Varicose veins during pregnancy: What to do?
Created by Ridhi Doomra Updated on May 24, 2021
Varicose veins are swollen veins that may bulge near the surface of the skin. You may experience little or no discomfort from them, or they may make your legs feel heavy and achy. The skin around a varicose vein may also itch, throb, or feel like it's burning. The symptoms tend to be worse at the end of the day, especially if you've been on your feet a lot.
Many women first develop varicose veinsduring pregnancy. As your uterus grows, it puts pressure on the large vein on the right side of your body (the inferior vena cava), which in turn increases pressure in the leg veins. You're more likely to get varicose veins if other members of your family have had them. They're more common in women than in men, and if you have them, they tend to get worse with each successive pregnancy and as you get older. Being overweight, carrying twins or higher multiples, and standing for long periods can also make you more susceptible to developing varicose veins during pregnancy.
Varicose veins tend to improve after you give birth, particularly if you didn't have any before you got pregnant. And if they do not improve, there are a variety of ways to treat them. You may be able to prevent them or at least minimize them. I am happy to share a few tips on preventing or minimising varicose veins during pregnancy:
1. Exercise daily. Even just a brisk walk around the block can help your circulation.
2. Strive to keep within the recommended weight range for your stage of pregnancy.
3. Elevate your feet and legs whenever possible. Use a stool or box to rest your legs on when you're sitting, and keep your feet elevated on a pillow when you're lying down.
4. Don't cross your legs or ankles when sitting.
5. Don't sit or stand for long periods without taking breaks to move around.
6. Sleep on your left side. Wedge a pillow behind your back to keep yourself tilted to the left and elevate your feet with a pillow. Since the inferior vena cava is on the right side, lying on your left side relieves the vein of the weight of the uterus, thus decreasing pressure on the veins in your legs and feet.
7. Wear compression stockings to stop swelling and provide support to the skin around the varicose veins.Stockings, which are twice as thick as normal pantyhose, work best. These stockings are available in medical supply stores and pharmacies. They are tight at the ankle and get looser as they go up the leg, making it easier for blood to flow back up toward your heart. As a result, they help prevent swelling and may keep your varicose veins from getting worse.
8. To prevent blood from accumulating in your legs, put the stockings on before getting out of bed in the morning, while you're still lying down, and keep them on all day. Heavy-duty support hose may be bothersome, especially in hot weather, but bad varicose veins can be more uncomfortable.
So mommies –Ihope you follow these simple tips to help you be free of varicose veins and enjoy your pregnancy with comfort and joy!
Did you find Ridhi’s tips on varicose veins during pregnancyuseful? How did/do you cope with varicose veins when pregnant? Do leave your comments…. We love hearing from you!