compression levels, too, in most of the fashionable everyday colors.

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Since we know all of you mamas that will be sporting a baby bump this fall will want to buy a pair of Preggers Maternity Tights in every color available, we thought we’d help you out with a little break in the price!!!  Between now and September 15, you can get any of our regularly priced Light Support Preggers Tights (or any other Light Support Preggers hosiery or support product) at 20% off.  Discount is reflected in the cart, no codes needed.

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And finally, for those mamas that will spend this Labor Day truly laboring, we wish you happy delivering!  Don’t forget to pick up a Preggers Nursing Bra or Postpartum Tank.  They’re included in the sale, too, and you’re going to need one!

Happy Labor Day to all our Preggers mamas and their babies.


Back Pain

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Chief among complaints of many pregnant women is the infamous back pain.  And it’s no wonder since there are several factors that can lead to pregnancy back pain.  Women typically gain between 25 and 35 pounds in a normal pregnancy.  The added weight that the spine must now support can lead to lower back pain.  Hormone changes can also contribute to increased back pain.  The hormone relaxin kicks into gear to help loosen joints in preparation for childbirth.  This includes the ligaments that support the spine.  The way your body moves also changes as your baby grows, due to an altered center of gravity, and can affect your posture leading to increased back pain.  Changes in abdominal muscles also play a role.

But, fortunately, most mamas can find various sources of relief for some or all of pregnancy-related back pain.  The following remedies are great doctor-approved ways to reduce back pain.

  1. Proper Shoes – Pregnancy is not the best time for high heels. High heels can shift your pregnancy weight directly to you lower spine and hips.  You will also want to avoid unsupported shoes.  Wear a low-heeled and comfortable shoe that includes arch support.
  2. Sleep Position – Sleeping on your side with your knees bent is the most comfortable position for pregnant mamas. Using support pillows (under abdomen, behind back and between knees) while you sleep is also a good idea.
  3. Physical Activity – Regular exercise can help keep your muscles strong, which can relieve some back pain. Swimming is one of the best exercises for pregnant women because of the reduction in pressure of the spine.
  4. Support Garments – The right supportive garment will hold your belly up taking some of the pressure off your lower back.

Preggers Maternity Support Tank is a great option for mamas.  Expanding to fit during a full pregnancy, the Maternity Support Tank has a unique design which helps you to maintain correct back posture, prevent lumbar pain AND support a growing belly.  Made with stretchy yarns and knitted into a super soft and seamless garment, this tank is the optimum in comfort.  The smooth, shaping support of the Maternity Support Tank is the perfect undergarment for expecting moms.

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The good news about pregnancy-related back pain is that it will likely ease and go away after your baby is born.  Ligaments that loosened up regain their rigidity and are able to better support normal weight.  But, until then we hope the tips above will help to make your pregnancy more comfortable.

 

 

 

 

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It’s August.  Raise your hand if you’re hot and pregnant!  Raise your hand if you’re very hot and very pregnant!  No one put their hand down, did they?

Pregnant bellies need extra support, especially in the later months, and bands like Preggers Maternity Support Band give mamas that extra support they need.  And even though the Preggers Maternity Support Band is super soft and super comfortable, no one wants an extra layer around their midsection right now, right?!  What about if you could combine the support of the Maternity Support Band with your regular maternity underwear?  That would be great, wouldn’t it?  The support you need without an extra layer.

Enter Preggers Maternity Hipster Support Panties, which give you all the great support of the Maternity Support band with the coverage of maternity underwear in one layer.  Preggers Maternity Support Panties expand with growing bellies to fit during all stages of pregnancy.  The unique design helps to lift the belly and support the back.  The panties are seamless and are made with super soft and very stretchy yarns providing the ultimate in comfort.

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Now if Preggers could only tackle the heartburn, trips to the bathroom . . .

 

Everyone knows that pregnancy is about growing: the baby grows, your belly grows, your family grows.  But, have you ever wondered what other things will grow and change during your pregnancy – the less obvious things?  The team at Preggers put together this chart to highlight all the wonderful and not-so-wonderful things that grow or change throughout your pregnancy.  With all these crazy things to look forward to, it’s kind of a wonder that we choose take this incredible journey.  But then, one look at your sweet baby’s face, and you know it’s all worth it.

V2-PlacesYoullGrow (2)And, as you’re growing, remember that Preggers legwear and support products are designed to grow with you.  Feel supported and help prevent swelling in your legs and feet with Preggers maternity support products, leggings, tights, footless tights, pantyhose, knee highs, trouser socks  and casual socks.  Don’t forget our postpartum support products to help you feel great and supported post baby.