It is estimated that 10-25% of women develop varicose veins during pregnancy. While varicose veins will usually start to disappear after pregnancy, it is still a very common problem that most women want to deal with sooner rather than later. There are several tips pregnant women can follow to deal with varicose veins in a healthy and safe way.
- invest in compression stockings
- stay active and exercise
- keep legs elevated when possible
- move around
- wait 6 months before having a removal procedure
- ignore your diet
- wear constricting clothes
- forget to take care of yourself
- cross your legs or ankles when sitting
- feel badly about your appearance
Compression stockings will keep the valves working properly so that blood flow is preserved. The stockings should be prescribed by a doctor. They are more expensive than regular stockings that you would buy at a department store, but worth the cost as caring for your veins during pregnancy will help assure recovery after the baby is born.
Staying active and continuing to exercise during pregnancy keeps your calf muscles in shape and able to move blood back to the central circulation system. Prolonged periods of standing or sitting still of course increase your chances of developing varicose veins.
Simply elevating legs higher than the heart twice a day for about ½ hour several times daily will prevent symptoms of leg pressure. If vein problems don’t resolve after about 8 weeks following your delivery, a consultation with a vein specialist is recommended.
Assuming you’re still going to work during the majority of your pregnancy, it’s important that you don’t stay in one spot all day. Whether your job requires you to sit at your desk or stand for long periods of time, make sure to alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day to keep your blood flowing.
Unless the veins are causing you abnormal pains, it’s best to wait about 6 months after you give birth before seeking any serious treatment for them. Varicose and spider veins that didn’t exist before pregnancy typically go away afterwards, so as your body is recovering from childbirth and returning to its normal self, try to be patient and allow the veins to go away on their own if possible.
Aside from the obvious things that you’re supposed to skip out on during pregnancy like sushi and alcohol, you still need to be mindful of everything else that goes into your body. Your diet should be low in salt and sugar, and high in fluids – especially water. This will help aid the increased volume of blood flow that is carrying oxygen to both you and your baby.
Loose fitting, comfortable clothes are preferred. It is especially important that clothes aren’t constricting in the waist, groin and lower stomach areas. This is a big reason why investing in maternity jeans is very important. Some women can still manage to fit into their regular jeans during pregnancy, but this is damaging their circulation whether or not they realize it.
The simplest way to avoid developing varicose veins during pregnancy or to increase the chances of your veins naturally going away after childbirth is to take care of your body from the inside out. Make sure you are keeping all of your important doctor’s visits, and see a vein specialist if you think your varicose veins are giving you severe pain or if they don’t go away shortly after you have your baby.
While it’s only a myth that crossing your legs or ankles can actually cause varicose veins, these actions do affect your circulation. During pregnancy, you’re already at a higher risk for developing varicose veins, so if you’re trying to prevent them this is just another measure you can make that might help make a difference.
Varicose veins are just one of the many bodily changes that women experience during pregnancy, which sometime add up and cause women to feel down about their physical appearances. Just remember that nobody is focusing on your veins or the exact number of pounds you gained; what they are focusing on is making sure you and the baby are both happy and healthy.
Varicose veins are common for women to develop during pregnancy. By following this advice you can prevent and deal with varicose veins. It is important to remember to keep your blood flowing, exercise, eat a healthy diet, and consider wearing clothes that aren’t constrictive. Remember, this is a common problem, so you shouldn’t feel badly about getting them during pregnancy.