Varicose Veins During Pregnancy

Posted on January 26, 2015 · Posted in Blog

Not the best sight to look at, but varicose veins during pregnancy are usually common though not harmful.

As opposed to spider veins, which are usually small visible veins beneath the surface, varicose veins are large, swollen blood vessels found predominantly in the legs that swell above the surface of the skin creating distinctive purplish lumps. Both spider veins and varicose veins can be side effects of pregnancy.

What causes varicose veins during pregnancy?

During pregnancy, your body produces a larger volume of blood in order to support two growing bodies. By doing so, the blood vessels are exposed to more pressure than normal. The veins in the legs that push the blood back towards the heart are forced to work even harder during this period. In addition, the pressure from the uterus and the increased progesterone levels in the body contribute to the appearance of varicose veins around the 29th week of pregnancy.

What you need to know

What bothers most women is the way varicose veins look, cause pain and itch at times. The good news is that varicose veins during pregnancy are unlikely to put you or your baby at any risk. If you developed varicose veins only during pregnancy, chances are that those veins will shrink and probably disappear altogether after the birth of your baby. However, preventing varicose veins would be almost impossible during your next pregnancy. Like most conditions, varicose veins are hereditary, which means that, if your mother had them during her pregnancy, you will have high chances of developing varicose veins as well.

There is a minor chance that a varicose vein could lead to complications such as inflammation due to a blot clot. Just to be on the safe side, make sure to inform your physician of your condition.

What you can do

These tips could be helpful in preventing varicose veins:

    Encourage blood flow. Move as much as possible. When sitting, elevate your legs. When standing, place one foot on a low stool and then alternate legs. Try to avoid crossing your legs while in a seated position. Flexing your ankles will also help.
    Stay in motion.Taking walks during the day and engaging in exercises that increase circulation will definitely help prevent varicose veins.
    Be comfortable. Avoid tight fitting outfits, from underwear to belts, socks, and even shoes. Stiletto heels are also not the best idea.
    Apply pressure. The only type of tight clothes you can wear are compression stockings. The right way to wear compressions stockings is to put them on in the morning before getting out of bed. In this way, the stockings will help prevent the blood to pool in the lower extremities when you stand up in the morning.
    Monitor your weight. Your physician will recommend the right amount of weight to gain during your pregnancy, which usually ranges between 25 and 35 pounds. Try to stay within the limits proposed so as not to tire your circulatory system.
    Lay down on your left side. This helps avoid pressure on your main blood vessels and keep circulation going strong.
    Avoid strenuous activity. Lifting heavy items or engaging in activities that are characterized by vigorous exertion should be avoided.
    Maintain your vitamin intake. A balanced diet will contribute in keeping your veins healthy, so make sure to maintain a diet rich in nutrients and vitamins.

Veins cannot be treated during the period of pregnancy. It is only after giving birth that you can have them examined and treated by a specialist, of course that is in case they do not disappear by themselves.