Varicose veins are those swollen veins that tend to develop near the surface of the skin. These veins usually appear in blue or purple color on calves. Although they are common in the calves, they can travel up the legs. When touched, these veins can be itchy and make your legs feel tired.
Issues: Varicose Veins During Pregnancy
Pregnancy makes your veins more susceptible to developing varicose veins. While a woman is pregnant, her body increases blood volumes, but it simultaneously also decreases the pace that her blood returns from the legs to the pelvis, which increases pressure on veins. Even at times when she is not pregnant, the veins in lower bodies are already working against the law of gravity to return blood to the heart. And once a woman becomes pregnant, the hormone progesterone causes blood to flow down. Even as the baby grows in the womb, the uterus compresses a part of the blood flow returning to the heart, which results in an increased risk of developing varicose veins.
Varicose veins can be genetic. Like many other pregnancy symptoms, varicose veins too tend to be hereditary, which means if your mother had them in her pregnancy, you too are likely to develop varicose veins.
The good news is..
Nobody likes having varicose veins, pregnant or otherwise. Most of the times, varicose veins are not discomforting but are aesthetically unpleasant. Even in pregnancy, these veins hold no risk to the mother and the baby. Also, if a woman did not have varicose veins before pregnancy, the varicose veins will disappear or shrink within a few months post-delivery, but, of course, there are always exceptions.
Solutions: Varicose Veins during Pregnancy
Preventing varicose veins, especially during pregnancy is not fully science-backed. Besides, keeping a control over circulation and hormones during pregnancy is not possible. Although the preventive measures do not guarantee full-fledge positive results in keeping varicose veins at bay, you can still employ a few steps to lessen the effects of varicose veins.
Take a look at these solutions:
Getting some exercise is beneficial in preventing varicose veins. A lot of empirical studies have proven the benefits of physical movements in the treatment of varicose veins. Therefore, make sure you take a walk or several walks every day. In addition, also try some form of low-intensity circulation-increasing exercises each day.
Keep your legs elevated
Every time you get a chance to elevate your legs, do so. Raising your legs higher than the level of your heart is recommended for better circulation. It is also a good idea to place a pillow in between the mattress and box spring at the end of the foot of the bed. Doing this will help you keep your legs elevated while sleeping.
Frequently change positions
This comes as no surprise. Always try to keep changing your positions at regular intervals. For instance, if you are sitting for quite some time, get up and start walking. And, if you are walking or standing for long periods, sit down and relax.
Try to sleep on your left side only
You might wonder how does this help! The truth is, it does help. Sleeping on the left side helps in avoiding pressure on the main blood vessels, in addition to, maintaining proper circulation. Also, the inferior vena cava is situated on the right side, and lying on the left side will relieve the vein of the weight of the uterus, thereby decreasing pressure on the veins of legs and feet.
Wear compression stockings
Most importantly, wear compression stockings as they work really well in preventing varicose veins during pregnancy. These stockings are tight at the ankle and looser as upwards, which helps the blood to flow upward towards heart easier.
In order to prevent blood from clotting in legs, wear compression stockings before getting out of the bed in the mornings and make sure you wear them all day long. These stockings are easily available at medical stores and pharmacies.
When to See a Practitioner?
Although varicose veins usually disappear within three to four months after the birth of a child, sometimes they don’t. See a practitioner if you want to know about various treatment options to get rid off varicose veins.